Releasing your inner dragon

Writing Love - How to Write Intimacy and Romantic Tension to Create Swoonworthy Love Stories

April 11, 2024 Marie Mullany & Maxwell Alexander Drake Season 4 Episode 13
Writing Love - How to Write Intimacy and Romantic Tension to Create Swoonworthy Love Stories
Releasing your inner dragon
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Releasing your inner dragon
Writing Love - How to Write Intimacy and Romantic Tension to Create Swoonworthy Love Stories
Apr 11, 2024 Season 4 Episode 13
Marie Mullany & Maxwell Alexander Drake

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Join Drake and Marie as they discuss adding romance to fantasy stories.

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Show Notes Transcript

Send us a Text Message.

Join Drake and Marie as they discuss adding romance to fantasy stories.

Writer's room (50% off for lifetime membership):

Membership for Just In Time Worlds:

Give us feedback at releasingyourinnerdragon(at)gmail(dot)com


Drake's Contact Details:
Starving Writer Studio:
Drake-U:  - Use RYID25 for 25% off!
Writer's Room:

Marie's contact details:
Just In Time Worlds:

Now, I do think that there is one cliche, one device, one trope that you should never, ever, ever use. I feel strongly about this is I feel about flashbacks, romance, tension or plot trouble or conflict that is caused by poor communication. No, I just. No, I. fu- I hate that.

Not that it doesn't happen.

I understand. But it is so dumb luck that you can't just open your mouth and say Actually this is what happened. Like, does it have to be a three week fight that rips you apart and sets up like it drives me insane, I can’t .

Releasing your inner dragon.

So, Drake, if we're talking about romantic subplots, do you think that there is any genre where you should not have a romantic subject ever?

I don't. I don't think so. I don't think there's any genre that can't benefit from. I think it's very genre irrelevant.

Obviously boring, middle grade fiction. Don't anybody get weird in the comments?

But I mean, worlds where, you know, I think you can have romance in middle grade fiction. I mean, look at Harry Potter and and all of that. There's a difference in having romance. And then just like, you know, shifting because there's some Harry Potter shift stuff out there that that's that's not appropriate for a for a ten year old child to read.

But, you know, this I mean, I, I remember we went on on my son's first date with his first girlfriend. It was one of my best friends, daughters. They were both five, maybe six. All the families went out together to dinner. We went to I think we went to T.G.I. Fridays. And he you know, but he actually asked her out.

He dressed up for it. He pulled her chair out. He, you know, talked to her for, you know, during the dinner and all this stuff. And,

But I mean, that's cute. It's cute, it's wholesome, it's whatever. So here's here's where I was going with it, though.

I think that it is not appropriate depending on the thematic element. So like for might be a lot harder to work in because you're actually muddying the waters. So my my go to example for this is always going to be Finding Nemo. So Finding Nemo, there's no romance in his. Yeah. I mean, if you look at all the others, there's romance in almost every Disney movie that's out there.

But when you look at Finding Nemo, there's no romance why. Why is there no romance in Finding Nemo? Because Marlin story is about what type of parent to be which is grounded in fear. And Nemo Story is a coming of age story, which is about fear. It's about the fear of being on your own for the first time.

And so romance is based in hope and excitement and, you know, giddiness and and good. And so if we had threat because, I mean, Marlin is a widower. Dory is single and crazy, but still single. There's no reason why There's nothing story wise preventing those two from going, hey, you know, we're both on this adventure together. We could be Robin Fins.

There's nothing there that would prevent that from a story standpoint. What prevents it is the thematic elements are all based in fear. And now throwing in a theme, a subplot that the theme is based in hope is not it's not going to help the story. And so, you know, there are genres that I think are harder. I mean, I think it's harder to work romance into a horror movie or or whatever.

But look at speed. I mean, we're on a bus and we're going to if we go under 50 miles an hour, will blow up and die. And then there's still these moments where, you know, Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock are like all nose to nose and like, like and we're on a bus driving down the highway, running into people.

And we still have the romantic moments. So, yes, and it works in that because they don't do the they don't do what I did. They don't do the actual, you know, arts and and romance and all that. It's because they even pick on it in that movie, which I really liked because they get together. And then at the end of it, they're like, you know, so we're going to we're going to hook up, obviously, after this.

And they're like, you know, 90% of all relationships that are built during a time of high stress don't work out. And so, like, they even are like, we know why we were attracted to each other. We're attracted cause we almost we were literally almost killed. And so now we're just like, we got a bone because we almost died.

So but they even like I said, they even worked it into the plot that they both the characters, both knew exactly why they feel that each other.

So I thought life affirming action.

It was that. It was that, crap, I could have died and not gotten laid one last time. Let's just do this.

You know, I know too much about biology. You say that. And my thought is it's not actually about getting laid. One last time. It's your genetic instinct. Crying gives the genes another chance. Have a baby! sorry.

Yeah, well, I mean, romance leads to something that's still on topic. What about you? I mean, what do you feel about different genres or, you know, the thematic elements that I brought up?

So I think that I think that some of the horror genres would really suffer if you try to work actual romance in. Like if I think of psychological horrors, you know, can you imagine if they try to work a romance into Silence of the Lambs that that would not that would not if you know, something would have suffered. But but like you are more feel like it depends on the story you're telling and how central the romance is going to be to that story and whether it's going to help your plot or whether it's going to distract from it.

Yeah, I mean, so you say that about Silence of the Lambs, but there was literally the entirety of Hannibal was a romance. Now it was a screwed up romance between two dudes that at least one of them probably wasn't, you know, swung swing in that way. But it was 100% a romance. It was a it was a fatal attraction.

Kind of Fatal Attraction is another one that has a totally screwed up romance. Technically, if you wanted to get more esoterical, misery is a romance. She's just in love with his story. Not not the writer she didn't care about the writer because she'll do anything to that guy to get what what she loves out of it. But. But no, Hannibal is just this toxic relationship between Hannibal and that cop.

I can't think of his name.

Yeah, Yeah. The TV series.

Yeah. Yeah, the TV series. So it is 100%, you know, and it's that psychological thing, so it's a psychological thriller. So we have this psychological relationship. Yeah. If you really pay attention to that animal believes that he can make the cop compatible with him so that he can have somebody to connect with on an emotional deep level.

But look at how central they made that romance to the story.


Right. They didn't. What I'm what I'm getting at is like, you can't have the main thing be like the psychological horror of dealing with Hannibal in a prison cell, trying to get information on Wild Bull right. And shoehorn in a relationship up from like somewhere else.

Or even from Clarice and Hannibal themselves. Yeah, Like, that wouldn't work, because that's that story would not play into that. Whereas yeah, how they got Hannibal and that other cop together. The male version of Clarice. Yeah, it lended to them. And we're going to talk about a few things of what we want to do. And that's what they did.

They, they gave them opportunity and a commonality and, you know, different things like that that Clarice doesn't have with him and in front of the lambs. So, yeah, I mean, but both are the same story. Both are very much psychological thrillers. One, you can't put a romance in it. It wouldn't work. The other one literally the entire story.

You don't realize it for a while. For the first season and a half or so, you don't see it. But if you go back and rewatch it, you're like, Hannibal fell in love. And again, it's not your conditional traditional romances, but it's absolutely the first time Hannibal meets that cop. You can see it. Once you rewatch it, you're like, yeah, no, he totally falls head over heels in love with him again.

