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Introducing love

Lorem Ipsum

Member
Pronoun
x
I'm about halfway through writing my novel, "The Cloud-Capped Towers", and I have one main problem. It's incredibly cliché, I know, but the main male character is meant to find the main female character attractive and fall in love with her. Only problem is, I don't know how to introduce it without sounding like "and then they fell in love and flowers appeared in front of his eyes and he got a raging erection".

I've thought about trying to avoid the cliché by making another character, introduced a little later in the story, who Cysagh falls in love with, but the main female does as well, making her a lesbian. Or vice versa - with the main female falling in love with a man, and Cysagh doing so as well. But this would be rather unorthodox in a demi-medieval fantasy world.

Any advice would be appreciated, on either idea.
 

hopeandjoy

yan ya yan ya yaa iii yaaa
Hey, there's nothing wrong with a lesbian couple in a demi-medieval setting! I've done it!

...Though one half of the pair was then killed off. But not for being found out! It was just a love triangle with a Yandere. A Yandere who decided to burn down their whole village and everyone in it except for who he liked.

As you can see, I can't really help because all of my love interests either are insane or end up dead for the aaaaaaangst. But I say to use your own emotions with love to make it work. And remember: love at first sight is never entertaining anywhere other than fairy tales and bad fanfiction you're afraid to admit like.
 

Butterfree

Still loves Joltik, though!
Staff member
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she/her
So... if you could just as well make the woman a lesbian and the guy fall for somebody completely different, are you sure it's actually important and relevant to the story to have anybody falling in love in the first place? Personally, I detest romantic subplots shoved in where they don't belong just for the sake of having a romance. :/
 

Lorem Ipsum

Member
Pronoun
x
No, it's very relevant to the plot - the main male character has to be lovesick and depressed by the end of the story for the whole plot to properly draw to a close.
 

surskitty

「にがいのは いやだ」って…
Pronoun
they
Why? It sounds like you're trying to shoehorn in a romantic subplot and it doesn't sound like it's going to be remotely believable.
 
There's nothing wrong with adding a romantic subplot into a story if it works. It's not always shoehorning - sometimes there are a few little reasons that make the romance work. It doesn't have to be the focus of the story to make sense. In fact, I've read a lot of great books where the romance could be considered a "subplot" but where it really shines as a good example of romance and how to do it.

That being said, if the romance is badly-written and in there just for the sake of being romance, don't do it, or find a reason where it would make sense.

In the end, I just leave it to the characters to decide who they love (or don't love). For example, in my story, I knew from the beginning that Madara would like Ren (who is another boy), but I only knew late into the story that Ren would like Chouko and Madara would like Aoi as well. These were things I learned about the characters from just writing scenes with them together.


Anyways, as to your question, I prefer the more subtle signs of affection, such as noticing things you wouldn't normally notice about the person - that they can always make you laugh, the curve of their hips or how shiny their hair always is, etc. Emotions work best in conveying this type of thing from my experience, just don't resort to cliches.
 

Negrek

busy dizzy lazy
Staff member
It may just be the way I write, but I find the concept of "making" X character relate to Y in such a way kind of weird. You say that the main character is "meant" to find the female lead attractive... well, does he or doesn't he? If he does, then it should be simple enough to get across in the prose. If not, then yeah, you have a bit of an issue, because that suggests you're trying to pull a kind of relationship deus ex machina and pushing against the flow of the characterization you've established.

I think the romance you have planned here might be one of those things, if you're not really feeling it from the characters, that you should go back and reevaluate in your plans. If you're trying to force a relationship that isn't in tune with the characters you've actually built up through the process of writing, it's probably going to come across as contrived.
 
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Dinru

Powered by lesbianism!
The first thing you should think about is why these characters are attracted to each other in the first place. Looks? Humor? Kindness? Now, why do they like these traits? Are they sex-crazed? Too serious for their own good? Never been shown much kindness?

Think about the personalities of both parties, and how they work together and balance each other's differences. If one is controlling and one is passive, for instance, the relationship can be partly built off of the controlling one being... controlling and the passive one standing back and taking it. That's not healthy, however, although it can be an interesting problem to work through in a relationship (I have no idea what sort of relationship you're planning on writing, however). A controlling person and a stubborn person, however, can learn quite a bit from each other: The controlling person can learn that sometimes they can't get what they want out of someone, and the stubborn one can learn to bend. Think about this as your write.

Have their personalities play off of each other. Show them learning from each other, getting into arguments, and making up. Show them admiring traits in the other one, and learning to love each other's imperfections. It doesn't have to be instant (again, I don't know what sort of story you're trying to write), but using all of these is a good way to gradually introduce romance.

And a few cliches to clue in the slightly more oblivious crowd (such as someone's heart beating faster, blushing, stammering, sweaty palms, et cetera) can also help to make the distinction between feelings of close friendship and romance until the big they-get-together bit.

And of course, make sure that you understand what you're putting the romance in for. Shoehorning romance into the plot is fine if you're just pandering to the lowest common denominator (which I sincerely doubt you are), but the romance shouldn't unnecessarily strangle the story.
 
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