When I read the theme for this month’s blog, I was working on my first round of edits for book 3 in THE ELVEN LORDS series, THE LORD OF ILLUSION, and came across a passage that fit perfectly into our theme. One of those serendipitous moments. :}
I think all writers deal with the concept of hope in their stories. No matter how bad things get, no matter how dispirited our characters are by the sometimes cruel situations we put them in, we always leave them hope.
Although, you, as the reader, know there’s going to be a happy ending because you are reading a romance, our characters don’t and we must give them the strength to keep fighting…or a little help in continuing to do so, as shown in the excerpt below from THE LORD OF ILLUSION. My heroine is strong on the outside, but inside she is broken. When her growing love for my hero allows her to open up, to allow the one part of her that she has been able to protect to become vulnerable, she is given the strength to work towards becoming whole again.
Could she be his love? She did not know. But he deserved an answer, and she tried to gather her thoughts to express her feelings…something she had never tried to do before. Something no one had ever asked of her. It had been long and long since anyone cared.
“How can I explain to you what it is like to be a slave?” Camille closed her eyes. “I remember when I was little I used to fight against the way my captors treated me. As if I had no rights…as if I had become a lesser person than anyone else. It enraged me and I would fight back. I would demand to be treated as if my opinions—my life—still mattered. And then the men would take what they wanted anyway. If I made too many of them angry or tried to run, I would be beaten. And after days, after months, after years…I fought for so long to be strong that I lost pieces of myself--of my heart--along the way.”
Camille opened her eyes, gazed at his handsome face, at the sympathy etched across his perfect features. She did not want him to feel sorry for her; she just wanted him to understand. She lifted her chin and leveled her voice. “I do not know if I will ever be able to get those parts of me back—to regain what I have lost. No matter how hard I try, no matter how hard you try…I am cursed…I am not a whole woman…there are so many reasons why I cannot ever offer what you are asking for.”
He picked up her hand and kissed it, his lips warm against her skin. “But you will allow me to try?”
An odd feeling swelled in her heart. Hope. He offered her hope, and she could not deny him.
His golden eyes darkened to brown. “In the meantime, I shall just have to love you enough for the both of us.”
Just as in real life, our characters must have hope that their situations will get better. That their dark moments will pass; that they can and will overcome whatever obstacles we throw at them. Hope gives courage and faith, and allows our characters to overcome incredible odds. Just like in real life. And just as in real life, our characters may need support from someone who loves them.
And so we get to the reason I love writing romance. There will always be someone to love them.
Wishing you Happy Reading,