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Friday in Review: What TVD Taught Me About Writing Romance


So, I was super active in May and a little in June but I've kind of disappeared throughout the rest of June and now mostly through July. Life's just been busy. This Spanish class is taking up a lot of time and when I'm not working on Spanish then I'm working on writing and doing other things like going out and hanging out with people and church and all that but I felt the strong urge to do a post today so here goes.

I'm not feeling in a very rant-y mood, but there was one realization that I have come to this week that I've thought about writing about. I've been rewatching The Vampire Diaries because I miss it so much and now I can watch the entire series from beginning to end without interruption which is awesome but also sad cuz there's no more new TVD! And I realized something that can be applied to pretty much any writer's project.

(SPOILERS AHEAD IF YOU HAVEN'T WATCHED THE VAMPIRE DIARIES!!! DON'T READ IF YOU DON'T WANT SPOILERS!!)

Romance.

Romance can be a big struggle for some writers. Relationships in general are hard to convey at times because there are so many different ways one can come about and then it all depends on the people's personalities and events that come along and all that. But romance? That's ten times harder because you have to start at the beginning of a book with two people not knowing each other (usually that's how it goes) and end the book with them being in love or at least acknowledging feelings for each other.

There are two methods to this that I see the most often in books. One, the two characters don't like each other/hate each other/don't understand each other at the beginning of the book and then somehow, through a series of events they realize that they're meant for each other that dislike/hate turns into love. Two, the two love interests meet, they instantly like each other and are compatible. They fall in love pretty quickly and... that's it. The first one happens a lot and I can't really say anything bad about that because some of my favorite relationships are those. The first ones that come to mind are Dorian and Solara from Starflight, and Rhysand and Feyre from A Court of Thorns and Roses series. I even have the beginnings of one in Golden that I adore, so all I'm saying is that both of those options are used quite a lot but neither of them are bad. Buuut I feel that there's an even better way to create a fangirling worthy relationship.

I feel like, to me anyways, The Vampire Diaries is known for its epic romances. I have never ever seen anything else like it on TV or in books or any form of entertainment. What Julie Plec and the other writers did was phenomenal and original and amazing. Especially with how she wrote relationships. I'll just walk through a few of them to give you an idea on what I find so unique about the romances in TVD and what we can learn from them.

There's a third option that I want to use more. Romance -- feelings -- they all start with friendship. With meeting someone and deciding that they are worth your time and effort and then slowly over time realizing that you care for them more and more until it's love. That is the kind of romance that people fangirl over.

I'll start with the two most obvious ones. Elena had (more or less) two loves in the entire show. Stefan and Damon. Do you know what both of those relationships have in common (besides the two of them being brothers)? They both started with a friendship. Damon and Elena's friendship was longer than she and Stefan's but they still did have one. They didn't kiss or do anything till like the second/third episode. They talked and they got to know each other a little bit. Elena didn't instantly throw herself at Stefan and Stefan didn't try and force himself on her. They just... met and before they even kissed or were declared boyfriend/girlfriend they had some ups and downs. Elena had doubts about Stefan but they worked through it and it paid off.

Damon and Elena's friendship lasted quite a bit longer than she and Stefan's (which I feel is what made their romance even more epic than Stefan's). They were on and off friends (there were a few times where Elena said she hated Damon, but it never lasted) for roughly four to five seasons. Yes, they shared a few kisses here and there. They both had a few epic, heart stopping moments whether it be when they danced or talked or just had a moment together. But it started with a friendship. They grew to be very close friends. Elena was pretty much Damon's only friend at the start and their feelings grew and so did the romance.

Now that I think about it, I don't think any relationship on that show that didn't start with a friendship lasted or went anywhere or was even portrayed as something good... I think Caroline had the most romances in the entire show and yet, every, single, time they were epic! All of them were unique and beautiful and epic and you honestly thought they were going to have a future forever together. She started with Damon (which wasn't epic or romantic because he was manipulating and hurting her) and then to Matt. Her romance with Matt was sweet and beautiful because Matt was a sweet, good, dependable guy. Matt and Caroline started as like knowing each other and being kind of friends and then Caroline said in one episode how their friendship had kind of peaked. There wasn't romance... they had just peaked as friends. And then the romance started. Then there was Tyler and you loved it and you loved them together and it was epic and good because they both had started out as friends. They both went through some rough times together which drew them closer. They confided in each other and romance budded from that. Then there was the whole Klaus thing, which I liked and it was also pretty epic.

And then Steroline. That was the ultimate epic relationship. They were friends and then best friends and they had a really rocky beginning to their romance, but once they kissed and were together, it was all worth it and it was beautiful and wonderful and you just loved it. Bonnie and Enzo also became friends before they became anything more to each other.

For real I could write a blog post detailing each romance in The Vampire Diaries because they were all done so well and effortlessly and pretty perfectly. But I think you get my gist. I really want to see more romances that start with friendships. I feel like Julie Plec broke a lot of barriers concerning relationships in her show. None of the relationships were cardboard or boring or cliché. But I just really loved how everyone started as friends and then became more to each other. It was a really beautiful process to watch as the show progressed and I just wish that more writers would write romances like that. That are worthy of the word EPIC. That makes you laugh and cry and puts a smile on your face and make you believe in true love and romance.

So, if you struggle with romance, then I 100% recommend watching The Vampire Diaries. Watch it and study the romances and relationships that go on in that show because they are EPIC and beautiful and amazing.

Have a great weekend everyone! I'll try and get a post up on Wednesday next week!

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