Over the weekend, I was meditating on the love scripture in 1st Corinthians 13 and comparing it to what an author does. We profess to love our characters but…
Love is patient.
The author is not patient with his characters. He moves them quickly from one crisis to another. He may gave them a brief respite but not much.
Love is kind
The author is not kind. He will ruin a character’s marriage, get her fired, throw her on a deserted island, turn all her friends against her, destroy her car, kill her cat, beat her up psychologically, spiritually, professionally and personally. The author will do anything to get his character into the story and then keep the character moving.
Love isn’t envious
If he has to use envy to get a character moving, the author will do it. He will also use fear, anger, hurt, revenge, desire for justice, love of chocolate, and any other emotion to put his character through the wringer and get her to come out changed on the other side.
Love doesn’t boast, brag, or strut about
The author may not do this but he will use the villain to tease, entice, annoy, irritate, and threaten the character.
There’s no arrogance in love
No, but there is in fiction in one way or another. The villain who feels superior to the hero, the villain who swears he can’t be caught, who vows to destroy the hero’s life.
Truth—yes, truth—is love’s delight!
Yes! In the story, the author is revealing truth through what the hero goes through and how the she changes.
Love puts up with anything and everything that comes along
If the author did this, there would be no story. The author twists just about everything to add tension and conflict, and to make things even worse for the hero.
It trusts, hopes, and endures no matter what
Yes, the hero must endure to the end, trusting and hoping for victory over the circumstances of the story. The good author keeps us wondering to the very end if the hero will get there. And the hero wonders throughout the story if she can trust the author to get her out of every situation.
And we do all this out of a love for our characters, and our love for our readers, out of a desire to tell stories to give our readers an experience that is both entertaining and enlightening.