Love interest doing something gamer DON't LIKE.

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Love interest doing something gamer DON't LIKE.

#1 Post by Cakey » Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:21 am

I am writting otome game in very realistic way with charcters and their personalities. Would it be still entertaining if they do something that normal man do in real life but we don't like it? Plus they are not very much alike with usual archetypes so it is not what you EXPECT from them. Example: Person who you met not long ago jokes about you looking good without clothes.

EDIT: It is still on common route where you are about to choose. Still I don't think it is fair to WAIT with that kind of things to route of the character. I want all four of them have very realistic vibe and do things that are simply mistakes.

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Re: Love interest doing somtehing gamer DON't LIKE.

#2 Post by Mammon » Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:23 am

The problems with a 'realistic way' is that this tends to be rather difficult. The reader isn't clairvoyant and we don't know what's what in the MC's life. Therefore, the first few chapters will have to be of an expositional nature to explain and discover it. This may take away some of the realism because everything will be introduced to you on a silver platter and is usually given rather straightforward whereas in life we don't get such black and white facts. If you'd want to add the nuances or deliver things more naturally, the exposition part would be a lot longer and more verbose, something people tend to choose not to do because it's more work and usually not appreciated by the reader. Stories with an archtype that you can introduce much faster and easier, and then building upon that archtype to add the nuances, works a lot better for the reader to get into the story and for the author to manage.

Another problem is that, if the MC introduces someone, that person and MC usually already have established a relation and personalities. To us readers it may seem like an archtype or a strange creature because we are introduced to the acclimated personality from the getgo, but to the MC this is a personality that they've got to get used to after a more grounded and normal early relationship developed itself to this point. If you were to observe a few friends talk with one another, you'd also see strange habits that they find completely normal and a hierarchy that has already been established. If you were to join them however, the dynamic changes because you're now a new element that will urge them to return to more grounded versions of themselves, or not. In a story, this may seem unnatural because you're someone they're well acquainted with even though you're not.

A solution to this is to make the MC not know any of the other characters so that they are in the 'grounded' state of their relationship upon which you can then add the nuances. For example, she's new to school and meets everyone for the first time on-screen. This will, just as said in the first paragraph, either lead to a rather verbose and long development arc before their character is fully acquainted with the MC, or it will feel rushed and outlandish like what you're trying to avoid.

If you just want to avoid archtypes, that's more a matter of managing to do so, but it's quite difficult if you don't have a clear picture of how to do it. Even if you don't intend to make a certain type you might end up with it after all because of their actions or portrayal. Especially since you'll want to express certain factors of their personality, which you'll probably do direct enough to ensure that the reader will get it, thus creating such an archtype.
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Re: Love interest doing something gamer DON't LIKE.

#3 Post by SundownKid » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:07 am

"Why don't games make characters do things that people don't like?" Probably because then it would cease being an otome game and start becoming more of a drama or thriller. When people buy otome games they do so because they want to feel safe doing something they might not want to do in real life, so adding stuff like that will leave players or buyers feeling cheated unless they are warned beforehand that it isn't your usual dating sim.

But of course it depends on the severity of something the player wouldn't like. There is definitely leeway there. And there are definitely games that take it to the extreme and do crazy things.

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Re: Love interest doing something gamer DON't LIKE.

#4 Post by YonYonYon » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:49 am

There's a difference between a character having flaws and a character just plain being a douchebag. "Jokes" about women looking good naked just a couple of days after meeting is a huge red flag, and I will avoid the dude like my life depends on it. And it probably does.

I'm also worried about your wording. How is an asshole character any more "realistic" than a nice and polite character? How is it "normal" for a man being a douche? If you're making this just to be gritty and "realistic" I'm worried of an actual merit of your story.
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Re: Love interest doing something gamer DON't LIKE.

#5 Post by gekiganwing » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:52 am

Today's word: verisimilitude. It can be used to describe something which happens in fiction, but which seems plausible. In other words, the story seems like it could occur, even though it never happened in real life.
Cakey wrote:Would it be still entertaining if they do something that normal man do in real life but we don't like it?
It sounds like you want your characters to be flawed but ultimately likable. I think that this would be an admirable goal. It seems much better than trying to create fictional people who seem thoroughly consistent or perfect. (I haven't met a perfect person.) Strive to show that the charas have problems and weaknesses, all the while showing that they are respectable people.

