Many women I know will not read a fantasy story. When I ask, they simply say they do not like war or fantasy creations such as elves, demons, dragons, etc. Part of a good fantasy, in my opinion, must pull together the elements of fantasy with a great love story. What confuses me is the nature of most classical love stories – they are tragic. The man in the story dies, leaving the love stricken woman to mourn over him. Well, I’m a man and I don’t want to die for the woman in my life except to defend her.
In modern literature the love story appears to be written from a selfish perspective. What I mean by this is that the story is told from the woman’s needs. Maybe I am misinterpreting these stories, I don’t know. I recall “A Star is Born” in which the male lead was a drug addict, whose addiction lead to his own death. That’s a love story? I jokingly refer to the Female Code, here in my blog, as an uncrackable code controlled by constantly mutating genetics. Seriously though, writing as a man is difficult, because I want the man to rise to a chivalrous deed for the woman’s behalf, but demonstrating that he has values he cannot sacrifice even for a woman.
With all of this mind, I wrote the love story of Arimar and Elissia in my trilogy – The Chosen One of Allivar. As a man I needed guidance from women readers and I received an earful! Today’s woman is much different than those in which male authors created the likes of Guinevere. I chose to blend many attributes of today’s strong and independent woman into the character of Elissia. However, the tragedy of this love story is from the male character’s perspective and introduces an almost forbidden love. One of my female focus group readers admitted she couldn’t remain as loyal to Arimar as Elissia had. Why did I write my story in this respect? The story has many recurring themes, but at the heart are two: Faith and Sacrifice. Faith may seem to have religious connotation to many, but it has another meaning:
Belief that is not based on proof
Do we have faith in our spouses, parents, children, etc? When someone says “I love you”, what proof is there? None, it is a matter of faith. In this story, Arimar has to have faith that the prophecy that proclaimed his being the chosen one would be fulfilled. Elissia has to have faith in Arimar that he loves her. He cannot utter the words, he is forbidden by the mythical creator – the Unseen, but his actions give her hope that he does. She in turn has to sacrifice her needs to hear the words, for the ultimate good of all. As Arimar struggles with his own need for love, so does Elissia. This classic struggle is taken to the extreme in my story and its resolution left in doubt until the very end of the story.
Not only is this a love story of Arimar and Elissia, it is a love story of family, friends, those different from us, and of the love of our world and what is to be lost by succumbing to evil. If you do not cry reading this story, tell me why, and I’ll be sure to see how I can move you in the next 16 stories of this mythology inside my head.