The Writers' Helpers

Dos and Don’ts of Writing Relationships.

hello there, I love your blog! Do you have any “don’t ‘s” when it comes to fictional relationships. I am writing a romantic relationship that was formed in an zombie apocalypse, any tips? - Anonymous

Hi, first of all thanks! 

I thought quite a bit about this and I think I’m going to give you a list of do’s and don’ts. Now take everything I say with a pinch of salt, remember this isn’t ALWAYS the case and I’m basing some of these from bad fanfiction…

Disclaimer: These are my opinions.

Dos.

  • Have instant physical attraction (if that’s your thing)
  • Have your characters get to know each other. 
  • Show the progression of the relationship.
  • Still mention other characters in your story.
  • Make the relationship realistic
  • Have arguments (no relationship is perfect)
  • Have things about the other person that annoys them (you left the seat up- AGAIN).

Don’ts.

  • Have them love each other instantly. It takes time to love each other and love grows as the relationship progresses. 
  • Have instant trust. (this may work for some, but I don’t think it’s realistic.)
  • Make the relationship perfect
  • Forget the other characters
  • Only focus on the physical attraction (unless it’s not about love)
  • Be sickly with their love. It turns me off, and I’m sure it turns others off.
  • Make them have sex every five minutes. 
I hope this helps, also keep in mind that if yours is set after a zombie apocalypse there may be very different reasons for your characters to get together than for most characters. So think of their reasons for wanting to be together. Are they clinging to the only person left? Forced together through circumstance? 
Some links for you as well: 

Writing realistic love relationships

How to write strong character relationships

Writeworld

FYCD

Nicholas Sparks’ DOs & DON’Ts for writing a love story

Thanks for the question!

-S

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