Welcome to the new Writing Q&A site! This is the place for anybody interested in the craft of professional writing, editing, and publishing. We welcome questions about all types of writing: fiction, poetry, technical documentation, journalism, scriptwriting, non-fiction, essays, and more. Got questions? Click the "ask" button! Able to offer answers? Try the search button, click on any tag, or just browse. And please vote on content that stands out.
If you have an account on Writing Stack Exchange, you can claim your questions and answers with your account here.
We're currently running on temporary software while waiting for Codidact to be ready. The URL is on codidact.com now, and the software will be updated to match later. Regardless of the software, you can help us expand our library of questions and answers right now -- please join us.
I want to make two of my characters fall in love
My story is about two gang leaders. The female is the leader of the largest gang in the country. The guy is the leader of the 2nd-largest.
They meet at a café where the guy instantly falls in love with her, but she has been through too many heartbreaks to fall in love so easily.
How do I make the girl fall in love with him?
The best advice I ever heard on how to write characters falling in love, is to make each the characters two people who fit each other's deepest needs.
So, I'm assuming that you already know who your character is. What are his strengths? What makes him stand out as a character? What are his weaknesses; his fears, his needs?
Now shape a woman who will supply his needs, and whose needs she can supply.
For example, let's say your character grew up in a broken home. His father walked out on him when he was quite young, promising to come back but never did. His mother disappeared into a bottle. He was mostly raised by an aunt who later died. He learned the lesson that people lie to you and leave you and you can't trust them.
Now you create a woman who is loyal to a fault. Demonstrate this with a situation where she is fiercely loyal to someone who doesn't deserve her loyalty. Because we know his background, we can see why he would fall for her.
Now ask yourself; what is her need? Maybe she has a bunch of shiftless relatives who use her and constantly borrow from her and see her only as a source of income. And they take her for granted. She needs a man who doesn't need anything from her financially, and one who will not take her for granted. She also needs someone to rescue her from her situation.
Once you set up these elements, the romance can take place organically. Because they are such a good fit for each other, it will feel completely natural when they fall in love.
People from dysfunctional backgrounds often make choices which perpetuate their situations. It would make sense that in the past she has fallen in love with men like her relatives. Men who need to be rescued, who are needy. Each time, those men have failed her because she eventually came to realize that they didn't love her, only what she could do for them. Your hero can be different. All he has to do is prove in some way that he is not like the other men, and that he will put her welfare over his own (which is a thing the other men never did)
Experiment with different character traits and combinations until you find one that fits. And then have fun watching the characters write the story themselves :)
The first thing I'd like to point out is your question: how do I make the girl fall in love? In my opinion, the question should be more along the lines of "how do I make these two characters work together at all?" It's almost always best to see the characters as friends before you see them as companions.
The best advice I can give to you now is to write a scene with these two characters in a "demo" setting, if you will -- focusing less on their past experiences and seeing how the moment at hand affects both of them because that's how relationships work in real life. Understand how the perspective would help, as well -- even if you're going for an omniscient voice; there's always a lot more to your date than they may seem at first glance and your scene with the two of them should reflect this. Complex characters always seem simple at first, but gradually unfold to reveal the layers underneath -- and thus, their relationship should unfold the same way.
Finally, ask yourself: what are her weaknesses -- the ones she still has, but thought she's patched up by now? Moreover, what about herself has she completely overlooked in the times she's spent with her past lovers?
This is an existing answer of mine; which I believe is on-point.
Basically: Falling in love is generally a combination of sexual attraction, complementarity, and commonality.
Friendship (or platonic love) is formed by the last two, minus sexual attraction.
Commonality means you have things you enjoy in common; the reason this brings you together is synergy. It is more fun to do things you like with other people that like them; and if we both like, say, the same music, by sharing our finds we get more music we like than if we are alone.
Or Commonality can be a similar sense of humor; I say things you find humorous, and vice versa. For a lot of people a failure on that commonality is a deal breaker.
Complementarity is when I am weak in an area I wish I was not, but you are good at it, and vice versa; I am good at something you are not great at (and wish you were). This can also be synergistic; together we can be better at life than the sum of what either of us is alone. We make good partners.
Or some women like a man that can defend them; that is complementarity: They do not feel good at defense, and feel safer being with somebody that is good at it.
The complementarity has to be in a good way. I wish I was good at cooking, but I'm not, and I appreciate it when somebody can. It can't be opposites like one is a racist and the other despises racism.
You devise traits for the two characters that they can eventually discover as commonalities and complementarities.
For Romantic Love, sexual attraction is pretty much required; but it doesn't have to be immediate. When people are thrust together (like in a work situation, or some other "cauldron" that forces them together), they may not initially be that attracted to each other, but they can get accustomed to each other as people over some weeks or months, and develop a physical attraction. For that kind of story, you'd want some strong commonalities and complementing skill sets. A common compelling purpose (for example running from the mob, or escaping being stranded in a jungle) can also help a relationship develop into love.
I'd suggest asking yourself what it is that precedes the spark of attraction, and how that has differed from one instance to the next, for you.
Is/was it a personality trait that attracted you to someone? A physical one? Something as simple as a nice pair of dimples? Maybe it was the scent of fine cologne, just under your awareness. Physical fitness. An ineffable quality of poise, assurance, something 'one step above' that you didn't realize no one else had, until you crossed paths with this person? Some talent, like singing or dance?
Likewise: Did the attraction hit you like a ton of bricks, or grow over time?
Each falling-in-love can be unique. Make a list from your own experience, and see what fits in your story and for your character.
For each person you've fallen for, ask what the experience of initial 'falling' was like. Was it a surprise? Was it a challenge you couldn't wait to sink into? Was the crush of it wonderful, or annoying and distracting? Was your swoon unrequited? How about this--was it the presence of the person that made you aware of the feeling, or that person's absence?
What you want, for your character, are the details. Foreshadow beforehand in any number of ways, and then be certain the love interest in your story displays the detail your character will fall for. Likewise, make the details of her response sensory and full.
That's my advice. Hope it helps.