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Absolute Write February Blog Chain

February 18, 2010

I feel I’m in the distinct minority in this particular Absolute Write blog chain, where we are to be writing about writing about love (yes, you read that correctly). I don’t write about love. I’m primarily a non-fiction writer and am currently finishing up a large academic work on cultural history. Love is not usually part of the picture, at least not in the Valentine’s Day sense of love.

I do, however, write about people who love what they do. I mean really love what they do, enough to fight for what they want and to risk their own lives and reputations to make sure that even if they didn’t get what they wanted that others who came after them would have opportunities that they did not. I am inspired by their passion, their vision and their drive to do what is necessary and right, their drive to push themselves even when they are getting many messages from all sides to stop. And while I’m piecing together this bit of unwritten history, I am intrigued by the people who made it happen. I might even be a little in love with them. All the signs are there: I cannot stay away from them. I care very much about what happens to them (yes, even though it has already happened). And even when writing about them is causing me personal difficulties, I am not willing to give up on them. I feel a responsibility to make sure that their story gets told. It’s the one way I can give them the happy ending they deserve.

In some ways, working with non-fictional historical characters is not that different from working with fictional ones. The methodologies are just different. In both cases, it takes time to get to know them, to understand how they operate, what motivates them, what makes them tick, how they are like you, how they are different, how they interact with others. And actually, these are all things that also come into play as you get to know – and maybe fall in love with – a flesh and blood person.

Does this mean that I’m in love with everyone I write about? No, of course not. Some of them were crazy or mean or just plain dull. Not all first dates work out, after all. But the process of discovering them is every bit as exhilarating as the process of falling in love or even mere infatuation. And there are definitely a couple of them who will haunt me all my life.

A couple of weeks ago, I heard from a man I once fell in love with, and he with me, or so he told me on a summer night many, many years ago. I’m not sure it was true. Even then, when I was too young and inexperienced to know any better, I doubted him. We are both happily married now to other people, with children. But for both of us, I think, there is the memory of a love story that didn’t go where we wanted it to. Most real life love stories don’t. I am lucky enough to have walked into another love story with a much better ending. But even the stories that don’t end well are worth recalling. I may not miss the lover, but I do miss the story. It is a story of youth and passion and music. It is my story. And like the stories of the historical figures I write about, it will haunt me all my life, in the best possible way. Maybe one day I’ll even write about it.

That’s it for me. Next up in the chain is Sneaky Devil. If you haven’t read the rest of the chain, you can check it out via the links below.

Romance writerAimeelaine writes about being in love with love.
Charlotte49ers
AuburnAssassin
Breddings
*RomanceWriter*
Claire Crossdale

Collectonian
FreshHell
David Zahir
>>>Me Harri3tspy
>>>NEXT Sneaky Devil
Frodo
Upsidedowngrl

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. February 18, 2010 3:50 pm

    Love this post! And you thought you didn’t write about love. 😉

    “Not all first dates work out, after all.” : That is a great line and would make the perfect hook for a Romance novel. LOL

  2. Eleanor permalink
    February 18, 2010 6:38 pm

    I have to agree with Aimee, whose very name means “loved one”. That was a beautiful entry.

  3. Claire Gillian permalink
    February 18, 2010 8:51 pm

    Ah, the memories of past loves…they are the fodder for those of us (well okay, me anyway) who write fictional romance. You take all the “what ifs” either new or old, and spin a whole new ending. Everything has its roots in nonfiction, of course, because yeah, they don’t all work out but it’s nice to have that eraser / rewind button / do-over pass.

  4. February 19, 2010 7:18 am

    I’m with you on the whole not writing about love thing, because I don’t either. That being said, I think you managed to do that in your post whether you meant to or not. 😉

  5. February 19, 2010 8:39 am

    Great post! There is so much love and passion in the world, in so many forms, that we will all be kept busy writing for a lifetime. True life romance inspires my fiction because it’s the only place you can get the expected HEA sometimes. Real life pulls us in different directions, not necessarily wrong, but unexpected.

  6. freshhell permalink
    February 19, 2010 8:45 am

    Sometimes even third and fourth dates don’t work out.

  7. February 19, 2010 11:11 am

    A wonderfully witty and insightful post! Frankly, pretty much all that I would say has been said by others, but let me say I’m impressed.

  8. February 22, 2010 8:47 am

    You seem very passionate about your non-fictional historical characters. Cool. I enjoyed your post very much. Thank you!

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