The Confidant

Maybe it is because I am a male that a love story is easier to write when the main male character is still just looking to get laid. He chats up a fairly random girl who appeals to him, she gets to his head, and soon he cannot get her out of his mind. It happened to me in my younger days.

The problem arises when I get to the “boring” part; the part we boys tend to skip when reading love stories. You see, we don’t really care what Juliet confesses to her nurse, we just want to see the outcome of the fight between Mercutio and Tybalt. In fact, in my current work-in-progress, I neglected to insert a character to whom the main female character can confess her feelings to. I suffered for months at what I thought was writer’s block when it was only faulty story construction.

Men and women look at their love story experiences differently. That was practically the whole plot of Friends, one of the most successful television sitcoms of all time. This is why women need to talk to women and men need to talk to men in a love story. If you count the words, the main characters probably spend more time talking to their respective advisors than to each other. But for us guys, that is the “boring” part and we barely acknowledge its existence. We want to skip to the sex scenes.

A good love story needs balance between the male perspective and the female perspective. I have written before that a good dialogue is more about miscommunication than about communication. When the two main characters start talking past each other, the reader should want to jump in between them and scream “Will both of you please shut up and let me explain what each of you are trying to say?”. In order for that to happen, the reader must understand both viewpoints. One of the more important devices for this purpose is the female character confessing her feelings to someone.

You can tell that I am not a big love story fan, but sometimes a story comes into your mind in such a way that you just needs to be written and it just does not fit into your usual genre.


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