How many in-game days should it take for characters to fall in love?

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How many in-game days should it take for characters to fall in love?

#1 Post by SeiranSensei » Sun Sep 08, 2019 10:49 am

Hi everyone! (English is not my native language, so I might mispell things; sorry)

I'm creating a BL visual novel with a really fast pace, with some dark themes and 5 love interests that you meet in different moments of the story. The decisions to enter or not in a certain character route are spread throughout the game, but the end is always at the same moment (a certain event in the story). TLDR: The story has a main plot and the routes of love interests are like branchs that appear in different points of this "common route".

Considering such a "strict" plot, the in-game duration of the game is 7-8 days. And that caused characters to "fall in love" for each other in like 2 days after meting por the first time!! I only realized that when I started writing the initial version of the script!! There is an "after story" for each Good Ending for every love interest route, in which both characters get to know each other a little more, "officialize" their relationship and is in this part of the story that the first kiss (and NSFW things) happen.

What should I do? I feel that this is really weird, but I'm not sure if that is a terrible mistake or something common to happen in VN...
Any suggestions to solve this problem?
How many in-game days should I let my characters know each other so their relationship feels more "organic" and "natural"?

Thank you!

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Re: How many in-game days should it take for characters to fall in love?

#2 Post by fleet » Sun Sep 08, 2019 12:45 pm

I see nothing wrong with two fictional characters having a very strong physical attraction to each other soon after meeting.
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Re: How many in-game days should it take for characters to fall in love?

#3 Post by parttimestorier » Sun Sep 08, 2019 6:27 pm

I don't think it's too uncommon for people to start dating pretty soon after meeting if they're really attracted to each other and one of them is confident enough to initiate things. It might be a little out of the ordinary for them to be saying they love each other that early in a relationship, but there are some people who do that in real life too - especially if their relationship is starting under extreme circumstances that are heightening their emotions a bit, which sounds like it might apply in your story. So sure, some readers might feel like it's a bit too fast and not something they can personally relate to, but I don't think there's anything necessarily wrong with it as long as it's what fits in with the story you want to tell.
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Re: How many in-game days should it take for characters to fall in love?

#4 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Sun Sep 08, 2019 10:46 pm

Depends on the characters and the story you want to tell.

The entirety of Romeo and Juliet takes place in less than 4 days, from first meeting to secret marriage to death by suicide.

In real life, I've had one relationship where we were smitten with each from literally the first moment we made eye contact and things moved fast. I've had other relationships where I knew the girl for months or years before we started dating.

As long as you make it work in your story, you can do whatever time table you want. It will depend on your portrayal of the characters as to whether or not it works.

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Re: How many in-game days should it take for characters to fall in love?

#5 Post by nerupuff » Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:36 am

That's actually a pretty good question! And to be honest, I think it pretty much depends on how well you write your scenarios to come up with a naturally paced "organic" falling in love situation. In real life, just about anything can happen. A strong attraction to someone definitely happens in the real world, and people can hit it off pretty well in just a few days, so don't worry about it feeling too forced or wonky. Like what the others have said, if it fits in with the narrative of your story, as long as you get the key elements ironed out and told well, you won't have that much problems.

I've played VNs that have a realistic pacing with romance, using narration markers stating that it's been months since they've known character X and have started to fall in love. Well and good! Makes it realistic and organic. But I've also played VNs with heightened adrenaline and fast-paced plots that fit in well with quickly falling in love. Perhaps that's where your VN will fall in category to, and don't let the number of in-game days dictate that your story is not worth doing anymore because you feel that it is a mistake. It's not! As long as you make your story work for you, I'd see it becoming a success.
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Re: How many in-game days should it take for characters to fall in love?

#6 Post by Impulse » Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:25 am

I just want to start this off by saying I'm biased because I hate insta-romances. If you still want my opinion here it is.

Obviously, it's up to you. It's your story and you can do whatever you want, but if you want the romance to feel realistic, 2 days or a week is far from enough time to build up a relationship. I personally want romances to span over a couple of weeks at least, but in some cases it can take years (depending on what kind of story you want to tell). If it's a sexual relationship things can happen a lot quicker though since it's more about desire than love.

This is just my personal opinion and you should do what feels best to you, but there are some major milestones I feel like you need to pass in order for the relationship to feel real. I'm talking about things like the first date, first kiss and first argument/fight. First date and kiss can happen fairly quickly, but it takes time to get to the first argument since people generally try to avoid fighting with people they've just met. People are also unlikely to forgive and forget unless they already have an established relationship before the fight. Think about it like this, if you've known someone for only a week and they stand you up on a second or third date without a good reason, would you want to see them again, or would you rather just move on with your life and find someone else who respects you more? Personally, I'd find someone else.

If you want your characters to love each other then you need a lot more time. For me, the minimum time before someone can say "I love you" is about 2 months. Anything before that would feel rushed, but I personally prefer it to take maybe 5-6 months (unless they knew each other beforehand). Moving in together, maybe 8 months and marriage would be around a year (unless arranged).
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Re: How many in-game days should it take for characters to fall in love?

#7 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:25 am

Impulse wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:25 am
I just want to start this off by saying I'm biased because I hate insta-romances. If you still want my opinion here it is.

Obviously, it's up to you. It's your story and you can do whatever you want, but if you want the romance to feel realistic, 2 days or a week is far from enough time to build up a relationship. I personally want romances to span over a couple of weeks at least, but in some cases it can take years (depending on what kind of story you want to tell). If it's a sexual relationship things can happen a lot quicker though since it's more about desire than love.

This is just my personal opinion and you should do what feels best to you, but there are some major milestones I feel like you need to pass in order for the relationship to feel real. I'm talking about things like the first date, first kiss and first argument/fight. First date and kiss can happen fairly quickly, but it takes time to get to the first argument since people generally try to avoid fighting with people they've just met. People are also unlikely to forgive and forget unless they already have an established relationship before the fight. Think about it like this, if you've known someone for only a week and they stand you up on a second or third date without a good reason, would you want to see them again, or would you rather just move on with your life and find someone else who respects you more? Personally, I'd find someone else.

If you want your characters to love each other then you need a lot more time. For me, the minimum time before someone can say "I love you" is about 2 months. Anything before that would feel rushed, but I personally prefer it to take maybe 5-6 months (unless they knew each other beforehand). Moving in together, maybe 8 months and marriage would be around a year (unless arranged).
I used to be biased against insta-romances until I had my own.

It may qualify under the 'desire' more than 'love' category, true, but sometimes it isn't about the one night stand. Like with Romeo and Juliet, sometimes two people just "click" in every way possible immediately.

I met a girl on a bus - she turned around to say something to the person next to me and forgot to talk when we both made eye contact. We spent the next seven days together only separating for bathroom breaks and showers. It definitely wasn't just desire - we could effortlessly talk to each other and just enjoyed being near each other. It actually made me think in my head - "Wow. So Romeo and Juliet falling for each other after making eye contact across a party isn't unrealistic." One morning we just sat on a bench outside and watched the sky and people going by. We would occasionally turn to each other and just smile.

Again, it all depends on selling the character and scenario to the reader or player. And the story you are telling. I'd say that unless your story is about long term relationships, it is perfectly acceptable to have a story about the start of those relationships happening quickly. Will they stay together forever? Maybe not. But unless you are following the characters for the rest of their lives, you don't need to get into that. Lots of rom-coms or teen romances end with catching the other person before they get on that bus or plane, or going to the big dance together. What happens the next day? As the author or audience, we don't necessarily have to go there.

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Re: How many in-game days should it take for characters to fall in love?

#8 Post by Mutive » Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:33 pm

I have no problem with the instant romance. People do decide to move across continents for each other after knowing each other for two days. (I find it a bit silly/naive as no matter how strong the attraction, you don't really *know* someone after 2 days. But it *is* something that some people do.)

To me, whether I could buy it depends a lot on the character/consequences. If you have a character who seems kind of young and flighty, then them deciding that they're ~*in love*~ and will do anything for that love after like, 4 hours, makes perfect sense.

If you have a more cautious character, I can still see them being hit *hard* by attraction and feelings, but they'll probably be more aware that these feels might be temporary and be disinclined to make any long term decisions that regarding that love. (Although they still might be like, "Screw this, I'm going for it!" One of my friends' parents remarried after knowing the guy for 2 weeks because her feeling was, "I'm old enough to know what I want and don't want to waste any more time." She was around 50 at the time and they're still married 10 years later.)
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