That post was awesome, and I completely understand what you were trying to say, so no, that post is not messy. I also drift off when I write.
I’d just want to introduce you to many cliches I don’t like, but this is just my opinion, so you’re free to add them.
These are mostly presented in High School/College scenarios
Also, I’m focusing on GIRL MC loves BOY LI, sorry if this isn’t it, but I read more of those stories and I’m assuming that’s what you mean.
- MC goes to a party
Breakdown of scenarios:
~MC goes to a party because of her best friend
Breakdown of best friend:
- She is rebellious, after “Hot” guys, flirts, and likes to go to parties.
IN THIS SCENARIO, the Best friend/ friends decide to drag her to a party, and MC says, in the laughing pose, “Alright,” In which you get a choice of what to wear.
- They are both introverts, in which they decided to go together to finally- how do I say it-“body tangle” or find a boyfriend/ girlfriend if the best friend is lesbian. This case is presented less often, but still, often.
~MC goes to a party because she’s lonely, sad, and her best friend just ditched her/ she had a fight with her parents and decided to rebel against them
Breakdown of this case:
~MC gets noticed by the hottest guy in school/town because for the whole time he thought she was pretty and he finally got to approach her
~ MC just wanders around for a bit and the Narrator explains who the hot people are, and she does a flirt-shy like animation. She then gets drunk.
Possible scenarios in this case:
1 . She gets drunk and some guy in the past somehow comes in and she’s shaken, and runs into the bathroom and cries/ gasps (and I feel like this is where they end the story or when the guy from the past walks in)
2 . She gets a little tipsy but someone else had a more than a few cheeky drinks, and in consequence, they end up at the point where MC pushes the guy away (who might end up being the annoying guy that keeps trying to date MC)
- MC and her animations:
I don’t even need to explain this, it’s not needed to melt when they see a boy in a leather jacket.
This one: “FAINT”
“IDLE_TERRIFIED”- this is used when she sees the boy from her past or someone like that.
“LISTEN_PHONE_EXCITED_LOOP” - this is used when MC sees the boy from her past and is frantic and calls her best friend, in which ner best friend is:
= Oh my god!
= Kissing someone else or doing something supposedly funny in which MC is left to deal with her own problems (In which MC does “LISTEN_PHONE_EYEROLL” In this scenario, when MC is waiting for her best friend’s reply, “LISTEN_PHONE_SAD_LOOP” and “LISTEN_PHONE_SIGH” is also very frequently used.
They are used in scenarios where the best friend is next to the MC and she says, “you’ll never guess what I saw!”
“MORTIFIED”- this is when she sees the boy of her past (also used)
“READ_PHONE_SHOCKED” When MC reads about some bad news that happened to her beau which she somehow always finds out through her phone (or if he cheated but it’s revealed he did it for her/ he had to/ some random reason but anyways, they end up back together.)
“RUN_ATHLETIC” somehow this is never used for the sole purpose of running, and because MC is running to her beau, running from the boy from her past, and yes, a lot when running away from bad guys (I will not shame this scenario because it’s appropriate) “RUN_ATHLETIC_OFFSET” is also used in this scenario
“RUN_CRY” Can be used when she’s running away from the boy she thinks cheated on her.
“SEARCH” Finding her beau, running from a guy who wants to be with her but is kind of creepy, running from her beau who cheated-
“RUN_FALL” This happens afterwards and she gets caught by the beau who gives her an explanation which is heartbreaking, from the creepy guy in which the beau saves her.
“SLEEP_SITTING” There are some great scenarios, but the cliche scenario is: She falls asleep on the beau, and the Narrator starts talking a lot about the “soft delicate face” “mouth parted” “looked so peaceful” etc. Actually, this would work really well in heartbreak, touching stories, but for normal ones, it usually doesn’t.
“TALK_AFRAID” again, the boy from the past. Why are they always so determined to get MC back?
“TALK_AWKWARD” IN which MC and her beau have the first encounter and she’s all shy and other animations from this list can be used here
“TALK_CONFUSED_MIND_BLOWN” In which the MC is confiding in her best friend, “WHy is the boy from my past back? How?”
“TALK_DOUBTFUL” In which when the Best friend says something along the lines of, “Approach him”.
"TALK_EXHAUSTED: The beau surprises MC by being in her house and she goes, “I can’t deal with this right now” but she gets stopped and it’s alright after some explanation of “why he was gone” which is heartbreaking,
“TALK_MINDBLOWN” MC getting bad at her Beau for cheating, MC and the best friend discussing her crush, MC and the best friend discussing the boy from her past.
“TALK_NEUTRAL_DENY” WHen best friend tells MC, “You like him, don’t you?” And she goes, “What are you talking about?” But then she admits it, obviously.
