Relationships are complicated things, particularly romantic ones. I have one in nearly all of my books to date, except The Shadows Fall (and then only because it’s coming later. And I was fourteen when I began it and the hopeless romantic in me had not quite reared its impressionable head).
When two people love each other, as wonderful as it is, it also causes an entire new series of conflicts, heartbreaks, difficult emotions and complications that weren’t previously there. Each couple has a different dynamic, and the possibilities are almost endless. The current couples I have are:
Mir and Eva
Vey and Leila
I like to mix-and-match, to play opposites with my couples. Mir and Eva are as different as a couple could be, and just as unlikely. Eva is a logical, point a to point b person. She’s liberal, devoid of most female emotion at the beginning of the novel, and is a workaholic. She’s not the sort of person you want to sit and have a coffee with; she’s the sort of person who would order you around even if you didn’t belong there.
Mir…well, most of you probably know Mir. (Speaking of which; Krazy, your email never came through!) He’s been abused horrifically from the moment he was born, and after twenty-four years he’s sweet, loving, kind, and perceptive. He has the strength of three men but, when not drugged or tormented into a frenzy, is as gentle and caring as it’s possible to be.
Their road is not an easy one. Eva is hiding secrets from Mir that she fears will damage him further, but his insight tells him she’s not telling him things. She unintentionally hurts him with things she doesn’t mean to say, and he breaks her heart by simply being himself. I wouldn’t say they have ‘sizzling chemistry’ or any such term (though I do love couples that do) – they have a deeper connection, something that has tied their souls together through learning and trials and trying to understand the other person.
Vey and Leila are different. Vey, next to Cayne, is the most troubled character to occupy quarters in my head. He’s borderline suicidal, completely depressed, and emo. His outlook on life is filled with caustic sarcasm, and while he has plenty of thoughts, he knows no one will care what he thinks so he often just says what they want to hear. His only release is through the music; he hears it everywhere, sees it, feels it. Being a type-A hemophiliac, he can’t even punch the wall to let out anger and frustration. Being dyslexic, his notebooks are full of words crossed out and re-written, so much so that the only person who can really make them out is him.
Leila has been deaf since she was thirteen. She’s cute, feisty, and willing to give tough love to people who need it. She sees through the shroud Vey wears and realizes she’s looking at someone who gave up on the world long ago; someone she finds both sad and intriguing. She does her best to lift him out of the hole he’s dug his life into, and he sees something special in her in return.
Of course I’ve had lots of other ‘couples,’ even if there was no romance involved – Chace and Kate, for example, didn’t have romance. They had friendship, which is another ballgame – but no matter which angle you look at it from, relationships are tricky, difficult to maneuver, and a lot of fun to write. You have to remember that people are people. They’re going to hurt each other’s feelings, say what they don’t mean, and do stupid things. But they also have the ability to shine; to take someone’s hand, to sooth their fears and provide exactly what another person needs. That’s the wonderful thing about relationships, and they’re so much fun to explore.
– A state in which two people who are close to each other continually uplift, put down, help, wound, caress, and push away the other.
In other words – the best writing fodder ever.