How do you create the perfect love interest?

opinion

#1

Hello hello! I don’t know why you say “Goodbye”, I say “Hello”. ♪♫ :blush:

I’m sure a lot of us have noticed that there are many issues with what makes a love interest great in the eyes of Episode and some of its users. So I thought it’d be interesting to see what the Episode community on these forums thinks about love interests in stories and how to make them great. You’re free to answer some or all the questions below or come up with your own separate answers to this post as long as it remains on-topic. Let’s have a respectful dialogue and always seek to improve our writing, together, as a community full of avid readers and/or aspiring authors.

  • What makes a love interest great?
  • How can Episode and Episode users make their love interests better?
  • Are there any love interests that you particularly loved? If so: What story were they in (on Episode or elsewhere)? Who were they? What did you love about them?
  • Do you think about your own ideal type of romantic partner when creating a love interest? Do they resemble your real life partner or crush (if you have one)?
  • How long do you usually take to build up the romance in a story you’re writing? And how do you build it up?
  • Do you find yourself “falling for” the same type of love interest when reading a story? If so, what are they like?
  • How much does appearance matter? Does it matter at all? If so, why do you think so?

For anyone who doesn’t know and is wondering, you’ll likely see the two letters “LI” in this thread a lot. LI stands for love interest. I thought it was worth mentioning :upside_down_face:


How do you come up with ideas for your story?
#2

What makes a love interest great? I would like to have a love interest a nice and loving person who would take time and wait for you.
How can Episode and Episode users make their love interests better? Well, if they mean a lot to you and you treat them like they’re really your lover.
Are there any love interests that you particularly loved? I like a lover who will treat you like a queen or king. Oh in “the good-bye”, it’s my story :sweat_smile: the best friends lover is really sweet :blush:
Do you think about your own ideal type of romantic partner when creating a love interest? Yes! of course, I treat them like a real person! I think about my crush and how I want him to act :sweat_smile:
How long do you usually take to build up the romance in a story you’re writing? I like a month or so, but not just a day or a week, that’s not realistic.
Do you find yourself “falling for” the same type of love interest when reading a story? If so, what are they like?
I like it when they give you presents or when you have a bad day, they will cheer you up! :blush:
How much does appearance matter? Does it matter at all? If so, why do you think so? It depends if they look creepy than I wouldn’t like it. It’s just that it would creep me out. But appearances don’t matter to me.


#3

My main issue with a lot of poorly written and/or unappealing love interests is that they seem to only exist for the MC. I believe LIs should be people first, romantic interests second. I know it’s cheesy, but they always say you have to love yourself before you love someone else, so I try to take this into account when developing LIs in my stories. I like having the LIs come to terms with who they are while simultaneously starting to fall for the MC. This is effective (IMO) because it not only leads to important character development but also makes for a “slow-burn” romance.


#4

Celibattante. I’m my own hero.


#5

Oh! I completely agree. That’s something that often escapes a lot of writers’ minds when writing stories that contain choices since the LI is often pre-determined to end up with the MC either way. So he/she is initially created for the reader and nothing else. I did feel a lot of LIs in Episode stories lacked personality and motivations.


#6

for me i think the love interest “people first, romantic interests second” like @luciaricci said. The Li’s shouldn’t be “perfect” they should have many flaws and the flaws shouldn’t just be a “bad past” idek how to word this


#7

Did you use Google Translate? :joy: I don’t understand that French sentence at the end even if I speak French.

And I agree, a love interest should be treated as a character first, with proper character development, and a love interest second. No one in real life exists just for us, so the characters in our stories shouldn’t exist just for the MC either.


#8

no i got a friend to write it bc i couldn’t explain it in English lol


#9

Oh, haha, I guess your friend needs a bit of help in French then :grin: Everything else in your post made perfect sense though~


#10

How can Episode and Episode users make their love interests better?What makes a love interest great?

