This last weekend, I had the fun of hosting a couple of writer friends, Dawn Ford and Lorna Seilstad, at my house, and driving them to the Twin Cities for the ACFW MN NICE meeting where Lorna was the special speaker.
Lorna spoke about how to make your readers fall in love with your hero by having him demonstrate all five of the Love Languages as outlined by author Gary Chapman in his book called "The Five Love Languages."
According to Chapman, there are five love languages, with most people having two that are fairly strong. These love languages are:
1. Words of Affirmation - Using words to say I love you, I value you, I appreciate you.
2. Quality Time - One on one time with meaningful conversation and eye contact. Making time out of a busy schedule to be with the one you love.
3. Physical Touch and Closeness - This one is pretty obvious.
4. Gift Giving - Thoughtful gifts, surprises, sacrificing something to give a gift.
5. Acts of Service - Doing something nice without being asked, shouldering someone's burden a bit.
According to Lorna (And I believe her!) because readers all have different love languages, if you want to 'hit' every reader's sweet spot, your hero must exhibit traits of all the love languages. He should say something heartfelt to the heroine, spend time with her, share physical touches, give her gifts, and do nice things for her.
She also posits that he can mess up and fail to speak the heroine's love language in order to raise the conflict in the story. Or they can have a failure to communicate...such as, when the hero comes and fixes the front steps on the heroine's house--and act of service and/or a gift--which she can misinterpret as him saying she can't take care of herself, that she needs a man about the place.
It was an excellent workshop, and I plan to be more deliberate about incorporating the love languages into my stories.
It wasn't all learning and lecturing though. There was a lot of laughter, too! A group of us met before the meeting for some good chow and fellowship, and it was a great time!
|From L-R Stacy Monson, Dawn Ford, Lorna Seilstad, Brenda Anderson,|
Beth Bentrud, Gabrielle Meyer, Erica Vetsch, and Julie Klassen.
My top two are Words of Affirmation and Quality Time. My husband is excellent at speaking my love languages, even though they are not his top two. He gifts me with date night every Friday where we spend time together, just the two of us, and we talk and talk and talk. :) My husband's top one is Acts of Service, and once I figured that out, it was so much easier to see all the little things he did around the house as being ways of him telling me he loves me! I've learned how much he values clean laundry or his favorite dinner. I joke that his second love language is coupons...he loves it when I remember to use coupons. :)
So, I'm curious...what are your top two love languages?