Friday, February 24, 2012

Kristina's (tired) writing time: Loving against the law

Be warned that this is less of a pep talk and more of a plot bunny. Also be warned that I hadn't slept for QUITE a while before writing this.

 So. Your character has fallen in love with another. How sweet. But what's this? It's against the law to fall in love! Or, they're in a world where love simply doesn't (or shouldn't) exist!

Well, this brings up questions.

First, how is it possible that they are in love? Was there an error in the genetic coding? Did someone not take their anti-love pills? Are they just a rebel? Everyone loves a good rebel. This is a fundamental question to answer before you start your story. Otherwise, the whole thing won't make sense.

Why is it against the law in the first place? Or, why do people not fall in love in this world? Is the dictator just a jerk? can't think of any other scenarios for this right now. This is also a fundamental question, but you could still get away with answering "Just...because I SAID SO, okay?"

Who are they in love with? Maybe with the dictator who says love does not exist. Maybe with that cute transformer/policeman/alien dude. Maybe with everyone! This is a vital part of your plot. The person they fall in love could make, break, or not affect the novel. Depending on how well you write the love interest. Think 1984, or that other Anthem, but the other one. Maybe Anthem. I can't remember. God, I'm tired.

Does the love interest return the feeling? Why or why not? YOU MUST ANSWER THIS QUESTION. There is simply no getting around it. This is the crossroads of your novel. One path goes East, towards the town of "People have done that before but maybe you got a good spin on it" And the other goes up, towards the cloud called "How the heck do you write something like that? You must be a genius."

What are the consequences for falling in love? Are they bad, or good? Is it death? Something worse than death? Maybe they get banished. Maybe they kill the love interest. Who knows?

Does anyone find out? If so, how? Is this a bad thing, or can this person keep a secret? Maybe the government can read minds. Then there's no hope--someone is GOING to find out. Question answered.

Is there a happy ending, or do they suffer the dire consequences? Or, maybe the consequences aren't so bad. Maybe falling in love introduces or reintroduces the concept to this deprived land and the main character is hailed as a hero.

What makes this character special, that they are able to fall in love? Well, this kind of just follows the first question. I don't know why I thought this question was original.

When does this happen? In the future? Again, this is tied with another question. See the one below for details.

Is it on earth or in a fantasy world? An alternate universe? Ah! The question tie in! I know a lot of you love fantasy and science fiction, so maybe this is a no brainer for you. But it does affect the novel GREATLY. Choose wisely, young Jedi.

And lastly, where do they go from here? Dun Dun Dun! Sequel, anyone?

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