Today’s guest post comes from my brilliant writer friend Cheryl Muir, an expert on love and relationships (as well as lust and attraction) and also an author who loves to break through barriers and question the norm. Cheryl’s taught me so much about creativity and character development that I couldn’t wait to host this article from her:
There are certain love stories that stand the test of time.
Jack and Rose from Titanic.
Allie and Noah from the Notebook.
John and Mary from the superhero movie Hancock (no, seriously – if you’ve watched it, you know the plot twist as well as I do!)
These classic love stories move us to our core and leave us doing the ugly cry long after the credits have rolled. These people, these fictional characters – they stay with us. And while the examples above are mostly on-screen portrayals with just one novel adaptation, there are common elements that, when applied to writing love stories, create a pairing so strong your readers will become emotionally invested almost immediately.
Before we get into the nuts and bolts of this, I have a confession to make – we’re going to go full woo woo here.
The reason these love stories stand the test of time is because they are far more than your average romantic pairing. Instead of the daily minutiae of he-didn’t-call-back or does-she-like-me, it’s much grander than any of that. Simply put, it transcends those lower energies of gossip and insecurity.
We’re talking about twin flame relationships. Not to be confused with soulmates who, contrary to popular belief, are available in abundance during our lifetime. While I’m not crazy about labels, this is an important distinction to understand. Twin flame relationships are once-in-this-lifetime experiences and form a crucial part of a soul’s journey spanning multiple lifetimes. Meetings with twin flames are planned for us long before we arrived here in this physical manifestation of ourselves. It’s destiny, and there’s not a thing you can do to stop this experience moving you, should you be fortunate enough to experience it.
Goes a bit deeper than wondering why he’s texted you three eggplant emojis, doesn’t it?
And that’s why these fictional characters move us. It’s no ordinary love. Are these characters channelled? Did the author or screenwriter get the sense these people had been here before, and he was simply telling their story?
Who knows. But if you’re still with me on the woo-woo train, here are five elements of twin flame relationships to incorporate into your next love story. Note, this will focus on writing novels, although I will refer to some classic on-screen examples of these techniques.
Runner / Chaser Dynamic
In any classic love story, there is a runner and a chaser. The runner is the one who pushes the chaser away and denies the reality of the relationship, not wanting to admit the strength and power of this union to themselves or to their partner. The chaser, as the name suggests, is the one who pursues the forward movement of the relationship.
The runner is typically the masculine energy (note: not necessarily male), and the chaser is often the feminine energy (again, not necessarily the woman). This holds true for all twin flame dynamics, regardless of the gender identities or sexualities of the couple.
Not only is this true of twin flame unions, but it’s also a technique that is critical when writing a love story. The will-they-won’t-they question keeps your reader turning the page, hungry to know the outcome.
Any love story for the ages usually involves two people from vastly different worlds. And yes, Allie and Noah from The Notebook have this one nailed down! How does this work in your novel? Brainstorm labels that tend to separate people in this lifetime. Wealth and status. Education. Class. Religion. I could go on. Ensure your characters have at least one of these differences in their background, have them pursue their love despite this, and you’re well on your way.
These diverse backgrounds, of course, create obstacles. Disapproval of parents is an obvious choice, but there are many circumstantial hurdles you can place in their path. This depends greatly on the genre you’re writing and the time period you’re working with – so use that. A wartime novel sees a couple separated by war. A Victorian love story involves class and the social etiquette of the time – also a result of their different worlds – used as a barrier.
List the common belief systems, values and hardships of that time period, and have your pairing fall for one another in spite of this, helping your reader rejoice in a happy ending knowing their characters experienced their share of hardships and in many ways earned their relationship.
Combining all of these elements together, the two will learn something important from their union, however brief it may be. This is why they have to come from different worlds – how else would they learn something from each other if they had lived the same life? Add in the obstacles and the runner-chaser experience, and you have a hotbed of life lessons that shape and mould them into a better person long after the union has expired. Ensure your characters learn and grow from the experience. After all, that’s why we’re here – to become the best possible version of ourselves.
As the old saying goes, love should make you better not bitter. Likewise, a true love story will elevate the characters and move them up in their levels of awareness. For example, one of the two will become more compassionate, loving, kind or wise as a result of the union. They will be closer to God / the universe / source energy / Batman (or whoever you believe in). Why is this significant? Because the more of us who undergo this journey, the more love and positivity there is in our world. In turn, this raises the vibration of our planet. Your characters are a vessel for that message. It matters.
An Optional Extra: Tragedy
If you have a sadistic streak and want your reader sobbing by the end of your book, allow tragedy to strike. This can take many forms – such as death or forced separation – and ultimately results in the pair not experiencing sunshine and rainbows.
Me? I’m a sucker for a happy ending. Likely because, twenty years on, I’m still traumatised by the ending of Titanic.
Given that Jack and Rose were twin flames and their souls reunited just before the credits rolled, I think I’ll let this one slide…
About the Author
Cheryl Muir is a British author who fuses her love of psychology and spirituality with her deep passion for writing fiction. Cheryl’s latest novel, Angel of the Night, is a sexy crime thriller featuring a twin flame relationship, and is available from all major online retailers. To learn more about Cheryl’s work, follow her on Twitter or Instagram.