Love arises and love fades

Love stories are about proximity and distance between two people. But love stories are also about the fact that people’s lives change completely when two people fall in love. When they fall in love, a completely new world opens up. A person begins to perceive differently, act differently, think differently and feel differently. The feeling of having “butterflies in your stomach” is not easy to express in a story. A person can be unfocused at work and make mistakes. However, as soon as the person is with his beloved, he only has eyes and ears for the other person. A lover forgets everything else in the world – he lives for love alone.

Probably love is the strongest driving force for human beings and perhaps also for many animals on this planet.

Viewers or readers want to see the workings of love in a love story. Presumably all people believe consciously or unconsciously in the power and the might of love. How strong this love can be or how far it can go is something you as an author should explore with your characters. 

A possible guiding principle could therefore be The power of love changes a person’s life from the ground up.

Of course, you can also do without a guiding principle and without a leitmotif or develop your own guiding idea. In the end you will be less likely to stray from the path and from your story if you commit yourself to such an idea.

Understand these suggestions about thoughts of love stories not as indispensable necessities, as a “must”, but as a “can” and as a possibility to approach a topic.

A good love story also deals with two aspects of love: It always shows how a love comes into being and how a love fades, or vice versa …

The absolutely simple realization that love comes into being and passes away again is the central instruction for every love story.

As an author, one should not only depict the emergence and growth of a love, that is, not only how the lovers fight for each other. From a certain point on, the love should become burdened and fragile or even endangered. Only when a love can withstand danger does it become something great and unique. The viewer wants to see love relationships that overcome obstacles and survive space and time.

In most love stories, the first thing that is shown is how a relationship comes into being, which later has to pass a test and goes through a separation. However, you can also start with a passing love and then move on to a newly developing love relationship.

The beginning of a Love Story

Now how do you start a love story? How do you create tension from the beginning? Aristotle already described a concept for this in his “Poetics” over 2000 years ago: One lets a situation change from happiness to misfortune. In this way you get a tense starting point, which you can develop and shape further.

However, Aristotle only referred to tragedies. Of course one can also let a situation change from misfortune to happiness. Both variants are equally possible. However, it is always an essential change of plot that marks the occasion or the beginning of a story. 

There are different names for the first plot twist of a story. The screenwriting teacher Syd Field calls it “Plot Point 1”. Others refer to this point as the “arousing moment” (Gustav Freytag), or the “first turning point” (Linda Seger).

I would like to explain the plot point I on the basis of the film “Titanic” (1997): Rose, the main character of the film, wants to commit suicide. Suddenly Jack is there and helps her. This is not yet a turnaround or turning point. It is the starting point. So Rose is unhappy. Only after she introduces Jack to high society and she begins to fall in love with him does the situation change and Rose’s mother says, “You’re not to see that boy again!” This is where the central conflict begins and the viewer asks himself: Will the two lovers come together? The situation here tips over from the misfortune (the initial situation) to the happiness Rose will experience with Jack in the next few hours.

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