Why do readers expect that relationships are set in stone?

Do readers tell you when they think that you should have done things in a different way?

  • Yes.

    Votes: 10 52.6%
  • No.

    Votes: 6 31.6%
  • Yes and I rewrite.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No, and I watch them go. Wishing them all the best.

    Votes: 3 15.8%

  • Total voters
    19
  • Poll closed .

doravg

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I mean, in real life, there are twists and turns and no such thing as "fated lovers". I try to write my romance with said twists and turns. When I was writing The Apple Grotto Nymph, I had that arc where there was a political marriage that broke the main couple for, like, a whole volume. No one liked that, and many dropped and down rated the book. (at least on RR, I got, like, a single 4 on SH, and that might be because my earlier styling was not the best. But I fixed that.)

Now, with Shelter Rescue, I have been exploring the "man gets back together with his ex because she got pregnant by him months ago" troupe. And I got a comment this morning saying that the reader did not like that. "I sure as hell would not be happy with this kind of relationship, but thats just my opinion. " Those were his final words. I have no idea if he dropped, but, I have to say this:

Good guys, like my MC, Frank, would totally get back with their exes, or try to get custody of the child, in real life. In Medieval times, no one gave two shits if two people loved each other, and, The Apple Grotto Nymph is set in Medieval Mcfantasy land. There is a war, the only peaceful option is marriage, you get married. Period. Unless you want people to die for your love. In which case, you are a villain. And Theanore is not a villain.

Rant over.

So, why do readers expect to find fated love in a book, when there is no such thing, or it is rare, in real life?
 

hauntedwritings

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So, why do readers expect to find fated love in a book, when there is no such thing, or it is rare, in real life?
Because of that very reason.

We can not experience fated love in real life, so we seek it in fiction.

I don't know how the plot develops in your story, but if it is tagged as romance and has 'romance vibes' in it, then the readers will have an expectation that two characters will, eventually, end up together. Yes, there might be thorns in the path (and probably should be to make it more authentic), but if there is anything that comes off as a 'clean break', you will have betrayed the readers' expectations. The 'fated' characters can be split either emotionally or thing-agorically (e.g, a divorce, physical distance), but never both at the same time if the characters are meant to be. There must always be something that clearly ties the two together, whether it is love or something else (which is why many novels use things such as a marrige-and-divorce-contract to get the two together).

But this doesn't mean that the readers are necessarily right in their critisism either. You know the full future of the story, so you know what the readers don't - which can actually make things difficult. Your task as an author is to leave behind crumbs and sneaky foreshadowing so that they will want to stay until they've read the full story.
 

doravg

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Because of that very reason.

We can not experience fated love in real life, so we seek it in fiction.

I don't know how the plot develops in your story, but if it is tagged as romance and has 'romance vibes' in it, then the readers will have an expectation that two characters will, eventually, end up together. Yes, there might be thorns in the path (and probably should be to make it more authentic), but if there is anything that comes off as a 'clean break', you will have betrayed the readers' expectations. The 'fated' characters can be split either emotionally or thing-agorically (e.g, a divorce, physical distance), but never both at the same time if the characters are meant to be. There must always be something that clearly ties the two together, whether it is love or something else (which is why many novels use things such as a marrige-and-divorce-contract to get the two together).

But this doesn't mean that the readers are necessarily right in their critisism either. You know the full future of the story, so you know what the readers don't - which can actually make things difficult. Your task as an author is to leave behind crumbs and sneaky foreshadowing so that they will want to stay until they've read the full story.
I don't know the future of my stories. I am a pantser...I don't plot. The two "fated" couples got back together, though. But, if I felt like the story couldn't have gone further by doing so, I wouldn't have done it.
 

Ilikewaterkusa

American Ordo-Socialist
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I mean, in real life, there are twists and turns and no such thing as "fated lovers". I try to write my romance with said twists and turns. When I was writing The Apple Grotto Nymph, I had that arc where there was a political marriage that broke the main couple for, like, a whole volume. No one liked that, and many dropped and down rated the book. (at least on RR, I got, like, a single 4 on SH, and that might be because my earlier styling was not the best. But I fixed that.)

