How To Avoid Writing Shallow Love Interests & Shallow Best Friends
Shallow love interests and shallow best friends are disliked for good reason - they're almost always boring, and they usually feel downright fake and/or just plain pathetic. So how can you avoid making them?
The first step is to know which traits and characteristics to watch out for. Your character might be a shallow love interest or shallow best friend of these if any of the following are true:
- Your character no real interests or passions that don't involve the other character.
- Your character quickly and easily sets aside anything and everything for the sake of the other character.
- Your character can easily overlook and forgive wrongdoings committed by the other character - even when they're serious.
- There is little to nothing that defines your character outside of your character's love or loyalty to the other character.
- Your character cares for little to nothing besides the happiness and wellbeing of the other character.
- If your character ever does try or get interested in something that doesn't involve the other character, your character soon abandons it - either for the sake of the other character, or because your character isn't very good at it or decides "it wasn't meant to be" or something.
So what can you do to stop a character from becoming a shallow love interest or best friend, or to fix a character who already is one? First, ask yourself: "What does or could my character do or care about that doesn't solely or primarily benefit a friend or love interest?" Then ask yourself, "How can I use this to progress the story in some way, or use it to set up a new plot or subplot?" Once you've got these figured out, you're well on your way to keeping your character from falling into the shallow trap.
Mainly, avoiding a shallow love interest or a shallow best friend is about making sure that not all of your character's defining traits and actions end up relating to or primarily benefiting a love interest or friend in some way. Or to put it another way, a character who is totally loyal and loving and will do anything for another character is probably a shallow love interest. A character who is proactively following a dream of trying to make the world a better place, has lots of friends, and bangs another character on the weekends simply because that character is hot probably isn't.
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