How to write the perfect love story

800X200 You bite your lip in anticipation, digging your finger nails into the pages of the book. A teardrop falls onto the page and it isn’t long before you realize that you are crying. One of those rare moments when the tears that roll down your cheeks are tears of joy, tears of relief. That sudden surge of happiness takes over and you know that somehow this story has changed you forever. That’s what reading a perfect love story does to you.

Image Source – Shutterstock

Everyone loves a good love story. Everyone loves to believe that despite all odds, we are born to find love. It’s what we deserve. And for those of us who have come across love stories that have truly changed our life forever, we have always secretly imagined ourselves writing one such romantic masterpiece that will touch the hearts of all those who read it. But writing a love story is hard. Then how do we do it? How do aspiring writers like us even come close to writing the perfect love story?

Cecilia Ahern (Image Source – Flammarion)

One of the things that is of utmost importance while writing that perfect love story, is truly exploring the depth of all the human emotions. Love stories are quite obviously so much more than just the emotion of love. Anger, disappointment, betrayal, happiness and hope all need to be intricately woven together to capture all the emotions that make the perfect love story. Cecelia Ahern, author of books like ‘P.S. I Love You’ and ‘Where Rainbows End’ has used this method to not only develop her heart wrenching stories but also to give her characters depth. “I choose to begin my novels with very vulnerable characters so that they will search within themselves for more answers”, she says. Thus not just romance but a true exploration of all human emotions is a step up the ladder to writing the perfect story.

Nicholas Sparks (Image Source – Entertainment Weekly)

Nicholas Sparks, author of the hugely popular books like ‘The Notebook’, ‘The Lucky One’, ‘A Walk to Remember’ and many more, believes that a love story should be anything but a small affair. He says, Love is an emotion of enormous power – and when in love, people rarely think in small terms. If the obstacles confronting the lovers define the love story, then what makes a great love story is their willingness to go to almost any lengths to overcome them – whatever the cost.”

John Green (Image Source – Parade)

John Green, the artist behind ‘The Fault in our Stars’ and ‘Looking for Alaska’– two such books that every teenager hangs onto for dear life, teaches us another significant way by which we can inch ourselves closer in writing the perfect love story. “Bittersweet Endings” and the “Not so idealistic setting” of the stories are clearly the call of the hour. Life, because of its inherently sad nature calls for stories that not only have the utopian vision of love but also the realistic vision of it. The beauty of bittersweet endings is that it is both life-affirming as well as heart breaking. Looking for Alaska began, really, in thinking about whether there was meaning to suffering, and how one can reconcile one’s self to a world where suffering is so unjustly distributed”, Green says. Perhaps that is where the beauty of a love story lies, the imperfectness of it all.

Sudeep Nagarkar (Image Source – Twitter)

Closer to home, our very own love story writer Sudeep Nagarkar uses personal experiences and life journeys to give his story and characters more depth. “You should have loved at least once to express true feelings about loving someone. If you have not loved, then the same intensity which a relationship has will be missing in your writing”, he says. After all, life experiences have always proved to be the greatest teacher.

Love can be many things but one thing it should never be is ordinary. Love should always be spectacular and uplifting, and anything short of that isn’t really love. Writing about love shouldn’t be any different. The sensations of the story should be able to transcend the pages of the book to your heart. The love story should encompass you and leave you feeling triumphant and overwhelmed. That’s how a perfect love story is written. By believing that love truly conquers all. By believing that true love will find us all someday and suddenly everything will fall into place. Everything will finally make sense.


The Penguin India Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s