Deciding and Planning Pairings (for OCs)

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    Secret Sword of Justice Kelleo's Avatar
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    Default Deciding and Planning Pairings (for OCs)

    So, I imagine plenty of shipping goes on around here since this is a Pokemon board. But what about your original characters? How do you plan romances for them and pick their partners, if you do? What made you decide on the pairings you picked?

    I plan them rather frequently because I write mostly Fire Emblem fanfiction, and pairing characters up is actually a kind of big part of that series. I usually start at the male character and think of what kind of girl would be perfect for him. For example, when I looked at Bryan in my FE fic, the first thing that came to mind was cute pink-haired girl with a ponytail, so I designed Faline to be like that. Then I worked on how the two met and fell in love and all. I ended up growing quite fond of this pair. lol

    The one exception to this was when I decided on LeyonxAzura for the same fic though. I looked at Azura first instead in this case and eventually decided Leyon would be best for her. They start out in conflict with one another and it eventually becomes love. It was perfect. XD

    In my Zelda fic, I showed how close Kelli and Judo were as best friends, despite that Judo himself doesn't appear. I'm a sucker for childhood friend pairings, so of course I plan to pair them up in the sequel and they were easy to figure out. lol

    And these are just a few of my OC pairings. I have a bunch of original characters throughout both my FE and Zelda fics, so yeah.

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    CEO of the Monsters Lugion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Deciding and Planning Pairings (for OCs)

    Well, Steven/Persephone was one I'd had set up back in my Stainless Steel days.

    I have no freaking clue about A Pokémon Story, though. XD

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    It wasn't much! Flaze's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Deciding and Planning Pairings (for OCs)

    Well I usually plan their love interests beforehand or on the spot. For example in Pokemon Academy I picked Reggie and Miko from teh start, I figured that Reggie needed someone that he could actually call a friend at the start of Dragon's Roar, and yes it is cliche but I figured it was a good way to introduce a love interest.

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    Default Re: Deciding and Planning Pairings (for OCs)

    The only hard and fast rule I ever have is to never pair one of my OCs with a canon character. Other than that, I do a bit of trial and error to see what fits my needs.

    I think the most important thing to figure out when writing a love interest is whether or not you really need one, and if it's not necessary, whether the relationship "feels right" to you. Every couple has their own dynamic, their own way they act around each other and how their relationship unfolds, and it's got a lot to do with who they are as separate people.

    I don't really like writing the falling-in-love process, although I do like writing characters who are already in established relationships, or have broken off. Also, a couple can really only work out if both people in it want the same or at least non-conflicting things out of it. For example, if Alice wants to travel the world while Bob wants to stay home and tend to his family's farm...well, expect there to be quite a bit of strain in their relationship.

    That said, when things go wrong can be just as fun to write as when pairings start out, though. The couple in the first chapter I'm working on of "And I'll Teach You", Sibyl and Jasper, are on the older side and very very bitterly divorced. I think my favorite part about writing that is that while they're still attracted to each other on some basic level, they both still have bad memories of when they actually tried to act on that attraction (aka why their ex is their ex). Not to mention, there is that whole undercurrent of "I don't like you and I don't trust you, but I know you better than anyone else".

    I'm trying to experiment with different types of relationships in different pairs, though. So far in my plot outlining I've got the bitterly divorced couple above, the one guy who is forever alone and whose relationships all end badly much to his chagrin, an actually mostly-happy functional couple that still have their disagreements, and two characters who casually flirt with each other, train together and partner up together for double battles, but never really get beyond friends with benefits.
    Last edited by juiceboxxx; 24th March 2013 at 12:42 AM.

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    J'ai Envie De Toi AetherX's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Deciding and Planning Pairings (for OCs)

    To be honest I don't have a very big character cast so it's kind of difficult to set up ships. At least one is inevitable, but I still am trying to figure out how to make it work. I've toyed with another, but I don't think it will go in depth because it involves a canon character. As juiceboxxx said above, that tends to be a bad idea.

    The only hard and fast relationship that I've decided on is one that is instrumental to a character. So I guess I plan these things beforehand for the most part. Romance just doesn't play in to my fic too much.

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    Default Re: Deciding and Planning Pairings (for OCs)

    I pretty much always plan out love interests and such ahead of time. I usually focus on one romantic relationship at a time, at most I might have one going in the background too, but that's more rare. Usually there is just the one. Any other romantic relationships will already be established by the time they're brought up, pretty much. I'm not a big fan of 'pair the spares,' since I think if you have romance in a story it shouldn't be something added as an afterthought, so I don't feel the need to give every character who pops up a love interest. For instance, in my story on this site, I have absolutely no plans to write a love interest for Prim, even though she's perfectly single.