It's a different type of love, but 100%. And then he's just courting him with dead bodies and, you know, horribly mutilated bodies and all this other stuff. But that is their courtship. I mean, it ends with them hugging each other. It ends with them embracing and like purposefully throwing both of themselves off the cliff. They leave it ambiguous enough that you're like, well, maybe the cop did it because he knew it's the only way that he could end this.

But I don't know if it was that or if it was actual romance, Right?


it. But it's still a romance. That whole story is a romance. It's just a real screwed up. Toxic. That's not good for anyone else either, because a lot of people die in that. It's sort of like the way Thanos the Infinity Gantlet went in the comic book.

Yes. You know, he kills half of the universe as a love gesture.


Here's some roses of billions of dead people.

Honestly, it made so much more sense.

don't even get me started.

So I do not like Thanos motivation in the Avengers movie.

It was stupid. It ruined It ruined the entire thing. It was. It was.

In the comics it was amazing. Yeah. He was like.


Why? Lady love, Look at all the people I send on to you.

All right, so let's take this really quickly, rabbit chase, and you can add to it or whatever. But so obviously you can't use love because they decided not to put the incarnations in, although then later they put in time for the Loki stuff. So I don't understand. I mean, they kind of reneged on their we don't want to use the incarnations, but you don't use the Incarnation.

So there is no love, there is no aspect of love. So he can't do that. But killing people to save resources and all that, he bought about 30 years. So in my lifetime we doubled our population.

So it's worse than that, right? Because he didn't just kill people. He didn't just kill same big. He killed all life, right? Which means all the food, all the plants, all the resource. So, so so what? You're you're saving minerals. Yeah. Because cupcake, I hate to break it to you, but the universe being infinite has infinite mineral.


Let every asteroid belt. Yes. He's a.

I was even.

To give a Texas mining executive a hard on until next year.

Tuesday. Yeah. Yeah. But I wouldn't even go on that. I mean it's just it's a he's supposed to be the smartest tactician that's ever existed and he bought himself 30 years.

It is literally the dumbest plan. It is the dumbest.

But here's, here's why it would be so easy to fix instead if he had, because this would have been believable. Now it's a little cliche, but whatever. It's still believe it's still more believable. Then I'm going to save the world by killing half of all inhabitants. Just have him go. I'm going to live for an infamy forever. I'm going to be.

No one will beat this record. I'm going to kill half of everything and I will be the greatest warlord to ever have. Live. Yes, that's believable. I'm like, okay, yeah, yeah. That's a good motivation. So he can't kill half the universe to give him as a love, you know, as roses to to death. But he could still kill it because he just wants to always to never be forgotten.

Yes. And you would never be forgotten if you were the person who killed half of everything.

Yeah, there is. It is an absolutely believable motivation for a supreme narcissist to be like, I am going to be famous. I'm going to be famous to the.

Point where.

None of you will forget.

Or ever. Yeah, this will never go away. Yeah. No one's going to forget when half of the universe died.


So, like, that's what pissed me off about that. Yeah, but anyway, not going to get into it. No, no, that's not true. It's a it's.

A, it's a romance.

But the comic book was romance and that was also amazing that, you know, he's like, I really want to bang this death chick. She's hot. That's the best present I could buy. Or I could buy a Ferrari. Now, if he didn't care about that, I could. I could take her a trip for Paris. Now, I actually think I could kill half of everybody and give that to her.

Like, no one can do that. Like, that's awesome. Like, that's an awesome thing for love again. Toxic little love.

Toxic love, Toxic.

Mitch But. But definitely romantic. You guess if you're into that.

Painted for it.

Grand gesture is a grand gesture. It is. I mean, it's something you can't if you've been brushing this guy off because he's just annoying and he's not your type and you can't really ignore that when he gives you as of the universes souls to have like, you know, that's that's a tough one. Even though he's a little ugly little purple like that's.

Got that weird by stroke.

Yeah that weird thing going on That weird that I don't.

Call that a beard because I feel like it's a beard. I feel like I.

Always got.

Threatened with cliffs in.

It. I call it a flesh beard, That weird flesh beard that he's got going on. But I mean, half of all souls is the, you know.


I mean, I would get me aroused. Seems like it would do something for death.

So speaking of what would get you aroused? Tips for writing romantic relationship arcs.

All right. Yeah. I mean, the Internet is rife with with tips and tricks and everything like that. I think actually, before we do that, I think we need to step back because there's actually two things to kind of think about here. There's first of all, writing romantic stories where the entire story is romance, where the theme is romance, the central story is all about it.

We're going to touch on that. But I don't think that's really where we are. I mean, I do write romance, but I haven't written it in years and I don't know if I may get back to it. What we really write is romantic arcs within something else. So let's talk about that. Let's talk about tips for four romantic arcs that aren't the story.

Yeah. So that because there are some things that I think they miss, one, you need to build in, like with all motivations, you need to build in a motivation that your character wants. That's like one of the things that I got dinged for in the Genesis saga, and I'm still doing it because I think it's very believable. So our dairy leaves the farm when he's 16 or 17 and he's a 16 year old dude and six year old dudes think about food, shiny and sex.

And so he when you when I introduce him, there's this girl that is hot for him and she is the one that everybody knows that there are the two families are already doing the work as it's arranged marriage society. So they're already doing it. And she's hot to him. I mean, he looks at her in that, you know, hot kind of way because he's a 16 year old filled with hormones.

But she is also the symbol of oppression for him. She is his shackle. She knows he knows that he can't have any of his dreams. If he does get married to this girl, he's going to have kids. He's going to be farmer for the rest of his life, his dreams of of escape and, you know, adventure and all this stuff is not going to happen.

So he while I have several scenes where he actually looks at like there's a scene and again, it's it's it's that level of fantasy. So like she twirls and her ankles get exposed one time and he's like, And yeah, I know that's not really porn today, but you know, that's what it is. He doesn't get to see a girl's ankles.

So that's.

You know you know where if kings they've got the safe hand thing Yeah there's a there's a fan made website dedicated to porn of that world that has women in various risque safe and poses hysterical.

So there's a woman, she's a YouTuber. She has an Onlyfans page, so she's a YouTuber on

the Renaissance and what's the what's the other one? The Elizabethan what's that time period called?


Victorian. She's

she's a historian on Victorian garb. Literally her entire life is all about the garb of the Victorian age. Yeah. So she started an only fans page where she dresses up in her Victorian garb and she like shows ankle or something like that and she's making more money off of that than she ever made as a historian.

And all she does is it's just her in her Victorian garb and then she'll show an ankle or something like that. That's a risque type thing. That's an actual Onlyfans page. And I don't I've never been there. I saw I actually started talking about it on YouTube. That's how I learned about it. So anyway, yeah, you have that with Ardarie

But then when he gets out, he literally, you know, is like, Ooh, I like this chick. And the first chick that he comes on, he's all like, there. And then there's another chick that he runs into. And then the third chick is one. Where is the actual relationship? So I have had people that were like, you know, that's really unrealistic that you had him, you know, rebuff this first one, go after basically anything with a skirt after that and then mature and find that he wants a deeper relationship and he and he doesn't there's no consummation of anything.

He's just because again, he doesn't it doesn't have that ability. But but then he has the thing and I'm like, no, that's literally how men kind of are. We're bumbling idiots until we finally realize that there is a deeper connection that we could have.

