After my first post on building romantic relationships, I thought of something else that has a big impact on how those stories are developed. The details – those tiny tidbits and minute moments – really can make a difference in how deep the love goes. It’s the little things that help us as readers relate to the characters; it enables us to appreciate their joys and struggles more fully.
For example, one of the aspects I really enjoyed about Midnight Sun was getting to see Bella through Edward’s eyes. Personally, I never thought much of Bella – I felt I hardly knew anything about her as a person, except that she loved Edward so much she was willing to risk her life to be with him. But here, we finally learn more about her: her memories, her previous home, the books she likes, etc. I didn’t know she loved Jo Walton’s Tooth & Claw or that the CD Phil gave her was Linkin Park; those details weren’t part of Twilight. And discovering those specifics made her more real to me.
But learning those things did more than just help me connect with her as a person. As we found out more about Bella, we also learned that she’s not so different from ourselves – she’s just an ordinary teen girl. Understanding this makes Edward’s love for her seem even more amazing, simply because she’s so normal. His affection for her is what causes him to see her as extraordinary. Just watching her fix a bowl of cereal fascinates him – because it’s her that’s doing it. This is more than beauty being in the eyes of the beholder; this is the transformative power of love, changing even an immortal heart of stone.
And it was all those details that, when woven together, created a fuller picture of their relationship. I fell in love with their story all over again, simply because there was more depth to it. So including details is something I try to do when I write my own stories. For instance, Zac from “It’s Complicated” lists off several things about Tess that he’s learned as they dated; Jesse and Alex remember a couple of very specific preferences from the priestess that still apply to Emer in The Heart of Everything; even “Vampire (K)night” mentions a particular breakfast tray for the lovely lady.
The best part of learning the little things that build a relationship is that it helps us understand the breadth of real love. So often, the details that make characters fall in love are simple, ordinary things. Like Edward’s fascination with Bella, his love for her isn’t based on her being special (though his initial interest certainly was, that’s not what makes him fall for her), nor is it because she’s done something to earn his favor. She was just herself, and it was all the little things about her that kept him coming back. And those moments serve as a wonderful reminder of the amazing, undeserved love we receive from Christ; for even when we aren’t unique, aren’t worth loving, or aren’t what the rest of the world wants, He loves us anyway :-).
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section!
Until the next time, keep reading!
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I have two passions: reading and writing. You can't write good stories without first reading good stories - that's my theory, anyway. So this is where I'll share with you the depth of those passions: background on what and why I write, as well as talking about the books that I read and how they impact my writing.