I've had many people ask some really great questions on this project and private messages that I haven't necessarily covered in chapters, and I'd just like to post the questions and answers so that all can see and hopefully learn! :)
If you've had questions that you've never gotten around to asking, you may find your answer here! If you don't see an answer to your question here, feel free to ask me in the comments. :)
What makes a love story interesting?
a) The character's personality?
b) Their sweet moments?
c) Being inseparable despite the challenges they face?
All these and more, honestly. You have to think about WHY readers want to read a love story...for myself, I am a hopeless romantic, so love stories interest me. Other people aren't as drawn to them. DEFINITELY the personalities of the characters (someone relatable, a bit odd maybe, or funny, or someone who seems unlikely to find love, etc.). It's always the challenges that help the relationship grow as well...so don't make it all rainbows and butterflies. There will be trials, and also the characters will each have their flaws and maybe their pet peeves about what their significant other does. But the greatest thing is the love in the story that overcomes all.
People don't want to read (or as far as I know) about a couple who are all perfect and happy and everything goes well. Challenges interest readers. It helps them to come to know the characters and appreciate their love more, and for the love to seem more genuine.
And definitely making it realistic. Unrealistic love stories (For example, they met and are in love the next day.) make people doubt the love and the story.
What do you mean by small talk?
Just casual, pointless conversation. Like:
"Oh hey, how are you?" Mary asked.
Jane replied, "Oh, I'm fine. How's your family?"
"Great, thanks for asking. You been up to anything fun lately?"
I mean, sure, we may talk like this in real life because it's polite and custom, but it's actually incredibly boring to read. :/ Often in stories, cutting straight to the point or moving to a more interesting scene works better.
Would you say this is a good thing to ask, or not? Example:
I told her about my family, about how we've been suffering.
Or would you put it in dialogue where she rambles on and on about how her family has been suffering?
I would suggest a few things:
a) If you've already informed the reader previously about her family situation, there's no need to relay it all again in detail through the dialogue. It would just be boring and repetitive.
b) However, if you can figure out how to include the backstory in the dialogue without it being boring, this can be a good way to include information that hasn't previously been discussed.
c) Also, if you've already introduce the family problems, but don't want to just glaze over the conversation (sometimes glazing over it can reduce the emotion), then you can try an extremely simplified version of the actual conversation. Example:
"It's just been really tough," I explained, tears brimming in my eyes. As Tom wrapped his arms comfortingly around me, I mentioned my brothers drinking habits, thought it pained me to admit my family was so flawed. I swallowed deeply, burying my face in my hands. "I didn't think we'd ever get to this point."
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