Challenge and surprise your readers all you want. However, you don't want a reader to walk away saying "This isn't what I wanted." I'm trying to think of specific examples to explain this better, but I'm not having success.
Cakey wrote:Plus they are not very much alike with usual archetypes so it is not what you EXPECT from them.
That also sounds like an interesting challenge. It will take effort to make sure your fictional characters' behavior is believable and reasonably consistent.

I searched the web for "character archetypes" to understand a variety of examples. One useful list that I found is The Twelve Common Archetypes, and another one is The Eight Character Archetypes of the Hero’s Journey. Think about how you could portray charas such as these so that their actions on-screen make sense.

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Re: Love interest doing something gamer DON't LIKE.

#6 Post by Cakey » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:05 am

It is not like I WANT to avoid stereotypes. I just create interesting human not thinking about stereotype.

1. Blonde character is kind of flirty type but not towards MC, he isn't rude eather but acts very reassuring in tough situations. So... is he flirty type or not?

2. Second may seem like big brother type, since he have very fond realtionship with his own sister and try to make MC "part of family" but acts very sarcastic toward other males and instinctively protect both girls from being hit on but he DOES NOT act like big brother types from other otome games... so I don't consider him one.

Other two don't look like archetypes at all.

3. Japanese covered in tatoos not from his own choice. Very inteligent and quite confident. He is hard to describe. Seems to own the situation in very balanced way. He is somebody everybody can rely on being stable. Like person who manage whole group. He is a little flirty towards MC.

4. Half asian who kind of back away if he sees situation that would involve him in something bigger. With preassure from others he still gets involved in things. Skilled in making money and looking important. Lost his girlfriend but isn't mouring anymore. Talks about her without problems. Treats MC like woman who can handle herself and don't need to cosset her. Thrusts that she do well what she does.

All of them are PROBABLY orphans. They all are very intelligent and are made to do great things, have a lot of skills. None of them is actually jerk or someone bad. They all want to just live happily but in their own way.


Any of them truly would be able say as stupid joke as I mentioned. The queston is if it wouldn't hurt the pride of gamer so much that he woldn't choose the one who made mistake, not looking as his oveall character. I want to make likable characters with flaws but flaws sometimes can be too big to get over them.

gekiganwing Oh my! Thanks for awesome links :)
Last edited by Cakey on Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Love interest doing something gamer DON't LIKE.

#7 Post by turkeymagic » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:33 am

At least for me, I don't think it's so much about mistakes as it is about how the narrative and characters handle them. People make mistakes and that can actually be an engaging character arc, but what makes or break it is whether the story addresses those mistakes. Does the character grow from it? Even if we don't see it completely resolved, is it acknowledged and does the character make an attempt to do better?

It's gonna be more important in dating sims/otome games too. Sure, there are some flaws that are intrinsic to a character and are very difficult to overcome, but at the same time if someone you're interested in dating doesn't care enough to attempt to stop doing something upsetting, it doesn't read like a healthy/reciprocated relationship.

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Re: Love interest doing something gamer DON't LIKE.

#8 Post by Cakey » Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:40 am

YonYonYon wrote:There's a difference between a character having flaws and a character just plain being a douchebag. "Jokes" about women looking good naked just a couple of days after meeting is a huge red flag, and I will avoid the dude like my life depends on it. And it probably does.

I'm also worried about your wording. How is an asshole character any more "realistic" than a nice and polite character? How is it "normal" for a man being a douche? If you're making this just to be gritty and "realistic" I'm worried of an actual merit of your story.
Everyone sometimes are a jerk or douche. I don't think that we are entitled to do things perfectly. Especially about jokes. There are a lot of people who have different limits and jokes preferences. For some sexual jokes are ok and for other they seem rude. Man jokes about one things and woman about others. Telling something like this may not be even mean to the protagonist. I met real people who wolud be completly confused if I don't laugh at their offensive jokes. It i a metter of perspective ;)

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Re: Love interest doing something gamer DON't LIKE.

#9 Post by Sonomi » Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:58 pm

I am in favor of realistic writing. In fact, there is a genre for this called slice of life. Now this primarily involves writing scenarios that happen in real life, but you can definitely write people who appear in real life as well. There's an audience for this, you can be sure!

