Reigniting a past love

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SwallowtailedTrinket
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Reigniting a past love

#1 Post by SwallowtailedTrinket » Sat Sep 07, 2019 11:44 pm

So my current working plot involves a long prologue where the protagonist meets the prospective love interests and some of the gameplay elements, you choose your fav, see a hint that this relationship is headed in a romantic direction, and then BOOM! Time skip!

There is an implication that the relationship went on for about six-eight months before protagonist gets into a bit of trouble and has to make a sudden exit without so much as even a goodbye for dear lover. Protagonist then returns to the same location two years later, and even though they know it's going to hurt them both, they have to work with the one they left behind to achieve their goal and save the city from all kinds of doom. The pair proceed to wade through the plot together, all the while trying to figure out what to do about this still flickering flame they have for each other--if it's worth lighting it back up or if they can even help themselves from seeing it burn ablaze all over again.

My concerns are A) that readers would miss most of what built the original relationship without dumping a ton of flashbacks in there, but that feels dangerous to the story's flow if I'm not careful. And B) it would be the exact same situation with each of the planned love interests so there would be some very similar story beats with the whole "You just up and vanished on me!" issue going on, and trying to keep that from being too repetitive on subsequent playthroughs would be a big challenge.

So I'm looking for tips and suggestions or hey even just your thoughts on the idea might help me sort through some of my own thinking and overthinking?

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Re: Reigniting a past love

#2 Post by GreenVegetations » Sun Sep 08, 2019 1:18 am

I think that it's ok if the reader misses most of the original relationship. I've seen many writers say that you don't necessarily need to show all the backstory in the plot, but it is important as a writer to know the characters and their backstories so you can essentially understand them and know how they will act. I personally find it more interesting when the backstory isn't given to me and I have to figure it out through insinuations and the way the characters treat each other. If you are planning on making it the same situation for each of the love interests I would suggest making it so that the love interests have different reactions and feelings about the "You just up and vanished on me!" issue. I would also recommend making it so that reactions of the love interests act as foils to one another to highlight the traits of each of them.

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Re: Reigniting a past love

#3 Post by jdhthegr8 » Sun Sep 08, 2019 5:36 am

A very interesting approach to the story- rather than spending your time forging a relationship with a girl you're trying to rebuild it! That's the type of idea that would make me excited to replay the game before I've even finished it once.

I don't think you need to invest too much into the "building" stage either; the player already has a reason to feel invested in the story in that they're trying to deal with the events that both forced them to leave as well as forced them back. As long as the interactions with the spurned lover in the second part are well-written then they should satisfy the interests of most people who hopped on for romance.

I can appreciate seeing the same plot event replayed with different characters involved, specifically because it allows each character to shine in a unique way through their reactions. It's something that I plan on employing in my own story for various scenes. So it's important that you establish how each of your characters would react to a given thing, and find ways to make them unique. Think of it like writing an "accent", except for their thought and choices rather than just their speech!

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Re: Reigniting a past love

#4 Post by SwallowtailedTrinket » Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:07 pm

@GreenVegetations -- It's kinda funny, but I never thought to call it a "backstory" because it technically takes place in the story's timeline, but that's exactly what it is! Oh my word, that'll make things so much easier XD And I like the idea of making the love interests foils to each other rather than just to the main character, thanks!

@jdhthegr8 -- I appreciate your interest in the idea! I shall definitely make sure each character respond differently, then. I have some ideas for most of them, it's just a matter of developing them further as I plan things out. Thanks!

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Re: Reigniting a past love

#5 Post by 78909087 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 2:36 am

Interesting concept.

I would say that you don't need flashbacks, but that simply seeing their 'ghost' around town and remembering titbits would be enough. Personally, I tend to write very in-depth emotional caricatures of my characters, so I feel as though the readers would be able to make their own educated guesses as to how things progressed. You can even add 'backstory' in relevant present day conversations. Many people reminisce in good moods, or bad ones.

As for coinciding code, we have a skip button for that!

I agree that you should know your characters inside and out, and know what differentiates them from one another. Overthinking in the planning stage is rarely fatal, unless you get overwhelmed. Just take things step by step. Think of places, tastes, and quirks that would make them all react differently. Flesh them out and build them from the ground up.

Character creation is my favourite part. Wishing you luck.
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