“TALK_PHONE_SAD_LOOP” Also works for when MC is trying to ask where her beau isa and what happened to him. Sorry for going overboard with these phone animations.
“TALK_REASSURE” This one is the best friend telling the MC it’ll be fine.
“TALK_REPULSED”-in the (I guess) fewer cliche stories, MC says, “The bad boy? I’’’ never date him, ever!” Guess what happens.
“TALK_SHEEPISH” When she has the first encounter with the hot guy / bad boy.
“TALK_STARTLED” The bad boy is talking to me?
“TALK_UNSURE” WHat if the bad boy doesn’t like me? (Sorry, I understand this one might be real for someone worrying about if their crush likes them back, so I won’t point this one out much)
For the mean girl: (And they all mean basically the same)
Alright, the end!
Limelight (they just have different names, so I won’t point them out this time)
Note that Limelight animations are elss exaggerated
“BLUSH_SHY / AT_CAMERA”
“REACT_SHOCKED_GASP / POSE”
“REACT_STARTLED_SURPRISED / POSE”
“TALK_FLIRT_CHARMING / ATCAMERA”
“TALK_FLIRT COY / ATCAMERA”
“TALK_GOSSP / ATCAMERA” (Also works for mean girls)
“TALK_PRIMP_NEUTRAL” (Also works for mean girls)
“TALK_SARCASTIC / ATCAMERA”
Animations are done. Please note I did not add the sitting ones because I’m way too lazy.
Alright, so now you know a bit of what not to add, I’d recommend the setting not in high school. Even with a pure romance story, the high school theme is overused and can’t go well for relationships. If you do, please remember there is something called homework.
The love interest should not be introduced at first encounter by (see above) which means I think the “crush for a long time” works. I also think that you should stray from love triangles/ whatever number it is. Try to make it as realistic as possible. Think of real-life situations. Would you, as a boy, for example, stay and continuously battle against two other boys for her love? You might love her, but ultimately, she can’t decide, then, you can’t really bother, can you? PLus she hops from one to another and that seems exactly like cheating.
Real life situations:
Immigration, racial differences, wealth, (depending on which time period) education- these topics should also be thoroughly researched, as a story should be accurate to not offend and also be more touching.
Passionate kiss at first? (First of all, nobody will do that, ever) I don’t really think that’s a good idea.
NO, I don’t feel as motivated to read stories when the first episode talks about her crush, what she’s going to do, discuss her crush with her best friend, etc. Either bring it to a point you know something’s going to happen that is not going to be at a party or those scenes.
Portraying a character falling in love: I think, watch a lot of romance movies. How does the character react? Do they just flirt and smile coyly?
I’m guessing no unless it’s a comedy.
Usually, at the first few encounters, I don’t think the main character has such an impact and such, but it’s through discussion and knowing each other better. I feel like the main character would be not to think, “Oh my god, he’s hot”, after these encounters, but more of, “I like him”.
Also, to show the MC and LI’s love, the mistake author’s make, in my opinion, is narration. This is suitable in many occasions, but there are different types of narration:
Sometimes, describing is good, after a sad scene and all.
The one I’m talking about when the narration is a mistake is, “I love him so much. I didn’t even know…” Yes, this might work sometimes, but actions speak louder. I’m trying to say, instead of saying and narrating the story, there should be actions to show it. It’s more emotionally compelling.
Also, think symbols. What makes a scene more touching? more heartbreaking?
In the outdoors:
Silence, sad music.
These can all be applied to movies.
How to keep things interesting:
For example, if you’re talking about wealth or racial differences:
Remember there are background characters, or there must be characters that impact the two main character’s decisions.
Family and friends are very important. Instead of having them around to only choose outfits for you, or brign them to parties, they should give meaningful advice and be more well rounded as a character.
Family: They are usually quite important to the main characters. Their upbringing, the way they’re taught, whether their respect them, etc.
So, After their relationship comes to a good point, how does either’s family accept it?
Book: The lady of camellias, 1848.
When their family accepts it, what troubles await? Is their status lowered? Does other family relations get troubled or stuck in some sort of frenzy because of the relationship of the main characters? How does society react? These all impact the character’s decisions.
(I’d advise you not to add the cliche drama. Instead, Focus on the effects of their relationship on their situation, and everyone else’s situation. This makes a relationship truer, as these obstacles come across more often. )
Will the main character sacrifice their relationship for other people? In the end, are their misunderstandings, or family who affect it? Is it for the greater good?
This is what I think makes a good romance story.
Obviously, I’m not an expert, but anyways, there are some movies you can look for reference that are very emotionally compelling:
The Light between oceans
And the book I referenced earlier
Thank you for reading and I hope you have a great day!
(Oh my god, I’m off track and I have to do my homework now)