1. JulesAnne

    JulesAnne New Member

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    Introducing Love Interest(s)

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by JulesAnne, Sep 20, 2022.

    In the novel I am currently writing (i'm still very much at the beginning stages) I had an idea to have my main character (MC) like one person and they become close throughout the book and the readers think that they are the love interest, but then at the end the person betrays my MC (and possibly dies) and then the true love interest is introduced at the end as a plot twist/cliff hanger. I want to make this be at least a 2 book series. I was wondering if that is a good idea to entertain or if that just makes things confusing.
     
  2. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor Blogerator

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    I don't know much about romance as a genre, but I'd think as long as the first love interest isn't just a red herring, meaning as long as it's real and meaningful to them both as the beginning of something special, then I don't see why not. Be careful that it doesn't come across as just a bait and switch though.

    That means they would have to actually BE the love interest at this point, so don't write it from this kind of perspective:

     
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  3. N.Scott

    N.Scott Active Member

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    Reading your post, my initial thought was that I would hate to be con like that(especially if your novel is indeed a romance like @Xoic thought.) But then I remember the 'seemingly-love-interest-truned-fasle-at-the-end' has been done so successfully in one of Agatha's novels.
    Three Act Tragedy
    I think the key is how you write it so that readers would understand the betrayal of said love interest but wouldn't feel betrayed by you the author.
     
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  4. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Book Witch Contributor

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    This has also been done in a number of movies, too. Most notably, Frozen (Anna/Hans).

    I dont think it will be confusing. You would just have to make this new love interest make sense and not suddenly throw him at readers like a wild Ratatat.
    Maybes hes there all along (or from the midpoint on), but the MC and readers realize his potential at the end?
     
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  5. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor Blogerator

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    That sounds like a reversal of all those 80's movies where the MC (guy) has a cute tomboyish female friend who's in love with him but he doesn't know it, and she helps him get a date with the hottest girl in school, and then he realizes how shallow she is and how perfect his 'girl Friday' actually is for him. Only I'm not sure the last part actually ever happened in any of those movies, did it?
     
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  6. N.Scott

    N.Scott Active Member

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    I don't know why but I never get around to watching that movie even though I heard so many great things about it.
    Another thing I want to mention is sometimes we writers get frustrated over plots similar to our own, but it's important not to be discourage by them but to learn from them. I think that's one of the benefits of reading/watching widely.
     
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  7. JulesAnne

    JulesAnne New Member

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    Thank you everyone for your input! you all gave me a lot to think about. I probably should have put in that the book I'm writing is a young adult fantasy with romance in it, it is not just a romance book so the love interest(s) are not the main plot line of the story. I'm not sure if that helps or not.
     
  8. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor Blogerator

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    I think you have a much wider latitude for what's allowable or what you can get away with since it's not a romance novel. People expect pretty strict adherence to certain things in the genre of romance. But since the romance is just a part of a larger story those expectations aren't there.
     
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  9. Louanne Learning

    Louanne Learning Happy Wonderer Contributor Contest Winner 2022 Contest Winner 2024 Contest Winner 2023

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    I think it's important to introduce the one who gets to be the true love interest early in the story. It won't work well if he/she comes out of nowhere well into the story.
     
  10. Lawless

    Lawless Active Member

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    This looks like a very good idea to me.
     
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  11. hmnut

    hmnut Member

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    Rather than letting my bias against the concept of love interest per se take over I'll just make suggestions and TC can take it or ignore it.

    As I love a good betrayal story, do that.

    But it seems the most controversial ideas are killing off the old love interest and then bringing in the real love interest. Depending on how this is done it could be good or horribly bad.

    A lot of people dislike stories where as soon as the MC loses a love interest a new one shows up.

    So 2 quick fixes.

    1. Don't kill off the original love interest, you want to keep OG love interest around as a potential love interest/obstacle that could come back, you don't even have to bring OG back just the possibility that OG could come back opens the doors in the readers mind.

    2. Don't wait until the OG love interest is gone to 'introduce' the new love interest. Introduce the new love interest at least a few chapters before the OG love interest is out of the picture. Ideally you want to introduce the new love interest at or right before the height of the MC and OG love interest's romance, when it is clear MC and OG are or headed to become an 'official couple.' Also the new love interest should not introduced with any suggestion of being a potential love interest but just as a supporting character.

    By the time you get to early book 2 and Newbie's relationship with MC starts heating up it won't feel like newbie showed up just to be a love interest.

    Or you know don't do that if it doesn't work with your narrative.
     
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  12. LadySerpentine

    LadySerpentine New Member

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    I agree with @Louanne Learning. Introduce the real love interest early on. With some good, subtle writing, your readers will subconsciously be rooting for the real love interest all along, and the ending will feel satisfying rather than frustrating.
     
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  13. Glenn Middleton

    Glenn Middleton New Member

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    misdirection might be a better term, MC starts having feelings for someone, but that someone helps the MC connect with their true love.
     
  14. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Admin Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I'd agree that the real love interest needs to be in the picture early, even if the mc doesn't realise that they are attracted to them... that's a well trodden path in the romance genre. Introducing them for the first time at the end will leave the reader feeling cheated. like an emotional deus ex machina ending
     
  15. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    Don't kill off the first love interest just because it's not going to work out between the do of them. Seriously, that seems like sort of a cheap move IMO. And there is far too much death in literature. I think your story could be stronger if you can make it work without offing the first lover in order for the second lover to move in.
     

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