Like Cakey has already said, different people will always have a preference for the type of humor they enjoy, the types of foods they like, and so forth. And that doesn't inherently make them a bad person. I would say it depends on that person's overall personality and how you decide to write him. If he is just a candid person, but he's also the type who can recognize other people's boundaries or adjust his behavior when he realizes that he might be making someone uncomfortable, I deem that wonderful character development.
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Re: Love interest doing something gamer DON't LIKE.

#10 Post by Kuiper » Wed Jul 12, 2017 2:01 pm

I'm a bit surprised by the responses to this thread. "Love interests doing things that the audience (and main character) hate" is a common staple of romance novels, and often the basis for things like "drama" and "romantic tension." Most people don't like a "flawless character," and a lot of the best romances are stories about people learning to accept each other in spite of their respective flaws. These can actually be some of the most uplifting romance stories, because gosh darn it, if there's hope in this world for these two characters despite all their flaws and baggage, maybe there's hope for all of us.

In fact, it's a common trope in older romance novels that when the main character encounters a love interest and they immediately hit things off, that character is the "red herring," and the real love interest is the prickly guy that the heroine gets into a fight with in the first chapter. Over the course of the novel, we discover that the guy who puts up a "mean" front actually has a tender heart, a vulnerable side that he doesn't show off in public. (And, on the other side of things, sometimes the person who appeared to be "Mr. Right" from the very start isn't actually a nice guy at all, but a silver-tongued seducer who just knew how to make a good first impression.)

Take, for example, the classic of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. The first time that our protagonist Elizabeth encounters Mr. Darcy, it's a disaster. He comes across as an arrogant jerk, refusing to dance with any of the girls at the party, implying that it would be beneath him to do so, and when Mr. Bingley suggests that Darcy dance with Elizabeth, Darcy scoffs at the idea, remarking that Elizabeth isn't good-looking enough to tempt him. Oh, from the very start of the novel, Elizabeth has every reason to hate Mr. Darcy, and when she tells him exactly how she feels about him, he has every reason to hate her.

Of course, it becomes obvious to any astute reader that these two are destined to engage in a comedy of manners as they discover other's good qualities and eventually fall in love. (Ironically, we consider this turn of events incredibly predictable now, but that's only because most post-Austen romances have borrowed heavily from her stories--at the time she wrote Pride and Prejudice, she was breaking new ground, and it's one of the reasons I recommend that everyone go back and read it--it really holds up, not only as an example to authors trying to romance, but as a genuinely enjoyable novel.)

The thing is, every time I read Pride and Prejudice, it feels like the "twist" (that the prideful Mr. Darcy and the prejudiced Elizabeth Bennet) is actually heavily foreshadowed. Take, for example, one of Elizabeth's first negative impressions of Darcy, when she overhears a conversation between Darcy and his pal Bingley:
Elizabeth Bennet had been obliged, by the scarcity of gentlemen, to sit down for two dances; and during part of that time, Mr. Darcy had been standing near enough for her to hear a conversation between him and Mr. Bingley, who came from the dance for a few minutes, to press his friend to join it. "Come, Darcy," said he, "I must have you dance. I hate to see you standing about by yourself in this stupid manner. You had much better dance."

"I certainly shall not. You know how I detest it, unless I am particularly acquainted with my partner. At such an assembly as this it would be insupportable. Your sisters are engaged, and there is not another woman in the room whom it would not be a punishment to me to stand up with."

"I would not be so fastidious as you are," cried Mr. Bingley, "for a kingdom! Upon my honour, I never met with so many pleasant girls in my life as I have this evening; and there are several of them you see uncommonly pretty."
I've actually seen that same exchange play out during middle school dances, usually looking something like this:
Bingley: "Why are you standing by yourself in the corner like a loser? You're at a dance, so dance!"
Darcy: "I don't even know any of these girls. Why would I want to dance with someone I don't know? I mean, it probably wouldn't even be very fun, I bet all of these girls suck."
Bingley: "Dude, what are you talking about? Lots of these girls are really nice, and some of them are real hotties, too!"
Of course, Elizabeth fixates on one part of Darcy's statement, the one where he takes a shot at all of the women at the party, and from that concludes that he must be an arrogant jerk who thinks he's above everyone. But in the conversation between Darcy and Bingley, I see something else: I see a guy who feels uncomfortable at a function where he's surrounded by strangers, he doesn't particularly enjoy meeting new people in the context of a dance, and his friend is trying to cajole him into dancing and have a good time--so he makes excuses, and he comes up with the sour grapes excuse--"Come on, I bet all of these girls suck." It's a mean thing to say, but does it really come from a place of superiority? Not really--it's more him trying to get his buddy to leave him alone and stop badgering him to dance. You get the impression that Darcy's behavior is rooted more in social discomfort than arrogance, even if he does "act out" in ways that end up hurting others.

