1. LastMindToSanity

    LastMindToSanity Contributor Contributor

    Feb 8, 2018
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    Your Romance Arc

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by LastMindToSanity, Oct 22, 2018.

    One of the things I like doing on this site is posting these kinds of probing posts and hoping people respond with gusto. I like reading other people's stuff, and I haven't done one in a while, so here I go.

    A lot of stories have Romance Arcs. Sometimes, it happens naturally within the story. Sometimes, it's because your book is a romance novel. Sometimes, you just really like these two characters and not-so-subtly gave them personality traits that make them great romantic partners... Not that I would know anything about that.

    So, does your story have a Romance Arc? Who's it between? How does it unfold?

    I usually get the ball rolling by sharing my own example of this, so here it is.

    I've got these two characters, Gabe and Martha, and they start off on pretty good terms. They relate to each other by the virtue of them both recently losing someone close to them. However, in the exact same scene, Martha tells Gabe, and everyone else, that she would kill all of them before allowing them to hurt one of the antagonists, who is her adoptive brother. This doesn't kill their chemistry, however, but a future event does. To make a long story short, Martha kills someone close to Gabe; it's not her fault, but Gabe blames her for a while. They eventually reconcile and continue with the story. They gradually get closer as they go on more adventures together, until it comes to a head right before the end. Well, almost. The thing is, Martha has no idea how to put her feelings into words, so the closest she can get is to ask Gabe if she can stay with him forever. Gabe picks up on what she means, and agrees, as he feels the same.

    So, yeah, there's that. How about all of yours? Do you have one? How does it unfold? If you don't have one, is there a reason, or did you just think about it?
  2. Necronox

    Necronox Contributor Contributor

    Sep 1, 2015
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    Canton de Neuchatel, Switzerland
    Well. In short I suppose I do have a romance ark. But calling it that is perhaps a slight overstatement. Let me explain:

    In short, my MC finds that he has behaved like an a complete arse. He find that everything he believed in that once justified his moral decisions (or lack thereof) is wrong. When he realises the change and becomes a different person he begin to understand just how much everyone has done for him. In that regards he decided to ‘pay back’ the debt left to them by anaother character. For some time, he focuses all he can on that one person, whom he is currently unavailable to see (she is very far away). It kind of becomes an obsession for him I suppose, but it is one of his driving forces that make him continue who he is.

    Eventually, he rescues her and protects her as she had done for him so many years ago. And that is were the romance start and also, by coincidence, where my book ends.

    There is a few other romance arks - actual romance and “love” between other characters, but these are just minor characters and I assume not what the OP had in mind.
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  3. 18-Till-I-Die

    18-Till-I-Die Banned

    Oct 16, 2018
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    Detroit, MI
    Oh like everything I write has what could be called a "romance arc" lol

    About half the story is focused on the trials and foibles of teenage romance arcs against a backdrop of an interstellar conflict...ages ago, in like 2001, my original beta reader (my mother) described it as "Peyton Place but on Babylon 5".

    One involving the main antagonist...and forgive me or leaving the names out but I'm keeping some stuff under wraps no offense, also the lineages and titles involved can get complicated too so yeah. Anyway, so the main bad guy's the bastard son of an alien warlord who overthrows his father and kills his siblings to take control of his empire and become "God Emperor", and he achieves most of this with the help of another alien monarch, this evil Alpha Bitch princess who quickly kills her father and mother to take over as Queen of her respective superpower. So they become a literal super-couple, engaged to be married. But see the God Emperor fellow also has a young lover, or at least a young girlfriend...he's a complete sociopath so I doubt he can "feel" any kind of actual love for her but anyway...she is a "commoner" essentially from one of the lesser castes of the God Emperor's society so their love is kept largely under wraps. She's actually kind of a good girl but lost, she's easily manipulated and overemotional and confused, always up on a cross about something, always a bridesmaid and never a bride...now literally. But Emperor Sociopath is marrying Queen Bitch and the scheming economy minster kinda is her friend and de facto adoptive father but also a staunch ally of Emperor Sociopath, sooo at his advice they keep it on the down low, or she does anyway. But Queen Bitch knows because, well, because Emperor Sociopath is actually kinda boastful about it to Queen Bitch and the two girls DESPISE each other so intensely it can be felt from orbit. Queen Bitch is...maddeningly snarky and smug and haughty about her wealth and her position, and the fact that this other girl is from a lesser caste of God Emperor A-hole's civilization and therefore "beneath" him. Also like the oldest one of these three is the Emperor who is literally eighteen, the two female villains are both seventeen and just as emotionally unstable as any other teenagers So as you can imagine this ends poorly for everyone involved.

