So I’m starting to get into the part of the story that gets into where the MC and (one of) the potential RO’s are essentially meeting each other properly. My romantic options are all pivotal characters, in the sense that they’re not purely there for the romantic subplot. Depending on how you play, any given romantic option could be a platonic friend, an enemy, a tentative ally, or a lover, but that’s neither here nor there.
How do authors usually structure the romantic progression?? I used to play otome games whereby you just had to pick the right dialogue options to progress?? But that doesn’t seem like quite the right here, because my story is fundamentally driven by the overarching plotlines and conflicts which are not romance related.
Also, when it comes to increasing relationship stats, I feel like there’s a conflict between stats and actual story. For example, I have a choice which is essentially a dialogue option.
There’s a dialogue option which seems to be the most “relationship building” in that the MC demonstrates trust to the RO and thus logically that would give the most relationship points because of the dynamic it creates. BUT the other two dialogue options lead to outcomes that are fascinating in their own way, and are perhaps more dramatic and emotionally impactful, despite /not/ being as relationship building (if that makes sense). The RO reacts in a way that surprised and moved me in choices that were more technically more negative relationship wise.
If I just mark it so that one option gets more relationship points, it seems wholly reductive and also punishing readers for choosing otherwise interesting paths??? Like I’m reducing real characters to reward counters and also the stats run counter to emotional and dramatic resonance… idk…
I don’t know if my question is very badly framed or if I’m making any sense here. Basically I am a newb at romantic plotlines. >_> any advice appreciated.