Paper Hearts: love in person and love in prose
“Love conquers all.”
Though a cliché and a well-overused one at that, those who’ve found it know this to be true. At the heart of A Curious Matter of Men with Wings is a love story. A love story that, despite so many obstacles, not only comes into being, but manages to save their families, their communities and the world around them. In this way, clichés are simply frequently-used truths, facts we all learn over the course of living on this earth and eventually come to ourselves. The difficulty always is that, while love is among the greatest of human drives, the drive itself is a selfish one, the need to find our own value in someone else’s eyes, to see in another that we ourselves have purpose in occupying our place on this planet. The difficulty always is that the ability to fully love someone takes removing what drives us to get there in the first place. The self.
So too is the difficulty of writing a truly unique love story that rings true to a reader, a love story that we all recognize in our own lives. It’s hard to write a love story. It is. But there is a trick to it. And the trick is to be honest about how exactly love exists in our lives. Have your characters come to it out of some selfish need. Then have them stumble through its appearance awkwardly. Then endanger it. And finally, have it save us. The trick is to exact something true from what we all know to be true: Love is a silly thing, a funny thing and the very thing that finally saves us in the end. That is love in person. And that is love on paper.