Yeah, I know that's a weird title. Allow me to explain.
Last night, I was watching Lark Rise to Candleford (a really great period drama TV show that any Austen/Gaskell fans should check out) and the conflict for one of the characters was the question above. What is love? She was kinda freaking out about it. Anyway, when she asked that question the first time, one of my characters answered her in my head. "Love is giving your life for someone else's." Now, this doesn't fit the Lark Rise episode in any way, shape, or form, but I was intrigued. Viola, my character, answered what love is to her. So, I decided to see what some of my other characters had to say.
Marius: Love is accepting/loving someone despite their past.
Bev: Love is being accepted for who you are.
Joy: .... Is this a trick question?
Silla: Love is being accepted, even when you're not what was wanted.
Gwen: Love is working hard for the good of others.
Chad: See Shakespeare's sonnet 116. I painted it on the side of the abandoned crematorium.
Farold: Love is protecting your loved ones from the past.
Henley Sayer: Love is avenging your family.
Lizzie: Ooh, I should ask my characters that....
I'm not sure some of these even make sense, but I thought it was interesting to see how differently the characters reacted. And thank heaven they reacted differently, or I would have some serious character development to do for everybody.
As you may or may not be able to see, some of these characters have insecurities that affect their view of this subject (Marius, Bev, Silla...). Hopefully, that makes them more like chocolate lava cakes and less like cardboard.
If you're a writer (and I assume most of my few readers are), how did your characters react to this question? And I'd love to hear input from all the non-writers too.
A good evening/morning/day/whatever to you.