I mean, I, I can't speak for all women, certainly, but I rebuffed a couple of guys. I got laid a bunch of times, a whole bunch of times, and eventually met a guy that I actually like.

Right, Right. Yeah. Yeah, that's what I said. I think it works.

When the hormones.


Buffing things is what you do. Yeah.

Yeah. When those hormones kick in. I mean, we’re animals literally. But no, that's so what I'm trying to do with those is I'm setting up the motivation, I'm setting up the he does want a relationship. It's just that he's 16 and doesn't know what the crap he what that even means. Yeah. And so he has to go through some things and kind of mature a little bit before he actually can do that.

So I think I mean, most people liked it. I'm just saying I've had a few people that are like, you know, I can't believe you just had him, you know, basically try to chase anything with a skirt, with a 16. That's that's what 60 year old boys do.

Isn't that normal?

You can put a watermelon in a skirt and they'll be like, like it's just the way it is. But it doesn't mean that it's mature and it doesn't mean that it's real and it doesn't mean. And so that's what I was showing him. So that's, that's where I'm getting to is I just don't think they show that motivation.

You know, a lot of romances are really good at this where they're like, you know, you see the nerdy girl and she's your pervy character and no one likes her. And, you know, she's well, I mean, Miss Congeniality is a great example of that. She is very masculine, very buff, She's pretty. And but the guys that actually are like, hey, you're kind of pretty.

She punches him in the face. And so other guys are like, I'm not going to hit on her because even though she's kind of hot, she doesn't care. Like, I guess that door is closed and so she has to go on this journey to become, you know. But you also do know that she wants really because like she punched in the face and she's like, I did that like that.

But that's not what I wanted to do. I kind of liked that he was talking to me. But then somebody else says something as she punches in my face and she's like, Why don't I do that? So we get the motivation.


And now the character has to work through those conflicts to get to. But I think that's one of the big things, is they don't build in that motivation. They were just like, Yeah, well of course they want a relationship. Why wouldn't they want a relationship? Everybody wants a relationship. But if you don't build it in there as a motivation, it's like any other motivation of the character.

If it doesn't exist, then it comes out of nowhere.

So I always

I always ask myself this question. When I started getting into romantic territory,

how much is this going to impact my plot? If this is not really part of my plot, then how much do I want to spend on this? Because this is part of the problem in fantasy. Sometimes people will introduce the relationship because they feel that there should be a romantic relationship, but then they don't spend enough time, they don't give those motivations and basically that they don't do anything with the relationship.

Right. And it's actually just a distraction. And you have to you have to think about this like anything else plot wise. What does this relationship do for me? What story does it allow me to tell? You know, and then based on that, what are the motivations for the people who are coming into this relationship? If you just want to show a side show like I just wanted a political sideshow with Louie.

So I just slammed him into an arranged marriage. And because that is the kind of guy he is and the kind of society he grew up in, he did his best to make friends with his wife. And they're married like.

They're good friends. Do they do have an arc?

Yes, they do have an arc. But it's a but it's a very much like a done deal arc, right?

No, no. I'm saying after the marriage, Yale, how they actually then I mean, they're in the situation. So it can go one way. Yeah.

They become friends, they become lovers and so on. Like you'll never be a burned with passion kind of guy. That's not. Yeah, right. But, but they become friends and lovers and so on. But I don't spend an inordinate amount of time on it. And it's also why I just slammed them together because I wanted to put the politics of the match.

Not so much the romance.

But it also works with the story that you're telling. Yes. Now, very political story. Exactly. Yeah. So that's I think that's the big thing is they just don't give the motivation and but see, that still gives them motivation. That's the hey we need this alliance. You're going to marry this chick. Yeah. I mean, yeah, I believe in that.

Yeah. Okay. All right. So it still is the believable motivation that lets the reader then go into it. Yeah. And then it can either be a cold relationship or it's like, Look, I need children, so I'm going to bother you once or twice until you get pregnant. Then I'm, you know, I have nothing to do with you. I don't even like you versus, you know, they actually, you know, what you did with Louie is them becoming friends and actually becoming something.

Yeah. There's a standup comedian, an Indian standup comedian that his him and his wife have been together for a couple of decades now. But they were arranged marriage. And so part of his set, part of his comedy, he talks about, you know, the arranged marriage and why it's good and why it's bad and all this other stuff. But him and his wife are you can tell you can tell when they're in interviews or whatever.

They're best friends. They're and it was like literally, you've never even met this girl and now you're married to her. Good luck.

An arranged marriage doesn't have to be horrible. Like. Yeah, right. Depending on the situation. Like, yeah.

Yeah. So you know it's that so so bringing that in early so it doesn't come out of nowhere even if the character so like his love interest isn't even in his story until novel too. But I still drop the fact that he does want that connection. He you know, it's it's what he is looking for. While he's also caught up in this adventure to save the world and all this other stuff.

So that's one thing. I also think you need to have something that that I don't necessarily think that they have to have something in common, although that helps, but they have to have some reason for being together in some way. In the story, there has to be some story motivated reason why they're together.

I feel like there also needs to be something that it contributes to the plot or to the world worldbuilding like it doesn't have to be something off base or being used against them or kidnaping or although I've used all of that. Like there's nothing wrong with any of that. But it has to add something to your plot.

Otherwise it's like anything else. Why are you wasting the reader's time with it? Unless your writing slice of life cozy fantasy in which case the relationships, all the point hundred percent go forth.

Right, Right.

But that is a genre thing.

Yeah. Yeah. And I think another big advice that I think a lot of people miss, because when you're when you're not writing romance and it's this subplot, you treat it as such. And I think that's another kind of detriment. You need to make sure that you have moments of those vulnerable. Sweet. I call I like to call them, you know, because in romance, when you're writing romance, one of the big things is the meet cute.

That's the inciting incident. If we're talking about from a hero's journey perspective, you don't do a full blown meet cute if it's a subplot, although it can, you can still have a meet cute, but it isn't central to the story. So it's more of a this happened and it's a meet cute but you do need a lot of little meet cute you need time to and again I love the way you said you always say you have to let it breed.

So this if it's going to be a subplot, then it needs its own room to breathe. It doesn't, you know, it can't take over the whole breath of the story, but it still has to have that moment that it can breathe and those little meet. Cute. So I read one when we were reading our stuff about the emotions you already read that was to meet cute, right?

And so it's one because love with his son is still romance in my opinion, even though it's not, you know, love, you know, that type of love. But there's the meet cute with him and his son while Clyde colitis in a son where you're like, I really love this relationship. How sweet is this? And then immediately, you know, he goes into his master bedroom and he's with his wife, and then they are off screen because I don't write sex, but off screen they have sex.

And it's a very romantic moment and it's a very emotionally charged moment because they may never see each other again. And and so they both know that this is a very pivotal night for them. And even though he's got to get up in like 4 hours, he's still going to take this time to have this. So that's a nice little meet, cute moment that builds you into this.

wow. These two really love each other. You know, they're definitely a strong relationship.

And you have to build in those moments between lovers like, you know, it doesn't matter what's going on around you. The whole world can be ending around, but you still need to build in the little moments, the little touches, the little flavors where people look at each other and there's love between them and the the whole of their vulnerability, their faults, or vulnerable to each other.

