Help with ROs that are difficult to write


#1

I hope it’s okay for me to post this, even though I’m writing a visual novel, not a ChoiceScript game. I want to add a small romantic subplot to my visual novel. Because I have four important supporting characters who like the MC, I thought it’d be the obvious choice to have them as possible romance options.

I find it difficult to make some of my characters express their feelings. One of the ROs is very socially awkward, and another one is nearly emotionless. How can I realistically write romantic chemistry between them and the MC without making them act out of character? I already wrote a pretty decent confession and kissing scene for one of my more emotionally expressive ROs. I thought the scene had good chemistry, so I think readers deserve a scene with a deep emotional connection regardless of which RO they choose. I’ve never read a romantic story in which the RO is shy or cold, and I don’t have a lot of ideas about how the relationship would work.

The shy one will gain some courage and the cold one will develop more emotions because of plot-relevant character development, but their entire personalities can’t be re-written, and I don’t think anyone would want it either. The timeline of the story is only three days, and nobody changes completely in such a short time.

I’ve considered removing the two difficult-to-write characters from the list of romance options and only let the reader befriend them, but I feel like readers would think I’m biased in favor of the characters who get a romance. Also the ROs I can write with confidence are really weird people, so I’m worried that nobody would like them…


#2

Shy should be easy enough. Just lots of blushing. You could have the protagonist pursue them? That way they don’t need to build up the confidence to make a confession of their own? Or perhaps when they just get more comfortable. Shy can be sweet.

As for emotionally cold. I’m more likely to write those relationships as very physical. No need for love and romance confessions. It can just be sex/kissing.


#3

Does the main character already know the romance options or are they meeting here?
If it’s the first case, it should be easier to imply that the characters has feelings for the MC.

But anyway, I did a quick search here are some generic tips about romantic chemistry that should work for any romance, in this video.


#4

With regards to “socially awkward”, it depends on how their “awkwardness” manifests itself in romantic (or potentially romantic) situations. Are they likely to unintentionally blurt something out, or clam up and blush furiously? (Or both?) Either way, the Player Character could conceivably notice something.
I’m not so sure about “nearly emotionless”, but if they’re going to have some character development, maybe something similar, with the Player Character noticing some change in their behaviour? Possibly the RO is puzzled or even unsettled by their developing feelings? I’d also say it depends on whether they’re actually “cold”, or if they just appear that way - if it’s the latter, they could easily share some similarities with “socially awkward”.
If you want to see a good example of different love interests of varying personalities in a visual novel (and don’t mind losing large portions of your life), I don’t know if you’ve played Seven Kingdoms: The Princess Problem? The full game hasn’t been released, but there’s a free demo. There’s a thread about it on these forums.
And don’t worry about the “weird” thing. Everyone has different ideas about what “weird” means, and everyone has different tastes. My first thought upon reading “really weird people” was something along the lines of “they sound like first-rate romance options”.


#5

I think you and others pretty much defined how it could be done. As a psychology student who’s deeply into psychology, I’m interested about how people become what they are. What happened that made the shy person shy, what’s the series of events that made the other person cold.

In my opinion,
Shy, as others mentioned is not that hard, blushes, silence, rubbing arm while looking down. On the other hand, if things get really emotional, shy people tend to just act and sneak a kiss, and then feel shy about it, “passing” the ball to the other person.

The cold person on the other hand, is harder to implement if you want that person to stay cold and also not act out of character. If not entirely cold, then that person has a sensitive point. If the MC touches that sensitive topic the cold person either gets angry, or opens up. If the latter happens, it’s easier to sneak some romance into it. His facial expressions would change slightly, and you could tell he has enjoyed the hug or kiss. But the cold person would probably not start, or continue without the MC’s guidance.


#6

Eh, shyness is not necessary something you become.

As far as I have been told I was always shy. I got better then worse at handleing it as I grew up, but my mother told me that I was pretty much always shy. (According to her, I hid behind her legs when we visisted familiy when I was three and four).

As for the cold, have the RO show it not with words, but with actions. IE, have the cold RO do nice subtle things for the MC, which they don’t do for others.

Anyway I would recommend reading some romance vn which has these two archetypes, to get inspiration for them. Especially to get an idea why some like these archetypes so you know what the selling point is. (I recommend glasses for the cold one, that is apparently always a hit).


#7

Is the character shy or socially awkward or both? I feel like there’s slight a difference in that.
If the RO is shy, then yes blushes and stuttering would do just fine. Socially awkward, to be at least, means something more along of the lines of maybe coming on too strong or getting gifts that they think is a good idea but isn’t because they don’t really have a lot of interaction with people. I’m thinking maybe it could come off as an adorkable character.
An example: Maybe after a date, a shy R/O might go for a hug but be really embarrassed because physical contact.
A socially awkward one might not be sure to go for a hug or a handshake or a kiss because they don’t really know what to do in this situation and it comes off as being shy.

As for emotionless/cold. There might be some small things the R/O can do that shows their feelings. I feel like its more of actions then words. Maybe they see the player is hungry so they offer some of their food and say its no big deal. or if the player is bullied, they might go and deal with the bully be never tell anymore and if anyone ask the R/O would be like ‘like i took care of the bullies’ and like that’s it. no gloating or fanfare, just facts but obviously the player mattered enough to the R/O for them to do something about it. If you’ve seen jojo bizarre adventures, i’m thinking of jotaro.