aokamineko asked: Hello, I've been silently following you guys for a while now (you're amazingly helpful!) and I have a question. When is the best time to have a character admit his/her romantic feelings for another. I'm trying to avoid the cliche of a character blurting it out in the middle of a hugely climactic scene, but my mind keeps grinding to a halt. Help?
Hello friend! Good to hear from you.
The answer is: There is no best time.
In terms of storytelling, there are certainly good and bad times and ways. If the admission doesn’t suit the pace, or it feels out of character, it will be jarring and strange to the audience. The cliche of blurting feelings in the middle of a climactic scene is a cliche because it heaps drama on top of drama on top of emotion- which is really great and dramatic if you can do it right, but it’s been done and poorly done so often that it’s not as fresh anymore.
So, instead, let’s think about your characters, and what seems in character for them. I don’t know your plot, but you should be able to figure out when the admission would feel right.
- Why hasn’t your character said anything yet? Are they afraid of being rejected? Maybe they’ve already been rejected, and are respecting their friend by not bringing it up again. They could be bad with feelings, and uncomfortable with their crush. Their crush could be happy with someone else. Maybe the situation is complicated, and there are other factors that make the situation more difficult. (Are they cool with me being ace? Are they cool with me being a boy?) It’s possible that the person in question hasn’t been told, but is perfectly aware that their friend has a crush on them, and will eventually get fed up and call them out about it so that they can be happy (I’m slightly fond of that one).
It doesn’t seem like admitting feelings would be so hard, but it frequently takes a lot of courage to do so.
- What method or words would your character likely use for a confession of love? I will tell all of y’all that being as direct and straightforward as possible is the best course of action, but your characters don’t always know that. Some people might spew poetry under pressure, but frequently, love confessions are rather awkwardly worded, a bit fumbling, maybe not perfect. You know how your character speaks, stick to it! Don’t make them say something beautiful but totally unlike them. Additionally- are they an in-person type? Will they leave a letter? Cryptogram? It’s up to them and you.
I hope that helped some! Again, think about your characters, and their relationship, and what feels right for them. You’ll figure it out!
Anonymous asked: how do you write a relationship like the ones that go deeper and farther than the romance and friendship that's more commitment than the hey can we hangout friendship?
I’m sorry, I’m not really thinking clearly now, but I’ll try to answer your question. I’ll add some other things if I think of them.
- Would you die for them? Simple. If your character is ready to do anything for their significant other, they probably love them a whole lot. Not just things like throwing yourself out in front of a train to save them, no. That could be due to the heat of the moment or passion. If they got into an accident and became crippled, would your character stay? If they were diagnosed with mental decline, would you character stay? Chronic, selfless care and giving, that’s what I’m talking about.
- Be sure to not only focus on the passion and intimacy in your story. Sometimes, the best love stories can be reflected in the most mundane of things.
You can gain a few things from this article too:
Well, from my personal experience and from observing others around me, here’s what I came up with that you should include in your story:
- Commitment. Hangout friendships tend to come and go - especially during a major life change, also know as graduation, moving away, changing schools, etc. When you and your friend are leading different lives with majorly different schedules (especially busy schedules), it takes real commitment to set a deal and say hey, we should meet once a month to keep the friendship going. In fact, in some friendships there’s no need to set such targets. If you don’t see the other person, you’ll feel at unease.
- Touch. I personally cannot form a close friendship without touch. I have to be comfortable around the person physically to get involved emotionally. Touch is very important in personal relationships - it reassures, and creates a bond. A light touch on the arm, a brief hug - or for the more touchy cultures, a long hug, a cuddle, a kiss. The pair should not be uncomfortable with a little touch, and it should come casually, intended or not.
- Love. You actually have to love the person. I know it’s like duh! but it’s very important. You’ll do anything for the person if you love them. I would do anything for my best friend. Sometimes I kid myself and say I feel affection for my other friends, but the real affection is reserved for a few of my close friends. You should treat your close friends better than you treat your other friends, or at least love them more.
Other than that, it’s really like any other relationship - close ones - that you have. You share your dreams and insights with each other, you laugh and joke, you share troubles.
- Things may get in the way. Especially if one of the pair has a significant other. Romantic commitments may hinder the friendship. The partner may feel jealous or forbid the friends to see each other.
- People sometimes hold back in a friendship. My friend would rather die before actually talk about his feelings, but I guess that he would be more open in front of his girlfriend.
Here is an article that probably explains it better than me
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World Building: Arts and Entertainment
When world building, we often forget that certain cultural aspects of society can be extremely important. The arts and entertainment side of your world could add much needed depth to your story and could help explain why your characters are the way they are. Knowing what people from various levels of society do for fun makes your story realistic and helps humanize your characters. All cultures have some form of art and entertainment, so take some time to explore this in your own world.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Are certain jobs considered art? For example, is magic part of your world? If so, are these people considered artists or is it an occupation?
- Is art culturally accepted or is it looked down upon?
- Which arts are the most highly valued? Are their “lower” forms of art?
- Where do people view the arts? Where do people go for entertainment?
- What form of entertainment is accepted by society? Do your characters have a favorite pastime?
- How do people judge art in your world? What is considered beautiful? What is considered talent?
- Are some forms of entertainment considered dangerous or reckless?
- Do people get paid for art? If so, how much? Are entertainers considered valuable?
- Are certain races/cultures considered better at specific forms of art? If so, why?
- Are the forms of entertainment different for people depending on their level in society? Does it make a difference?
Developing arts and entertainment when world building is important because it helps readers understand the type of place your characters are coming from. A world that has banned arts, for example, might be seen as a dystopia or overbearing. Arts and entertainment help create the cultural identity of an area and aid in explaining how people interact with each other. A world’s treatment of artists and forms of entertainment also help explain what the world is like. It might be easy to leave out, but spending time developing these things will make your world stronger.