Now, with Shelter Rescue, I have been exploring the "man gets back together with his ex because she got pregnant by him months ago" troupe. And I got a comment this morning saying that the reader did not like that. "I sure as hell would not be happy with this kind of relationship, but thats just my opinion. " Those were his final words. I have no idea if he dropped, but, I have to say this:

Good guys, like my MC, Frank, would totally get back with their exes, or try to get custody of the child, in real life. In Medieval times, no one gave two shits if two people loved each other, and, The Apple Grotto Nymph is set in Medieval Mcfantasy land. There is a war, the only peaceful option is marriage, you get married. Period. Unless you want people to die for your love. In which case, you are a villain. And Theanore is not a villain.

Rant over.

So, why do readers expect to find fated love in a book, when there is no such thing, or it is rare, in real life?
Romance is gross wtfug. Incel. Increase intel. Number
24A8E463-72C1-4DFC-86CF-21965250EE6D.jpeg
 

longer

Eroge Arc
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Most people have enough empathy to relate to characters so stories with emotional turmoil tend to impart at least some of those feelings to the reader. Generally, these stories have things like a tragedy or psychological tag to warn readers and a quick look at apple grotto nymph does not give any indicator that it would impart some bittersweet feelings. I personally don't care about being forewarned unless I'm blatantly lied to and misled but some readers can be set off by the slightest of things.

However, a lot of readers don't want to go through the second hand sadness of a turbulent relationship. Reading is often an escape and webnovels tend to be good for filling a void. Only psycopaths or those feeling a need to relate to other terribly sad people will read shit like Oyasumi Punpun.

TLDR: I want to read about a fated love with a cute catgirl because my irl relationships leave me feeling deeply emotionally unsatisfied.
 

Anon2021

?????????
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I take a different perspective on this.

I think the reason is because most readers have experienced pain in relationships and don't want to read a story with that same type of pain. Tragic stories have their place, but when people get emotional attachment to a character, they really don't want to see that character suffer or have bad things happen to them.

I suspect I've been getting a lot of 1 star ratings because my first 30 chapters feel like NTR to those readers. Lol.

Humiliation as a subtle theme isn't for for everyone.
 

YuukeiRorogan

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Joined
May 14, 2022
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I mean, in real life, there are twists and turns and no such thing as "fated lovers". I try to write my romance with said twists and turns. When I was writing The Apple Grotto Nymph, I had that arc where there was a political marriage that broke the main couple for, like, a whole volume. No one liked that, and many dropped and down rated the book. (at least on RR, I got, like, a single 4 on SH, and that might be because my earlier styling was not the best. But I fixed that.)

Now, with Shelter Rescue, I have been exploring the "man gets back together with his ex because she got pregnant by him months ago" troupe. And I got a comment this morning saying that the reader did not like that. "I sure as hell would not be happy with this kind of relationship, but thats just my opinion. " Those were his final words. I have no idea if he dropped, but, I have to say this:

Good guys, like my MC, Frank, would totally get back with their exes, or try to get custody of the child, in real life. In Medieval times, no one gave two shits if two people loved each other, and, The Apple Grotto Nymph is set in Medieval Mcfantasy land. There is a war, the only peaceful option is marriage, you get married. Period. Unless you want people to die for your love. In which case, you are a villain. And Theanore is not a villain.

Rant over.

So, why do readers expect to find fated love in a book, when there is no such thing, or it is rare, in real life?
Simple, because most readers don't find it entertaining, but rather, frustrating.
 

Silver_Sky

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Joined
Aug 3, 2019
Messages
67
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58
It can also be about a sense of loss or detachment from those characters, kinda like a death. They often fill the main characters as themselves as well, which doesn't help either.
 

Anon2021

?????????
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586
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Simple, because most readers don't find it entertaining, but rather, frustrating.
I think what makes it even more frustrating is that chapters are released little by little. When I see a romance subplot in a novel I usually skip ahead because I want to make sure my emotional investment isn't lost. When those chapters aren't available then you'd have to follow for a long long time to see the resolution.

I don't think this same problem occurs as much in books that can be read cover to cover on day one. I mean, people loved "The Notebook" by Nicholas Sparks.
 
D

Deleted member 57675

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I mean, in real life, there are twists and turns and no such thing as "fated lovers". I try to write my romance with said twists and turns. When I was writing The Apple Grotto Nymph, I had that arc where there was a political marriage that broke the main couple for, like, a whole volume. No one liked that, and many dropped and down rated the book. (at least on RR, I got, like, a single 4 on SH, and that might be because my earlier styling was not the best. But I fixed that.)

