If you’re writing a YA book, it’s almost a sure thing that you’ve got a love story in there somewhere. In the case of my book, the love story is a central element – but by no means the entirety of the story.
I love a good love story. I am a hopeless, sappy romantic and a total sucker for a well-written love story, so when I came across an article by Nicholas Sparks listing the do’s and don’t’s of writing a love story, I knew I had to share it here. He’s known worldwide for his love stories, after all.
I especially like the point he makes about not writing a one-dimensional woman:
“A woman who is just waiting around to be swept off her feet by a man, and serves that end only, is dull.”
This is why Stephenie Myer took such heat for the Twilight Series. Really, what is Bella without Edward or Jacob to define and validate her? Not much. Her only goal in life was to become a vampire so she could always be with Edward.
In her next novel, The Host, Stephenie wrote a much stronger female lead (two actually). Both Wanderer and Melanie are resourceful, smart, adventurous young women who don’t need anyone to validate them or their actions. It’s a much better story, in my opinion.
For a love story to really soar, you need to have two complete characters, with strong characteristics and an ability to hold their own in the relationship. Bring two complete people to the table, and your readers are going to want to dine with them.
Nicholas Sparks also has a page full of terrific writing tips on his webpage that are well worth the read. The man knows how to write people in love, and in a YA novel, that’s half the story. Just remember not to make it all the story.