Connections have been on my mind, especially when writing how heroine and hero (h/h) connect in romantic fiction. My day job as a business relationship manager benefits from examining how we connect with others, as well.
I read two quotes about connection this week that resonated with me. The first from a business article, “Connection…is a mindset and an energy exchange between people who are paying attention to each other. Connections motivate and influence us.”
It’s easy to see how this relates to a romance story–the energy exchange between h/h sparks the beginning of their relationship, and the forms it can take are myriad. Often it is the touch of hands, maybe it is a particular smile. My favorite quote about a special smile is “When I saw you I fell in love, and you smiled because you knew.” I have to use that in my story.
The second reference to connections comes from Author Magazine : “We would have done nearly anything for that project. These qualities naturally surfaced because, most importantly, we were connected; our actions were connected to and inspired by a great feeling.”
Again, this is to me what romance is about–a connection based on great feelings, working together tirelessly, and natural.
How do you know when you’ve connected with someone? Inside you might feel a hormonal charge, a glow, a pause in conversation as you smile at each other. You feel stronger, more assured, having found a kindred spirit.
Identifying what connection feels like is a necessary first step. Now my work is to write the interactions that draw my h/h together, connect them. Dreamy.
What do we believe and why? Are our beliefs based on our experiences? On what others have told us? On their experiences? What happens when our beliefs crumble, turn out false?
My protagonist will be forced to dig up family history to counter a threat to her home and life. There is always the unknown in families, and the unspoken. Even the family bible can’t be trusted for the truth. What about the child born out of wedlock? The stillborn? The deformed? Today these situations aren’t closeted or shunned as they usually were when my grandmother was growing up.
And what about the forgotten? Memories faded, or suppressed. Perhaps memories reshaped over time and repeated to ourselves so often they become our only own reality.
All of these situations shape what we grow up believing so firmly that it is accepted as fact, assumed to be true. We accept it without question. But what happens when you question your beliefs? When you look into the truth, lies, or misperceptions behind them? Who are we then?
I love family mysteries, and every family has skeletons in the closet. Locked closets, concealed closets, forgotten closets, denied closets. It’s time for her, Elle, to find out who her family really is.
This week I read a writing exercise that reminded me of an earlier goal I had for my writing. In a Writers Digest article by Jan Ellison she mentions that her practice is to start each day by working on a poem in progress. I find poetry is a beautiful way to get into the emotion of a scene, using every sense in unexpected ways. I love Ellison’s idea and have already started practicing it. My poem in progress can be a morning reflection as much as it is a warm up exercise.
Imagery in writing is luscious. Emotion is piqued in unexpected ways, bringing a small gasp of surprise to the reader or a smile to her face. A hero’s eyes aren’t just blue–they are azure pools, lapis gems, indigo depths. A foggy morning sits heavy on the earth in an ashen shroud or wraps the ground in silvery mystique depending on one’s outlook.
I love the way this poem in progress allows me to stretch my imagination and develop skills to see and describe things in different ways; it’s both refreshing and invigorating for my mind. And it is a sweet indulgence to start my day as few others do, knowing that I’ve stolen a few moments to make this day mine, seeing it in a way only I can and putting that into poetry.