A Big, Giant Weird-Fest
Have you ever heard the Dr. Seuss quote, “We’re all a little weird, and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them in mutual weirdness and call it love.” Yeah, I figured you had. If not, then I probably just made your day with that quote, because it is the coolest. 😉
One thing that I have found to be confoundedly true when writing fiction is that no two stories are ever the same. Seriously! Sometimes I wish that there would be more similarities between my characters and my plot lines and my settings, but there just aren’t. Every new story and every little thread is unique and different and frustratingly hard to sort through at times. And the hardest of all is usually the romances.
I’m so, so bad at writing romantic fiction, you guys. I’m not even joking. If you could see my first drafts and the awkward dialogs between my guys and gals, you would probably laugh. And say, “Well that was definitely written by a seventeen-year-old.” Because it can be so jumbled up sometimes. I tend to make things way more subtle than they probably should be, and in my mind, a three-minute dialog about whether or not you’d rather experience death by asphyxiation or being eaten alive slowly by fire ants constitutes as a romantic scene. (No joke–I actually wrote that into a book once)
But one thing that I’ve come to realize, is that it’s the weird scenes that I end up loving the most. The ones where things are a little bit awkward, a little bit funny, and very, very sweet. I guess because that’s the way people are in real life! Just like Dr. Seuss said, we’re all a little weird. We’re messed up, strange, and sometimes socially-awkward human beings who are just trying to love each other in the best way possible. So why shouldn’t our books reflect that?
Seriously, when you think about it, how much more do you love those kinds of scenes than the stereotypical love scenes where the couple rides off into the sunset, their equally gorgeous locks tousled in the wind, without even a saddle or stirrups or any kind of equipment to help them because they’re just so darn perfect they don’t need any assistance? Gag me with a spoon. If that couple actually exists, I probably hate them. And you should, too.
I talk all the time about adding humor to books, or subtle wit and sarcasm. But I think we should also make more of a conscious effort to add a little weirdness. Romantic scenes are a pain in the neck to write. But they become so much more beautiful, sweet, and realistic when a little oddness is thrown into the mix. Like throwing a shoe at a guy? Classic. 😉