1. Night Queen
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    Night Queen New Member

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    Realistic Love?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Night Queen, Jul 4, 2012.

    Okay, this is probably going to sound a little bit silly but here it goes. I just finished my first book recently and while rereading it I've developed some doubts. While the book is mostly action and suspense there are certain parts that are supposed to be "romantic." it is supposed to be the first in the trilogy so there's not too much, but enough to show an interest. Also, it's probably important that i mention that my two characters, the two that are supposed to fall for each other, have been best friends since childhood, so the idea of loving the other isn't something they are going to particularly embrace. Never having actually been in love I'm not quite sure how to develope the feelings without sounding cheesy. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Michipanda
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    Michipanda Member

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    Hmm, I think the best way in the case of childhood friends is to show gradual or a case of "closed-ness" between the two. What I mean by that is that the two have a space that no one can really enter. Such as always being together and knowing "petty" things that no one else knows. You can also use other minor characters to show the development of the two friends through dialogue. (i.e. "You and mike are just about inseparable, are you sure you two aren't dating?" Jane asks.) Of course you can add more flair and finesse to make it more appealing to the reader.

    Also, the fact that they are friends shouldn't be so much of a hindrance to draw out. If anything, since a the intimate feeling is already present (just in different context,) switching it to another level of intimacy should be easier than starting from two star-crossed lovers who happen to fall in love at first sight without a clue of each others' name.

    Hope that helps and good luck
     
  3. killbill
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    killbill Contributing Member

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    You need a situation where both or one of the character realize/felt their love for each other is not limited to friendship. Example: A sudden feeling of jealousy when a third character flirt with one of them. They may quickly dismiss the event and their feelings because romance is not a plot in this book, but you have planted a seed in the readers' mind.

    Or, don't make the character straight away realize the love because they are not aware of it but you can show the readers that there is clearly romance involve in their relationship. Example: Boy decided to miss a game he has been waiting for months because the girl is down with cold and he doesn't want to leave her alone.
     
  4. Lumipon
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    Lumipon Member

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    ^ I concur. Subtle is the way to go.

    The thing you want to do is to blur the lines between friendship and romantic love. With them being childhood friends, I can assume their relationship is almost like a sibling bond. Closer than closest friends, but not lovers. Now, if one of them would start to have romantic feeling for another... DRAMA!

    The second thing you need to realize is that people fall in (romantic!) love for various reasons that usually have something to do with why they are friends in the first place. Do they always get along, does one admire other's achievements/personality, are they rivals, does one feel like he/she needs to protect the other etc..?

    These strong feelings can easily lead to romantic love and, in a way, define their relationship far into the future.

    And finally, the third thing you need to keep in mind is that with romantic love there will always be sexual attraction (the "final" barrier of intimacy). Assuming that their relationship is almost akin to a brother and sister, strong affection towards the other are kind of a given. So do the characters even realize that their feelings are romantic, or merely a by-product of their time spent together? And is a romantic relationship truly an upgrade for what they have right now? What if one of them just wants things to stay how they are? What if kiss or do the deed and nothing feels different?

    These are just examples, but the core idea stays the same. Just remember: The nature of the previous relationship + sexual attraction + conflicting feelings = drama.
     
  5. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Cheesy is fine - when it comes to romance, a LOT of people like cheese. The crucial thing is really atmosphere. With the right atmosphere, cheesy would be super romantic. With the wrong atmosphere, cheesy would be cheap and disgusting and fake.

    I have something similar in my novel. Childhood friends, they separate cus the girl moves away. Years later they're both adults and she returns. I have a scene when they're sitting out on the grass (they're travelling somewhere, fantasy medieval setting) and they're just chatting, looking at stars cus they used to do that as kids (see the cheese creeping in? heh) and I just have the girl's heart start pounding and wondering if he'd kiss her. He doesn't, and after a pleasant and jokey conversation he leaves for bed. Generic and cheesy? Hell yeh. Romantic? Definitely. It's all in the mood of the scene, and it's actually very simple.

