I got to thinking about the last post I made, and I wondered to myself why the idea of the love interest is so important.
The simple answer would be to just think about it for ourselves, why we consider the ones we love to be important. Now, before you click on another favourite site, I'm not going to get all philosophical on you, because that would be boring. At least, boring for me to write, and I try to avoid that at all costs. But I digress.
I think one of the most compelling aspects of a story is to make the reader care about the main character (or characters). How to do that? Up the stakes. What's a great stake? The character's love interest. While it can be the parent-child or sibling or other relationship, one of the most powerful is the romantic love interest. One glance at the 'romance' section (especially the size of it) in any bookstore tells you how powerful a story element it is.
Thing is, it's not just in the romance genre. The amount of romance in SF/Fantasy probably rivals that of romance itself. Not to mention all the other romances going on in the rest of the fiction section. In my own WIP, it is going to be one of the primary plots, and a driving force to evolve the main character. Why? Love affects us in ways we just can't always explain. It can be a strong motivator (just look at the effort spent on attracting and keeping someone), it can be a source of comfort, fear, jealousy, embarrassment, wrath and the list goes on. Probably a longer list than most other story aspects. Give your character a reason to love, and they now have a reason to fight, to quest, to push harder and faster than the antagonist. Apply some threat, and you've got an instant (if not fully fleshed out) story.
Now that I think about it, it can apply to all the other sides of love too. For all the parents out there, you know what I'm talking about. Put your child in danger and every parent turns into Conan, or Rambo.
So, shortly I'm bringing my main character and her love interest together. Sparks shall fly, though I think in a non-typical way, and we'll see. Maybe they'll work to derail my carefully crafted plans. Then I'll just have to bring them back into line.
WIP progress: doing okay, but a test for my course in the Navy derailed some of the work last week. Still cranking out words, though.
There's my thoughts for the day. Anything to add, feel free...