88

Imagine her point of view, as a typical nurse. She has already met hundreds of patients over the course of her career who had inappropriate feelings for her. 99% of them held no temptation for her at all, and by now she's sick of it. Some were old, some were unattractive, some were mean when they thought they were being nice, some made sexual suggestions at ...


45

I agree that establishing the platonic nature of the relationship is important. There are a number of ways to approach it, as in David Doyle's answer. But additionally, I wanted to point out a couple key things to consider: Be aware that even if you gently indicate that the relationship is platonic, many readers will still be watching for signs that there'...


44

The kinds of criticisms you are encountering are not aimed against the concept of the hero having a love interest. They are aimed against female characters that that exist only as a motivation for the hero, and that are, as a consequence, generic, cliched, stereotyped, unrealistic, and unsatisfying as characters, particularly for female readers. At one time ...


36

You leave out small talk by focusing on big talk! By this I mean every thing a person says should be something at least one person in the conversation needs to hear, or wants to hear, or is surprised to hear, or if the other person ignores it, should have wanted to hear. Dialogue has consequence. Cut out lines that don't have a purpose, or aren't going to ...


30

This is something you need to be careful with. In popular Western culture, going back decades or further, jealousy is often seen as a positive trait. "His jealousy proves he loves me so much." Especially when it's a man jealous of interactions his female partner has with other men. In reality, there's a very thin line between "cute" jealousy and ...


30

The nurse is a nurturing character? Perhaps this reminds him of his mother or sister. This is a person with whom he can be physically and emotionally vulnerable, without any sexual connotations. Another layer to consider is that, with his life in constant peril, romance is really the very last thing on his mind. He needs friends and allies more than love.


26

The best way to illuminate a boundary is to cross it. Barring that, the second best way is almost cross it. Have your characters accomplish some major task together, despite long odds. Then, as they are celebrating that small victory, have them catch each others eyes. Hold them there, teetering on the brink of it becoming something greater, then in ...


26

This is something that I've seen Japanese writers (in Manga/Anime) do especially well. From what I've seen there, I'd say... The key to pulling this off is in how your MC reacts to her jealous feelings. If she gets petty and takes it out on her love interest (as you describe with pouts and annoyance), it may be seen as obnoxious and non-productive by your ...


25

A love interest is not the only reason to risk life and limb. IRL there are many stories of people risking life and limb to save children, sometimes losing their life. In psychology there is a real phenomenon, primarily involving young adults in their teens or twenties, of taking insane risks to save a child they don't even know. Daniel Goleman documents ...


22

But for some reason, a strong bond between female friends is accepted, whereas whenever men are involved, sexual overtones get added in I hear this a lot. ‘Let men just be friends!’ And I’m all for it. Men should be free to show affection, vulnerability, and closeness in their friendships just the way women are. It is so uncommon (in western society, at ...


21

You don't try to be accurate, you anglicize it. If you are writing in English about a Korean family, the reader expects you to translate dialogue into understandable English that is not awkward. If the speaker is male, then his older brother is 형. If the speaker is female, then her older brother is 오빠. But doesn't a Korean boy/girl do this automatically ...


21

There is a trick for this in The Emotional Craft of Fiction. It's called 'me centered narration.' Essentially, you have the character express at length in narrative (protest too much) what she wants everyone to think about her, in this case the opposite attribute of what she is actually feeling. He came into my room and I quickly wiped my eyes, before ...


19

Here's an easy test: if for all intents and purposes the woman in your story could be replaced with a golden chalice, you're in trouble. Someone stole the guy's chalice, he wants to get it back. Someone crashed the guy's chalice, he wants revenge. Worst offenders are the "if you save the princess, you can marry her" stories - there the woman is literally a ...


18

Custom Meta-Data in Scrivener. You can do some custom fields in Scrivener. See the "Custom Meta-Data" button at the bottom of the inspector (it looks like a little tag). Here's a photo where I added a few fields: You can add fields by clicking the gear button. When you add a metadata field, it becomes available for all documents in the project. You can ...


18

Well. There are ways to handle this. The simplest is never address it. They're friends, they get along, and they work well together. People may/will ship them, but that isn't how you wrote them. People will ship (slang term, meaning to imagine them in a relationship) them whether you specifically, unequivocally state they are just friends. People will ...


