Making You Fall in Love


#1

We’ve seen a few threads about what makes you, the reader/player/main character, fall in love with an NPC romantically. That’s still really interesting to me.

But it strikes me what a strange and wonderful and weird experience it is from the side of the writer, trying to think of how to engage the hearts and maybe other parts of a bunch of readers who I don’t know. I find it really, really intimate, to invest the text with so much emotion. I cannot write it objectively.

And then, with four different highly developed romantic partners, I get to do it four different times, in several different ways per partner.

As writers, and as readers, or consumers of games, do you ever experience that sort of bleed?


On Foxtrot Hill - (WIP)
#2

@Gower Yeah It is possible,if you devote your mind to the book. The book,using our imagination,creates a simulation of the real world,thus allowing us to enjoy the full experience.:slight_smile:
And the term you used there "consumers of gamers" is wrong.
That’s because games cannot technically be consumed,they are not goods,but a form of entertainment.:wink:


#3

The translation of consumers of gamers. Means you consume or eat gamers. But technically speaking in Spanish at least if you buy something you are a consumer. Legally a comsumer is someone who buy or hire something in a market could be a physical item or a service. A game is a ware exactly as an apple


#4

I mean the word in the ordinary sense of “To purchase or use (goods or services).” I think that’s a pretty typical meaning.


#5

It is is also the legal term. I don’t think you eat gamers lol :wink:


#6

But games are not goods or services,they are a form of entertainment.:wink:
Forms of entertainment cannot considered as wares,can they(except gadgets)


#7

Nope. entertainment is an industry and as industry is a ware like any other. That’s why you could lend buy or sell games , movies or pictures.


#8

Let’s Start a debate then ,on whether games can be considered as wares.XD
Though I seriously don’t want to argue with a professor.:grin:


#9

Heh. I have no particular knowledge about this consumer business. But I want to talk about writers falling in love with their characters and audience! I’m consumed with desire.


#10

You should never be consumed by desire! Buddha said that Desire is the cause of sorrow and misery. To kill sorrow, one must kill desire.:smirk:


#11

I believe writer(s) will mostly develop the Romance storyline based on his/her self image? Or his/her own philosophy?

If an author thinks too much about his/her audience, he/she may lost some of the originality of the story…

But it depends what is the priority of the author, will he/she write a romance storyline with the intention of pleasing the target audience or perhaps the author wants a romance storyline of his/her own philosophy, but with the intention of sharing it with those who understand?

I take example from the PC game planescape torment, where the romance and love storylines was a philosophy exploration of the authors themselves… In the game, there is a Brothel of Intellectual Lust, where the women in the brothel engage in an unique sort of Lust with their visitors, the visitors will engage unusual activities with these women such as playing game of chess, debate, exchanging stories, a test of wits and even sparring / arguing… The so called “Love” is in the form of intellectual between 2 persons. The idea was implement by a turn-good Succubus who wanted to experience love of her own, since she cannot physically touch her lover in order not to harm him. So she can only love him through intellectual activities…

This kind of love storyline was considered outrageous by most readers, and of course wont able to sell good in the market. But it was in the philosophy of its author to induce an innovative love story. So in his case, his writing didn’t put the potential consumers in the first place

Conclusion is, it depends on whether the author wants to develop a love storyline based on the audience’s image or based on his/her own image


#12

Well, my view of character tends to be that the more I like them, the more terrible things I’ll plan for them, so… tough love? :stuck_out_tongue:

And with romances I tend to think more in terms of manipulating the reader … like, yesss, get emotionally invested. Pay no attention to the plot twist behind the curtain :imp:


#13

@Gower, I think that’s one reason many people shy away from writing a straight-up “romance” story, because as my romance writer friends will tell you, a romance story is all about the romance (and it MUST have a happy ending to be a true “romance” story). The plot might have a few side issues, like a workplace nemesis or something, but the romance drives everything, so yes the writer has write characters as feeling certain ways.

With our IF, many readers/writers don’t want to “make” the MC feel any particular way, so yes there’s the dilemma. I guess you can try to “cover your bases” by presenting diverse love interests (in the “there will be something for everyone” type of way). However, that could create a LOT of parallel scenes, and it’s not the most efficient way to write a story.

If I wrote a romance, I would probably just write two potential love interests in a classic love triangle and give everyone a ton of depth, with various pros and cons. Maybe like an Emma Stone versus Mila Kunis sort of thing. The impossible choice!! Impossible, I say!


#14

Less RO would allow for more depth. Ive seen it done well in the wip Fallen hero, but on the otherhand its rather risky. What if the readers dont like either one? :sweat: Itd be tradeoff I say. Especially if the story is romance centric.


#15

Well, I dunno, @Gower, I think there are few things that can make a few IF characters really stand out from each other.

