Sunday, April 19, 2015

Love is in the Air: Romantic Comedies and Faith in God

Today it is truly a delight to welcome another blogger friend to God is Love!

Melissa Tagg (the blogger friend) is not new to God is Love. She's been here a couple of times! But each and every time Melissa visits, she brings something new and inspirational to the table and today is no exception.

Join Melissa today as she shares her take on how writing and reading romantic comedies for the Christian fiction book market is a lot like taking a faith journey with God.

Curious to know what that means? Read on for a better explanation! :)

How rom-coms are a little like faith…really!
A guest post by Melissa Tagg

So, I write romantic comedy, right? It took me awhile to embrace this. Mostly because for a while I was convinced I totally had the suspense-writer vibe going. Then I read what I’d written. And decided I should probably be the last person to read it.

But once I found my writing feet and discovered my voice, rom-com was the obvious genre of choice for me. Because I loooove funny. And there’s just nothing funnier than romance.

Seriously, nothing else so perfectly lends itself to humor of the awkward, eyebrow-raising or even outrageous variety. Let’s look at an example from my own life:

Years ago I started dating this guy during January. So February rolls around and with it, Valentine’s Day…which is really not my favorite holiday anyway, but is SO much worse when you’re all like, “Dude, we’ve only been dating a month, so how do we do this whole gift thing?”

Guess what I ended up getting the guy. Guess…

A pillowcase.

I’m not even joking!

So yeah, romance is funny and now, three books in (with a fourth scheduled for next year) I’ve fully embraced my rom-com roots. And one of the cool things I’ve learned about writing romantic fiction, thanks to the stellar teaching of Susan May Warren through My Book Therapy, is that there are basically two kinds of romance plots:

Why/Why Not and Why Not/Why

In the former you’ve got two characters who obviously belong together. There are all kinds of Whys pushing them toward each other…but then as the story moves forward, a series of Why Nots creep in to pull them apart.

In the latter, your two characters start out with obvious Why Nots between them…and a series of Whys gradually push them together.

The key is keeping the Whys and Why Nots balanced…which is what creates the perfect romantic tension in a story.

Sidenote: Whenever I massively dislike a romantic comedy (which, sadly, has been the case for most of whatever Hollywood has put out in the past 10-15 years), I’m realizing it’s usually because the Why and Why Not are lopsided. Either the Why Not is so huge that I just can’t buy the two characters being together or the Why is so obvious that I’m like, “People, just get together already.”

But here’s the thing: Regardless of whether a rom-com goes the Why/Why Not or Why Not/Why route, it always ends in the same place…

In a good rom-com, the Why always eventually wins.

And here’s where we take a turn for the spiritual…because I was thinking about this the other day…how life can feel like a series of Why Nots. Not romantically, but generally. Some people start out with a bunch of Why Nots stacked up against them–maybe a difficult home life, poverty, the lack of a parent’s love. Others have a great start but get slammed by a big Why Not–or five–later on in life.

Whatever the plot, whatever the specifics of the Why Nots…everyone’s got ‘em. Those things that make us feel helpless or less-than-whole or purposeless. But as we look at the Why Nots in our lives, it’s the source of our Why–the thing pushing us forward into the women and men we’re meant to be–that’s going to make all the difference in how our stories turn out from chapter to chapter.

And I could probably go on and on about looking for a Why in the wrong place. But here’s the bottom line: I want my Why to be found in Christ.

When it is, when my Why is firmly rooted in the confident belief that I was created for a reason…with purpose…and am loved beyond what I can understand…

Well, then, it always wins.

Doesn’t mean it’s easy.
Doesn’t mean the Why Nots don’t stink.

But when I’m holding on to that kind of truth and growing trust, at the end of the day…the Why always wins.

Like a good rom-com.

Only a LOT better than anything I could write.

Author bio:

Melissa Tagg is a former reporter and total Iowa girl. In addition to her homeless ministry day job, she is also the marketing events coordinator for My Book Therapy, a craft and coaching community for writers. 

When she's not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever, watching old movies, and daydreaming about her next book. 

Melissa loves connecting with readers at and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Buy Melissa's new book From the Start:

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Connect with Melissa:



Instagram: melissatagg

Twitter: @Melissa_Tagg

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