18

One way that I have seen in real life is the combination of self-awareness and levity. It is important that self-awareness happens in the moment. Many people realize too late that they had done something stupid out of jealousy. An example might look like this: How can you just go get coffee with him? What do you mean, him? I get coffee with co-...


15

Don't write it in. What readers do in their own fan responses is on them, not on you, and you can't prevent people from shipping anyone they like. But if you don't want canonical romance, just... don't put it in. Make sure your narrative voice doesn't talk about Kem in a way which could be interpreted as romantic or sexually attractive. Don't have romantic ...


15

Jealousy isn't, and shouldn't be seen as, a cute trait. Is it human? Understandable? Absolutely. But make no mistake, the possessiveness of your fellow man, no matter how understandable, isn't a 'cute point'. It's a flaw. And that's fine; treat it as a character flaw. There's nothing wrong with this, in fact, generally it gives characters depth. I think it'...


14

There are many possibilities of teams, in terms of number and group dynamics. You might want to look at TV Tropes: Power Trio, Four-Man Band and Five-Man Band for some fairly standard builds. Note, however, that the structures presented are sort of averages that the examples more or less fit - they are NOT baking recipes that you should follow to the letter. ...


14

I have experience of a similar situation - not Chinese or Korean, but Indian. I married into a family that has Indian ancestry but now live in the Caribbean and in addition I have a large number of Indian (Guajarati) friends in Bradford, where I lived for a year or two. There are words in Hindi for the different relations, just as you described for Chinese ...


14

Acknowledging that the top answer cautions controlling another person is abuse, and abuse is never cute, I'll try to suggest ways to minimize the issues. Avoid Blame: The lover is not at fault and clearly not doing anything wrong. The protagonist can see this, and trusts the lover, but can't help having emotions about it. (Cue regular intervals with a ...


13

Readers expected my protagonists to fall in love when they meet. Maybe I did too, but I knew it was a cliche and didn't want it. It turned out as I wrote that the male character had sparks with a secondary character, who he met before he met the female protagonist. I've learned that the way to telegraph attraction most strongly, in addition to the dialog, ...


13

As someone has said in another answer, accuracy is less important in fiction than story itself. What matters is to convey sufficient meaning to move your story forward, and to do so in a way that will be understood by your readers. On this basis, I think you have several options: If using the correct terms doesn't serve the story, consider ignoring them. ...


13

Shippers will always mistake close friendships as homosexual, because of all the natural chemistry that comes with written close friendships. Folks will have 'shipping goggles' on no matter what, and open affection between guys (who in fiction and real life alike are expected to be cold, distant and aloof to anyone that isn't their romantic interest) is ...


13

I don't know if this helps, but I think war movies do this very well. The Deer Hunter, Saving Private Ryan, some movies involving gangs, or cops on a mission. The series Vikings has elements of this brotherly love too. Many police movies and series show the same thing amongst fellow cops without making it sexual; on NCIS we don't think the main character ...


13

Writer and former editor Jenna Moreci has a great series of YouTube videos that delve into lots of different writing topics. Some of them discuss dialogue, and here are a few cherry-picked tips of hers that you might find helpful: Avoid banal pleasantries. If you're reading a story that has lots of small talk, it may have been poorly written. Small talk ...


13

Imagine the Nurse is a lesbian. In WW2 and in the military she wouldn't be "out", but it isn't like lesbians did not exist back then. Her fiancé is a ruse; I know single lesbians that still wear a wedding ring, an easy way to shut down male inquiries. I will also note, not all lesbians are butch, there are many degrees of femininity in lesbians; gay terms ...


12

I suspect people will object to me saying this, but still, wanted to give some food for thought: Why not just keep plain text files, or documents made in whatever word processor you prefer? I'm 32, and I've been writing on a computer since I was 18, so I have about 14 years of character and worldbuilding documents built up, for several different universes. ...


12

1) Why doesn't Mr. Id have a POV scene until later in the story? It's your story. Give him an arc. 2) Instead of Porthos, Aramis, and Athos, think of Kirk (ego), Spock (superego), and McCoy (Id). While Kirk and Spock spend more time together on the bridge, the three are always thought of as "the Big Three." McCoy's opinion is sought. He's included on ...


11

Actually, the fact that one of your characters doesn’t want to talk has the potential of making the dialogue more interesting. You have created conflict between your characters, and conflict is interesting. Mr. Stoic’s reluctance to communicate says a lot about his nature and will give your barmaid the opportunity to bounce her personality off his wall of ...


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