I've never fallen in love.
I've grown to love many people, but I've never experienced that thing people talk about, an instant connection of sorts, a hyper-awareness, an overwhelming desire to be with/around that person (we use the word 'fall' for a reason) whether you consider that to be mix of chemicals flooding through the brain or something more*. People write books about falling in love, they compose music and paint and do all sorts of creative outpourings to define or explain it.
And since I've never experienced it, that's probably why the stories I gravitate towards tend to focus on family and friend relationships. Or... weird relationships that don't cleanly fit into a neat 'love' box.
(those are my favourite)
BUT: a new voice? A new character? A new story? That is the closest feeling I can imagine to the thing people talk about: an instant and all-consuming desire, a scary sensation like teetering on a ledge and unsure whether to take a hasty step back, or lean forward and commit to the fall.**
This is why, in any new story, the first 10,000 words are always the easiest for me to write. It's the 'falling stage' where I don't have to do anything in particular, just relax into the voice and let it happen. After that is when I have to shake my head out of the fog of entrancement and think about the darn thing. Think, where is this going? Am I in this for the long-haul? ...and a few less-love/relationshipy-questions like: How can I break this character's shell of safety/control?
If you stalk me on twitter you may already know that I've fallen... and this one, oh man, this is a hard & fast fall.
...and it's unusually scary because this MS is all about love...
(but of course nothing that fits cleanly into an easily defined box. I may have stomped that box flat on page 3)
This MS is going to be messy. It's already messy and I don't quite know what it's about yet. I apologize to my CPs/writing buddies in advance because, well, I'm going to be messy & you're going to have to deal with me*** I'm afraid and excited and annoyed and... and swinging from 'what the hell am I doing, I should throw my laptop out the window' to 'oh my goodness, this is the best feeling ever and I never want to stop'.****
(I'm never this messy... so get ready for a lot of apologies, and maybe some outright bribes)
...also, I think I broke a piece of my brain on page 11 and I'm not sure how I'll recover...
(y'know that box I stomped flat on page 3? I may have folded it into an origami bird and set it on fire)
So, since I'm already rocketing head-first towards the sidewalk, this is now officially Project #8 and it currently has no title other than a self-mocking one:
"I Never Intended to Write a Love Story"
(all my titles change after I finish the first draft and figure out what the heck I was trying to write, but until then, I need something temporary to save/organize it)
When I'm closer to 20,000 words I'll probably know enough to write a short blurb & throw it up onto my website, but I'm still in that 'falling' stage and can't quite shake my head clear enough to think about character/plot arcs or even try to take that stomped-flat box and attempt to glue it into some semblance of a recognizable shape...
Oh no, wait, I set fire to it already, didn't I? So maybe I need to build a new box to put this in...
What I'm working with so far:
The problems that arise when someone has too much empathy
Something that resembles a love-triangle, but it's, uh, I really have no idea what the hell it actually is, but it's definitely not a love-triangle. Or maybe it is. Really, I don't know yet, but not an equilateral triangle for sure.*****
A character named Huntyr (yes, with a 'y', mostly so I can make a joke about it -> maybe not on the page, but for sure in my head)
Small children at a pool
Parents who are living/involved/actually show up on the page (I know, crazy, right?)
The gloriousness of minimum-wage jobs
Also: CPR saves lives. This might be important, but not in an obvious way considering I already mentioned a pool & small children
What's not in there (yet?):
A nausea-inducing vomit reference (there is one, but since it involves a mini-van I'm not counting it)
A cat reference
Also I'm pleased I only had to write about 8,000 words before figuring out my MC's name :)
(but I might change it because it's a Shakespeare thing and this is not a re-telling and I don't want to set up the impression it IS a re-telling... or I might be overthinking this too much and need to dunk my head in a bucket of cold water before my brain overheats & shuts down)
* Although I do have really good instincts about whether I'm compatible with someone, generally within moments of meeting them, but that is different from the 'love' thing.
** I'm like this with reading too... there's something amazing about opening a new book and falling in so deep you shake yourself awake & realize a couple hours have passed.
*** seriously, guys... no matter how annoying I am, please don't tell me I'm pretty if this story is the literary equivalent of a turquoise mumu that makes my ass look as wide as Texas...
**** I think I might be craving this messiness after coming out of edits on TRoRS which has such an emotionally stunted MC. My writing-brain now wants to run around in circles screaming like a hyper-active toddler in the candy aisle.
***** I know, I sound super confident about this, don't I? Told you this story is messy...