I think a lot of people can actually relate to Mr. Darcy in that situation--you get dragged along to a party, you don't particularly enjoy it, you try to keep to yourself, your friends try to get you to socialize more, you try to come up with excuses, and then you say something rude that makes you look like a jerk.

Was Mr. Darcy being rude? Absolutely. But Elizabeth completely misjudged his character. And even if the audience does start off hating Mr. Darcy, that's okay, because he has an entire novel to redeem himself. The fact that their relationship starts off on completely the wrong foot is exactly what makes the adventure so fun. What if they got along perfectly and never had any fights? 50,000 words of two people just smiling and nodding their heads and agreeing with each other sounds like a lot less fun.

I'll say it again: characters doing things that rub each other the wrong way is usually the basis for things like "drama" and "romantic tension." You can get these from external forces--for example, you can have two characters who love each other from the start and are perfectly nice to each other but still encounter angst due to external circumstances. That's how you get a story like Romeo and Juliet--you have "love at first sight," and the two never have any fights, but society endeavors to keep them apart. I prefer the Jane Austen approach. It feels a lot more realistic, the characters tend to have more depth, the conflicts tend to be ones I can relate to, and those stories just tend to be more interesting to me.
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Re: Love interest doing something gamer DON't LIKE.

#11 Post by Cakey » Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:40 pm

Kuiper
The thing is that I don't see eather of this scenrios fitting in Visual Novel since introduction is essential for player to understand what route she wants to chose. I don't like making sexual tension from the start. I am very burdened if in one moment all of guys are interested in me. Plus I really don't like choosing jerks. I am not sure IF they ever going to change so usually I don't even start their route.

I cerated certain situation in game that make their romance a little forbidden and that they need to hide it so I have no problem making sexual tension. I am just wondering if certain statments or situations may make younger audience uncomfortable since I am not teenager myself and fully aware of how relationship between two sexses works. Since I do that in certain way I won't make prostagonist completley pure and unaware of her looks. There are things like just not agreeing with the idea of something. For example: I wouldn't be able to participate in ANY relationship where protagonist or lover are cheating on anyone.

The thing is: How many of you would really completly reject a route because of poor joke? I don't want to make guy not being choosen because of my poor jugment of situation.

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Re: Love interest doing something gamer DON't LIKE.

#12 Post by hoihoisoi » Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:49 pm

Personally, I think it is fine if the love interest does something the gamer doesn't like. It can be made into a plot point even whereby the MC tries his/her best to 'fix' or 'mitigate' this problem through the story. Depending on how you write it out and use this 'something that the gamer wouldn't like' in your story, it can even be a strength. To strive above challenge is what makes the MC/love interest/story interesting.

However, if you are talking about realistic writing, I think it is always good to have your characters not be too crazily realistic. Some aspects/characteristics of your character should be emphasized and others hidden. At first glance, this doesn't seem very logical but once you're read a really 'realistic' VN, you'll understand the problem. I actually only found this out after reading 'Katahane' which mind you is not half bad, but having characters that are too logically realistic, weighed this VN down. Personally, I found Katahane hard to read because the characters reacted to things too realistically and in turn, there's this 'lack of fun' within the realism of it all. Having stereotypes is kinda 'eh' as well, so you'll probably have to find a good mix in between of that realism and that stereotypiness. It's all about getting that right balance to make your characters shine I guess. X)

Good luck with your writing! :D
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Re: Love interest doing something gamer DON't LIKE.

#13 Post by Xandra » Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:32 pm

Honestly, the characters I start out hating often become my favorites, although that depends a great deal on how the character is developed. Like others have said, try to strike a balance and go with your instincts. Don't be afraid to create a character who is a little more controversial, but it's good to draw a line somewhere too to keep the guy in check. If you want the character to be flawed but likable, just be careful not to have him do something so extreme that he'd be irredeemable in too many peoples' eyes.
Example: Person who you met not long ago jokes about you looking good without clothes.
I would be turned off by this character initially, but you could still change my mind about him depending on where you go with him. :3
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