The first line of Miracle Lane, my next Miracle Interrupted story (which should be out next month) says:
The thin man wearing the tan constable shirt with the brown slacks at Nia Beaudine’s front door was a liar.
My characters lie to each other. And my writer friends and I make up characters and tell stories about them. In other words, we lie. Right now I’m reading Making Your Mind Magnificent by Steven Campbell. According to Campbell, the biggest lies we tell are to ourselves. The ‘I’m not smart enough’ lies. Or ‘I’m always late’ lies. Or ‘I can’t stop eating sugar/drinking coffee/whatever’ lies.
My older sister used to drive the rest of the family crazy with her extreme lateness – an hour or more. I used to think this was a sad way for her to control other people in a life where she didn’t have much control. But after reading the first 8 chapters of the book, I realize she saw herself as a person who was always late. Whereas I see myself as a person who is usually on time.
Not that I see myself as perfect. I have my own self-talk that I plan to change. Most people do. And it’s not just because we tell ourselves lies. We also see ourselves in a way we’re not. And the worst part is we believe this. (Lucky for me, dark chocolate really is a powerful antioxidant.)
In Miracle Lane – and in most of my books – my hero and heroine see through each other’s lies. Instead of ugliness, they see beauty. I’m not talking about the outer appearance but their characters. Their humor, irony, uniqueness, sweetness… Whatever it is that makes one person look at another and their heart smiles.
Most great romances do that, in real life and fiction. Definitely my fellow bloggers do this in their books.
If you’ve ever read a Georgette Heyer book, this is something she excelled at. Her characters weren’t perfect, but they loved each other because of the very things other characters in the book would consider flaws. When you finished a Georgette Heyer book, it was with the conviction that the the love story continued after the last word in the book. That in thirty years, the couple would still appreciate each other’s foibles, instead of wanting to hit their spouse over the head with the nearest parasol or sword hilt.
Can you think of characters in a book – or movie or TV show – that have this total acceptance?