    But perhaps it's easier for me cus I'm a girl and a romantic? :D
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Many such stories are escapism anyway, so realism can certainly yield to a fine aged Cheddar.
     
  7. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    You've received excellent advice from everyone above. The key is to keep it subtle. Show each of them thinking about the other and making sacrifices (large or small) for the other's benefit. Eventually you could show one thinking more and more about kissing (or more) the other, or a scene where they "accidentally" kiss or something. (Maybe after some particularly traumatic or dramatic event) This would then cause quite a bit of thinking about whether going in this direction is the thing to do.

    And of course, almost everyone (secretly or overtly) roots for romance.
     
  8. Cassiopeia Phoenix
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    Cassiopeia Phoenix Contributing Member

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    Not everyone roots for romance, but I think the "show don't tell" rules applies rather nicely here if you don't want your story to be covered with Gouda. The main character doesn't really need to go on paragraphs and paragraphs especifically telling her feelings for the other characters for the readers to pick up what's going on.

    That is my advice. If it's worth anything.
     
  9. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I read a great ya short story by Norma Fox Mazer about two best friends falling for each other.
    Everything, like the others said, was subtle.
    There was an incident when the boy was dishing up ice cream for his baby sister and said "careful honey , it's really cold." And the girl was suddenly struck that this wasn't just her best friend but a kind caring , sexy young man. I recall a focus on the sun hitting his hair , perhaps the hair on his legs but not sure.
    Then when they went on their yearly camping trip to the woods , a drop in temperature forces the two to share a sleeping bag. Though nothing sexual happens the forced embrace causes them to later on admit their feelings for one another.
     
  10. A. Nelix
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    A. Nelix New Member

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    I understand what you are saying. You obviously want something subtle, how about letting the two of them going to some party and he tells her she looks beautiful and they dance a slow dance.

    Another option is having one of them forgo plans they had before to stay and help the other.

    Or you could make her go on a date that ends terrible and she calls him to come and pick her up. When he picks her up she starts to cry and he tells her that she is beautiful and anyone will be lucky to date her.
     
  11. Night Queen
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    Night Queen New Member

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    See, i would do that except this book is paranormal. When running for their lives from a bunch of supernatural creatures they don't have much time for romance. I actually think that's what's making it harder on me. :p
     
  12. lasm
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    lasm Member

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    You might try watching the X-files, probably seasons 5 or 6. That show played a lot with the MCs' suppressed attractions to each other, at times pretty successfully IMO. And they do a lot of running from supernatural creatures, too.
     
  13. nephlm
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    nephlm Member

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    So there was a recent study called 'Benefit or burden? Attraction in cross-sex friendship' It got some coverage in the press because it involved sex. The bullet points look like this:
    * Most men at some point are attracted to their female friends and believe their female friend is attracted to them.
    * Most women do not report that attraction, and don't believe their male friends are attracted to them
    ** However there is a phenomena where these women will engage in nurturing behaviors which the male could be forgiven for misinterpreting (an example I heard during an interview was a woman who spontaneously did her male friends laundry for no particular reason)
    * a 'cost' of having such a cross gender friendship is not being so attracted to others (perhaps comparing potential partners to the friend?)
    ** I read some comments about the article suggesting a certain possessiveness. (We're just friends, but I will not introduce you to any of my single friends.)

    If you want subtle and minimal cheese think about weaving those attitudes in.

    Also in this context you might want to think less about romance and more about physicality. These characters already have a deeply committed relationship with mutual respect and caring. They already know each others virtues and vices. What may change is the nurturing and protectiveness as each gradually marks the other to society as their man/woman. "Here wear my jacket." (So everyone knows you're with me.) "It's warmer." The ambiguous, confusing touches which could mean something but might not. And they're confusing even to the one doing the touching.

    At some point they will notice that they are more than just idly attracted to the other. At some point they may end up even doing something about that.

    Those are my low cheese, credible suggestions.
     

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