What is in the ending?
When two people meet it begins a storyline that can last forever, or it can last days, there's never a sure way of knowing how long their love can last. It truly depends on the love they have. A lot of famous couples ended in a horrific end. Romeo and Juliet ended in untimely death. Tristan and Isolde ended in war. Paris and Helena ended in a kidnapping and retrieval. Lancelot and Guinevere ended in heartache. Cleopatra and Mark Anthony ended in suicide.
What is the benefit of an ending like that?
An ending like that makes it eternal. Wars were started over their love. Suicide was committed in order to try and be together in eternity, because if they couldn't be together while they were alive, then life isn't worth living.
Take a romantic view of Romeo and Juliet...besides the fact that they just come across as two bratty kids who just want to get their way...it is one of the most classic love stories of all time. Two kids from rival families fall in love despite the differences that divide their families. They defy all the rules that have ever been set for them in order to try and be together. They go against all odds to go behind their families backs. When their families won't listen to their pleas to allow them to be in love they decide to take matters in their own hands. It ends with both of them committing suicide because they can't live life without the other person.
An ending like that sticks around forever, it isn't something that necessarily happens in real life, but we all wish we could find that lover that can't live life without us, and refuses to do so. We want to find that love that time will stand still for, and make the love eternal.
What's in the first moment?
There’s something magical about a man and a woman, falling in love, and spending a happily ever after together but it’s so hard to create that magic in writing. How does one create magic using the words? How does one convey that message across the page so other people feel the love and electricity between two characters? I think it’s a matter of knowing what creates those sparks between people.
It’s knowing that time will stop when their eyes lock across the room. That moment where two people are at a party, or a concert, or in a restaurant bar, or in the forest…wherever, it doesn’t matter…and all of a sudden there’s that single second of time where they catch eyes across the room. They’re locked in a staring contest of infinity. There’s a moment where there eyes are in the same space and everything around them stops moving, time pauses, and nothing else exists but that other person. All the noises are drowned out around those two people and for a single split second in the time-space continuum. There is knowledge in each person's mind that they have seen the person they'll spend forever with. That's how magic is created. It's that time-stopping moment where love first blossoms.
What comes in between?
Between the beginning and end is that dreaded middle. It's the point of the story where one has to decide how their love will go. Will their love be smooth sailing? Or will their love be an tidal wave on the water...something that would sink a ship...and something that will cause tears? Will their love be smooth sailing or will they have to embrace the chaos and brave the storms? Can you really be captured by a story that has no interference and has everything go perfectly for them...the answer seems to be no. There has to be conflict that someone can relate to. Without the ability to relate to character, a reader cannot become entwined in a story.
Consider certain kinds of conflicts:
- A second love interest to make a love triangle
- External people not supporting love (like family members)
- Different views (like religious or political)
- Different origins (like the way someone was raised)
- Different end results (like one person wanting children and the other not wanting them)
There are of course more kinds of conflicts that could interrupt a relationship but these are some major ones that keep popping up. It's these things that make us relate to their love story, it's these conflicts that keep us wanting to know how it's going to end. If everything is smooth sailing it doesn't keep a reader interested because you know how it's going to end. Even fairytales have their own conflict. Snow White is fast asleep and being stalked by an evil witch who wants to kill her. Rapunzel is locked in a tower. Cinderella is poor and can't be her true self when she meets the prince. We all root for these couples to overcome their differences and end up with their own happily ever after.
But we can't root for these couples if there's nothing to overcome.
Top 20 most famous love stories of history and literature
What matters most.
What matters most is the true love that appears on the page in front of you. Whether the inspiration is purely imagination, based off your life, or based on a famous love story from history...the love in front of you is what a reader is reading. You need to write a story that's believable. It could be based on the rings of Saturn and still be believable as long as your write it convincingly. YOU need to believe in the love you're writing about in order for it to come true. If you doubt that story then other people will sense the doubt in your words.
You want your characters to have that happily ever after, whether it ends in despair or not, because all that matters is that the end is exactly where it needs to be. Remember that they need to overcome something. The couple needs that ability to fight for what they believe in and to prove that their love is true.
Don't give up on your love story...sometimes they are the strongest components an author can write about.