Writing Romance

I think where most romances fall flat is that we have to have interesting characters who we care about first, before we care whether they fall in love or not. CoG games seem particularly bad at this, since writers feel the protagonist and characters have to be so customizable that they become interchangeable people. No one does or says anything unique or endearing, or is particularly interesting, they mostly advance the plot (there are a few exceptions here).

Characters have to have their own goals and be competent at something, or it’s almost impossible to care about them. We have to identify with them in some way. In the TV show Dexter, the main character is a serial killer, but only kills criminals who escape the justice system. While we might not agree with his methods, we champion him bringing justice to those who cheated the system, especially since he’s pretty competent at it, explaining in VO how to avoid capture, etc. Being a sociopath, he also has to fake his way through social interactions, which is something many of us can identify with…

So, when Dexter starts taking an interest in another character, we want to see him succeed in whatever definition of romance he can manage.