This post has been somewhat inspired by Maggie Stiefvater's post on young love, so you should read that first if you haven't already.
Alright. If you've read Shiver you're most likely in love with Sam. Why do we love him? Sure, he's easy on the eyes, but we also love him because of the way he loves Grace. At least, that's why I love him. Remember the candy shop scene? Sah-woon.
Swooning aside, he and Grace are not only really into each other because of who they are but because they respect each other. Like Maggie says, "It makes me sad that people would settle for less."
Now I will get personal on you. I've never had a boyfriend. I've never been in love.
I can also tell you that, although I have high standards, the reason I haven't met anyone yet is not because I compare guys to what I read in books or see in movies. Although characters like Sam are amazing, it's impossible to compare him to anybody in real life, not because he is an unrealistic character, but because it simply isn't fair. No two people are alike. The things that I find beautiful in someone will never be the same things I find beautiful in someone else.
This brings me (somewhat) to the main point of this post. How do you write love without experience?
If you ask Sarah, my awesome CP, she'll tell you that I'm a hopeless romantic. I'll tell you that that's the truth.
Jane and August from my MS, Jane's Air, are one of those "destined to be" couples. Love is hard for both of them, though. They both come into the relationship with their own baggage; nothing is ever perfect between them. However, despite all their struggles, at the core of their love is understanding and respect. I guess you could say I'm writing all my hopes and dreams into them because that's what I am looking for in love.
So do I think that not having experience in love hurts my writing? Absolutely not. Jane and August are their own people; I feel like I'm just watching most of the time.
With that, I'll leave you with a song that pretty much defines the way I feel about love right now and hope that this post makes an ounce of sense.