Monday, April 9, 2012

H is for Heartbreak

Writers are cruel, cruel beasts. We take our characters, drag them through the mud, give them a glimpse of hope, only to tear them apart, limb by limb. And the cycle continues, until they resemble someone so different from when we first met them. Why do we do it? Hopefully, because our character learns something, grows, improves...has become a better person for it in the end.

One way to cause suffering for our character is in matters of the heart.

I've got some serious heartbreak going on all over the place in my current WIP. And though many dislike love triangles and doubt their prevalence in real life, I beg to differ. I've been on the crappy end of a triangle, the one left alone and forgotten after all the drama. I've also been torn between two guys more often than I'd like to admit-most times they knew each other or were in our same circle of friends. And at least one person gets hurt every single time.

In fact, I pursued this amazing guy once and we ended up dating and getting serious. I LOVED him, he was perfect in every way. Things were progressing perfectly. And then.


This new guy shows up in my life: suave, arrogant, dangerous, confident, handsome, spontaneous...completely swept me off my feet. Is this not stereotypical YA novel or what? Both relationships got too serious and I had to choose. After a terrible talk with perfect boy, I chose arrogant boy. And then married him. We're celebrating our fifteenth anniversary this fall (yeah, I'm old), so I guess I chose the right guy. But still, heartbreak sucks.

But after experiencing the ache, dread, suffering of it all, doesn't it make that "happy" at the end just that much sweeter? I think it's worth it in the end, even for the one left in the dust. Eventually. Maybe.



Martin Willoughby said...

Anyhing worth having is worth fighting for.

It's also true that you appreciate someting more once you've left it alone for a while.

Kelley Lynn said...

Haha. I love how you say you ended up with arrogant boy :) Too funny.

I totally agree. We have to go through the suffering and the pain in order to appreciate what we have in the end.

And you sound like quite the catch my dear! All your boys chasing after you ;)

Sara Hill said...

Yes, love triangles are real. I can attest.

G.M. said...

You start with a negative H for heartbreak and with a cute ad. Then, you surprised me with opening up about your personal life. I like the writing sytle like .. and then. AND THEN. And you end up with two positive H, Happy ending with the Husband. Best wishes for another fifteen years together, and more.

ilima said...

Martin-Yep. The good is even better when you've experienced the bad.

Kelley-Oh yes, that's me, quite the catch...NOT. But it does prove that triangles happen in real life to real people all the time.

Sara-Yes. Yes. So true.

Giora-Aww. Happy and Husband in the end. Thanks for the well wishes!

Angela Cothran said...

I have some serious heart crushing moments in my WIP. I love it! The lower you bring your characters them more room there is for them to rise :)

Emily said...

Yes. Love triangles are REAL. And HEARTBREAKING.

Unknown said...

Heartbreak is sad, but it does make for a good story.

Good luck with the challenge!

Dianna Fielding

Robin said...

Love triangles are real-that's why we keep reading about them over and over, right? I don't know if I'll ever be brave enough to write one.

Suzi said...

I think that's why we like the love triangles. We want the girl to chose the bad, dangerous, but cool boy and have him end up being the best thing that happened to her.

ilima said...

Angie-Poor, poor characters. :)


Dianna-Why is pain so entertaining? :)

Robin-B is for Brave, babe. :) And you are.

Suzi-True. My marriage is living proof of that. It does make life more exciting, for sure.

Morgan said...

Heartache *does* make you stronger... I know I'm grateful for all the heartache I've experienced in my life. It has molded who I am. And you sound like you have more stories to share! :D

Kathryn Purdie said...

All I can say is amen, amen, amen. Do I ever know love triangles are real, and I think they're the BEST thing to put in a story (if you spin you're own little twist on them and make them unique). H for Hooray for a fabulous blog post!

F said...

See, nobody can say YA isn't realistic! I'm happy your own personal love triangle was resolved in the end - happy endings happen after all! It just proves that love triangles do exist, and are sure to be written about for many years to come. Great post!

ilima said...

Morgan-Too many stories. Good thing I'm a writer. :)

Katie-Yes, you have quite the triangle story yourself. :)

Fiona-I love happy endings! And I agree, love triangles will be around for a long time.

Unknown said...

Heartache, dread suffering- they all give you perspective- and with that you know what's important and are able find joy and happiness! Great post!

Kate Coursey said...

I'm not a fan of love triangles, not necessarily because they're not real, but because they often make the protagonist seem whiny. However, they can be done well. I think Hunger Games pulled off the love was part of the story, but not the forefront, and Katniss never whined about it or got all woe-is-me.

ilima said...

Jen-Yes. And it's so much easier to look back and realize things were for the best than when you are in the thick of it.

Kate-Even if the triangle is at the forefront, say in a genre romance, whiny protagonists are never a good thing. Bleh.