Sometimes we read and write about characters so immersed in love that in essence, they lose themselves. And that's so easy to do in adolescence because that first time feeling is like, WHOA, euphoric and indescribable and like a rabid animal clawing inside your chest.
For you I undress down to the sheaths of my nerves.
I remove my jewelry and set it on the nightstand.
I unhook my ribs, spread my lungs flat on a chair.
I dissolve like a remedy in water, in wine.
I spill without staining, and leave without stirring the air.
I do it for love. For love, I disappear.
(by Kim Addonizio)
But we also know that being consumed by another human being is not all it's cracked up to be. As adults, we've learned that you have to hold true to yourself or you'll jeopardize things. Relationships, values, pride and self-worth.
But how important is this to point out in a novel? Do we need to show character growth or is it okay to leave it be for the sake of the story?
Many say this is what happened to Bella throughout the Twilight books. She got lost in a boy and turned into a vampire for him. Others see it as a beautiful, eternal love story.(side note: no matter how you view it, it's a crime that this series is scrutinized so viciously. I'd better hope that my first novel isn't ripped to shreds like this one is--it's a damn shame. Move on to the other thousands of novels out there. End of rant.)
Is the author responsible for teaching a lesson or telling a compelling story?
I recently beta read a (soon-to-be-published) book where the story was not happily resolved. It left me raw and bleeding as I held onto hope that there would be some redemption. It was so shocking that it punched me square in the gut and kept me thinking for DAYS.
Isn't that enough? Your thoughts...
(poem credit, image, image)