Monday, September 24, 2012

Found Guilty

I have been found guilty of  insta-love.

The sentence has been passed, and I think it's time to defend myself.

See, the thing is, I didn't mean to write insta-love. I never planned it, I never intended it. Once it was done, it never seemed like insta-love to me. No, it was something else entirely.

An insta-crush.

My character is a teen girl. She saw a guy and thought, he's hot, I wish he'd ask me out, I just want to spend time with him, I really want to kiss those sexy-sweet lips.

I ask you, is this insta-love? To me, it's a crush. Those first overwhelming and often overexagerrated feelings a person can get when they see something they like about someone else. An insta-crush. Once they get it, they find ways to be with that person, to get to know them, and then... SOMETIMES the love happens. Sometimes it doesn't.

I know insta-love is one of those THINGS A WRITER SHOULD NEVER EVER DO. But what about insta-crushes? Do readers feel the same animosity towards them? If you read a girl saying, "he's so hot I want to date him!!!" do you automatically chalk it up to insta-love, roll your eyes, or maybe put the book down in disgust?

I'm genuinely wondering here. I don't have the same bad mojo towards insta-love as most people do. I think it's because I don't ever see it as love, I see it as a crush first which often grows into love.
But I also don't want anyone throwing my writing across the room because, bam! there's insta-love again.

What do you think? Is an insta-crush basically the same as insta-love?

*P.S. I've been found guilty, and am now on the road to rehabilitation. Meaning: I'm revising.*


  1. Honestly, I don't think this is a problem at all. People take one look at someone and want to go out with them/get to know them all the time. Really, that's basically just attraction. Perfectly natural/real/believable. At least that's my opinion. But then, I've never had a problem with insta-love in books, either. Probably because I took one look at my (now) husband, and decided then and there that I was going to marry him. And that was 8 years ago. :)

  2. I'm with you on this, it's total insta-crush or insta-lust. The love part comes later. What i absolutely can't stand is when characters tell each other I love you or proclaim their love in inner dialogue when they only just met. That I can't stand. But the insta-crush thing doesn't bother me.

  3. I don't like insta-love, but in some stories, it just works. I was found guilty of writing insta-love in one of my manuscripts. My CP told me to cut it out. I didn't. So then an agent rejected my full and told me it needed to be cut out. So I did. ;) I'll never disregard my CP's comment again!

    But, there's a difference between insta-crush and insta-love. And I think that's where you make sure the line is drawn. Yes, a girl can see a hot guy and try to get closer to him, get to know him. -->Insta-crush. But when she's automatically drawn to him for some unknown reason and then sacrifices important things for him, that's insta-love and usually unrealistic.

    That's what I did. My MC isn't allowed to hang with humans. And her aunts are aggressive in keeping this rule. The punishment, severe. And what did I write? Yeah, my MC was drawn to him and then hangs with him no matter what. She completely sacrifices her own well-being, her group's safety, and the rules she's held to like religion, just to be with some guy she's drawn too. Nope, not gonna fly.

    I had to change the dynamics of their relationship and give her an solid reason to fall for him and then a solid reason to sacrifice for him. Thus erasing the insta-love.

    So those are my thoughts. There's an obvious difference between the two. :) IMHO

  4. Oh, I'm all about the insta-crush! Crushes are fun :) and it's totally normal to see someone, think they're cute, get to know them, and want to spend every minute with them. Sometimes that becomes love, and that's cool. I just can't stand it when the MC decides that she's in love with someone before she really knows him, and I hate when it's all I-can't-live-without-him. Love doesn't have to be quite so dramatic :)

  5. I think crushes are just like that. It's what makes them crushes! If I read something like "he's so hot, I want to make out with him" I chalk it up to normal, especially in YA. Insta-love is a different beast. You can tell because it's sudden and tends to be almost obsessive to the MC. Ugh.

  6. Thanks for all the comments! I'm seeing the difference between the two better. I've never liked the "I'm drawn to him for some unknown reason..." so I avoided that, but I think I made my MC a little obsessed about the guy for no good reason at the start. Definitely gotta change that.