Yeah, I’m a bit of a TV junkie here. Not as much as I used to be. (But I’ve discovered Netflix so that’s equally as dangerous.) And one thing I’ve noticed is a trend in television away from the absolutely blind to their feelings will-they-won’t-they couple. (Maybe that’s just my term I’ve invented, I don’t know.)
We all know the couple. The ones who are meant to be together but the writers keep throwing up roadblocks in their path to keep them apart.
Quite often the roadblocks become silly. But the silliest one of all is when writers make the characters blind to their feelings. Everyone around them can see they are head-over-heels for the other, but they refuse to believe it. They certainly act like they don’t see the feelings in themselves.
In a lot of YA I’ve read of late there’s been the opposite. The insta-love of two of the members of the love triangle. But the inevitable “We can’t be together because you’re dangerous” (or insert any other contrivance you see fit).
But I’m noticing of late that, and maybe it’s just the few shows I watch, there’s more of an interest (it seems to me anyway) in putting roadblocks but at the same time letting the characters acknowledge to themselves (and sometimes to the other half of the destiny couple) there are feelings there.
I’ve tried to explore different types of entanglements in the books I’ve written. Of course I’ve written the traditional blind will-they-won’t-they couple who date others while they have to grow into their destined relationship. I’ve written classic love triangles. And love rectangles? (One character of one gender, three of the other, all potential love interests.) Yeah, I’ve done one of those. I’ve also done the single love interest romance. That was interesting to do. There were serious roadblocks to their relationship, but having that laser focus on one character was both good and bad.
However, I do like the single love interest. It lets romance be a sub-plot (as my romances always are), but lets it feel natural, not contrived, and lets it develop at the right pace. Rather than thinking about how Character A can be with Character B while Character C tries to sabotage it or get in the way, I can think about A and B growing and developing so they end up deserving one another.
But if I ever write a couple again who are destined for each other but get involved with other people time and again, it’ll definitely be two characters who at least acknowledge their feelings despite the very real roadblocks to their getting together.