    I do love romances though, so I generally have at least one in every story. Usually because it's the main point of the story, though. Basically the plot is the series of events that leads to the couple getting together, it's not 'we're in the middle of saving the world, but let's take a break from that for a romantic interlude—okay, that's over with, we can finish that whole world-saving thing now!' A romance isn't something you can half-ass and expect to still turn out right. People do, all the time, since for some reason they think a romance is like a requirement for every story, or something, but the romance won't be all that great and people will notice, even though they'll probably just deal with it, because poorly written romances are so ubiquitous, especially in genre fiction (IMO). I say if a person isn't going to give it the attention it deserves, then they shouldn't even put one in.

    As for how I write romances, I like characters who start off just a bit broken, in whatever way that might be, and the story is usually the journey of how they become whole again. I feel similarly about love interests. Both characters have a hole they need filling, and the two characters each have what the other needs to be fulfilled. They don't necessarily start off liking each other, actually I've written quite a few where they start off hating each other, but as they come to know one another the relationship develops over time and they eventually recognize something they need in the other person.

    And then they live happily ever after, because I don't do tragedies.

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    Registered User Caitlin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Deciding and Planning Pairings (for OCs)

    I try to plan ahead of time, but I normally never find the perfectly matching characters so I just give up.

    There are only two relationships I've ever gotten to work properly (in my mind, at least), and they're both from my Star Trek story. There's Commander Blackmoore and her estranged fiance, and then there's another I hinted at in the second chapter (but it was really, really badly forced now that I read it again).

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    Secret Sword of Justice Kelleo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Deciding and Planning Pairings (for OCs)

    Quote Originally Posted by NoirGrimoir View Post
    And then they live happily ever after, because I don't do tragedies.
    Yeah, I usually don't do tragedy either, especially when it comes to romances, but I do actually have some going on in the case of my FE fic. Bryan's father lost his wife in war, only like a year after Bryan was born. So Bryan grew up never knowing who his mother even was. And when Bryan's father finally does talk more about her, you feel for him because they were very much in love and very happy, yet such a sweet relationship ended so prematurely.

    There's another tragic romance I plan to add, but since it hasn't happened yet, I won't spoil it. lol And besides that, it ends up getting a happy ending anyway. XD

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    It wasn't much! Flaze's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Deciding and Planning Pairings (for OCs)

    Honestly I feel like I should focus on the main character's relationship now that the two of them are together -w- but plot has kept getting in the way and it doesn't leave space for those little romantic moments.

    Though like NG pointed out, settling a romance during a crisis is not the best way to go, in fact for Dragons Roar the protagonist and his love interest kissed before the final battle but after everything was settled and done they both agreed that it was only a heat of the moment thing.

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    Hex Mistress NoirGrimoir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Deciding and Planning Pairings (for OCs)

    I always hear people say, "You can't be nice to your characters, you have to torture them," or something similar. I don't like the idea of torturing characters, I think when you take that thought too far it only weakens your writing. Embarrassing the ever loving shit out of them, though, I am totally okay with. Can't go wrong there, IMO.

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    Secret Sword of Justice Kelleo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Deciding and Planning Pairings (for OCs)

    I like to "torture" my characters SOMETIMES, but certainly not a lot. Heck, I do so to some canon characters too (like Ike falling seriously ill after being poisoned and then getting beaten up badly while already dying in my FE fic. He's from FE9 and FE10), but I don't do it constantly. Embarrassing them at times is more fun and more humorous. lol

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    Good Bad Bug Glitchipedia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Deciding and Planning Pairings (for OCs)

    When cast in a lead role, rarely do my characters find themselves in a romantic relationship, largely because they're predominantly RP characters and, as such, would ideally be paired with other people's characters. You can guess how often that happens.

    When cast in a supporting role, my characters are just as likely to be in a relationship as not. In an IRC RP I'm currently participating in, my lead villainess is engaged to the commanding officer of her syndicate's military forces—his eventual death at the hands of the player characters (seeing how he serves as a dungeon boss) will cue said villainess to up her game. A more mundane case is when my younger characters have fleshed-out parents, who have or had a romantic relationship at some point during the story.

    Occasionally, I deliberately make it difficult for my characters to enter relationships. In the case of a character I used in the now-defunct Knight Pokémon University RP, the experimental human clone Colin Sonan, he was outright forbidden by his creator/father-figure to attempt romance, since his unstable genetic makeup would be liable to cause serious problems for any potential offspring. Being a character ruled by emotion, you can guess how long he lasted before falling in love with another player's character. Might have made for an interesting subplot, but alas, the game didn't last long enough for that to go anywhere.

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