Now, with Shelter Rescue, I have been exploring the "man gets back together with his ex because she got pregnant by him months ago" troupe. And I got a comment this morning saying that the reader did not like that. "I sure as hell would not be happy with this kind of relationship, but thats just my opinion. " Those were his final words. I have no idea if he dropped, but, I have to say this:
Tbf that was my opinion when i came across some wattpad novels and the wolfy/bad boy vibes.
Good guys, like my MC, Frank, would totally get back with their exes, or try to get custody of the child, in real life. In Medieval times, no one gave two shits if two people loved each other, and, The Apple Grotto Nymph is set in Medieval Mcfantasy land. There is a war, the only peaceful option is marriage, you get married. Period.
Medieval times. Ah. The time where child married to adult or teens to teens. Political and economical and social reasons. Famous witch hunts. Plague. Bloodletting. War. Countless bloody fights over faiths. Love is the least of one worries in that time...
Unless you want people to die for your love. In which case, you are a villain. And Theanore is not a villain.
I see you Lyanna and Rhaegar...
Rant over.

So, why do readers expect to find fated love in a book, when there is no such thing, or it is rare, in real life?
Depends on the tags and how one made it out to be. A sudden turn of events that seems out of nowhere can make a reader throw their hands. Especially if no warning in tags, synopsis, authors notes, etc.

On other hand, irl, you'll also find people who you thought they would be with this other person that seems perfect for them. Only to find years later they went with someone totally unexpected. Life is like books sometimes, throwing hooks and surprises at us too. So out of nowhere love can happen too.

Haven't written anything considered much of a story, but I probably would only listen to some advice if asking on topic. Otherwise, if after reviewing their comment and still digging my heels in, its all in one ear and out the other. Like i care enough to make the story extremely brillant when its over the internet and not main story concerned bout. I write meh and could care less bout meh comments. At least thats my current feel for now.

Cannot judge cause have not read your story so can only suggest to do as to what one feels fit bout their story.
 

LordJoyde

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Jan 3, 2019
Messages
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I do not see any reason to care about their opinion on this matter.
Changing your story for the sake of pleasing a reader or two will inevitably alienate everything else and most importantly, cause you to lose interest in writing a story that is simply no longer your own.
The readers whom are there are there for you, for your style and your writing. Not the other way around.
 

Zirrboy

Fueled by anger
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Messages
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This will probably sound more antagonistic than I want it to, but aren't you too demanding the other party conform to your expectations?
They want you to write the story they'd like to read, you want them to respond to it in a certain way.

If that's not your thing, don't read the feedback or publish arcs/books in their entirety.

And take the following as a very personal opinion of someone who has never touched any of your books, but the fact that you argue with realism in a question of narrative is enough to make me think they might have a point.
 

RavenRunes

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Good guys, like my MC, Frank, would totally get back with their exes, or try to get custody of the child, in real life. In Medieval times, no one gave two shits if two people loved each other, and, The Apple Grotto Nymph is set in Medieval Mcfantasy land. There is a war, the only peaceful option is marriage, you get married. Period. Unless you want people to die for your love. In which case, you are a villain. And Theanore is not a villain.
No they wouldn't, not sure what you're trying to say here. It would depend on many things and not just if they're a 'good' guy. In my line of work I've come across several cases where the man has gone for custody because he's a manipulative lying coercive shit - I don't want to go into a particular case I had recently but he was the worst kind of horrible. I've seen many, many cases (hell, one is too many) where the custody/visitation issue is weaponised.

Not sure I'd go for "man gets back together with his ex because she got pregnant by him months ago" - I'd want him to have a better reason than just it being his child. If they broke up because of some misunderstanding, and realised their mistake and had been tentatively working up to sorting it when she announced her pregnancy which then cinched the deal to try again, then maybe. And I hope that by 'got pregnant' that was a mutual decision before the break-up and we're not talking about a band-aid baby - I'd drop that. I am one, so is my sister. We're bitter about it.

