Getting Down and Dirty About Insta-Love
Let’s talk about something different. Something maybe even a little, shall I say, taboo?
*gasp* Yes, I just said the word(s) insta-love in reference to writing. Don’t shun me! Or throw rocks, that could hurt. So hear me out.Everyone has an opinion on the subject. People are either into it, and totally accepting, and the others are just plain hate it. Loathe, really.
Here’s my thing. Not my thang…my thing. Get your mind out of the gutter.
Not everyone’s story is the same. Some people take weeks, months, or even years to fall in love. Each story is timeless and something you cannot recreate. Though, us writers do love to try. Each and every one of us is special and handles situations with diverse outlooks.
Take me for instance, I knew, from the moment I saw my husband that I was going to marry him. I know, I know. You’re giving me that level stare and shaking your head. That boy kissed me, and my entire being screamed and told me he was the one. Don’t look back, don’t pass GO and collect $200, just make sure this boy falls in love with you, too. I mean, sure, did I call my mom and have a mini freak-out? Hell yes. I was terrified. Love is scary stuff. But sometimes, you just have to jump off that cliff and pray to God your parachute opens.
Occasionally, insta-love is real. I embraced it. I’m happy to say I’ve been with my husband for ten years, and I’m still madly in love with him. Even more so than when we were eighteen and sneaking into each other’s rooms through the window at god-awful hours of the night. …Sorry, mom.
There seems to be this common fallacy about the feared insta-love notion in books. A guy and girl meet and get butterflies in their stomach, it’s considered insta-love. Or they date for months, and sweet baby Jesus, hand me a paper fan because I’m having an attack, it’s insta-love. Guy goes away for a year on a deployment while keeping up letters with his girlfriend. Boom, insta-love.
Love is subjective. It’s either going to be too soon or take way too long. The insta-love dreary, sad fog is ever-present. Always. No matter the time.
As some of you follow my page on Facebook, I asked a question last week: how early did you tell your significant other you loved them?
The answer was rather surprising.
Almost every person on that thread said they told their partner they loved them within weeks. WEEKS! Can you believe that? For as much as people insta-love shame authors, they’re also falling in love within a matter of days. That’s just crazy. And also. disgustingly romantic. Give me all the feels!
That being said, there were also people who are thoroughly against it. They thought love needed to grow and there was no way to know true love until you got to know the person. And you know what I say? Hell-to-the-yes! A couple taking their time to understand their feelings is just as beautiful.
That’s why this world is so incredibly wonderful. If all of our stories were the same, we’d be so bored with each other; we’d have to find other ways to occupy our time. Like rock counting. Or…I don’t know, something else that is grossly tedious and unexciting.
The same goes for books.
At the beginning of my career, I’d have this conversation with a group of my book friends. I can’t tell you how many times I’d gone to them and asked, “How early is too early for my characters to say, ‘I love you?’ A month? A year? Five?” I had anxiety about it.
But you know what? There’s no wrong or right answer. None.
As readers, we’re able to live many different lives within the pages of books. We have no problem believing in witches, vampires, and werewolves, yet we can’t bring ourselves to believe in love in its own time?
Don’t be afraid to tell your story. Whether your characters fall in love quickly, or you like to torture your readers with a slow, angsty burn. Both are fantastic. Brilliant, even.
No matter the story, a horror, romance, sci-fi, poetry, or historic, there’s always one common value, isn’t there? Love. So, really, who cares if it was at the beginning or the end of the story? It’s fiction.
Be organic to your story and your characters. Just like us—the people in the real world – they aren’t perfect. They don’t fall in love within a certain timetable.
To all the insta-love shamer’s and insta-love shamer haters, I say, let’s embrace each story as its own.
Don’t be afraid to write what you love.
Be brave and stay strong.
- Getting Down and Dirty About Insta-Love - February 24, 2016
- The (Slightly Ugly) Reality About Publishing a Book - February 3, 2016