1. Flashfire07
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    Flashfire07 Active Member

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    Subtle romantic interaction

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Flashfire07, May 12, 2011.

    For the story I'm writing I plan on having two of my male characters develop a relationship over the course of the storyline, it starts out with one having romantic intentions but due to a fear of appearing unmanly he starts out VERY subtle. My issue is writing this subtlety, how would he go about making it clear he's interested without being too overt?
     
  2. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    Maybe approaching his love interest as a buddy, start spending time with him, inviting him to soccer games, and things like that? Maybe they could go to even manlier sports, where sweaty, bare-chested men grapple each other. :)
     
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  3. Chachi Bobinks
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    Chachi Bobinks Senior Member

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    Depends on your POV. For example, if you're writing 1st person limited, you could have your MC notice a lingering look or the change of tone when the one in love speaks with the other one. Your MC would have to be non-reactive to it; a simple statement that shows that he acknowledged what happened would be fine. Maybe the subtle one uses kinder words with him and is brash and slightly abrasive with everyone else. Or maybe he helps him out in ways he doesn't help other people. Flirtatious dialogue can always be freely abused, too!

    You have to keep a delicate balance in this situation. If you want it to be subtle, you have to state what he would do and then make sure that you in no way reveal it yourself. I'd say write out their interactions and then go over it with a fine tooth comb. Make sure nothing screams attraction.
     
  4. Froggy
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    Froggy Member

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    Or, he completely speaks his mind, but always makes it sound like a joke...

    Bickering and fighting always work, it causes more interaction and makes the one pay more attention to the other, mind, it might backfire a bit too...
     
  5. cybrxkhan
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    cybrxkhan Contributing Member

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    Also depends on the personalities of both characters and how their relationship plays out. For instance, if the character trying to start a relationship knows the other character is, say, very paranoid and overreactive, then they might have to approach the situation more cautiously and throw around a lot more hints. But if both characters are very open with another and are extremely comfortable sharing anything and everything with each other, then perhaps it might not be so difficult to relay their feelings for each other.
     
  6. ithestargazer
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    ithestargazer Active Member

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    Often the best romantic relationships start with the small things, as said above in some other replies. Things like a lingering glance, an accidental touch, or a drunken joke. Gradually you could introduce less subtle hints, like one feeling the other's breath, noticing a haircut and even getting jealous.
     
  7. Primequis
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    Primequis New Member

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    A subject I can best suggest to research is Ho Yay. Ho Yay is more where homo erotic elements are more ways to read subtext so while it's not overt, it can be interpreted as such. Looking over many examples of how it's been done could help you big time.
     
  8. Flashfire07
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    Flashfire07 Active Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion everyone, this is the first time I have attempted to write romance and I am petrified I'll do it wrong. Subtle is the keyword here, I have some scenes planned but they are too overt for anyone with any intelligence to miss.
     
  9. JTheGreat
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    JTheGreat Contributing Member

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    TvTropes five :D!

    Don't make it too blatant, or state it outright. Like, don't make other characters gush about the two lovebirds together, but do try and show that they spend more time together than the MC does with other friends, but don't portray that as anything unusual. Or, if written in first-person, drop some throwaway comments of how he admires his love-interest as a person, and such. Many people write this unintentionally, so doing it on purpose is rather intriguing :).
     
  10. Jessica_312
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    Jessica_312 Contributing Member

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    A seemingly innocent touch or even a lingering gaze that he thinks the other character doesn't notice. Maybe he starts by confiding in the other character a lot, trusting them to talk about their problems and also being very complimentary towards the other person. Maybe he starts making a habit of making contact without even really thinking about it (a manly, but also playful, "shoulder punch", that sort of affectionate gesture - and the touches can gradually become more "affectionate", ""more-than-friends" touches - like, graduate from a shoulder punch to a hand on the knee while talking, that sort of thing.). Maybe his gazes linger for just a moment longer than normal. Just some ideas.

    I agree
     
  11. mootz
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    mootz Member

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    An incidental touch here and there. An invitation for an event where one of the other main characters notices he or she isnt invited. Laughing at jokes that aren't funny. Falling down on top of each other and not getting up immediately.

    Kinda cliche some of those. Depending on the story you can those in more organically so its actually subtle.
     
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