Anyway, that aside, reading romance, people do expect it to go a certain way. I agree about the fated mates thing, I find it a bit silly as like you said, IRL there's no such thing as fate. But if I'm reading a book that's tagged as romance then it had better result in an HEA for the two MCs or I want an explanation. Unless you're writing Wuthering Heights, obviously. But yeah I agree, generally, part of the joy of reading romance is the 'will they/won't they' thing - will he make it back to her in time to stop her marrying Lord Fuckface; will she manage to pull off her escape scheme and hie out of there before Lord Fuckface gets to the bedchamber, will Sir Fancyballs recover from his war injuries and make it back to his lady across half the world before her father sends her to a convent at the top of Mt Bumblefuck...etc.
Obviously, as a romance reader, I know he will. But I enjoy watching him try, and fail, and try again. No need for that 'fated' shit. It doesn't need to be written in some stars or old tome somewhere first lol
 
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Mortrexo

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I mean, in real life, there are twists and turns and no such thing as "fated lovers". I try to write my romance with said twists and turns. When I was writing The Apple Grotto Nymph, I had that arc where there was a political marriage that broke the main couple for, like, a whole volume. No one liked that, and many dropped and down rated the book. (at least on RR, I got, like, a single 4 on SH, and that might be because my earlier styling was not the best. But I fixed that.)

Now, with Shelter Rescue, I have been exploring the "man gets back together with his ex because she got pregnant by him months ago" troupe. And I got a comment this morning saying that the reader did not like that. "I sure as hell would not be happy with this kind of relationship, but thats just my opinion. " Those were his final words. I have no idea if he dropped, but, I have to say this:

Good guys, like my MC, Frank, would totally get back with their exes, or try to get custody of the child, in real life. In Medieval times, no one gave two shits if two people loved each other, and, The Apple Grotto Nymph is set in Medieval Mcfantasy land. There is a war, the only peaceful option is marriage, you get married. Period. Unless you want people to die for your love. In which case, you are a villain. And Theanore is not a villain.

Rant over.

So, why do readers expect to find fated love in a book, when there is no such thing, or it is rare, in real life?
It is a very easy answer, really. It is because the readers project themselves on the main character most of the time. If the main character's love interest suffers, the readers suffer, if the main character's love interest leaves them, the reader takes it personally so they also become upset. When cheating happens, the readers will be absolutely mad... Unless the cheating is done by the MC aka "Netori" which is a very famous genre for smut novels.

In short, readers immerse themselves while reading, so when something sad happens, it also affects them.

Edit: By the way, for your poll, the option I would have chosen is "Yes, and I see how I could better the novel through their feedback.", If I think it is something worth changing, I might do it.
 
Last edited:

Bartun

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Dec 9, 2020
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Well, it depends, really. We tend to identify with characters and project our expectations on the stories we are reading, ESPECIALLY if it's romance. Yeah, in real life things are different, people break up and come back together all the time. Even those who said would never get back with an ex, tend to secretly meet up with said exes.

I've personally had a rocky love life, and surely didn't want to read about something similar in a book, but life is constant change, and I come to appreciate stories with a more realistic approach to romance. I'm personally writing a story, and although there is no romance in it, people still expect it. They project their romantic expectations in the story and label each character interaction as romantic.

I can't tell you what to do about it, but what I can do as a writer is pad my story a little bit so that when the "romantic" resolution never comes they can still enjoy the friendship my characters have developed (I didn't tag my story as romance for a reason).
 

lambenttyto

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I think it has to do with expectations. Why do readers expect Frodo to drop the ring into Mount Doom? Because everything hinges on it, because they want him to. I think romances are like this. Once I like a couple, I want them to get together. I want obstacles to prevent it for a time, and then I want them to finally manage it before the final part of the plot to heighten the tension. A romantic subplot between characters always makes me care about the characters more and it also makes more tension in the story for me, because one of them could die, or the relationship could be destroyed before it ever has a change to bloom.
 

Nahrenne

Pure and Innocent Maiden~
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So, why do readers expect to find fated love in a book, when there is no such thing, or it is rare, in real life?
Escapism?

Saying that, I prefer it when relationships grow dynamically and organically in stories.
Everyone has a different desire when reading romance, though.
As long as you're having fun and enjoying what you write, then don't worry about how others believe it should go.

Good luck with all your writing!

*shakes pompoms, then huggles you*

\(^o^)/

X
 

Gryphon

The One who has the Eyes
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That's happened once or twice, and sometimes I'll agree and somtimes what they're suggesting makes on damn sense.
 
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