And that needs to be on the page where the reader can experience it.

Because it is real. So my mom and my wife have now been married 24 years. We were together two years prior to that, you know, technically three because we were friends for about a year. We dated for a year, we were engaged for a year. And now we've been married 24 years. We have never been closer than these last four or five years.

And a lot of it has to do with me getting cancer. And then this year she's had heart issues and had to go in for a minor heart surgery.

And no such thing.

That's why I quoted it. For those that can't see me. Yeah, those moments brought I mean, we were already a great couple. You know, our friends see us as kind of the the poster child for a married couple, and yet it pales in comparison to how we are now with each other and that it sort of goes back to automotive speed.

It's like, crap, we almost died. Like.

We want to do the devil's tango.

Right? But it's it's see, now, neither one of us are childbearing. Yeah, but we're definitely it's that, you know, I don't want you to leave without or I don't want to leave without you knowing how much I actually care for you and love you. And then it's the same thing on the other side. It's it's kind of a morbid way to look at it, but.

And I don't think either is thought it like that, but it really is a very visceral human thing that, you know, these tragic. So, I mean, we're writing adventure, we're writing tragic things that are happening, these characters that really does make you realize how short life is. I mean, one of the most morbid thoughts that I had the day I was told I had cancer was we had just gotten a little shi tzu puppy.

Yeah. And I came home and this is this is horrible to say, but the the first thought in my head when I walked in the door because he greeted me, you know, all excited and all that, I was like, well, crap, you're going to outlive me. And I was actually jealous of our eight month old Shi tsu puppy because it's like that.

Like you're you get pets and they die. Like, that's the way this works. And then we get another pet because then they just die. They're pets. And then I had to go, yeah, I may not live. I mean, it was the first day I literally had just been told. Yeah. So I was still in that shock moment.

So, you know, it's, it's, it's crazy. All I'm saying is when you're writing these action adventure things, understand what your character going through. And I think I've always put that on the page, but I guarantee you now it's more impactful to me than it was before all of this happened. So that's the same thing with romance, you know, That's why in speed they get together.

That's why, you know, that's why this I mean, look at one of the classic romances of our generation would be the Titanic. You know, look at that romance and how it blossomed on one cruise ship and, you know.

I mean, Shakespeare wrote the whole tragedy in three days, right? Yeah. So, okay, so let's talk about tropes and clichés, because I feel like we've covered pacing and that.


So in terms of tropes and cliches, I want to say a couple of things. The first is that there is nothing wrong with tropes. It is about your execution of the truck. There is not that much wrong with a cliche. It's about execution. The thing is, if you're writing romance, you the author. You need to put your whole heart on the page, but you need to dig deep and find out how you really feel about love and.

Poor that tears and snot and devil's tango desires all into the words and be vulnerable enough to show that. And then it doesn't matter if you're using a classic triangle, whether you're writing gay or straight or whatever. None of that matters because you are showing what is in your heart.


I feel that that's the first and most important. Then in terms of tropes, I am going to speak in defense of love at first sight.

And I guess I'll take devil's advocate and the other route.

Yeah, so my it didn't happen to me. I have very tumultuous like twenties, but my sister at the wonderfully wise age of 19, met her then, met this guy at a dance at the university for the medical faculty. She was, she was studying medicine. He was studying medicine. They were they met that night. The next day they started going on other dates.

Two weeks later, they were officially dating. Six months after that, they were engaged at the end of the year when she was 20, I think. I think she was either 19 or 20. They married like it was literally just like that. And they're still married. They have two wonderful children. They are they're two of the most in love people that I know.

And I think that it is perfectly possible to write a love at first sight. But the thing about their relationship was at the beginning of their relationship, you would walk into a room where they are and you wouldn't know that they were in love, right? It was inescapable. They were all over each other. They held hands the whole time.

They were connected. Everything about them screamed, We're in love now. They're still in love and you can still see it. But it's a deeper, more nuanced thing. 30 years later. Right? But they had things in common. They were both studying medicine. You know, there were things that were they're both sporty people and so on. But like, for example, my brother in law used to cycle more than he runs, but my sister's a runner.

She loves running. She runs half marathons, full marathons, ultramarathons, all the math. And he has actually not completely given up cycling, but he cycles for four less so that he runs and rather runs with her so that they can run together because they talk to each other while they train. Right? So it becomes a thing that they do together.

And people ask me for relationship advice. This is off the subject, but this going down that having a successful relationship and I do this in business, I do this in friendship, and I do this with my wife. Having a successful relationship is actually very simple. Each side must consciously try to give the other side more than they're getting.


Now the problem is when you have a narcissistic other side, it's a toxic relationship never going to work. You give, they take and that's it. So this only works when you find other people that also buy into that philosophy. Yeah. So with me and my wife, she is constantly trying to do more for me than I do for her.

And I am constantly trying to do more for her than that she's doing for me. And the benefit of that from just from a narcissistic side point, it means that I have a human being who is going out of their way to do everything in their power to make me as happy as I can possibly be. And the only cost that it cost me is I just need to do the same thing.

Yeah, like, which makes me happy because I'm a pleaser personality. So like, pleasing other people makes me happy. But like, that's it. I do that in businesses. I do that with, you know, with everything. I try to always make sure that the person I'm in a relationship with, I mean, I do it to you. I try to give you more than you give me.

I'm not sure I succeed in that, but I do try that. So it's just.

So so I agree with that philosophy generally. But just to just to circle back to the and finish up the put a bow on that I love at first sight thing. If you're going to do love at first sight, the initial attraction should be absolutely overwhelming. It should be ridiculously over-the-top and if the relationship is going to work, there needs to be more than the initial attraction.

Yep. Yeah, there has to be. There to.

Be the shared interests and.

You know, and it doesn't have to be across the board. Me and my wife do not have the same religion. We definitely don't have the same love of entertainment. You know, she's definitely into cop shows and that and although she does love fantasy as well. So you know, there's there's plenty of shared interest there. We both do have the same there's there are some things that I think are going to be more difficult to pair off.

We do have the same ideas on raising children. Yes, I think you have opposite ways of how you're going raise your children. That's a can cantankerous.

You probably want to have a conversation about that again.

Well, I mean, because you take that very personal from both sides. They're your children.

Probably want to have a conversation about whether you want children.

I don't know. That's a part of it, too. So, yeah, you know, all of that. But yeah, so you need I'm I'm on board with that. I already said I mean, the funny thing is, is I met my wife because my friend was trying to date her, my best friend was trying to date her. So I spent a year trying to help him date her because he had never had a girlfriend before, ever.

And so it ended up with first I gave him advice. I mean, I was the perfect Casanova. First I gave him advice that didn't work. So I started I owned a computer company at the time and I was taking like 40 people out every week to do something. Like we'd go out to dinner, we got to movies or whatever, and I just pay for everything.

And so I just started inviting her to that. And so that put us in this group environment and then that didn't work. And so eventually I just invited her and my friend over to my house every Sunday and we did something. We went hiking or we did a bike run or we did whatever. And so for a year I tried to play Casanova to get them together, and it turns out he didn't do any of it.

She didn't even know he was trying to date her like he did. None of my advice. He was at our wedding, so, you know, it worked out.

I got no game down crying to me.

