One German word that I’ve always found to be particularly beautiful is the word Leidenschaft. A functional translation of the word would be “hobby” or “pastime”, but that’s somewhat incomplete. More accurately, the English equivalent is what we mean when we say that someone “has a passion”.
Find Your Passion
Passion is exactly what we live for. It’s what we strive for – that often unattainable goal that promises a satisfying sense of completion. It can be a sexual, romantic, even sentimental, but it’s not limited to just those things. What I love about passion is that with it, there are so many new ways to feel alive, purposeful, useful, driven… Passion is the epitome of a life well lived.
When I write, I like to listen to my characters and learn what their passions are. Sure, when it’s Contemporary Romance, at least two of the characters find that they feel romantic passion for one another. But I love to spend time with every character beyond some sort of developing romantic relationship.
To me, it’s impossible to find substance in a story without discovering the Leidenschaften of the characters. What drives them in life? Do these elements contribute to the relationship and circumstances that bring these two people together? Lastly, what elements of my own Leidenschaften contribute to the development of my characters?
Character development takes time, and interestingly enough, sometimes we writers can’t always figure out our character’s passions exactly 100%. I like to think that it’s because in a way, I’m just an observer; the stories and scenes that play out in my head are what I eventually record. When I embellish, edit, and rewrite, I’m blending my interpretation of events that I’ve observed involving my characters. I can’t always jump inside the head of all of my characters – at least, not until I can recognize the Leidenschaft that drives him or her.
©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time
– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest for more.