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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Romance Requires Belief

This week we’re discussing the necessary components for romance. Today we’ll explore how believing in your worthiness is essential to romance.

Amo-te até debaixo d'água!
Photo by elmoalves

Romance requires belief: belief that we are special because it is reflected in our loved one’s eyes. There is something unique about us that the other person is attracted to.

One of the great obstacles to love, and if I’m completely honest, life, is the lack of belief in our worthiness. Someone shows interest, and we scoff that it’s because he just broke up with someone, is desperate, or because we finally lost ten pounds. Or maybe we have no problem finding someone physically interested in us, but we get the impression he's smitten with the outside, not our essence.

What makes love romantic is that the person is attracted to who we are. It has little to do with our appearance or life circumstances.

Romance requires the ability and willingness to see ourselves as special through someone else’s eyes. It’s a heady feeling, a scary feeling, and a feeling we want to lock up and hold onto forever. If we decide to pursue the feelings of attraction, we have to trust the other person, and that means trusting their attraction to us.

Do your characters, whether you write romance or not, ever doubt their worthiness? There are many ways to have them overcome this. They can solve a mystery or save the world, but they can also choose to love and be loved.

Join me on Friday when we’ll delve into the exclusivity of romance.

24 comments:

  1. Oh, I LOVE that picture, Jill. The expression on the woman's face shows just how much she believes in herself. And when we do have self-confidence, that's often very attractive!

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  2. If I could only get my MC to believe this! Thanks Jill!

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  3. hmm, very interesting. Romance IS a belief system -and an ability to override our own insecurities - what a great problem for a character in a book to have ;)

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  4. Yes, my characters do. I think in any story, a character's vulnerabilities draw the reader in. The vulnerabilities make the reader care, they want to see them resolve whatever issue is at hand. However they find their worthiness is part of the journey.

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  5. This reminds me so much of a character's arc in the novel. How some who feel unworthy at the beginning become to understand how worthy they really are. Great topic, Jill!

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  6. Good morning!

    Jody: I want to be in that picture! Notice neither is wearing a winter coat. I'm a bit tired of winter!

    Tamika: Oh, you will. You will!

    Wendy: Mine too. She's going through the hard work as we speak.

    Amberj: I think it's a great problem, too. Very satisfying to read, at least.

    Joanne: Oh yes. My favorite characters are the vulnerable ones. I think it's universal.

    Eileen: That's one of the reasons I love inspirational romances--God's love is part of the equation.

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  7. All of mine struggle with that just like I do in real life!:)

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  8. Terri: Don't we all? :)

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  9. This is so true! My MC is broken. She's lost a lot of people in her life, so she finds it hard to believe that there's this guy who wants to be with her. I'm trying to get her past this hurdle quickly, but not too quickly. It's really hard!

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  10. This is a great point. Talk about an inner turning point for a character. Choosing to love and be loved. That's a powerful one.

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  11. What a powerful post! One of my mc's definitely struggles with this.

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  12. Elana: Hope he's helping her figure it out! I want to read it...

    Susan: Yes, it is a turning point. It can happen in a split second or over a long period of time, but it's vital.

    Kristen: Thank you. My MC struggles big time with this!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  13. Oh yeah, I love using this as a character arc. Even if the character knows she's worthy, I like to have her doubt the hero's intentions. *grin*

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  14. Oh man, advice from the romance expert! I'm really excited for this series, because I've always wanted to improve on my romantical (word?) writing skills. I think romance is one of the hardest elements to write originally and believably.

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  15. This post is so perfect for my WIP. My MC definitely doesn't think she's worthy to be loved. She receives interest before and after a great transformation in her life and can't figure out if it's because of this transformation or because that person likes who she really is.

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  16. Totally agree! It's hard sometimes to find the balance with our characters between self-confidence and sounding cocky and self-absorbent. A fine line, me thinks:-)

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  17. Love, acceptance and worthiness is what we, I mean, all of our characters want. :)

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  18. I love exploring the idea of worthiness. In the last book I wrote, the heroine dealt with that because where she had failed on a certain issue, the hero excelled. When a character discovers they are worthy because of who God created them to be, all the better :D

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  19. Jessica's comment made me laugh, but I realized it's true. I like that friction the doubt creates.

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  20. Jessica: Me too! And it's so fun to watch them realize they were wrong.

    Icy Roses: Romantical should be a word if it isn't! I love romance elements in books, because I think they are realistic. Most people long for that deep connection with someone.

    Cindy: Ooo--sounds good!

    Krista: A book I wrote last year had that problem. The MC came off as a jerk (which, I'm not going to lie, he was!) but he did have redeeming qualities.

    Sharon: Yes, we--ahem, our characters--want!

    Georgiana: Oh, I love to have or read about characters who complement each other. Where one is strong, the other is weak. Nice!

    Angie: I do too. They really keep me turning the page!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  21. Oh this post makes me feel all warm and gooey. Choosing to love and be love by someone who loves us for exactly who we are? Doesn't get much better than that.

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  22. I'm not a romance writer, and I'm sure not Jeanne Campbell, but the heroine could also come to terms with her issues. This would open the door to give and receive love.

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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  23. I love how you put this Jill! Romance and love do require you to believe in yourself... and someone else. I think the reason we fall so hard for books with characters that eventually find this kind of romance is because we all struggle to believe in ourselves (or that someone else) at some point in our lives.

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