I’ve decided that water is love. It’s just one of those things I do – I associate a non-material thing (love) with a material thing (water). I can now watch the movements of water as if it is the embodiment of love.
An ocean is an abundance of love. A dripping tap is love escaping and being wasted. A stream is healthy love – flowing from one place to another, the way love should. An aqueduct is a manmade device for carrying love to where it is needed, as is the romantic novel you’re just burning to write!
The ‘Romance / Erotica’ genre outsells every other by miles and miles with sales in excess of one and a half billion US dollars per annum. And if that is not reason enough to write about love then think about this – by writing about it you’ll be spreading love in the world – and love surely its own reward.
Here’s how to research the perfect love story:
- Fall in Love. The best way of getting to know the ways of the heart is to be in love yourself. Watch the things you do to prove your love to your sweetheart, and watch how there’s no more compelling proof than the language of the eyes and fingers. A slight touch to reassure, a sweet glance to connect, a hand when it’s needed. These are the things to watch for before you begin to write. Don’t analyse these things too much – just observe and write them down.
- Watch Lovers. No, I don’t mean this in a creepy peeping-tom way. Just observe people as you go through life. That old couple on the park bench – feeding the ducks together. Those young folk walking through town holding hands and swinging their arms in time to the rhythm of their hearts. The loving glances and smiles on the faces of people as they stand in a queue – oblivious to everyone else. These are your muses.
- Read Love Stories. If you can’t see enough love in real life then find it in books. Watch your breath as you read. If you find that it quickens, then note what you are reading at that time. If you find that you are holding your breath then make a note of why that happens. Also – watch your tear ducts. If you begin to cry (and you are not in pain) then jot down what is happening in the book. Once you have your notes – practice writing like that yourself and then test it out on a friend.
- Study Biology. It might seem terribly unromantic to read about subcutaneous peripheral vasodilation, cardiac electrophysiology or adrenal gland secretions, but if you want your readers to take you seriously then you need to look into what makes pulses race, knees go weak, and heads reel, not to mention why the bride is blushing, the girl is giddy and the man is moody. You don’t need to recount the biology behind it all, but trust me – it will make your stories much more believable if you know the facts behind your fiction.
There’s so much more to writing a love story than research, but the items outlined here will at least give your tales a solid foundation. The ways and means of the heart are labyrinthine and deep so before you begin, make sure you have a large ball of string and plenty of snacks.
Once you’ve started in earnest on this exploration of love – immerse yourself. Revel in the sensations. Bite down hard on the subject. Taste it fully and completely. Feel the rushing of blood in your ears. Suck in the delicious aromas of … ahem – off you go and do some writing now.