Ill answer together since its the same. A good LI is complex not 1 demnsional. While personalities vary at the care a good LI should have more to them than “good” “bad” “gang leader”

How long do you usually take to build up the romance in a story you’re writing? And how do you build it up?

I think it should be built up throughout not “one day i just loved him” you build it up through interactions not Huge grand gestures. Small things…like sharing a laugh…having the MC say something and the LI smile(and MC doesnt notice it nor is it heavily zoomed in on) no flowery crap like “i couldnt help but smile at her she was my sun and i was blah blah”
more small interactions could be
LI stares at MC
MC gives LI notes to copy(no coming over to “study”)(if u have a school story setting)
LI notices MC has a “cute handwriting style” while copying notes
These small “useless moments”(or what ppl find boring) show how they interact seperate and together. Then u build up and give more “signifgant gestures”
LI giving MC lunch as a thanks for letting them use the notes(in addtion to giving the notes back as an excuse to bring said food)
And then the gestures become bigger
LI and MC start having lunch together more frequently
And it keeps building up

Do you find yourself “falling for” the same type of love interest when reading a story? If so, what are they like?

Yes. I like brooding silent types(loners/emo/kuudere/whatever) and snarky types(not assholes ppl keep using tht as an asshole person but snark to me is diffrent)

How much does appearance matter? Does it matter at all? If so, why do you think so?

Yes looks matter apperance captures the persons attention but personality keeps them. When i play episodes i can make my LI the same(and i do) i also prefer dark clothing and jackets for the LIs(but thts always used on cliche bad boys) but my like for them diminishes because their personality is diffrent from what i like…then in tht moment he only looks like my ideal LI and not acts like it. So apperance and personality go together.

Ik im not an author…but…i hope i helped a little thts…what i think anyways…sorry ik this is a lot of writing.


#11
  • What makes a love interest great?
    They have to be a well-developed character with their own interests, family, flaws, and virtues. Not someone who just looks good and loves the MC.

  • How can Episode and Episode users make their love interests better?
    I think they need to develop the character before writing. What’s their ethnic background? What’s their social/economical background? What do they enjoy doing in their free time? Has this person ever been romantically involved with anyone before? What are their pet peeves?
    Not just some ‘hot bad boy’, you know?

  • Are there any love interests that you particularly loved? If so: What story were they in (on Episode or elsewhere)? Who were they? What did you love about them?
    Well, I really like guys that care about the girl and will go out of their way to do special things for her. This doesn’t mean that he has to be this way from the beginning of the story. Maybe in the beginning, he’s kind of distant or unfriendly, but (especially in a slow-burn romance), little by little, he begins to surprise the MC by doing something sweet and meaningful, thus also surprising the reader by doing things unexpected of him.

  • Do you think about your own ideal type of romantic partner when creating a love interest? Do they resemble your real life partner or crush (if you have one)?
    I think of the qualities I like in guys, and that’s how I design my LIs.

  • How long do you usually take to build up the romance in a story you’re writing? And how do you build it up?
    In my story, it took 8 chapters for the guy to finally ask the MC to be his girlfriend. The MC had been crushing on him for years.

  • Do you find yourself “falling for” the same type of love interest when reading a story? If so, what are they like?
    Not always… but there are certain traits that I really don’t like. Generic bad boys, gross guys who make bathroom jokes and too much private info, abusive jerks that cheat on the MC, ‘weak’ types who never stand up for their girl and believe every misunderstanding or lie, and stale, boring love interests are the ones I don’t care for.

  • How much does appearance matter? Does it matter at all? If so, why do you think so?
    Yes but it has to be the whole package: Looks, personality, personal style. If not, looks alone just aren’t enough.


#12

What does anyone here think about the “love at first sight” trope? I do find that a lot of authors just use it for convenience but I’m not against it as long as there’s still some build up for the romance, or if there’s some twist to it. I like it better when it’s one-sided and the other character either never falls in love or takes a while to develop feelings for whoever’s crushing on them.


