1. untalented311
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    untalented311 Senior Member

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    I can't stop my characters from falling in love

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by untalented311, Jul 24, 2010.

    I think that it may be a pure teenage phase that I may grow outt of in a couple of years time but I am having serious problems with stories that have solid plots, two oppositing male/female characters, and suddenly I make the plot a dull background to the romance the two characters are feeling. The saddest part is, is that I really don't like romances very much. Any tips on how to stay on track with my story?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Complicate their lives, and don't give them a lot of free time to fool around.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. untalented311
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    untalented311 Senior Member

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    That sounds like advice one parent would give to another. But I will try that!
     
  4. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    LOL to the replies and very catchy title.

    Some might argue that being in love is the most complicated way of living :)

    And my advice is to try making your chars older, like middle aged chars. I assure you when you write from their perspective everything will get complicated.
     
  5. untalented311
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    untalented311 Senior Member

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    You're right, maybe if they weren't mostly teenagers, their imaginary hormone level would go down! Thank you very much, lol
     
  6. BlueWolf
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    BlueWolf Banned

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    Unless it is a love story, having the main characters fall in love (particularly if there is to be a sequel, or three), can be a reader-killer. Where is the intrigue and the unknown if they are in love, and the reader knows that all will be well in the end?

    Treat your characters badly, place them in difficult and compromising positions that is counter-productive to a relationship - much more fun :D
     
  7. untalented311
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    untalented311 Senior Member

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    I know! I'm not even paticularly fond of love stories, but time and time again, I make a boy, I make a girl, intending to wrap up my happy evening with the reward of love, and they fall in love halfway. I can't stay on-track. I blame it on the hormones. Give me a couple years to get out of my teenageness and you're going to find a spectacular author with absolutely no love in her stories. =) But I just did it again. I took Cogito's advice but then I made the dude call the chick, and it was all over for the count. -.-. This is the reason why I gave myself the name that I did.
     
  8. BlueWolf
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    BlueWolf Banned

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    If you are determined to stay in your 'teenagey ways' (or cannot get out of it) then make the most of it - remember when you were a young girl? Things didn't go how you planned them to be, things got in the way - no one understood you, regardless of how many times you sat in your room (not 'you-you', but the general 'you') and dreamed of the fairytale.
     
  9. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Make them opposite sex, make one of them gay and the other straight. The reader need never know just tell yourself that.
     
  10. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well part of it is loads of mainstream culture hammering it into you head that a story might be about anything but it also -must- be about a sexual tension or romance between a male and female character. 90% of the films you have seen in your life probably burned that pattern into your brain.

    Have a goal sett on what sort of relationship you do want to capture between the characters, really push for it and use other story elements to push to it. Make the women happily married twice the mans age, make the guy someone you couldn't be turned onto sexually even if you used gasoline, give the guy a love interest that isn't the other main character, make him asexual, make him gay, make him a castrate etc.
     
  11. untalented311
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    untalented311 Senior Member

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    lol. Sounds like a great idea! Cruel to my make character almost, but great idea!
     
  12. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I think there are ways to avoid it without changing their ages, if you don't want them to be older. Just introduce lots of plot elements that would cause them to hate each other.
     
  13. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You can even turn it into a complication. They fall into bed together, wake up deciding it was a huge mistake, and are very uncomfortable around each other afterward.
     
  14. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    or call them Barbie and Ken;)
     
  15. LeFay
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    LeFay New Member

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    Hee hee, that's an amusing dilemma. But I can definitely see how it could get annoying... I don't particularly like romances either. And it's like w179 said, the classic boy-girl romance is hammered into our minds through every possible venue.

    I don't have the same problem... in fact almost the opposite. My characters keep platonic relationships where all my friends are telling me that they should be steaming up. I like to avoid budding romance situations at all costs.

    There is one story that I have, however, where it's basically a plot point that these two fall in love. My solution was to merely hint at it, with the actual physically romantic bits happening between scenes. It actually seems to hook the reader in more...

    Another trick might be to make one character absolutely hate the other, for some immutable reason. Then, no matter how much the other character showered them with love, the hater would never allow romance to occur.

    Like it was said, there are ways to make it impossible, so try to focus on that!
     
  16. Anonym
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    I don't particlarly like to humor the whole "Help, my character is doing X, when they should be doing Y!!" thing..
    They're your creations, you have complete control over them essentially. Although I think some amount of sexual/romantic tension is good for a story, I believe I can understand your frustration with the... seeming convenience of 'letting' 2 MC's fall in love, perhaps.
    But ultimately, yeah - they're your puppets. If things went a little farther than you intended: highlight, delete & start over from the part that is still true to your intentions. Otherwise, I sorta think the perception of characters as semi-autonomous prediposes a writer to letting them run wilder than they would if they didn't, if that makes sense.

    Good luck. Interesting OP.
     
  17. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I really like Cog's idea. That could be really interesting.
     
  18. chinaski
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    chinaski New Member

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    Making the characters older gives them more experience with love which often means a better understanding of what they are looking for in a relationship. Perhaps drawing on the characters past relationships will prevent them from just jumping head first into the next romantic tryst and allow for further plot development without getting bogged down in the affection.
     
  19. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Platonic relationships can become dull, fast, while romances all too easily become cheesy and mushy... Unrequited love, however, makes for endless tension.

    Unfulfilled desires of some kind is what lies at the very core of a story's drive, give characters motivation and propel things forward.
     
  20. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    Give your characters a hangup, a traumatic sexual experience, a strict religious upbringing, a physical deformity, or an STD.
     
  21. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    They can have feelings for one another and never feel they can express them too. Happens all the time, and adds tension to a relationship.

    There is always that not unfounded fear that taking it to the next level could destroy a great friendship.
     
  22. Sang Hee
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    Sang Hee Contributing Member

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    So many options on how to solve this and I don't really offer any good ones but still...

    What I would do is rush them quickly into it just for them to find out they don't really want it and break up.

    Or simply delete the whole part about them falling in love. Stick to your main idea and don't even scratch any possibility of romance.

    I wrote a story where the characters seemed as if there was something between them but in the end it proved untrue and they didn't end up together.
     
  23. constant scribbler
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    It think it is important to mention that not all of us hate romance novels. I write romantic fantasy. If you do it correctly you can put that romance in the book without loosing the plot. To do so you just have to have their relashionship develop because of what happens. If two characters of the opposite sex and near the same age are spending large amounts of time together working towards the same goal there is a good chance their freindship will become more, there is no problem with that.

    If you don't want their love to be predictable then have them break up near the end. If you do it before they finish their goal be aware that there will be tension between them which might make it harder to complete the goal. Other people have had good ideas (like Cog's idea, or that one of them has a problem with emotional connections). Just pick the one that is the best for your story.
     
  24. Sang Hee
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    Sang Hee Contributing Member

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    True, if you can't keep them from romancing then make sure that it furthers the plot. For example, I would consider reading about them dating as a waste of time but if it would make something happen that's relevant to the main story, like meeting a villain while on a date, then I'd be up for it.
     
  25. Alex_Hartman
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    Alex_Hartman Contributing Member

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    To me, it sounds like they shouldn't be falling for each other in the first place. Like a compromise just won't cut it. In that case, maybe try changing something really small...for instance, in a phone call, change an answer from a "yes" into a "no" and see what changes because of it.

    And it doesn't sound like changing their age will be beneficial. For example, a teenage kid might not want their MC to be 35 with three kids because they've never been 35 with three kids.
     

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