Love List ♥ ♥ ♥

Many moons ago, I read an inspirational guest post about Love Lists by contemporary young adult author Stephanie Perkins’ for author Natalie Whipple’s blog. Here’s what Stephanie had to say on the topic:

Whenever I begin a new project, I also begin a list called “What I Love About This Story.” I start by writing down those first ideas that sparked the fires of my mind, and then I add more ideas as I discover them during my push through early drafts. I use this list as a touchstone to remind myself during the hard times why my story is worthwhile. It’s easy to forget the GOOD STUFF when I’m wading through the muck, and the end is still months away, and it feels pointless and hopeless to continue. This list becomes a crucial reminder: Yes! This is a story worth telling! 

Brilliant, right? I made Love Lists for my stories Cross My Heart and Good Girls, and since I’ve crossed the 12K mark on my (currently untitled) WiP, I thought it might be time to write a Love List. Here’s what I’ve come up so far…

Bubble Gum
Cold Noses
Crashing Waves
Drinking Games
Half Truths
Highway 1
Hot Air Balloons
Impossible Choices
Jelly Bellies
Kissing (always kissing)
Kitsch Hotels
Light Houses
Lonely Roads
Lost Love
Love Songs
Mexican Food
Mysterious Disappearances
Route 66
Sea Glass
Tree Houses

And, visual inspiration…




Have you ever made a Love List for one of your projects? 
What’s inspiring you today?


24 thoughts on “Love List ♥ ♥ ♥

  1. Alison Miller says:

    THAT BRIDGE!!! Love the pictures! And hot air balloons? Drinking games?Must read this ASAP. Hurry up, woman!

  2. Rebecca Barrow says:

    I heart love lists! It is so easy to forget all the good parts during the difficult drafting days. And this is an excellent list–kissing? Good. Mexican food? Always good. Mysterious disappearances? Intriguing…:)

  3. Erin Funk says:

    I always think love lists are better at hooking people in than query letters. or elevator pitches. They’re so much more fun and descriptive. This story sounds amazing, Katy!

  4. karibradley7 says:

    Love this love list! 🙂 Jenny Han’s writing advice was something along the lines of “desserts first” because she’s able to write out of sequence and write what she loves/what’s in her heart, first. I thought that was interesting… I feel like I would have to start at the beginning and work in order, even if it was blown all the hell later. 😉 I agree with Erin, too–this is a good hook!

    • katyupperman says:

      Ooh, I love that advice! I mostly go in order and follow along with my outline, but sometimes when I get stuck I jump ahead to a part I’m super excited about writing. I did that a lot when I did NaNo, so I wasn’t wasting time struggling to come up with stuff in a tricky scene. Thanks, Kari!

  5. Krispy says:

    I already love the sound of your WIP. Seems like the perfect contemp read. 🙂 I especially love lonely roads, kitsch motels, and diners.

  6. Rachelwrites007 says:

    Love it! So interested to read where the road trip takes your characters. What states do they end up going to? Is there kissing in every state? (ha ha…there should be!)

    • katyupperman says:

      There is definitely kissing in every state. Because… why not? 😉 They’re starting in OR and hitting CA and AZ on their way to NM. Fun route!

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks so much, Elodie! I’m only about 16K in, so it’ll be awhile, but I’d love if you would give it a read sometime down the line. You’re the best!

  7. kims7141 says:

    I never have made a love list but omg what a great idea! This would have been nice BEFORE I got so blocked on my current WIP. Whine! Thanks for sharing!

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