Yeah, I mean, I did nothing. I mean, that's the thing. I'm a very honorable person, so she was just a dude to me that whole time. And then how it actually happened is there was one Sunday, she said, because I was just a it wasn't even an invite at that point. It was just show up at Drake's house.

Yeah. You know, every Sunday at one, we're going to go do something we don't know what We're going to go do something. Yeah. And so she showed up and we wait around for my friend. I finally called him, was like, What's going on? He's like, I'm just I don't feel well today. And so me and I went and did something because we were friends.

Yeah, she was still just a dude to me, but we were friends. We did something and then the next week, same thing. She showed up. He didn't. I called him up and he was like, Yeah, I just gave up. I mean, that's never going to happen. I'm done. I'm like, You're done. You're completely done. And then it was like, look at that.

She's a girl. I didn't even realize it. So. So yeah. And then our first date was March 8th. I asked her to marry me on March 8th, and we got married on March 8th. So, you know, every single one a little bit more funny. That story. I probably shouldn't take the time to tell it, but it is funny.

So March 8th in Louisiana was Ash Wednesday in New Orleans, which is the day after Fat Tuesday. There's no hotels anywhere. And she's like, We're not getting married on March eight. We'll get married on March 10th. It's a Friday. I'm like, No, because I'm the romantic in our relationship. And I'm like, No, March 8th first date as to marry me.

She's like, It's Ash Wednesday in New Orleans. There's no hotels for anybody. We cannot get married on that day. And so she didn't fight hard. But about couple months later, we were talking to somebody like, you just got married. What did you get married? I went March 10th and she looked at me like, What? You forgot what I was like.

like it was March eight, sorry. And then like, three months later, somebody, you know, met someone. you guys just get married when you get married, I was like, March 10th. It's like, what? And then I started, had, like, and I did it a couple other times. It was there was a couple of times where I kept saying, March 10th, March.

And I still struggle with this to this day because I had gotten married on March 10th. Just just not to her.

Not to her.

And I didn't I mean, because me and my first wife, we had no kids. We had no nothing. We were very short marriage. We were too young, we were too stupid. We were basically boyfriend and girlfriend with a paper. So when we split, we just we just cut the paper. That's all it was. There was no there was no there was nothing.

Yeah. And so I didn't remember. I didn't remember that I get married March 10th, had no I and like that whole different life. And so now I'm like, yeah, I'm back. You're happy that I thought of that because she probably would. She would have never known because I would have never remembered. Yeah. But still it probably would have made her very mad that we got married on the same day that I had already gotten married.

But anyway, we didn't. It was March date, but so much slower burn. And actually, from what I understand, and again, I've been out of romance for a while, the slow burn romance is supposedly making a comeback. So I say that is.

I think I think Slow Burn Romance is on making a comeback because of Frozen. I think Frozen really opened the door because what did what the Queen Elsa Elsa say to her little sister, You can't marry someone that you've just met. I mean, she had a point, especially that he was bad news. Yeah, He blew in like a whole heap of bad news.


But the. The the slower burn romance is. The more take your time to meet somebody. The, you know, like. As opposed to fall love. Get married, I think is making a comeback because it is more real to people's experience and it's more real especially in this day and age. If you think about, you know, society's changes. And I mean, I know we talk about all of it, but I mean, a lot of things have changed in society.

Among other things, the age as we get married, at the age just we have children at and so on, and that is because our lives are longer. I mean, everything's medical. The medical profession has extended our reach and, you know, all of these things and it makes changes to society.


And so people are no longer like meeting somebody at, you know, 16, 17, 18, 20, 24 and going like, I'm a beat with you for the rest of my life. They're meeting somebody at like 30, you know, and marrying that. And you're at that age, you're obviously you're over the, you know, the hormone jump and.

Finally developed at 25.

Yeah. Yeah. Because your brains is developing so so you you become a your romance becomes more a thing of like, okay, so is my baggage because I think you also have a lot more baggage than a 16 year old. You have a lot of baggage of 30 that you did not have at 16. Right? At 16 you could very minimal baggage When you move in together, it's very, very easy to get along.

Right. And you kind of grow up together. But at city, you come with baggage. So the question at 30 is when you scoping each other out, you're wondering, does my baggage match yours? Are we are we going to find each other if our baggage just rotating together on an airport like luggage belt? Is it the same color or are we talking like dramatically different baggage that clashes?

And every time we get into an argument, we're going to be slinging rucksacks at each other's heads. You know, like these are questions you they need to answer. And you can't do that in a false romance. And I think that because of that, because our society has changed in this manner, the slow burn romance is way more popular right then the like.

Yeah. The funny thing is, is the other romance arc in Genesis is both. Yeah. Mulatu steps off of the boat and the chick is there to meet him and she's like, I'm so doing you. And he's like, What? No! Woah! What? And it's like she's. She just constantly is like, We're doing this, we're doing this. And he's like, I don't even what know, that's what that's to fight.

So I don't even know what, what what And so it takes the whole novel before he finally is like, All right, all maybe. Yeah. No, this is where she's from. Literally jump. She has him up and down and she's like, well, all right. So yeah, I've got both in that same relationship.

But yeah, so it's, it's, you know, that's why I think Slow burns make a comeback. Yeah. My personal.

Yeah. I mean, I like the slow burn I like I think it is more realistic for humanity. The problem with the love at first sight of their love at first sight exists. It's called hormones and physical attraction for the most part. I mean, nobody goes. I just met you and. Wow, your intelligence is so deep and you really reach me on a very deep, soulful level.

Like, No, that's not there yet. It's. It's usually, you know, you don't how.

That person well enough to know their soul.

Right? It's usually you know I'm horny you're hot let's bone and you know you happened to be the first person I boned. So we're just going to stay together now. Yeah. Those relationships, more times than not, do not work out. So your sisters is very.

You know. No, I know. I know that they are actually the exception most. But I also.

Guarantee and I don't know them at all, obviously, but I also would be willing to bet I guess I shouldn't say. I guarantee I would be willing to bet. They also have worked for their. It hasn't just been always easy.

Your I every relationship must work.

Well, I think that's one of the reasons why we have such a high divorce rate these days is that everyone thinks that, they're just going to fall in love and everything is going be great. And so you hit that first time where it's like, Wait a minute, you're different than me. You're a different human being and have different thoughts.

Well, screw you. Like, that's not what I signed up for. And so I.

You know, I don't know. I don't know about that. But but every relationship takes work. It doesn't matter if you fall in love at first sight. That doesn't matter if you have a slow burn. Like every relationship takes maintenance takes work effort. You get into situations where you get irritated and that should be in your book as well.

Like, you know.

Again, like you said in the beginning with with the caveat of is there time for it? Is it relevant? You know, is of course, all of that. But yes, I agree with all that.

Now, I do think that there is one cliche, one device, one trope that you should never, ever, ever use. I feel strongly about this is I feel about flashbacks, romance, tension or plot trouble or conflict that is caused by poor communication. No, I just. No, I. fu- I hate that.

Not that it doesn't happen.

I understand. But it is so dumb luck that you can't just open your mouth and say Actually this is what happened. Like, does it have to be a three week fight that rips you apart and sets up like it drives me insane, I can’t .

So yeah. So what we're talking about in every sitcom will have this where you have like the opening scene where with the dude, he's at the office, red paint gets spilled all over him accidentally, his shirt is ruined. The only thing at the office is is an old female blouse. He has to wear something. He puts it on, he he goes home, he walks in the door, and the wife is like, You're cheating on me and you're wearing her shirt.

