Tuesday, June 1, 2010

On teenage romances...

Finished the Jessica Darling quintet by Megan McCafferty today. I didn't find myself particularly satisfied. Sure, I wanted Jessica and Marcus to get together after everything that had happened. I mean, I kind of did.

In some ways, I was just pissed off at Marcus. The guy has pretty much walked out of Jessica's life a bunch of times. Her lack of finding anyone else seemed, to me, just sad. Sure Marcus is intriguing, but I'm not sure if that's what anyone truly wants from a relationship--someone intriguing. I just started to feel as if, even though they had this long and sordid history, they hadn't spent much time actually together.

It got me thinking about teenage romances in books (even if Perfect Fifths takes place when they are in their twenties, they still have a teenage romance), and about what makes the culmination of one actually satisfying. One thing that makes it tough, I think, is that most people do not end up marrying their high school sweetheart or forming a lasting connection with them. So the idea is a fantasy to begin with, making it a hard sell to readers.

But, I think, especially in stories where there's been this long, long build up for two people to get together, it's hard to actually get them together without it feeling like a let down. And since I know that the new Jason and Azazel story (which I STILL haven't started drafting, guys, sorry) is going to be about the two of them apart, it made me wonder what in the heck I'm going to do to get them back together. (or, horrors, if they'll even end up together)

Thus far, in the J&A books, I've had the luxury of not really writing a romance story. The main plot of the books has not been getting Jason and Azazel together. They've been together. They've just been fighting to stay that way.

Thus, I haven't had to evaluate a lot of emotional drama, raising the stakes for them in the way that they feel. Now, I think I have to.

One thing that became clear to me at the end of Tortured was that Jason was not the person I would want my younger sister or niece or other young girl to date. Nope, Jason is pretty much a candidate for worst boyfriend ever. I mean, come on, the guy is violent, moody, keeps secrets, and KILLS people. He even almost killed Azazel. The thing is, I am pretty deeply in love with him myself. I think Azazel is too.

In a story, being in love with a guy with deep emotional scars is exciting and romantic. In real life, it's just scary.

I don't know how to heal Jason enough to make a viable romantic lead--the kind of guy I'd trust with a younger sister. But I guess I'm going to try. And on the way, I think there will be some gun fights. Because I do love me some gun fights. :)