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After the Meet/Cute

Anonymous asked: “I’m having some problems with a romance story I’m working on, it’s that I never go past the ‘characters meeting’ part. Like what do I do next? I have things planned out, like dates and things they could do, but I can never start making them ‘face each other everyday.’”

I love a good meet/cute and I don’t even care if they’re cheesy or a terrible cliché, because in my mind no matter how often they are done, they still will keep happening in real life all the time. They are something I adore. The characters meet and some kind of spark fly and they go off on their separate ways, but then what? I have some ideas… 

Was there some kind of contact information exchanged? This is probably the least sexy bit of any conversation. Personally, I’m more of a sucker for when the characters kind of know that they will see each other again at some point from the first meeting, whether it’s that they are going to the same school, happen to frequent the same bar, or even through the conversation happen to know where the other lives (though that sounds sketchy). 

For one thing, this allows the reader to know that this romantic possible love interest type is going to show up again and even without exchanging numbers, they’ll have a reason to connect later. 

The next big thing is having a plan for what will happen when they meet later. It’s a good idea to bring in the plot of your story or have things somehow go less smoothly.  Conflict is interesting, so conflict should turn up somewhere or another.

The first example that popped into my mind is the film About Time – it is a ridiculously cute movie about a time-traveler and his life, including his initial quest to get a girlfriend. The meet/cute accidental first date scene is really adorable but due to his time traveling, when he meets the love of his life again, she doesn’t recognize him and as a result is dating someone else. He makes a fool of himself dozens of times trying to win her heart. While this one is very sweet, there’s still conflict and a struggle. The conflict is a result of his time-traveling and not necessarily issues in the relationship – though with that said not all stories will be so pure and sweet. 

I recently read a book that right after the meet/cute, the poor girl goes to work to find out the man she’d been all over is actually her new boss and he’s married. These are just two examples, but I’m pretty sure most second-meetings are riddled with conflict that we couldn’t have seen coming. 

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