And instead of going, okay, look, no, this is what happened. He goes, Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad. And then we have a 30 minute episode of this thing that is dumb because somebody should just. And Ted Lasso, that's the one thing that I did love about Ted Lasso. It was like, look, there's about to be this conflict happening.

And then they go, right, we're adults. So listen to me. This is the way it happened. This is what's going on now. Sometimes it was and yes, I screwed him like, or whatever. And yes, I did this bad thing too. You and you're not going to forgive me for this. And, you know, there was relationships broken up and all of that, but it was much more realistic as opposed to the dumb thing.

What I loved about Ted Lasso, what I absolutely loved is that those people were adult. They were real. They had genuine conversation, patience with each other.

And they had lots of interest in conflict and motivations. And they had they fell to stupid desires that did hurt their relationships and all this other stuff. But at the end of the.

Day, they mouths and talk to each other like even Robin Kelly. Right? At one point she was like, You don't talk there. And he went away and then he came back because he didn't talk. He was all like me. And then eventually he came back and he opened his mouth and he choked. Yeah, like an adult man. If it was fantastic.

So my uncle is in town and his family, they're staying with us this week. Yet he is a little older than me. Not what you would call technically savvy. It doesn't use his phone very much, doesn't text or anything like that. He's I mean, while he was here, he just learned how to delete text messages. So he spent like two days deleting thousands and thousands of text messages.

So I go to pick him up from the airport, especially an 1130. I'm there at 1130. I tell him I will meet you at this spot because he has no luggage and they're only coming in for a couple of days. I'm like, I'll meet you here. So I get there and I'm looking at the arrival board and his plane landed 20 minutes ago.

I'm it just way early and it's already here. And I don't see my uncle. And I'm like, So finally I texted him, Are you guys on the ground? No response. No response, No response for about 8 minutes. I finally then get a response just over moving walkway.

I don't know what that means. As all airports, there are many levels and there's many moving walkways.

I don't get it. So I text back outside. No response, I text back. I don't know what that means. No response. I call I get voice mail. Now, it turns out he wasn't getting these messages. For whatever reason, his phone wasn't getting them. But still, when he a little later, he finally calls me and he's like, Yeah, we went over the walkway that you talked about that's outside, and we're on the other side of that.

That's what I said in my tax to send text. And so I was frustrated because of lack of communication. Yes. So it does happen is my point.

It does, but it doesn't cause a 30 minute fight.


It causes. Okay, we've sorted out the misunderstanding. And while I'm a little annoyed with my uncle, who's a dumbass with his phone, it's not.

It's nothing in the world. Are you happy to see you? Great. You're in town now. Let's go home and. And hang out and have fun. There's only. He's actually more my brother than my uncle. We're five years apart, and I was raised by my grandmother, his mother. So we really were raised in the same household and we're five years apart.

So like there are siblings that are all further apart than we are. So it's much more like a brother relationship than anything else. But anyway, that was caused by a lack of communication. It took us a couple minutes to finally work it out and a lot of it, you know, a lot of it also had to do with technology.

He did not get my text message like he showed me as much as like, I didn't get those. And I'm like, wow, Because that happened to me. My wife, too, where it's like, I texted her and it's like, Dammit, why wont you answer me? And then later it's like, I didn't I didn't get them, but and then you go on, it's it's a part of life.

But when you set up your entire plot because the person just wouldn't open their stinking mouths. Yeah. Like.

I can do this.

And you can do it more realistic. So this is an older movie. It's from the eighties, but it's Tom Hanks was in the movie called The Bachelor. You know, bachelor party. Bachelor party. And so his fiancee, his best friend, is one of those party boys. And he's like, we're going to do an amazing bachelor party, is going to have hookers and donkeys and fire trucks and, you know, booze and like literally, that was one of the lines that he rattled off all this crazy stuff.

And it ended up being in the movie all it was there. And his fiancee was like, no strippers. And he's like, No, I know my friend. He's just we're not going to do it. I'm it's going to be a very chill bachelor party. And of course, the movie's called Bachelor party, so it's obviously not going to happen. But but he gets mad because he makes his friend promise no strippers.

And then when he gets there, they usher men and they're strippers in the room and he's he's mad. He's like, I told you, no, I didn't want this. And so they, you know, they kind of trip him up and push him into a chair and then a stripper sits on his lap. And of course, that's when fiancee walks in.

It's like So we just watched him fighting for this. Yeah. Now she doesn't say anything she sees. She I mean, cause there's a stripper now griding on his lap. That's more than what I was talking about. About getting paint on your shirt. So she just turns around and storms off, which she should like 100%. That is a believable misunderstanding, But what he doesn't do is just go.

But, but, but. well, I'll just sit here while this girl grinds on my lap. He shoves her off and he takes off running for his fiance. Now she's gone before he gets there. So that's using a legitimate plot device. You know, she jumps back in the cab and she takes off and he chases down like, No, no, no.

So like, yes, that is lack of communication, but it's very believable. It's like, yeah, I know that moment. If I walked down on him like that, yeah, I'd be pissed I'm not going to wait around to get an answer. I'm just going to be furious. If the cabs waiting for me, I'm jumping in and I'm gone. Like, all of that is believable.

So, you know, there are ways to do the lack of communication cause the problem. It just needs to be smarter than my paint on the shirt example, because so many of them do that stupid stuff where it's just an easy actually, let me explain this.


There's nothing going on. There's no stripper in my lap like it's just us and I can just talk to you about it. And that's what they do with Ted Lasso. There were some times where they had some communication breakdown, but it was much more believably done.

And it was normally fairly serious stuff going on. Like it was normally like, not a joke.

Right? Somebody actually did something to hurt somebody else. It boneheaded moves are not not all the last the episode that killed me and I've never watched past that and I need to is the scene where the reporter comes in to the gay bar with the gay soccer player and, you know, basically walks up and says something to him.

And they and the soccer player's like, crap, this report is going to out me and I can't be outed. And he's like, my goodness, I'm in the wrong bar. I didn't know. And he takes off running. However, even though he does that, what is the reporter do? Chases him down like dude dude dude. No, I'm not.

I'm gay as well. I get it. I'm not going to do anything. And then even there there's some tension of I don't know if I believe him. Is he lying to me as he this? And then it ends up being this beautiful, beautiful, heartwarming discussion of what it's like to be gay in a world that you're not really allowed to be gay.

And so it was wonderful. It's a great, great human piece that could have been written anyway, and it could have definitely been for just comedic value. It's like, he runs off and he doesn't you know, we could have done all sorts of things with that. But yeah.

But like they, they really did do the communication aspect so, so well yeah. And in the relationships that are toxic like there's a there's there is a relationship in Ted Lasso that is toxic and that is Keeley's relationship with a girl that that that girl that she, that she gets into a relationship with is it's a very, very toxic relationship.

You don't realize it at the start, but at the end it is abundantly clear what's going on there and there there is breakdowns of communication all the time and you can absolutely see it.

Yeah. And that's the episode, the same episode with the the gay bar that I was talking about. Yeah. And that's the story arc that broke me because that's, that's a 400 foot of rope. It comes out of nowhere. It's like.

No way for me, because I picked up that Keeley is bisexual. Like, I picked it up way back when and like, the episode.

