Valentine’s Day

Outtakes 233

Valentine’s Day

by Cait Collins


I write romantic suspense and women’s fiction, so I assumed I could write a great love story. Guess again. Writing a love story is not easy. It’s difficult to find the balance between cheesy and trashy. In some ways, I prefer the old days when romance didn’t mean falling into bed on the first date. Love is more than sex. It’s the development of a relationship from the first, sometimes awkward, meeting to the first date. Falling into like and then choosing to love someone. It’s committing to the love and allowing it to grow until the needs and dreams of one become a part of the partner’s needs and dreams. It’s walking into life’s sunset hand in hand and holding on until, as the vows say, death do us part.

But love lives on and the surviving partner opens the heart to new horizons and to new possibilities knowing the comforts and blessings of commitment. So, how does the writer approach writing a real love story? With respect and caution. One cannot be jaded or cynical. The writer has to look at the good and the bad in a relationship and honestly interweave them into the tale. The high points of the relationship must be celebrated and the lows must be faced and resolved. The telling must be truthful and explore the human side of the relationship.

So, I will never write a real love story. Not because I feel incapable of the task, but because I’m a romantic. I believe in romance. I like the idea of being cherished and appreciated. I believe in creating a haven for the one I love. He deserves a shelter from the pressures of life. Yes, I believe in happily ever after. And I know my view, my dream is not realistic.

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