1. archerfenris
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    archerfenris Active Member

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    Relationships: Writing Realistic Romance and Hate

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by archerfenris, Jul 6, 2013.

    If your characters are underdeveloped, if you're rushing, if you're trying to cram a love story where one doesn't fit, you get an unrealistic romance that doesn't feel genuine. This can be the same for rivalry.

    I'm attempting to begin a long, complex relationship with multiple characters. One of these relationships will be a romance. I have a unique challenge, however, in that the romance will fall apart rather quickly. We all remember high school; dating someone and being infatuated with them, but after a certain amount of time, we no longer find interest in them, even despise them, and begin to wonder how we even liked them in the first place.

    Does anyone have any advice/ tips on doing this. The falling in "love" (more like lust I suppose, in this case) isn't what is the problem. I'm wondering what happens when the falling out begins. How do you go from thinking you like someone alot, to realizing you were never compatable in the first place?
     
  2. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    What did you have in mind, as regards your two 'characters?' What kind of people are they? Sounds like you've already got some of this figured out. It will be easier for me to offer suggestions if I've got a framework to work with. Are they popular people? Do looks come into it? Status, money, athleticism, intelligence, similar likes and dislikes, etc? Give me more to go on, and I'm sure I can offer a few suggestions. The topic, as you've presented it, is just a bit too general—at the moment—for me to get my teeth sunk into it!
     
  3. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    It also matters if the gal leaves, the guy leaves or they both mutually part. And it matters how old they are during this. Reasons for high school infatuation not panning out are different from a longer relationship where one grows apart from one's partner.
     
  4. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    You're presenting a very general, vague question. Really, just portray it as it would happen in real life -- the characters aren't really so interested in spending time together, aren't interested in the same activities, the conversation doesn't flow, they go for days without talking or seeing each other and barely notice or care, one or both might start thinking about other people, etc.
     
  5. archerfenris
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    archerfenris Active Member

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    Hmm. Well I figured to be general cause I'm not exactly sure where to go, not to mention others way read this with a similar question. But if you need specifics, specifics you shall have!

    Indeed here's what I have figured out. We have the female main character who is undergoing alot of change in her life in an incredibly small amount of time. Although I didn't exactly intend this to happen it seems she's growing up extremely fast. She goes from a very care-free "Kesha" (My loving adjective to describe all things shallow and overly thoughtless) type of life to being thrown into a dangerous world where she'll begin experiencing things like alcohol, drugs, sex, war and violence. She basically goes from a world where life is easy to a world where life is much, much harder and where hardship is present every day. Basically replace your college years of alcohol, drug, and sexual experimentation and put that instead into a violent medieval world and you have what she's going through.

    During her adventure she has alot of firsts due to the fact that she's seen as an adult in this new world, no longer a child. Experiences include alcohol, violence, and a war breaks out with her front stage to watch all the suffering of it. During this she'll meet a young man she finds to be intelligent, attractive, and socially adept with conversations etc. They have alot in common, which is why they hit it off and this leads to her first sexual experience. But also, later it seems he's almost too much like her? And maybe he says things that she doesn't want to hear? I'm very fuzzy on exactly what STARTS the falling out (oh but I know what drops it off the cliff!). So I appeal to you ladies and gentlemen for advice.

    [MENTION=53143]GingerCoffee[/MENTION]
    I believe the girl will originally drop the guy on false information. When she finds out it's false she tries to patch things up but the guy will feel far too offended to do that. ish? Like I said I'm not exactly sure what to do with it.

    Hope that's enough specifics!
     
  6. Folcro
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    Folcro New Member

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    What might work best is that the love was empty from the start, and to leave hints of that as you flesh out what appears on the surface (even to the reader) to be a loving, fulfilling relationship. Then, the falling out, all the hints and subtle foreshadowing you included before begin to expand and worsen.
     
  7. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I find myself wondering about this part. A person who grows up shallow and thoughtless is, IMO, not a person that grew up with a good life. I realize that many children and teenagers _appear_ to have no deep feelings, thoughts, or loyalties, but I think that that's just a facade that they put up against the adult world.

    So I would say that either she has depths, or she has grown up starved of human contact, or in a negative or abusive situation, so that she suppresses those depths. Either way, her background is important. What she loved, what she hated, what made her feel safe, what made her afraid, what makes her feel proud, what makes her feel shame. What feelings she cannot bear - being unloved? Feeling shame?

    If this were my story, I would be focusing heavily on loss - what she's lost, what she wants back. Or, if that shallow carelessness came from deprivation in her past, I might be focusing on what she felt cheated of and seeks to find in this new life. Either scenario comes down to what she _wants_. The love she used to have, or the love she never had. The safety she used to have, the safety that she wants now. The freedom she never had, that she relishes now despite the fear.

    She wants. And the guy gives her what she wants. Or he threatens what she wants even more. She wants love, but he threatens her safety, and safety wins, so he has to go. Or she wants safety, but she fears love, and he loves her, so he has to go.

    Those are my thoughts, anyway.
     
