Character Development: Romance

Ugh, Valentine’s Day.

Can you tell I’m single and bitter about it? (Not really bitter, but single, yes, very much. HINT HINT.)

So let’s talk about romance on this most auspicious of romantic days.

I really hate it when a romance is thrown together willy-nilly and it comes off as inauthentic and forced. FOR THE LOVE OF THOR, DO NOT ADD A ROMANTIC ELEMENT SUBPLOT AS A LAST MINUTE PLOT DEVICE.

For a very evident slapdash romantic subplot that feels like it was added as an afterthought, please go watch Thor 1 and tell me that Jane and Thor’s romance wasn’t thrown together last-minute. I’ll wait.

That romance feels very inauthentic, like they didn’t realize that there was even a spark there until the very end. Or at least, Jane liked Thor, but the writers chose not to do anything about it aside from having Jane drool and act foolish and Thor didn’t reciprocate until the very end.

Okay, so you could argue that Thor is aloof and either didn’t realize that Jane liked him, or that he CHOSE not to acknowledge it until the very end. Either way, it’s still a shoddily thrown together romance subplot and you should try to avoid doing it that way, if only to keep me from screaming and trying to gouge my eyes out with a Slurpee spoon straw.

(Yes, I was drinking a Slurpee the first time I watched Thor, what of it?)

Now, there’s nothing wrong with playing the oblivious boy card, but when the romance comes out of left field, then it becomes inauthentic.  Set up the romance potential as soon as possible. If you’re writing a love story, then that’s the goal, and it should be the main focus of your story.

There should be chemistry, too. If your characters have spent the whole story hating each other’s guts, then a kiss at the end is gonna throw everyone off.

And please, for the love of Thor, don’t make your ‘bad boy’ love interest be an abusive dick. Friendly banter is one thing, but an angry teenaged boy calling a girl names, or being rude and mean is abusive and in real life that’s the kind of guy who gets called a douchebag and ends up sleeping with anything that moves and doesn’t make a very good boyfriend or husband.

We need to stop fetishizing and romanticizing the ‘bad boy’ who is abusive. It’s okay to have a ‘bad boy’ character, a rebel who prefers to break rules, but violence and abuse needs to not be written of as ‘romance’.

What do you think about characters having romantic subplots? Do you have anything that sets a romance apart? Are you characters getting more action than you are? Leave me a comment and let’s talk about romance and relationships and cry into our heart-shaped boxes of chocolates we bought for ourselves.



About kaikiriyama

I'm a writer. I write everything from shorts, to novels to screenplays and then some. I like comic books, ponies, zombies, pokemon, monsters, demons, vampires and mythology. I walk a fine line between badass, scary and girly. View all posts by kaikiriyama

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