A more unique take on a character or a trope or an archetype would be one thing, but I like the school of thought that puts an emphasis on how writng is often about giving a good or newer spin on well-worn ideas, rather than always building new ones. But I’d say that there are two things that stand out in romance choice games:

Time and variety.

Most choice games don’t play with romance a lot. They have romance, but it’s often just a few scenes and a few narrative nods here and there through the story. Doing a romance path doesn’t change much, it feels like doing it just to get an achievement. That’s not necessarily bad, those games often focus on other ideas and themes, but for a good romance-focused game, I’d bet on giving the RO and the MC more time together, and in that time you could give…

A bigger variety of scenes, as a result from the different choices given to the player, and they don’t need to be those shakesperean confessions. It could be how to spend time, where to spend time. That fleshes out said characters, and it can just take the narrative, even for a little while, to places it normally wouldn’t go.

Midsummer Night’s does the above in a good way, I’d say. Especially since it focuses more on romance and character-based storytelling than other CoGs, so I think you already have some good background to work with.

Well, why can’t I just Young Werther my way out of that? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


#16

I have to say that as a reader/gamer that I do find that incredibly annoying. Obviously the writer has to determine some of aspects of the main character’s identity (background, circumstances etc.), but having such personal, subjective opinions and feelings dictated to you does feel a bit like the writer is yanking the character out of your grasp. And insisting that “You find (or your character finds) this character attractive!” does not make it so…
A Midsummer Night’s Choice skirts around that well, I feel. I mean, you even get asked several times throughout the game how you feel about the various characters. The only times I remember seeing it say in the text that you feel a certain way is when you’ve chosen an option like that, or taken an action that implies it. I guess it might start to seem a bit odd if someone ended up “falling in love” with everyone in one playthrough, but it is a Shakespearean comedy game, after all… (Damn it, I need to stop shamelessly promoting this game in every post I make…)

I guess that’s almost a similar issue to the above one, but approached from the other side. I’m not sure how I’d do if I was writing a game, but I suspect I would find it difficult to write a romance or romantic interest that didn’t have at least some aspect that appealed to me. I’ve tried writing, or planning to write, romantic plots/subplots in stories before and they’ve generally been like that. I actually had an idea for a Choice Of game (by which I mean a very, very vague inkling of an idea), but I wasn’t sure how I’d do when writing the different romances, especially as it’s interactive fiction and I imagined the romantic interests as all fairly different.

Now I want to know what it was like writing them! I think I’ve got too attached to one romance in Midsummer to try any of the others (Can I get through this post without mentioning Prenzie? No, it seems I cannot…), but I got really invested in all of the characters. I just wanted to be friends with them…


#17

This made me laugh, because I wrote the romance scenes for SYP and I remember blushing while doing so! :sweat_smile: In order to make it feel real, while the story and dialogue are original, I definitely try to recall times in my life when I experienced similar emotions (or think about how I might react IRL in that situation) in order to infuse the writing with enough believable and relatable descriptions. And since Sidney has a special place in my heart as a character anyway, yeah, it feels personal.

I was into RPG games with romance subplots (helloooo, BioWare!) long before I wrote my own, which I think helped me figure out what did and did not feel like it worked as a player. Same with reading a lot of CoG/HG before being published.

Granted, that was just one character and we’re expanding that to a few more in the WIP sequel, which is proving to be another challenge in making them all unique but (hopefully) equally fulfilling. I think it’s a bit like children…you love them all to death and you don’t ever want to say you have a favorite–or at least one that you can relate to the best–but maybe deep, deep down, you know you do a teensy little bit. :wink: But I would never, ever write something that I myself could not enjoy or be proud of in some way.


#18

See, and I was going to follow up by asking writers who in their own games they were most attracted to (if anyone) and ask them how that affected their writing. Then you mentioned the children analogy… :slight_smile:


#19

Variety as in characters and the RO personalities, or as in type of relationships?


#20

Hahahahaha! Yeah, leave it to me to unintentionally make it sound awkward and semi-incestuous. Oopsie! :joy:

But seriously, you make a great point. I really don’t think of any of my characters in a sexual way, even though I have written those kinds of scenes. I have described some as having certain personality traits that I would find attractive IRL, even imagined them as being aesthetically attractive, but I wouldn’t say I’m attracted to any of them. Then again, I’m also demisexual, so it’s always been easy for me to differentiate between sex and just objectively pleasant qualities in people. I assumed it was because my characters are abstract in way that’s different for a reader because they, in some ways, must be an extension of myself. It never occurred to me that other authors might feel or experience that relationship with their creations differently.

Wow, this went deeper than I anticipated. :sweat_smile: Good thing I enjoy a good self-analysis (no innuendo intended this time, either)!

Edit to add: I thought of a better way to word how I feel…I don’t want to bone my characters. I feel more like the cool mom or older sister that wants to protect and guide them, but they can come and talk to me about weird, important stuff like sex and love and life. I hope that doesn’t sound too bizarre! :laughing: :smirk: