Last weekend, I came across an article about the Ivuna meteorite being displayed at the National History Museum. Landing in Tanzania in 1938, Ivuna has a composition similar to the sun and is a primordial example of our solar system.
Although Ivuna, in essence, is a small lumpy black rock, I was seized with some unknown internal immediacy to view it. So I went to the NHM with two teenage boys (who were vociferously not seized with a passion to see a rock), only to be told by the friendly assistant it wasn’t there.
The. Rock. Was. Not. There.
In my glee, I didn’t read the fine print. Ivuna was only available for one night. In fact, since I read the article the day after the event, I didn’t even have a chance to see it. My heart-sinking loss baffled me until I realised somewhere in my romance writing brain, I equated this rock with Love.
After all, isn’t Love a mysterious black lump that falls from the sky? Certainly those struck by it would believe so. There are those, no doubt, who would like to chuck it back to its primordial beginnings.
For me, the connection is the mystery of the rock; the extraordinary discoveries behind its rare and various composition. And oh my, does Love have extraordinary variances and mystery. So much so it about does my romance writing brain in.
I’ve tried to explain to non-writing folk how difficult writing romance is. They often look at me with amused fear (a similar look is given by teenage boys witnessing heartbreak over a missed rock sighting).
But Love is mysterious. Unknown. Vast. With the right variances and composition, Love exists, and sometimes if you don’t read the fine print, it doesn’t.
For example, I have a friend who proposed and was accepted while crossing a street. Much to the fear/amusement of his wife, I thought it incredibly romantic.
His proposal was unexpected. Like finding a rare rock in Tanzania. Then came my musings on his proposal’s composition. How were they crossing the street, and what time of day was it? Were they going someplace or returning? Why was it that moment seizing his heart with some unknown immediacy to propose? Because it could have been lost. They could have crossed the street at a different hour. He could have been looking at a window glinting with street lamps. Instead, he was looking at her and he knew it was right.
Love is just as mysterious when writing about it. My latest romance story is finished, except, the characters aren’t truly in love.
I missed some variance in the chemistry between the characters, and if I can’t find the right composition their story is lost. But almost worse, if I do change the variances, and it is enough for them to fall in love, I know it’ll be in a completely different way than I imagined. Same characters, same setting and yet, it’ll be a different love story.
This is why writing romance does my head in, but the mystery of it all is also why I write with glee.
For when Love’s found, or when the writing of it feels just right - when it seizes you with some internal unknown immediacy - well, there’s just something extraordinarily primordial about it.
Do you find the intricacies of love difficult to replicate in words sometimes? Join the discussion with Nicole in the comments.
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