#13

I gotta admit, I’m sometimes am a sucker for this. I agree to that way of writing it, though I like a variation of it. As in, Person A crushes on Person B, A doesn’t know the other’s feelings but eventually they learn B had first fallen for them.

I don’t know why, but it’s like when I first get to like someone they’re already their best (or at least an endearing selves)
Otherwise, I don’t mind with a few slow/medium burn stories.


#14

What makes a love interest great? I think what makes a love interest great is when they aren’t your cliché bad boy. They treat the MC with kindness and respect. For example, in my upcoming story, the love interest will actually treat the MC like she is a respectable human being rather than some “thing” he can toy around with (haha the self promo).

How can Episode and Episode users make their love interests better? Just stop with all the clichés honestly. Not all guys are douchebags.

Are there any love interests that you particularly loved? If so: What story were they in (on Episode or elsewhere)? Who were they? What did you love about them? I like Bryce from Falling For Us, Jude from The Girl Upstairs, Paul from The Lovely One, Warren from New Love, and Austin from Bad Boy Roommate. What I loved about all of these characters is that they never hurt the MC. With these characters, the MC constantly feels respected and they never intentionally hurt her.

Do you think about your own ideal type of romantic partner when creating a love interest? Do they resemble your real life partner or crush (if you have one)? So, the two love interests in my story are both based on people in real life. Josh is based on this guy I liked for about 6 years and then who I dated for three years and Matt is based on my neighbor who I dated when I was like three and who I am now friends with…

**How long do you usually take to build up the romance in a story you’re writing? And how do you build it up?**Well, when planning out my story I tried to think of how long relationships in real life take to build. Then, I remembered my grandpa saying that before you even think about being with someone you should be friends with them for at least four seasons. So, that’s basically what happens in my story lol.

Do you find yourself “falling for” the same type of love interest when reading a story? If so, what are they like? Actually I know this sounds horrible because I’m super anti cliché but whenever I read stories with like more than one love interest, for some reason I always fall for the guy who treated the MC like crap the entire time lol. Basically the only two stories I chose the good guy was The Lovely One (I chose Paul) and New Love (I’m going to pick Warren).

How much does appearance matter? Does it matter at all? If so, why do you think so?
To me, appearance doesn’t matter at all. In real life, I know that you can be the most handsome guy alive but if you open your mouth and have a bad attitude, you become the ugliest man alive. So, I never really care about looks. I go for personality :upside_down_face:


#15

Bump, because I want to see more opinions on this :blush:


#16
  • What makes a love interest great?
    I think a great LI is kind and definitely not one of those bad guys who are physically/mentally abusive. I like it if they’re a little different from the MC but still share some interests. I really love it when they’re down to earth and put others’ needs before their own.

  • How can Episode and Episode users make their love interests better?
    Try to make them different from what you see in the trending sections because I feel like they’re all very similar. Don’t just make them bad boys because it’s a great story. Maybe try and let them reflect someone from your own life that you like.

  • Are there any love interests that you particularly loved? If so: What story were they in (on Episode or elsewhere)? Who were they? What did you love about them?
    One of my all time favorite love interests is Lincoln James from Maid For You. He cares so much about Madison and always puts her first. He’s a real gentleman and has a big heart.

  • Do you think about your own ideal type of romantic partner when creating a love interest? Do they resemble your real life partner or crush (if you have one)?
    My LIs very much reflect what I myself find attractive. Maybe some of their traits are based off of good memories that I have had in previous relationships. They are very much based on some of the good guys that I know in real life.

  • How long do you usually take to build up the romance in a story you’re writing? And how do you build it up?
    Since I currently only have one active story, I can’t quite say how I usually do it. But I do know that I want the MC and the LI to have known each other for some time before anything romantic happens between them.
    I like building it up with attraction first. The MC sees the LI and thinks they’re attractive but the MC doesn’t fall in love instantly. They start spending time together, get to know each other as friends first. I’d like for them to have known each other for a few years before they give it a try as a couple.

