1. Writes15

    Writes15 New Member

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    Romance and Relationships

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Writes15, Dec 19, 2016.

    Hi guys!
    Yet another post about the same book, sorry!
    In a novel I am planning, my two main characters eventually get to together but this isn't a romance novel and they're romance isn't central or the driver of the plot.
    The MC female holds some deep insecurities and trust issues and the MC male holds guilt about his past which has been the inner thing keeping them together but building their relationship.
    This is a bit of a two part question so bear with me:
    1: When they finally get together, if they have a solid relationship and the conflict is more so in the stuff going on around them; Is that going to bore people?

    2: Could you recommend some books with some well written relationships that aren't the centre focus of the book and aren't romance?
     
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  2. Lifeline

    Lifeline South. Staff Contributor

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    It would help if you could state the genre ;) For scifi I recommend 'Shards of honor' by McMaster Bujld. Or 'Memory' by the same author. In fact, all her books are about relationships in various forms and I have learned loads just from her characters and how they interact - how that makes a book or breaks it (for me).
     
  3. jannert

    jannert Retired Mod Supporter Contributor

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    That is a dilemma I faced in my own novel. I don't know how effective my own approach was, but if romance isn't the central issue in your story, make sure you start with what IS the central issue. Get that main story arc firmly set up before you introduce the possibility of romance. That way, your readers will want to know how the main story arc turns out. Try to weave the romance in to the rest of the story as well as you can.

    One way to do this is to put the romantic relationship in jeopardy. If the two lovers get together partway through the book, this will make each of them more anxious about the other. If one or the other is threatened in any way afterwards, this will impact on the story and keep the reader on board. A solid relationship 'ups' the stakes. Neither of them will want something bad to happen to the other, which makes each of them more vulnerable than they were before.

    They can also work together to solve the central problem of the story, and this can happen after their romance is acknowledged as well as before. Many romances have the characters working together, and their collaboration causes them both to become romantically involved at the end. However, that isn't a formula you must follow.

    The mistake would come if you get so sidetracked by the romance that readers forget something else is going on. Don't let that happen.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2016
  4. Writes15

    Writes15 New Member

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    Of course! Silly me It's Superhero/Aventure. I'll definitely check her books out, thank you so much.
     
  5. Writes15

    Writes15 New Member

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    Thank you so much for the advice!
    I wanted them to both build realistically and because of what's happening around them and the inner insecurities the MC has, they don't get together for awhile.
    But I pictured them in my mind and thought of them as having a solid relationship after all this time but I'd also read a few things contradicting what I was thinking. Which definitely got me curious as to others thoughts on it.
     
  6. Mckk

    Mckk Member Supporter Contributor

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    I'm not sure I get the connection? You have already said, this is not a romance novel, nor is romance the driver of the plot. So readers are not there primarily for the romance, so why should their solid relationship affect whether your actual, central plot is boring or not?

    And why should a solid relationship, regardless of genre, be boring at all? It's almost as if people are buying into the myth that marriage is dull and extending this to fiction... I enjoy the romantic scenes for the romance - I'm not as into the "will they get together" because in romances, you know they always will. It's more about the how. There can also be more things keeping the characters apart other than the threat of actually breaking up.

    Anyway, I think in your case, it's not the solid relationship potentially boring readers you need to worry about. It's more a case of making sure the romance doesn't become too much of a focus that your non-romance readers would end up finding it boring. It's not the fact that the relationship is solid that would bore - it's the fact that you have non-romance readers who generally do not care much for romance arcs being made to read romance, and therefore an overdose or over-emphasis of romance would turn these readers, your target readers, off.
     
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  7. Seren

    Seren Writeaholic

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    I agree with @Mckk - a solid relationship should not be boring at all. While I personally love to read about the getting together, I also love to read about what happens when the characters are together. Getting together is only the start of a journey in a relationship. Plus, if you end up writing some tense scenes, the reader might feel even more worried about the characters when they know that they are in a solid relationship and obviously care very much about each other. That way you don't just worry about Character A getting hurt, because you know if Character A is hurt then Character B will also (at least emotionally) be hurt because they love Character A so much.
     
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  8. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    Try reading some of the Scarpetta series by Patricia Cornwell. (Scarpetta is a forensic Coroner, if memory serves me).
     
  9. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

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    Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Donaghy in Jefferey Deaver's The Bone Collector series get together and remain a solid couple, but their romance is definitely a sub-plot. The cases they work take center stage, at least in the ones I've read so far.
     
  10. LostThePlot

    LostThePlot Naysmith Contributor

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    There's nothing wrong with included a romance even if it's not a romance. Romance is, almost by definition, intense and emotional and interesting. That said you do need some care with it. If there's genuinely nothing coming up in the plot as a result of the romance then I'd keep it way in the background, keep it in but cut away from it and only show it on the page when it's showing character development or otherwise has a reason beyond romance to want to show it.

    For me though, the answer is simple: Keep the romance and make it do something. Doesn't have to be a big deal. But don't let the path of love run smooth. Make them bounce off each other some, make one of them choose between love and heroing, find something that fits the arc of the character for them to share in a moment of vulnerability that turns out to be a terrible idea to share. Just put the relationship under stress. That's the important bit. The main plot is pulling one way, the relationship is pulling the other way. Doesn't have to be an explosion, just that hint that a relationship makes for greater complexity in this situation. You can do a lot with a little here, just hints of conflict in their character that they overcome and you're good to go.
     
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