Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wicked Wednesday - The Return

Welcome back to Wicked Wednesday! I hope you haven't missed it too much with my story from the A to Z Challenge to keep you entertained. I'll be posting my thoughts on my A to Z story next Wednesday to be in the same week as the A to Z Reflections post.

This week's post is about lovers returning. This could be an ex who has come back into the protagonist's life, but since this is paranormal romance, it could be a lover who has died and has returned as a vampire or ghost. It could happen the next day or years later. Imagine the inner turmoil. It's ripe material for a story!

Here are some tips to help when writing the return of one loved:
1) When a person loses someone they love, they tend to idealize that person. They remember more of the good times and color the bad times to make them seem not so bad. Your character will likely still only want to remember the good stuff even after her love returns. Example : the protagonist's old boyfriend returns as a vampire. She remembers a sweet and tender man, and she'll be blind to his new vicious attitude, making it easier for him to coerce her.

2) A person goes through intense shock and grief when losing someone they love. This can create anxiety, depression, and fear. Such a loss greatly changes an individual. Your protagonist can be transformed into an entirely new character. Example: The protagonist's lover returns hoping to find his demure and loving girl, but she has changed into a paranoid and emotionally numb woman using black magic to protect herself.

3) The protagonist might be in denial that their love is dead. Example: She believes he really is still alive when he's actually a ghost.

4) Returning to a lover after a break-up creates a lot of conflict. When people break-up, the individuals tend to remember more of the negative things than the positive (the opposite of what happens when a loved one dies). It likely isn't going to be a happy reunion. Example: The protagonist is an agent with the paranormal division of the FBI and discovers that her ex is involved in a werewolf murder case she's handling. She's going to be more suspicious of him than the other suspects, and it interferes with her being able to do her job.

5) There's also the break-up where one person doesn't understand why their lover left. They tend to react to the loss more like a death than a parting of ways. When their lover returns, no matter what his reasons for leaving, they aren't going to fully mend her heart. Example: Demon hunter had to leave his beloved as not to endanger her, but he has to return when she becomes the target of a hungry demon. It might be an honorable and logical reason why he left, but emotions aren't reasonable. She can't forgive him and she puts herself in even more danger by not letting him help her.

The most recent book I read with this theme is Blue Diablo by Ann Aguirre. The protagonist's ex-boyfriend comes back into her life. She'd left him, but it was because she believed he didn't truly care about her. Aguirre deals with the warring emotions within her character wonderfully.

Do you have any favorite paranormal romances where a love returns?

30 comments:

  1. Great tips! I suspect many of these things are overlooked when writing scenes like this!

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    1. Thanks! I've read too many books where the characters don't have but a moment's shocked reaction and then they carry on as if nothing had happened.

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  2. I've not read Blue Diablo by Ann Aguirre. I'm intrigued. I guess the only example I can think of is Stephanie Meyer's New Moon.

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  3. wonderful examples and thoughts!

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  4. A wonderful post with good tips. I don't normally read outright romances in any genre unless it's woven into a greater story.
    That said I liked Bonnie's character in the Vampire Diaries and also Vampire Academy's Rose and her believable reactions when Dmitri avoids her due to rules, is believed dead, changes into one of those bad vampires she vows to destroy and later when he is transformed into his old self. (Of course his return as his old self was hard to swallow and kinda turned me off the series.)

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    1. I don't read strictly romance either. Yet I do love the conflicts in relationships. Vampire Academy is a great example. I had a few problems with the handling of Dmitri in there too, but I wanted to get to the end, so I kept reading!

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  5. I think there is a lot of material to work with for lovers reunited, especially when there are unresolved issues. :)

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    1. I love writing about relationship conflict in all sorts of manner. A return provokes a lot of intense emotions.

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  6. I'm considering adding this plot element to a Science Fiction novel. I know this post is geared toward Paranormal, but it was quite helpful!

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    1. Thank you. I think these tips can be applied to most any genre, but I gave examples just for paranormal romance. Good luck with your novel!

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  7. Awesome post, as always Christine:) Such valid points... some of these could even apply to losing a partner you really loved in a relationship - not necessary death... depends on how much someone loved that person:)

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    1. Thanks! It does. So many levels of intimacy. It definitely affects how one reacts to loss.

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  8. These are all great scenarios for paranormal romance!

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  9. Those are great things to keep in mind. And do you mean like "New Moon"? lol

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  10. I'm sorry I don't.. but you gave lots to apply to writing and life.

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  11. This is fascinating information that I'm wondering how to incorporate in a novel of psychological suspense (no paranormal elements). You've given me some excellent ideas, Christine. Thanks!

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    1. Thank you. Hopefully you can work it in to what you're writing. Only my examples really apply to paranormal romance.

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  12. Good tips to keep in mind. I could use some of these. thanks for sharing.

    ......dhole

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  13. I think one of my favourite stories with this theme is Truly, Madly, Deeply a 1990's British film with Juliette Stevenson and Alan Rickman (Snape in the Harry Potter films). It's a romantic comedy in which Jamie (Rickman's character) dies and comes back as a ghost. His girlfriend Nina is happy at his return but things soon start to grate on her nerves when he moves in two other ghosts that are less than welcome. Eventually she asks him to leave and soon moves on with her life when he does. Of course, that was his aim all along.

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    1. I'm a big Rickman fan. That was a great movie.

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  14. A great post! You are really good at coming up with examples to illustrate your points (I've noticed this from your other Wicked Wednesday posts as well).

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    1. Thank you! Examples are fun to come up with. :)

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