  8. jmhoffer
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    jmhoffer Contributing Member

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    Wisdom comes from experience.

    I'm personally obsessed with finding someone who is like me, which recently was (part of) the downfall to my relationship.

    Evolution gears us towards people that are our opposites, not our equals. We naturally find people that have strengths that would compliment our weaknesses to be attractive. This causes short-term, but very fun relationships.

    However, when two people have a lot in common, they can clash like mad. Two very headstrong people (as was the case in my relationship) having a difference of opinion can lead to a fight that can end an otherwise perfect relationship. Displays of what one views as weakness can quickly deteriorate from sympathy to resentment. Conversely, two meek people will never be able to decide on what to do and the relationship will end from pure boredom.

    Other issues that can start a relationship breakdown are independence, codependence and dependence. I was very independent and was working so long that I didn't have time to deal with my very dependent girlfriend. After a month of being tired and not talking much, except when she would bother me and leave me irritated when she knew I needed rest, she kicked me out with a note.

    Family and friends can be another source of tension. In my case, my family and friends were supportive while hers were not. Her family was very manipulative and childish and tended to drag her down (she was much smarter than them and could have done a lot with her life, but probably won't due to the influence her family has on her). Her friends were mostly guys that despised me.

    Past relationships can also come into play. On my end, I had an ex that cheated on me. Even though I trusted her completely, I couldn't contain the distrust created via that incident.

    Hope that helps.
     
  9. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    She's pretty green, so she might make mistakes that piss of the guy which, in turn, creates tension?

    either of them
    -flirts with others, compliments others' looks
    -shares their sexual experiences with others
    -embarrasses him/her in public (makes him look like a less of a man before other guys.. big deal to some guys. Understandably)
    -is horny all the time/too busy or whatever to hotbunk
    -talks of exes all the time
    -the guy talks of his mom too much
    -either of them is forgetful, has a tendency to lie, or make promises they aren't planning to keep
    -borrow the other's weapons and horse without asking

    -the boy could meet an ex lay, he won't tell her to piss off, the girlfriend gets pissy at that, a fight ensues...

    I mean, there are so many ways to create friction between the characters that will eventually break them off. Especially if the other is pissed off at a certain trait in their lover, then they meet someone who seems to be the opposite in that regard, and end up cheating. Also, if one of the characters has e.g. a short fuse or they are a mean drunk, that also causes problems.
     
  10. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    It sounds like your problem isn't the relationship but that you don't seem to know your own story and/or characters. If there's no reason for their breaking up, then why should they? Don't inject a story element just because it's what you want - but do it because that's just what the characters would do, just the way it HAS to happen because of the way their lives turn out.

    What you have to figure out right now isn't how you should write the break-up of their relationship, but figure out WHY aren't they compatible? Once you know why, you'll know how to write the deterioration of their relationship.
     
  11. archerfenris
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    archerfenris Active Member

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    Excellent. Pretty much what I was thinking but I could add the subtle foreshadowing.

    It's a problem the new generation is facing. There was an article I read somewhere about the dangers of the "hook-up" culture that, according to the writer, has become blown out of control and is now leaving young people with empty relationships that give them nothing (other than sexual gratification). It may be affecting the happiness of the "youngins" apparently. Quick, care-free sex that is later regretted when it leads to nothing cannot compare to a long lasting relationship that feeds happiness through feeling connected to someone.


    Very good. She used to have a disability so I may use this in the future. She HATES being seen as not capable or different from others. However, she's also been thrown into this dangerous world where she used to have food, shelter, clothes, love, etc provided for her by her family. A man who provides love and safety would certainly appeal to her. And as others have suggested, there is any number of things I can do to cause a falling out.
     
  12. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Sounds an awful lot like my family. :D If I wasn't so headstrong, my family would cause a lot more problems in my marriage, but they've learned from experience I'd rather cut them out of my life than sacrifice my relationship, so nowadays they present less problems. However, if the character in the story hasn't the age / maturity to stand up to dominant parents, it can cause a lot of strain on a relationship, especially one that's new and hasn't stabilized yet.


    Don't you just hate that? And why is it that those guyfriends are always loudmouths (especially when speaking behind your back or online) that turn into chicken shit when you confront them face to face? But again, if the character is a bit wimpy, guys like that will walk all over him and cause all kinds of misery, even a breakup. Sometimes a relationship can even end if the girl is very fond of such a guyfriend, the boyfriend punches his lights out, the girl gets all pissy about it and dumps the boyfriend who, in her eyes, should've just endured the insults, snide remarks, and other guys (guys who "just want to be friends") flirting with his girl in "proud silence."

    A guy's female friends vs. his girlfriend can present problems too, but in my experience it's usually more subtle with girls (although there are definitely exceptions to this rule as well). Stuff like only inviting the guy to parties while "forgetting" to invite his girlfriend, engaging only him in discussion while ignoring the girlfriend's attempts to strike up a conversation, flirting with him, bossing him around to show that he's pussy-whipped except not by the girlfriend, but by his female friend, and other power plays like that.
     

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