Romancing the Story

In Speaking into the Silence on October 26, 2008 at 9:45 pm

What is it about romance that is critical to our story?  In jest, we often refer to certain movies as distinctly chick flicks.  These are the romantic, dramatic and mushy movies.  They often lack elements of adventure and daring; instead, focusing more on interpersonal dynamics and relationships.  I have been playing over these ideas in the context of my fictional story (untitled as of yet).  Given that I am telling a ‘coming-of-age’ story for a young man, I cannot get the notion of romance out of the picture.  Is it necessary that a man is fully formed before romance becomes a part of the story?

I do not think that is necessary.  Elements of romance whether between a couple or between God and His beloved must be part of this story.  So far, I have the picture of a young man in his early twenties.  His parents have been mysteriously separated.  I think that this might develop into a sub-plot, which is a love story.  For the young man, he will not be aware of the inner workings of this romance.  However, I will fit in a character that interrupts his ‘guy-adventure’.

On the subject of romance, Lindsay and I returned from a wedding this afternoon.  It was held in the far reaches of the ‘909’ even though I do not know that the couple had any personal tie.  Lytle Creek was a beautiful setting for the wedding and worth the seventy-mile drive.  The couple pulled off the ceremony and the reception with fall colors on a western-feeling ‘ranch’.  I am happy for them.  The groom was the one that introduced me to my wife about three years ago.  He reminds me off a golden retriever – loyal friend, willing to have fun and get dirty, and also a very hard worker.  I admire the strong friendships he has built over the years with several guys. 

His wife shares a similarly HUGE smile.  One of the bridesmaids said what (perhaps) many of us were thinking: “You guys are going to make beautiful babies!”  I think they will (when they are ready).  A similar comment was made by the groom’s father, who also officiated the wedding.  He made a reference to being a grandfather, and then followed up with a low-breathed comment: “But let’s take one thing at a time, shall we?”  He drew a warm laugh from the audience.  I connected well with his honest humor and I think many in the audience did as well.  It was his warmth, partnered with his deep faith, that lead to a spiritual ceremony, which did not cross the line to being preachy.

The best man shocked the audience by not delivering the humorous bash of a toast.  He surprised people with affection and dignity afforded to the groom.  Some people at our table, who knew the best man well, were disappointed and left waiting for the ‘rest of the speech’.  But, he pulled it off very well.  I like surprises.  I hummed some Michael Buble songs as we drove back to the coast; starry skies and freeway lights, my wife by my side, and romantic stories on my mind.

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