That's not You can be bisexual. She was in a she had finally worked out a relationship and it was like, this is going to be great now. Now we get to actually enjoy it. There was no reason for it. She's finally understood what she wants. She finally knows she wants Roy. She finally unshackled herself from the pretty boy of whatever.

Yeah. Jamie, Jamie. She finally grows up. She finally matures in the last episode. And in this episode, she's just going to sleep with some random chick.

No, Roy broke up with her, remember? Roy was like, No, you need to go be free. Because he was having a brain fart of not.

But still her character arc. She was comfortable with it. She should have, in my opinion. I would have had her then fight for that relationship because she just realized, No, it's Roy. And you're right. Roy did say, I need a break. At that point, that character's like, No, I just finally figured out what I want. I finally grew up.

I realized I screwed up What am I going to do, fix this? And that's not sleeping with someone else. Like you don't fix that thing that you finally learned that you want by sleeping with someone else.

I mean rebound relationship.

It wasn't an agreement. I don't think they allowed her to be crushed. If they had allowed her to be crushed and allowed them to actually be separate for a while and her realize that she can't like have her try to make a man.

No, no, no, no, no, no. That's not what I'm talking about. Because I have a friend who I call her a serial monogamist. She will break up with a guy and then she'll say to me, Marie, make sure I don't get into another relationship. I cannot be in another relationship. I have to start being by myself. I'm not joking.

Three days later, she's holding some dude and I'm like, What is this? Did we not just have this conversation? No, she says, But I'm so in love. Or some girl said, because like we bisexual so it's just one after the other. Yeah, right. There are people that are 100% like that. They go from one relationship to the next.

The oddest relationship I have is a friend of mine. His girlfriend never cheated on him. She had sex with somebody else every weekend, but she never cheated on him because every Friday she broke up with him and every day she got back together with him.


And like two or three weekends a month, she would do this. And I just never understood, never understood why he would. Yeah. As it went on. Well, I mean, I was friends with him for about a year and it went on the entire year. Yeah. That I was there. I hated that girl. I'm I've got a really big problem with infidelity.

That's what ended my first relationship because she cheated on me a lot. And so it is Well, it was funny. Just complete side note. One of my friends was living with us and he was actually bedding another one of our friend's wives. He was way more afraid of me finding out about their relationship than the husband. Like, way like off the charts more because he was living with us.

And then they the husband actually lived in a different town. And when she would come in to be with him, they would go get a hotel room. He would not bring her to because it was my house, but he was renting a room in it. He would not bring her there. He would not that they didn't go out to dinner with us.

We didn't I didn't even like because he was terrified of me finding out about it because yeah, I've got a I've got a problem with.

Yeah. But yeah. So, so I mean like that Robert Roy actually. Rob. Roy.


Roy Roy actually broke up with Katie and then I.

Do remember.

That that was at the end of the, the previous season. And then in the next season she, she picked up with this chick.

That's another reason why I don't know where to me is because it it to me the seasons were contiguous so there was really no time between the two.

It's no break for you. Yeah, right.

Well, no, I mean, even for the characters, there's no real break. It's just.

No, no, I know, but, I mean, like, even in your head, like she.

Said, it was tomorrow. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I realize for the writers, they had a season. They close, they took a break, they came back, they started writing. I realize for them, it's a long time. Yeah, but in the story, it just happened yesterday. Yeah. And since I binge watched it, like all of us, it was yesterday, actually, it's probably half an hour ago.

An hour to go help you find a new person.

So far. Right? So. All right. Yeah, Yeah.

To get to get back to romance So great, well-written relationships.

Yeah, I was on.

So I'm going to go to Jaclyn, Carrie, all of them, all the relationships she's written. But the most famous one, without a doubt, is Phaedra and Jocelyn's relationship in the first Shield trilogy. It is one hell of a slow burn romance. But what is beautiful about it is that it's like a Romeo and Juliet situation. They're, you know, different, very different worldviews.

They love us for, but then all of that kind of things. But she doesn't she doesn't force it to tragedy, you know, it's it's a very beautiful, happy ending relationship that leaves you extremely satisfied. But it has all of the ups and downs. Falls rises all of them. Here's how I'm feeling. You think they're going to break up?

One that I don't think that we would ever even discuss in this context. But it popped into my head, and it's something both of us know, because when you were doing that, I was like, Well, I haven't read Jackal and Carrie. And then I was like, Well, there's movies and I'm like, I really hate that. I always use movies for it.

And I was like, Is there any type of literary thing? And I was like, There's actually a really amazing romance that both of us have read. Carl and Andre. Yes, From the Guardian of the Flame series.

From The Guardian of the Flame. Yes. Because they start at the beginning, Carl is really hot for her.


And then the whole disaster happens. For those of you who haven't read the book, they get transported to a dnd world, and they are there.

That's not the horrible incident that happened. You.

No, but that's. Yeah, that's how it starts, right. And then, like, their relationship basically goes nowhere for a while.

Where she sleeps with his best friend.

Yeah. Because they're in there in a freaky daddy world. He, she's never played in the he literally that day convinced her to come to this game draw up her first character. She has never in her life played this game and then she's transported to like yeah yeah.

And he he basically tries to own her but that's a different thing. So in this thing, they actually have both minds in their head. They have the character mine and their real world mind. And so the character mind is this barbarian type thing and he's like, No, I own her. She's my woman. Why would you treat her any different?

And then, of course, the modern day man brain is like, That's not how we treat women. And so there's this conflict between the two. And, you know, in the beginning, when the character mind is stronger, it kind of wins over and that pushes her away. Obviously because she's a modern woman and it's like, you're not going to treat me like I'm property.

So she ends up sleeping with his best friend. And then something else even more horrendous happens. And then, you know, they go through a bunch of other tragedies, but eventually their relationship turns into this marriage that is incredibly strong and incredibly deep and and incredibly loving between the two. And they have all of this baggage together, but all of it disappears as they mature and grow through this fantasy world.

Yeah. And their their marriage forms the heart of the eventually kind of country that they establish that the town that they establish and so on. It's really it's so well done It's such a lark. Builds one on top of the other and it has its setbacks and it has its growth moment. It's really fantastic. Yeah.

Yeah. A lot less toxic than the Lannister relationship.

well. Well.

It gets a little more wholesome than that.

You know, the Lannisters are an interesting bunch of rednecks.

100% redneck. I would take that. I will 100% take that. I didn't we didn't we got off topic, but I'll take that because I didn't get to it. But I was going to pick on you earlier about the well, I mean you guys do marry the person you hate the least. So I don't remember what it was, but it was something early.

I was like, that's a great joke. And then the conversation just meandered. So yeah, no, I would take that. I'm a redneck and that is a the Lannisters is a very redneck relationship. It's very trailer park, white trash.

100% She aint good enough for her family. She ain't good enough.

For ours. Yeah, yeah. Yep, yep. So it bes that way. But yeah, so those are I mean there's there's tons, there's tons of good relationships. We talked about Ted Lasso. I think there's great relationships in there. My favorite almost love at first sight but also a little bit of slow burn is the relationship between the boss woman and that dude that rescues her when she falls into the channel.

They're in.



Yeah, Amsterdam.

Amsterdam. That's where I was looking for like that relationship, you know. And also it was nice because they took the situation that could be creepy and predatory. Yes and they made this man a nice man above board. 100%. Dude, I am like, because she is like, crap, I'm In this vulnerable situation. And he's like, Yes, you are.

