Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Real Life Romance

Maven Carrie RyanHey Y'all! Big news in the Ryan-Davis household: soon we will become the Davis household! That's right, we got engaged this weekend! Yay!! The whole story is here on my blog and here x-posted on my livejournal.

JP was wonderfully romantic and the whole weekend was just amazing. I'm still floating with my head in the clouds, surrounded by a pile of wedding magazines and the knowledge that I have pleeenty of time before I have to start planning :) I just get to enjoy this moment.

And because this is a blog devoted mostly to writing, I've been trying to figure out how to tie writing into all of this somehow.... and here's my thought. People often say that truth is stranger than fiction and it's often true. I remember critting someone's partial many years ago where the first scene took place in a federal courthouse. JP just happened to be working in a federal courthouse at the time so I asked him questions about the authenticity of what she had going on (from courtroom stuff to courthouse security). Now, things differ from place to place and judge to judge, but our conclusion was pretty much that what she had set up couldn't/shouldn't/wouldn't happen. I pointed out a few things (nicely, natch) and got an email back telling me that what she'd described had happened to a friend and was authentic (and yes, I think the email said, "so there!").

But she was missing the point. It doesn't matter what *can* happen in real life or what *does* happen in real life, what matters is what is believable to the reader. So if the reader is questioning "could this really happen?" then the author should take a second look. I think this is sometimes the danger with writing what we know when what we know might be a little too outside the realm of believability.

How does this tie into my engagement story? Well, a few things I didn't mention in my other post.... first, about half-way through our reserve tour some guy came up and said that he too was supposed to be on the reserve tour. That really ramped up JP's tension because he knew (a) that guy wasn't on the tour because JP had bought all the tickets and (b) there was no way for JP to say anything without me getting suspicious. But our tour guide went to straighten it out and me, knowing nothing, went to follow him (in my defense, he beckoned us to follow him). And then a big fluffy cat walked in front of us and I said "Ooooh kitty!" and JP I know was thinking "ooooh, perfectly timed distraction!"

Second, when JP opened the ring box I swear one of my first thoughts was "ooh, the ring box has its own light to shine on the diamond! How cool is that?!" Not the most romantic first thought to have upon seeing your engagement ring. And it was only a fleeting thought (but seriously, how cool is a ring box with its own light?!).

You may still be wondering how this ties together and I swear that in my mind they did (yes, the same mind still floating in the clouds so you may have to be patient with me!). Sometimes there are details that really are authentic, but that feel a little wrong in the story ("ooh! Look at the light!"). But sometimes, depending on the story, those are the details that make a story actually feel authentic (seriously, who is ever able to pull of such an elaborate scheme without some guy claiming to be on the reserve tour and throwing in a potential wrench?). I guess the key is determining what type of story you're telling in order to figure out what details add reality and which don't.

Um, I hope that made some sort of sense. If not then...oooohh! Look! Sparkly!


Erica Ridley said...


B.E. Sanderson said...

OMG! Squee! Congratulations, Carrie. =oD

My morning brain understood your cloud brain perfectly. Things happen in real life that are just way too weird for fiction, and there's a fine line between keeping it authentic and making it less believable.

Quick question: How did JP get the cat to distract you? ;o)

Carrie said...

I tell you what -- that cat was awesome. When I was outside later calling my mom to tell her the news that cat started playing with a pine cone and totally cracked me up.

Carrie said...

I tell you what -- that cat was awesome. When I was outside later calling my mom to tell her the news that cat started playing with a pine cone and totally cracked me up.

lacey kaye said...

I totally got your post AND it made me smile -- hard to do at 5am, I'm telling you!

Congratulations!!! This is *your* year, eh?

Bill Clark said...

Great news! Great post!

Loved reading the romantic story of the proposal. JP sure knows how to plan a great weekend!

It doesn't matter what *can* happen in real life or what *does* happen in real life, what matters is what is believable to the reader.

Yes, indeedy. They call it verisimilitude. Dickens stretched his readers' credulity with the spontaneous combustion scene in Bleak House. Even though he was convinced such a thing was possible, very few of his readers bought it.

Speaking of credulity, the self-lighting ring box is a new one to me. But I certainly take your word for it! What will they think of next?! A ring box that plays Mendelssohn's "Wedding March"?

Patricia W. said...

Congratulations Carrie! And I think the light in the box thing could work in the right context. Now that fluffy cat distracting you...I don't know. :Smile:

Vicki said...

WhooHoo!! Major Congrats to you both.

Now, for my questions, which if sounds really dumb, blame it on the blonde thing. Did your ring box really have a light inside it?

Carrie Ryan said...

Vicki -- it really did have a light inside of it! Coolest thing ever! You open it, a little light in the top shines down on the ring to make it sparkle -- it's own little spotlight.

I'm telling you -- very very cool.

JP named that cat "Deus ex machina"

Jill James said...

First of all, Carrie, Congratulations!!!! I love true love.

Sometimes a little detail here and there adds to a story, sometimes too many details distract. I love the whole "look a light" That is soooo cute.

Tessa Dare said...

Congratulations! What a wonderful, romantic story. I would have been dazzled by the light, too. :)

I had my own engagement ring on my finger before I realized Mr. Dare hadn't actually asked me yet. :P

Angie Fox said...

Congratulations, Carrie! Enjoy those wedding magazines - the dresses, the flowers, the wedding favor ideas designed to make even Martha Stewart drool.

And the lighted ring box is too groovy. What will they think of next?

Jackie Barbosa said...

Congratulations, Carrie!

There's nothing like good, real-life romance, complete with cats and lighted ring boxes.

lacey kaye said...

LOL, Tessa!

Keira Soleore said...

Carrie, many congratulations!! What a cool proposal. And I agree, a ring box with its own light is one of the coolest thing I have heard of.

Darcy Burke said...

Love this story!!! And way to tie it back to writing, LOL. Many congrats to you and JP! Tell him he did good!

Celeste said...

Congratulations :)

Celeste said...

Congratulations :)

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