The Bible has a pretty simplistic definition in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. It says that , “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
I like this definition even if it’s hard to abide by every day; it gives you something to work toward. But if you pay close enough attention, you’ll see that The Bible doesn’t’ talk about emotions. It talks about the way that Love acts. So I say all of this to say, if you are going to show that your characters love each other, you have to show it in their actions.
This is not always an easy thing to do; actions of love can be hard to interpret. You first have to know someone well enough to know that anything they say or do can be taken for being love. If my character is particularly amorous with all women, what would be some ways for me to show that he loves the heroine in the story? She will most likely doubt his intentions, thinking she is just like all of the rest. And if I have a character that has a hard time showing how much he cares, forcing him to show a display of emotion in his actions might be rather painful to write or to read. And the heroine would be left wanting because she can’t get him to feel the way that she feels, etc… Getting to know them well enough (character development)would be a cure for that. The reader will know the difference, even if the heroine is slow on the uptake.
I’ve read enough romance books to know that the good ones don’t even have the words, “I love you” being said until near the end. Why? Because if they’re done it right, the reader should already know that’s how the characters were feeling before it was said. We should have gotten to know them both well enough to know that all of their actions in the story were just his or her way of saying how strongly they felt for one another. I have seen failures in this, when the characters uttered those three words, I say errrrr? What do you mean, they love each other; I am not convinced because the story didn’t adequately show it with action or I didn’t get to know the characters well enough to believe it.
This is not a problem I want to have. I’m currently working on something that would most likely be defined as romance. Let me say it here, now though, “I won’t write only romance as much as I love it.” Anyway, as I was saying, my characters will hopefully end up loving each other. The hero in my story doesn’t have a hard time showing his emotions, he’s just never experienced the thing he’s feeling right now. He is not particularly amorous though he does have ease with and around women. But he knows exactly what he wants and he wants her. She however, doesn’t trust easily and breaking down that barrier will not be a simple task for him so I’m thinking of taking that task away from him altogether. She should be the one to break down her own barrier, leaving him the freedom to show his love with his actions without them always being questioned. Because after all, doesn’t the Bible say that love always trusts? I want her to show her love for him too and she can’t do that by knocking him down, left and right.
So after writing this story for some time and spending an inordinate amount of time trying to get to know who these people are, I’m now beginning to work out the ways for them to show their love. In the end, I hope you are convinced.
What are some of the ways you show you love someone?