    (Side note: God Emperor Jerkass is also a member of a cult who worship this primordial star god "The Night Everlasting" who literally is the darkness that preceded existence itself, like when God said "Let There Be Light", this thing was the darkness that came before that...and he's pissed that the "Light Almighty" created the universe, so he wants to enslave all of existence with this galaxy-wide jihad led by his "apostle", God Emperor Sociopath. So he's not just a sociopath he's also a religious fanatic who worships the physical embodiment of oblivion...you can practically hear "What A Man" plan playing in the background! /sarcasm)

    In one instance the serf girl angrily argues that God Emperor Sociopath is "hers" and Queen Bitch just rolls her eyes and says he isn't hers or anyone's he can be with whoever he wants, and besides, in her opinion he would probably "aim higher" then her. Then she smacks Queen Bitch and immediately realizes she's going to get killed by the Honor Guard...but Queen Bee stops them and wipes the blood from her lip and says "No. No. Just let her go. Let her prove my point" before strutting off like some kind of alien, avian version of Lady Gaga.
  4. DK3654

    DK3654 Almost a Productive Member of Society Contributor

    Apr 11, 2018
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    In the vibe zone

    The main protagonist Sarah is a relationship with a fellow student called John at the start of the story. The relationship is built mainly on how they support each other, John namely supports Sarah's difficulties with mental illness, and Sarah namely supports John in moving forward with his life and establishing himself.
    However, the story follows Sarah experiencing the gradual emergence of latent supernatural traits, which is immediately problematic because of the strain it puts on Sarah, and consequently John, as she loses control and starts to think she's losing her mind. When the process reaches it's conclusion, it forces her to deal with the effects on her, and confront the hidden supernatural world of the story. As a result of this, Sarah retreats from John to figure things out. She increasingly decides to involve herself in the affairs of the hidden world instead of focusing more on reconciling the supernatural with her life as it was. John questions why she is avoiding him, and Sarah can only really answer that's she dealing with something. John is hurt that Sarah no longer seems to trust him to support her, not knowing that Sarah is not allowed by the rules of the occult society to involve John. Sarah realises that she's losing John, and resolves to find a way to make it work. She tries to convince him that recent experience was an anomaly and that she's back on track now, but is unable to open up about what happened. Sarah tries to get permission to tell John everything, but is denied. As a result, she is unable to convince John, and he breaks up with her.

    Another major protagonist, Ashling, has a relationship with a character called Niall, both of whom are experienced with the occult world. Ashling was raised within an order of oracles, a kind of sorcerer in my world. She was one of the more independently minded of them, questioning their rules and always pushing to make an impact, as opposed to simply upholding the status quo. As a result, her mother- a respected figure- suggested that she be placed with a younger mentor, closer to her age, that she might relate to more. Her new mentor, Niall, helped to improve Ashling’s skills and understanding of the order's rules, but they started to become romantically involved. Eventually, after disobeying orders multiple times, the order decided that her mentor has failed to discipline her properly, help back by his love for her. He was punished for this failure, a resolution which he accepted, but Ashling does not. She left her position in the Order to do things her own way, and remains little more than an honorary member, while Niall stayed. As of the beginning of the story, Ashling deals with the difficulties of trying to maintain their relationship when doing so is risky for Niall's position. I'm currently not sure where I will go with this plotline, but an eventual breakup is probably the most straightforward choice.

    During the course of the story, as Sarah falls out with John, she grows closer to Jade who is primarily responsible for helping Sarah adjust. Sarah and Jade had been friends for a while as of the start of the story, but have never been very close, Sarah being closer to her roommate Emily. As it happens, Jade has been interested in getting closer to Sarah for some time, but fears what would happen if she got too close, as Jade is already involved in the occult, does not think highly of it, and hates herself for what she's become. But Jade notices what's happening to Sarah, and decides she has to help her because she doesn't really have anyone else. Sarah, struggling with the process, becomes paranoid that Jade is somehow connected to it, and they come into conflict as Jade tries to convince Sarah she's just trying to help. After Sarah is exposed to the truth, she realises her mistake, and allows Jade to help her come to grips. Sarah decides to move away from her roommate Emily to avoid complications, and instead moves in with Jade. As a result of this, Jade finds the opportunity to finally open up to someone and feel better about herself, and starts to fall in love with Sarah. Jade doesn't realise it for some time, and doesn't say anything for even longer, but eventually admits it to Sarah. Sarah is sympathetic, but doesn't feel the same way, which does not surprise Jade, who wants them to remain friends. Both of them move on successfully while remaining friends, but a little bit of odd tension remains after the fact.

    I have five other notable romance plotlines planned (with multiple characters overlapping) that would show up later over the course of several books probably (if I ever get around to writing them). There will be no shortage of them :p .

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