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To those of you who are reading this in hopes of real life advice…. Well, you might as well stay anyway. Frankly, if you're at the point where you're reading THIS for help, than any little bit helps - and who knows? Maybe you can profile them!

The main purpose of this, however, is to figure out how to pick your character's love interest. To be specific, I will be devoting most of this to finding the perfect girl for your (hopefully) not so perfect male protagonist. The girls, in case you're wondering, will be a getting a White Knight guide to look deeper into the male love interest archetypes. (Despite the name, it's not all about men saving the girls, I promise. But if I'm gonna write something about archetypes, than dang it all, how can I ignore a name that's just so bloody CONVENIENT!?)  The two do overlap, though, particularly since I'm all for girls taking the roles generally given to boys in stories.

Anyway, onto your actual characters.

The Steady: Sometimes, your hero's love interest is simply there throughout. Generally… we don't care about these so much. There are exceptions - the adventuring pair! But these are generally cameos, not main characters, and prolonged exposure just makes us feel sick. Face it, the only people who can really take lovey dovey stuff for long periods of time (AKA, the course of an entire book) are those who are in the same mood. The average person's just gonna feel awkward.

That's part of the reason why the steady love interest is also generally cast into the role of boring girlfriend, wife, or even husband - though adventurer of either gender are rarely seen as already married, their partners are generally off in the distance.

The other option is that the relationship is a constant sense of turmoil, often creating new predicaments which make us worry all the more about our favorite characters. Maybe someone doesn't approve, maybe forces separate the loving couple and they just wanna get back - Frankly, I suspect we only truly like couples when there's drama concerned. But, honestly, the couples seen as content to simply settle in with one person from the start of the story to the end are often simply the boring sort when it comes to the story.

We all just have too much love of seeing them hooked and reeled in.

The "Never gonna happen" love - sometimes, it's unrequited. This is often a good thing. Maybe it's the driving force of the story - what would have happened if Romeo had gotten the girl he was REALLY into? They'd all be alive, Juliette would have married Paris, and you'd never have even read that play, that's what! (In case you've forgotten, Romeo wouldn't have met Juliette at all if he wasn't already love struck, and struck down.)

It's seen in a myriad of things, including Ranma ½ - remember a certain duck , pig, cat, cook, gymnast, swordsman…. Um…. Am I missing anyone? The Anime included a noodle girl, too, but that was just the anime…. Ooooh! A ninja and a mail box man!

Anyway, it's a great plot device for dragging people into new scenario, but it's pretty hard to last throughout the entire series if you can't keep up the humor. No one wants to just continuously feel sorry for the guys - In our hearts, we generally like to see them happy. Or tortured in a way that's funny. If you only focus on the fact that they can't get the girl, it's just down right sad.

The Tense Love - sometimes, the love interest DOES happen… it just takes forever. You might not even get to see it in the show - but things are hinted heavily enough that you know it WILL happen. Often taking many steps back, other times moving slightly forward, it's a fairly rare instance where these stories actually survive past the tension coming to a close.

The girly love - this can actually be for either gender. The point is that they ACT girly, not that they are girls. Fragile, small, often being protected… if they're always like this, the relationship won't last long if you know what you're doing. Yet, if you manage to show a true strength behind the girly one, maybe a sudden iron will to protect the one who's attention they've been seeking… they can become interesting. That generally works better if they have some level of spot light to themselves, though.

Same Sex love - This only really deserves a class of its own because of outside influences. Honestly, I don't see it as really that much different from any other archetype to say much… However, the reactions of outsiders can create new plot points which might otherwise be inexplicable.

The TG love interest - sometimes, one of you got CHANGED to the wrong gender. Maybe you now fall into same sex, or maybe your girlfriend keeps shouting that she used to be a boy - that she got body switched, or that reality's changed. This actually works better for your main character, but the real point is the unending trouble it causes.

Love/Hate relationship - we all know this. The arguments, the fierceness, the kissing, the more arguments, then the kissing again, then slapping, kissing, kissing, kissing, no way in HELL I'm describing that, kissing, UGH! Kissing… and ellipses.

It takes a while, but it always gets there.

"I can change them!" love interest - this rarely works. Occasionally, someone will honestly make an attempt to change. Usually, it's just one harsh lesson after another for your main character… Chances are, all their friends warned them, too.

Not-love love interest: So they're not REALLY in love. So they're just sleeping together! Or maybe they really hate each other! At least… that's what they say. It might even be true!

But wouldn't it be fun to mess with their minds, and make it more?

The oddest things can grow, you know… These are just some archetypes you can have fun with. J
Have fun with the new one! White Knights up next! :D
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1AuroraAngel1 Mar 9, 2013  Student General Artist
What is it when the Hero ends up with his best friend?
So in your opinion, what would you classify the Han/Leia relationship as, to use a Star Wars example?

They seem to hate each other at first, and also seem to be opposites- the profiteering smuggler and honorable Princess- yet when you look closer a lot of the reasons they clash are actually rooted in their simularities: being head-strong, blunt, and a little arrogant. And eventually, by the end of the series, they've fallen in love?
Two Sided Coin. :P

They aren't really opposites, but neither are they the same. They're just two sides of one coin.
If I could ask some advice, because you seem very knowledgable on this subject :)

In the story I'm writing a boy and the love intrest are thrown together under horrible circumstances and have to deal with quests/fighting ect while their relationship slowly slowly develops. Is this too boring?

excellent tutorial by the way!
Wouldn't say I'm very knowledgeable, so much as I know plot points fairly well. :P

It's not boring, and it's very workable - it's also extremely traditional, but only because it works. If you see an opportunity to do something a little different (Just anything you haven't seen before) go for it, but other than that... *Shrugs* do your best to add a little bit of humor to it, if you can, and you'll do just fine.

This situation isn't what I'd call a cliche - I myself use it occasionally, I suppose - so much as a traditional situation. :)
haha ok, thanks a lot again! :hug:
JonniLove May 11, 2010  Student General Artist
Great job on this one :) There's some really helpful stuff!
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