And you could not be safer. It is 100% fine. Like whatever you want. I'm here to cater to that.

I will. I will say it again about Ted Lasso is there absolutely have men who are horrible and women who are horrible. They absolutely do have those like Rebecca's there because the boss, like her and her husband, that that kicks the whole thing off.

But even best friend. Yeah. Like she is toxic. Yeah. The the one that comes in, the tertiary character that comes in the childhood friend. Yeah.

So she's not really but but yeah. So anyway, so not as.

Toxic as the husband. Yeah.

But the husband is, is very, very.


But he's the villain every like the other men that you encounter and the other people that you encounter, people that are genuinely normal, people who are not that they're people. They're nice.

BE to an extent. I mean, so.

Jamie Yeah, but Jamie's

growth arc is so amazing. That's where it gets unrealistic. Now. It's great for stories. So, like, this happened in the writers room just the other day last week. So this one character's a narcissist like Jamie, I'm the center of the universe. If you either you either have sex with me because I'm awesome. And if you don't, there's no other women that's going to have sex with me because I'm.

Awesome. So I don't need you even though I love you. And even though technically you're probably the best choice for me, I don't care. I'm a narcissist. It's all about me. And then his growth art is amazing. His growth arc is amazing. But in that room, there was kind of a similar kind of situation. And one of the critiquers is this is a psychiatrist or he's a trained psychiatrist.

I was he's retired now, I think. But but that was his thing. And he's like, I got a problem with this because narcissists don't ever change.

100%. But I don't think Jamie was a narcissist. Like, I don't think he's an actual right. The word narcissist is thrown around a lot, but.

He was narcissistic because of the situation he was put into from rags to riches and being a center of the universe. But that's not who he was at the core.

He wasn't diagnosable.

Right. And that's what this guy was in.

That because like and that's why he could have a growth.


If you want a real like an actual written narcissist The Devil Wears Prada. But Meryl Streep's character 100% a narcissist.

Is that the next line? No wire hangers. Is that were the line no wire hangers comes from or is that a different movie?

It might be, but that is that is where like the long rant of the fashion industry and the impact that it has and all the things. And that's also I'm pretty.

Sure that's also the one where she has children because they have a wire hanger their clothes on. A wire hanger.


Yeah. Them with the wire hanger screaming No, no wire hangers.

Not that she doesn't. You never see the children in that. But, but she's that that is an.

And it may not even be Meryl Streep but I just for whatever reason that line popped in my head. Tell us down below what movie I'm thinking of. some female actor back in the fifties or 60 or 70. And there's scene where she beats her children screaming, No.

No, no, I don't remember what. That's a more recent movie than that. It's a Anne Hathaway Meryl Streep movie. It was made in 2000 somewhere.


Very good. Highly recommended. But that character is a narcissist and she has no growth arc because narcissists don't grow. Jeremy, not a narcissist.

He's a No, he's not. But my point is, even with a narcissist character, even though it's not realistic that narcissists actually change, they always blame everyone else When you show them what they're doing is wrong, they just go, Yeah, but it's because of that. Yeah, because of them, because of this other thing. It's never me. I'm not the problem.

You're the problem.


That's realistic. But first of all, most narcissists aren't going to read your stuff. And second of all, you're not trying to change a narcissist with your story. You're trying to just show people that are not narcissists like Jamie, that maybe they're on the wrong path and maybe they should think about it and grow as a person.

Also, narcissism is rarer than you think. Like people throw these terms around like they know what they mean and they don't like.

Well, the cool thing is, is that that we have a flypaper that attracts them like we don't have a lot of narcissism because they're all politicians. Like they just become politicians as the only thing they can become. So, you know, so it's a great way to just weed them out.

No, I don't know what my politicians are. Okay, But that's a that's a different thing.

Just my loathing for politicians showing through.

But yeah, so, so I, I think that getting back to romance, I think that that relationship with Rebecca, I have watched the whole season so I can definitively say that relationship with Rebecca was fantastic.

And that's what I'm hoping. Like it was such a great set up. I'm just like, I'm so excited to see this relationship blossom. I'll get back to it. I've just been so busy. Yeah, that is one show I want to finish.

I also in, in that same show, like I loved a lot of the relationships. I loved a lot of right. I loved the relationships in the relationship between the gay guy and his boyfriend. When that eventually comes out, when he's, you know, when that whole thing eventually comes out.

That was I was out by then to.

So so these are.

Between but the relationship between Roy and Jamie which is more of a mentor mentee and father son relationship that's brilliant.

But brotherly love it's a fantastic.

So that's I actually see them more as fatherly love.

Yeah. The family love not not Eros.

Right, right, right.

I think the other one, the other type of love.


So it's not a romantic love, but it's a very, very deep relationship and it's so well done. If you want a masterclass in writing relationships, go watch. Go watch. Ted Lasso. Yeah, it's stunning.

But, I mean, there's so many other.


There's. There's so many good representations of growth in characters, in relationship. I mean, one of my favorite chick flicks is what women want with Mel Gibson. It's where he.


Power to here Inside of women starts like it's so well done. Miss Congeniality was another one.

I'll tell you what I think is relationship goals. What I think it's a really, really fantastic relationship is the relationship between Morticia and Gomez Addams.

And you definitely talk.

That relationship is fantastic and handsome and it's because Gomez loves everything, but he also loves Morticia very deeply. And she clearly him and those are freaky and they're weird and their relationship is all about the kink and the magic and the strangeness and everything else. They are so in love with each other and it is so obvious.

I would love to see their bedroom. It's got to be the weirdest. Kinky is sex dungeony thing.

But when they go to their kids like school and their kids are doing this weird thing on stage and the rest of the auditorium is quiet. The moment the kids finish, the whole Addams Family gets up and they're all applauding, you know? And it's so, so cute too.

But yeah, yeah, that was a fantastic that was a fantastically written family dynamic between all of them. And you still had it, you know, you still had the sister and brother fighting, you know, and picking each other and all of that. But yeah, it was so it really was a well done fantastic. Yeah.

A great relationship.

Yeah. So, I mean, there's plenty of examples of some really well-written stuff, but I guess to kind of tie it all up in a bow and sum it all, if you gonna be writing a romance arc within your story that isn't a romance, make sure it doesn't overshadow. But you still have to give it enough room to breathe.

Make she a believable character. And actually, I believe motivations. Make sure that that you give time for the audience to see those meet cute moments so that you see their relationship actually developing. Give them complications too. But don't be stupid about it. You know, make them more realistic, Don't miss anything. And I think I feel like I did.

Put your heart into it.

Be realistic. Like and that's you should do that with anything. Was I meant to say this earlier when you brought that up? I mean, part of I think the difference that separates really great writers from meh writers is really great writers have gotten over the fear of pouring their soul onto the page because and I get it, every writer starts off this way where you're just you're embarrassed and you're like, But what if they judge me and like, but but they're going to judge you if you don't port onto the page?

Yeah, it's not going to impact them. But yeah, for romance it's, it's, I want to say more critical, but it's just as critical and everything is just as critical when it comes to just baring your soul for the audience, for yours. Yeah, that does separate really great writers and really great stories from meh stories.

And I think that that is a good note on which to end this episode. We will see you soon for another one. Bye.

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