I was supposed to post the second episode of “Declutter your text”, talking about editing two weeks in a row felt a bit… heavy, so I figured I’d post something lighter today. That being said, here is today’s program:
Before I met my husband, I thought I hated love stories. That is… most love stories. I’ve always been a huge fan of Pride and Prejudice. But the movies my more romantic female friends loved made me want to barf.
I never really asked myself why that was because as a rule, I hated things “stereotypical girls” loved: romance movies and books, pop music, shopping, make-up, skirts and even shorts, talking about boys, public display of emotions, etc. I was a tomboy and didn’t care to pretend otherwise.
My meeting with my husband made me discover a sweet side in myself I didn’t know I had. I started to binge-watch Japanese dramas, I read everything Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë… I thought I had changed.
I hadn’t. I tried watching some TV series the other day, and the well-known “excuse me while I barf” feeling came right back. Now, that series has been super popular, so I again felt like an alien not liking it. I made it my mission to watch that show until I discovered what it was I hated so much, and what it was I loved so much in the guilty pleasure romances I indulge in from time to time. I have finally found it.
I love when the story revolves around one or both character’s passion for something, be it dance, piano, drawing, cooking or even eating, getting one’s revenge or running a million dollar business. The characters then proceed to support each other in their own passion, and together they’ll be able to accomplish great things. I am drawn to that kind of stories like a fly to honey, because they leave me feeling motivated to pursue my own passion.
I hate when love and romantic relationships are the one thing every single character ever care or talk about. Now, I can be understanding: I had a friend in high school who cared a lot about guys and romantic relationships, so much that she’d talk about that 80% of the time. It’s fine. But that the whole cast is like that? It doesn’t feel realistic and there is no character I can identify with.
Also, I’ve watched or read stories in which the “fated couple” have an extremely toxic influence on each other, sometimes to the point where one of them (typically the girl) wants to commit suicide. And that’s not mentioning those in which suicide happens because those are classified as tragedies, not romances. But still… she loves him so much and blah blah blah. Excuse me, but somebody who plays with my heart strings to the point of making me want to die doesn’t deserve the tiniest place in my heart… Again, I know that some girls can’t help it, they love the jerk that disrespects them… I don’t.
Finally, I love when men feel “real”. I love when they’re shy, clumsy or unsure what to do, but trying to do it right. I love when they won’t say that perfect sentence the girl wants to hear, but end up conveying their feelings in their own ways. In other words, I love when they’re not just there as a handsome prop.
Of course, those are all just personal opinions. There are no “dos and don’ts” here. Just my own tastes. But I am really happy to realise that the single love story I’ve written reflects what I love, and stays away from what I hate… despite it having been written before I analysed my tastes. After all, my goal is to write a book I’d love to read.