1. Oracle Ruby

    Oracle Ruby Member

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    Help With How To Get Two Characters To Get Together

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Oracle Ruby, Nov 29, 2020.

    Hey there! I'm very new when it comes to writing and been wanting to get help for ages.

    I'm writing a romance in which my characters Vanessa and Michael would meet in a cafe. (very cliche, but I don't care) It would be set in a fictional harbor city in Australia based on my home city; the year would be 1985. I like the concept of them being acquaintances to friends then lovers.

    Vanessa: a single working mother - birthday is 21st July 1964 - lives in a working-class suburb with her son and older sister - raised in foster care and group homes around western Sydney - doesn't know her parents - was in an abusive relationship with her son's father and left him before knowing she was pregnant - she moved with her sister to get away from her ex as he had been stalking her - gave birth to her son at the age of 19 - her son's father is not in the picture (he doesn't know about the child) - works at the cafe - the owner of the cafe has become her mother figure and became close friends with her co-worker - is only open to a select few of people in her life, shy, sweet, protective, not interested in relationships

    Michael: a university student studying Bachelor of Education (secondary) - birthday is 4th January 1964 - lives in a unit with two of his friends near the university - part of the Drama society - tutors a high school student on Friday afternoons - eldest of 10 children - his sister was 5 months, and he was 2 years old when their birth mother passed away - father remarried - is close to both his father and stepmother - has a few close friends - has a younger brother that is around Vanessa's son's age -not really interested in relationships - friendly with everyone - a bit of a perfectionist - likes to help out when he can, protective as well - serious


    I have been using the 'donjon; fantasy calendar generator' to help with the timeline and actual dates from 1985. I have put in birthdays, events, holidays, etc., in the timeline as well.

    It just I don't know how to get them together. Vanessa's schedule would be alright; She works either morning or afternoon shifts during the week and has the weekend off. It's Michael's schedule, which is making it hard because he attends uni all week, his drama society club is on Tuesday, Wednesday & Fridays at 4.00 pm, tutors a high student on Friday afternoons, Saturday is usually his free day off, and on Sunday morning he attends church with his mother's side of the family and has Sunday dinner to spend time with his father's side of the family. And I'm not sure what would be too slow/fast in the stages of their relationship.

    My original concept was that Michael and his friends study at the cafe because one of his friends/roommates Mark, had a cousin who started working there, and Mark really wanted to see his cousin at work. The boys decided to have lunch there a week before the first semester began, and they thought that Mark would be working when they came in, but he had worked that morning and was served by Vanessa instead. They would come back the next day for lunch to see Mark's cousin, and the next week they would study before class every morning.

    I'm happy to discuss anything and tweak some things. I would appreciate the help.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2020
  2. cosmic lights

    cosmic lights Contributor Contributor

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    Hi and welcome.
    Firstly romance is not at all my genre but I have seen a few good ones done well. The key is conflict. Usually "getting together" is not the character's goal and not something they are even aware of in the beginning of the story. Also, we as human beings have wants, desires and things we are striving towards. You want this meeting to seem inevitable. Most romances are unexpected in the sense that someone was pursuing a goal or just living their life when they met their other half.
    My aim would be to add in some conflict. Example: two lawyers.
    Lawyer ones goal is to prove her client is innocent of some accusation
    Lawyer two's goal is to prove he/she is guilty and that his client is in the right. So maybe they could be divorce lawyers. You could play with this idea at lot. They both have an ordinary goal and are thrown together through their job. Romances follow a formula of boy meets girl and they don't like each other much. The conflict is there all ready.
    But there needs to be more to the characters.

    All you've given us is a rough backstory. They don't feel like humans to me, just characters have created. Give them a life outside the romance and this life is what throws them together. What you have so far isn't that interesting. So they meet in a cafe. Ok. What about if her friend is the ex girlfriend of Michael's best mate or brother and there's a bit of a clashing and Vanessa gets dragged into it.
    Do some research on the formula of romances and maybe that might give you some ideas. It's not them meeting in the cafe that needs to change. It's not a place problem but a situation problem. There needs to be conflict from the very beginning.
     
  3. Oracle Ruby

    Oracle Ruby Member

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    Would this be alright? Vanessa and Michael's stepmother Anna would enlist their kids in swimming lessons (Anna enrolled her youngest two Dani & Egan; but Dani would be in Kindy lessons that have 2 to 3 yrs old in it on Tuesday afternoons, while Egan is in the babies' swimming class on Monday afternoons, which would be the same with Vanessa's kid Coby.

    Michael and his sister Raquel are in university, and their classes tend to finish early on Monday, and they try to help their family as much as they can. Michael or Raquel would pick up their younger siblings (Reuben - 10, Adam - 8, Sophie - 6, and Dani - 2 ½ ) at the preschool and primary school and babysit them until Anna and Egan come home (Michael would do one week, and Raquel would do the next week)

    Anna would become friends with Vanessa, first noticing that Vanessa doesn't interact with the other mothers at swimming lessons and talks to her before and after the classes. Vanessa wouldn't meet Michael until 17 days later at the cafe.

    Michael's little brother John (14 ½-year-old) has behavioral problems at home and school, so Anna books him a child psychologist, and the dates that she can only book him are on Egan's swimming lessons, so Michael steps in to take Egan to swimming lessons, thinking that they would have a big brother/little brother bonding time.

    The swimming lessons for Egan and Coby first starts on the 4th of February - the last swimming lesson that Anna has with Egan would be on the 25th of February, which would mean that Anna has four weeks of doing swimming lessons with Egan. Michael would go on the 4th of March, which would be the fifth week of swimming lessons, and he would go on to do four more weeks. The date that Vanessa and Mike would meet at the cafe would be on the 21st of February.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2020
  4. Oracle Ruby

    Oracle Ruby Member

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    Should I scrap that/this idea of mine? And think of something else entirely?
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2020

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