Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Boy meets girl

I’m finally at the point in my story where the two protagonists meet. And I’m working on making it the lowest-key, least romance-plot meeting you can imagine. No startled revelations, no eyes meeting across a crowded room. I’m hoping the reader won’t even know this guy is important until at least a few pages later.

Why am I doing this? In part because that’s often really how it works. Someone is part of the background, even for years, and then for some reason emerges into the foreground. Maybe there’s the big revelation at that point, when suddenly you see them differently. Or maybe there’s no big moment at all; they’re there, solid and grown into your life before you ever decide to welcome them.

I remember a dorky-looking guy at camp, skinny, sporting glasses with heavy frames. I looked past the glasses for some reason and there was this wonderful-looking guy. Beneath those glasses was the boyfriend I stuck with for two summers running.

My husband and I knew each other slightly for a couple of years and were basically not on each other’s mental maps all that time. (Well – he wasn’t on mine. I later found out cast an eye in my direction once or twice.) Then we ran into each other one more time and off we went. Why? Who knows?

As odd as it may seem, I want my story to reflect reality, at least in this part of the plot. The book has plenty that is way out there in one way or another. But I want feelings and relationships to reflect the slow wonder that everyday life sometimes brings. At least that element of the book will be grounded in some kind of reality.

What do you think of lovers meeting in a novel without a single palpitation of the heart? Would you read a book like that?

What about your own lives? Have your relationships started with a whisper or a bang (so to speak)? Slow development or lightning courtship? Or a combination thereof? Do you smile over how it started? Or could the story use a rewrite for purposes of romance?

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