fb

Reply To: Howdy, all.

Forums General Site Info Introduce Yourself Howdy, all. Reply To: Howdy, all.

#135731
Brian Stansell
@obrian-of-the-surface-world

@fitz

Hi Fitz,

I wanted to point out some of your very fine statements:

Because it is in the nature of romance to bring to light our greatest flaws, and where there is the greatest hope there is the greatest struggles. In or efforts to love or be loved our most fundamental brokenness is exposed and gives us the choice to either succumb to that pain or heal from it. In this way, true Love has much more to do with choice than attraction, and every good love story is a battle – always internal and sometimes external – to achieve that prize that comes from the union of two that are greater than the two separate.

Those particular words “true Love has much more to do with choice than attraction” are very insightful and needed.

Another very insightful statement:

It sounds like his attraction to her is earnest and not a deception, but we will all experience many attractions throughout our lives while very few of them qualify for a lasting relationship.

I know you are talking about a fictional character here, but all fiction must be grounded in a deeper understanding of truth and the honest pitfalls of human nature.  This statement shows you do acknowledge that, and I applaud you for making it.

Here is another powerful and insightful quote from the conversation:

It is all too common for someone to try and change themselves for someone else; especially when what is on the line is romantic love. This need is a double-edged sword as it can be the catalyst for change, but any change we make for someone else and not ourselves is temporary at best. This means, practically speaking for your character, that there is going to have to be some point where he is going to have to make that decision for himself: that he wants to be a better man because he wants it, not because she will love him if he does. This sorting of different emotions and desires is predictably and wonderfully messy. If the relationship isn’t meant to be permanent, then this moment can be both more dramatic and clear: if he is never going to be with her, does he still want to change? If the relationship is supposed to be permanent, this moment still needs to happen, but sorting it out will be more nuanced and will still probably come after a fight and at the risk of losing the relationship. Further, even if he solidly decides to change for himself at the start, interconnection with someone else on a romantic level will still add some human mess to that equation, even if they are overall a very positive reinforcement.

It is all too common for someone to try and change themselves for someone else; especially when what is on the line is romantic love. This need is a double-edged sword as it can be the catalyst for change, but any change we make for someone else and not ourselves is temporary at best. This means, practically speaking for your character, that there is going to have to be some point where he is going to have to make that decision for himself: that he wants to be a better man because he wants it, not because she will love him if he does. This sorting of different emotions and desires is predictably and wonderfully messy. If the relationship isn’t meant to be permanent, then this moment can be both more dramatic and clear: if he is never going to be with her, does he still want to change? If the relationship is supposed to be permanent, this moment still needs to happen, but sorting it out will be more nuanced and will still probably come after a fight and at the risk of losing the relationship. Further, even if he solidly decides to change for himself at the start, interconnection with someone else on a romantic level will still add some human mess to that equation, even if they are overall a very positive reinforcement.

It is all too common for someone to try and change themselves for someone else; especially when what is on the line is romantic love. This need is a double-edged sword as it can be the catalyst for change, but any change we make for someone else and not ourselves is temporary at best. This means, practically speaking for your character, that there is going to have to be some point where he is going to have to make that decision for himself: that he wants to be a better man because he wants it, not because she will love him if he does. This sorting of different emotions and desires is predictably and wonderfully messy. If the relationship isn’t meant to be permanent, then this moment can be both more dramatic and clear: if he is never going to be with her, does he still want to change? If the relationship is supposed to be permanent, this moment still needs to happen, but sorting it out will be more nuanced and will still probably come after a fight and at the risk of losing the relationship. Further, even if he solidly decides to change for himself at the start, interconnection with someone else on a romantic level will still add some human mess to that equation, even if they are overall a very positive reinforcement.

You have struck the chord, my friend. This is a vital point, but too often it gets cluttered by the compromising female character.  The male interest MUST make a genuine decision to choose the path of virtue for himself, even if it means losing his female love-interest.

We are talking about characters here, but there is a very real subtext of comparative to real-life people.  That is my point.  We do have to acknowledge a worldview and perspective on romance, ESPECIALLY because we are called to depict God’s viewpoint somewhere in our works as Co-Creators with Him.  Otherwise, our writing ceases to be redemptive and is yet another offering of compromise with the prevailing “popular” standards of the world at large.

When I see these things, I cannot help but seek to align them with God’s revealed truth, gained by the study of scripture.

Who gave men and women their bodies, and their psychological differences, but God?  Isn’t it necessary to seek His intention for how He wants those differences, expressions, desires, and needs to be complementary and mutually beneficial under His guidance?

God defines Love by His example, not by our assumptions of what Love is.

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. [Matthew 16:25 KJV]

Love is becoming a sacrificial servant to the one you desire.

13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. [John 15:13 KJV]

This is what is lost in so many “romances”.  It has become orphaned from this concept and that is why we Christian writers must get it right even in our own works.

You have made some great points, but they need to be coupled with the larger concepts too.

Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
I was born in war.
Fighting from my first breath.

Pin It on Pinterest