Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Power Struggle

Back in 1985, Huey Lewis wrote "The Power of Love" and there are some very interesting concepts within the lyrics.  For instance, the first stanza has:

The power of love is a curious thing 
Make a one man weep, make another man sing 
Change a hawk to a little white dove 
More than a feeling that's the power of love 

Let's think about the words and what they mean.  Do you see a theme within those words? Now let's take a look at the chorus:

You don't need money, don't take fame 
Don't need no credit card to ride this train 
It's strong and it's sudden and it's cruel sometimes 
But it might just save your life 
That's the power of love 
That's the power of love 

Again, some pretty hefty thoughts there, too.

Now why am I lingering over a song from almost 30 yrs ago?  One, it was a great tune.  Or, as those who are still alive and remember "American Bandstand" would say "It sounds groovy, has a great beat and is easy to dance to. I'd give it a nine."


There is more.  Look at it from a writer's point of view.  Love.  There is more to it than just making out or having an erotic sex session -- which by the way, erotic sex is not love, or so I've been told.

Still, nonetheless, as a writer, we must coyly place love into our tales in some manner.  Even a tale of the knight seeking to slay the dragon has love involved - love of country, king, and if lucky, the maiden.  Space science fiction must admit to love in some manner.  Yes, you can claim a sole man, marooned on a planet, bitter and mean, won't have love. Again, the opposite of love is hate, or in this case, bitterness.  Remember, all coins have two sides. There is always Yin and Yang.  Opposites attract.  Need I continue?

Love can be a subtle influence in your story or be the axis it revolves about. Re-read the first verse of the song. Notice how love can change a person?  As a writer, your character must evolve.  Love can be a part of the catalyst to this change. How many times have we seen the strong, almost tyrannical father break down and cry when love of his child suddenly hits home?  As Huey Lewis says - It is more than a feeling that's the power of love

Your character can develop and with love as a guiding power, change to be the hero you want.  If you look at the chorus, you'll see other possibilities for twists.  Look at line three - It's strong and it's sudden and it's cruel sometimes.  Wow.  Love is strong.  Love is sudden.  Love is cruel.  Now you tell me there isn't a possible story there!  It has been used as a theme repeatedly; think of Romeo and Juliet.

In my current "work-in-progress" I have two main characters - a teacher and a student.  My student has a love of his faith and lifestyle (Amish) and there is admiration and love between the teacher and the student plus there is a love theme between the student and his ability to sing.  Still, nowhere in the story do I have anyone spouting "I love you" but yet the power of love is flowing throughout the story.

When I began writing, I was told repeatedly "There must be conflict."  So, why can't the conflict be the power of love?

Until next I ramble on...

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