89 votes

How do I stop my characters falling in love?

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 ...
Robyn's user avatar
  • 1,351
46 votes
Accepted

How do I convey that a relationship is platonic?

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 ...
DoctorWhom's user avatar
44 votes

Writing a love interest for my hero

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 ...
Chris Sunami's user avatar
  • 56.5k
38 votes

How can one write good dialogue in a story without sounding wooden?

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 ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 101k
31 votes

How do I stop my characters falling in love?

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. ...
Rrr's user avatar
  • 843
30 votes
Accepted

How to represent jealousy in a cute way?

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." ...
Cyn's user avatar
  • 32.4k
26 votes

How do I convey that a relationship is platonic?

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 ...
Henry Taylor's user avatar
  • 10.8k
26 votes

How to represent jealousy in a cute way?

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 ...
scohe001's user avatar
  • 1,354
25 votes

Writing a love interest for my hero

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 ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 101k
23 votes

How can I indicate that a particular relationship between two male characters is purely brotherly (Philia) rather than romantic (Eros)?

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 ...
sudowoodo's user avatar
  • 1,944
22 votes
Accepted

How to write a vulnerable moment without it seeming cliche or mushy?

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 ...
SFWriter's user avatar
  • 23.8k
21 votes

How to address family members solely by relationship in dialogue?

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 ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 101k
19 votes

How to represent jealousy in a cute way?

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 ...
Summer's user avatar
  • 4,461
19 votes

Writing a love interest for my hero

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. ...
Galastel supports GoFundMonica's user avatar
18 votes

How do I convey that a relationship is platonic?

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. ...
Fayth85's user avatar
  • 5,421
16 votes

How to represent jealousy in a cute way?

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 ...
Matthew Dave's user avatar
  • 9,134
15 votes

How do you write a story about a team?

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, ...
Galastel supports GoFundMonica's user avatar
15 votes
Accepted

How to keep romance out of my novel?

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... ...
Lauren-Clear-Monica-Ipsum's user avatar
15 votes

How to represent jealousy in a cute way?

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 ...
wetcircuit's user avatar
  • 27.2k
15 votes

How can one write good dialogue in a story without sounding wooden?

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 ...
PlutoThePlanet's user avatar
15 votes

How do you write about the human condition when you don't understand humanity?

Jihad: Writing is about the human condition. But the human condition is a big, messed up gnarly thing - and guess what, if you're human, you're living it. Fiction is rarely about people with nice, ...
DWKraus's user avatar
  • 13.7k
14 votes
Accepted

How to address family members solely by relationship in dialogue?

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 ...
robertcday's user avatar
  • 7,743
14 votes

How do I handle an unequal romantic pairing in a world with superpowers?

Power corrupts, but it doesn't have to: For an interesting reference, you might want to check out THIS question. What you are describing is ANY power dynamic. The relationship is no different to one ...
DWKraus's user avatar
  • 13.7k
13 votes

How do I convey that a relationship is platonic?

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 ...
SFWriter's user avatar
  • 23.8k
13 votes

How to address family members solely by relationship in dialogue?

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 ...
Kramii's user avatar
  • 637
13 votes
Accepted

How can I indicate that a particular relationship between two male characters is purely brotherly (Philia) rather than romantic (Eros)?

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 ...
Matthew Dave's user avatar
  • 9,134
13 votes

How can I indicate that a particular relationship between two male characters is purely brotherly (Philia) rather than romantic (Eros)?

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 ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 101k
13 votes

How do I stop my characters falling in love?

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 ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 101k
13 votes

How do you write about the human condition when you don't understand humanity?

This is a big problem for me, because I don't really get the human condition to begin with. If you are human, then whatever your experience is by definition part of the human condition. The human ...
Flater's user avatar
  • 3,137
12 votes

Third wheel character

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). ...
Lauren-Clear-Monica-Ipsum's user avatar

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