  • Do you find yourself “falling for” the same type of love interest when reading a story? If so, what are they like?
    I find many bad boys attractive, however I don’t find myself falling for them. LIs that I actually fall for are kind, selfless, passionate, positive minded and not the typical popular/bad boy. Also, LIs that are soft and sensitive just have my heart instantly.

  • How much does appearance matter? Does it matter at all? If so, why do you think so?
    I think it’s 50/50. With myself, I find that seeing someone as attractive is a good sign as it makes me want to approach them and get to know them better. However, I’ve met quite some people whom I’ve found less attractive but have still fallen for as I got to know them.
    I think appearance matters because it’s easier to find someone you want to get to know. Sure, you may fall for their looks at first but if they’re total jackasses when you get to know them, you won’t stay with them anyway because personality does mean more.


#17

I based my the only LI in my published story from solely on my own experiences, abusive or manipulative.

I think a sense of trust, respect and chemistry is absolutely crucial in creating an incredible love interest, all while not creating him a Marty Sue.

If you feel like the LI is absolutely flawless (like so perfect that he can’t do no wrong), you should step back a bit and evaluate his character. Marty Sues aren’t interesting at all: they should be well-rounded with their own rough edges and vulnerabilities. JUST LIKE THE MC, though it seems like writers would even fuck up the MC and write her off as a Mary Sue too. If they can’t make an interesting MC, I have high doubts the LI would be any different (if not worse.)

I do feel a certain degree of pity when people create toxic/overly-aggressive LIs. It indicates to me that they know absolutely nothing about being in that kind of situations, alienating readers and turning me off from their story altogether.

The LIs I loved…hmmm. I do like Ian of Rebounding with Bad, a great example of a respectful, AND rebellious boy with a kind heart (and he doesn’t hide it either). Lexa had her flaws in Playing Her Game (a fantastic LGBTQ story btw), but had some form of character development over time. There were times she rubbed me off the wrong way, but not nearly the amount of other “LIs” you see in featured and popular stories.

Another way to write good LIs is also this: ask yourself “if I did the same ‘mistake’ like cheating or backhanded action, would this character react as I would? Is this how I would want to be treated? Is there any inspiration I can use from my own experiences?” If that makes any sense.

Other simple advice is this: DON’T bother using 90% of following popular or featured stories that are based on romance. If you think your written LI is becoming similar, better start rewriting lol.


#18

Appearance wise, let’s face it. Just like irl, would you feel something for someone you connect with but don’t find particularly attractive?

Would you approach some random stranger with little to his/her looks (according to you) and ask them out for coffee or movie? I’m sorry, but physical attraction (and sexual chemistry too) IS a factor, whether people want to admit it to themselves or not.
It’s going to be the first thing that will pull people in interacting with said romantic interest.

To a certain degree tho, but there is nothing I dislike more than seeing people not expecting a higher standard for themselves.

“Best friends” or acquaintances of said “LI” need to fuck right off with “oh just give him a chance! He’s really a nice guy” in stories. No need to pressure in something you don’t want to do ffs.


#19

I would and I have, actually :sweat_smile: Many times. Some people’s personality just make them a lot more attractive than others would think. But everyone gives different levels of importance to looks, that’s for sure. I don’t think this idea is as radical as “looks don’t matter” and “looks obviously matter”. Some people care about it a lot, others not at all (like really, not at all), and most of us care about it somewhat. Personally, I do have a certain standard (looks-wise and especially personality-wise), but I don’t need a man to be seen as good-looking by most to consider dating him.

I’ve never officially asked someone out to begin with, but if I was brave enough and saw something about their personality that’s attractive to me, I certainly would ask them out.

I agree with how upsetting the pressure put on by other characters for the MC to date someone can be. Sure, they can give their opinion, but sometimes it becomes too much. Sometimes an LI (or someone in real life) can check all the boxes, but there just isn’t that “spark” and that’s just life, you know? :woman_shrugging:


#20

Bump :grin: :heart: