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the story AFTER the guy gets the girl
Posted: Saturday, May 7, 2011 8:20 PM
Joined: 5/2/2011
Posts: 14

How do you keep the tension, the excitement, the thrill of being in each others presence after they get together?
This is especially difficult with sequels, if they've already had their happily ever after moment. How do you top that?
How do you keep their interactions interesting and alive with romance?

One way of doing it is of course to shift focus temporarily on to other characters and their dilemmas, but that would only be possible with multiple protagonists in a book.

The most popular device seems to be poking another spoke in their perfectly rolling wheel.

I was reading Cassandra Clare's 'City of Fallen Angels' when I realised that the two young protagonists- Clary and Jace- had only six weeks of relative happiness after THREE books filled with a seemingly insurmountable problem that could have kept them apart, and then the author decided she wants to write three more but can't take the story forward while keeping them happy.

I like book, actually- I think her writing has improved in the last year. But the part that disgruntles me thoroughly is her belief that after the perfection of her last ending, any sensible reader would like these two to be sent spinning into misery again.

So what does an author do?

If it's genre fiction, mundane details of a happy life cannot interest the readers. 

But any two personalities, no matter how much in love, will inevitably clash over small issues, quarrel and then make up. Their own stubborn characteristics and opinions will intrude in the other's life and if these issues are handled well, can give glimpses into a strong developing relationship. 
Come on, is it really so hard to do this? Why must all my favourite couples get together and then tragically part (however temporarily) over stupid arguments and misunderstanding instead of working it out the way real-life lovers do (mostly)?

I don't mind kidnappings and warfare intruding in their paradise, but can't we end the bizarre complexes once they are sure of each other's love? Please?

Well, what do you say, wise readers and authors? 

MB Mulhall
Posted: Monday, May 16, 2011 9:33 PM
Joined: 3/14/2011
Posts: 81

I don't think it's "SO" odd when I know so many real life couples with insecurities and issues. Relationships are work and they are hardly ever really happily ever after. Couples often break up and make up. Other people come into the picture and cast doubt, etc. Some people just have a hard time being loved and accepting that someone else can love them despite their flaws and faults.

Do they all have to have that happen? No, of course not, but it does help keep the plot moving
Alex Hollingshead
Posted: Sunday, May 22, 2011 7:25 AM
Joined: 5/2/2011
Posts: 61

Personally, I much PREFER stories about established and concrete relationships than about someone falling in love and getting the girl and worrying about it. I like the domesticity and the familiarity. I see no reason a couple couldn't go fight evil once more with each other as their support, as opposed to another area of conflict. I think this simply comes from the tendency of some authors to give an "all or nothing" situation. Either everything is well in someone's life, or everything is bad. They have to abandon their friends and family, presuming they are even alive, and they can't get into a relationship either because they are unsure of their feelings or because they are related/poisonous to the touch/whatever, and they have to quite reluctantly go save the world.
Suzan Isik
Posted: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 1:37 PM
Joined: 3/7/2011
Posts: 13

That is exactly what I loved about Rachel Caine's Weather Warden series. The first book had the main character and the love interest getting together. But the ubsequent books, though weren't entirely about them, had these secondary plotlines about the relationship. There was jealousy, supposed betrayal, lying... But nothing that put them into absolute misery with each other.

I don't think they have to be absolutely miserable for there to be conflict. There are always ways to mature the relationship, though I can see maybe YA being a little more melodramatic, because teens are emotional than adults. They have raging hormones and things that aren't big deals to adults are huge to a teen. They're experiencing a lot of firsts where adults have been there, done that, and bought the t-shirt.

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