Character Types: The Love Interest

The_Love_InterestAs everyone knows, every good hero or heroine needs a love interest.

Preferably multiple love interests for the sake of suspense.

Just make sure that at least one of the love interests is perfect in every way.

After all, we wouldn’t want the hero/heroine to have to learn wisdom in this relationship…


In our latest KP Character Types video, Josiah and Daniel take on the ‘Love Interest’ character type and discuss what it takes to write a truly compelling, non-cliched love interest.

Hint: it doesn’t have to do with any of the afore-mentioned solutions.

Sound Credit: Mike Koenig

Previous Stereotypes:

The Evil Overlord

The Strong Female Character (TM)

The Damsel in Distress

The Parents

The Comic Relief

The Mentor

The Henchman

The Herald

Profile photo of Josiah DeGraaf
Josiah DeGraaf is a high school English teacher and literature nerd who fell in love with stories when he was young and hasn’t fallen out of love ever since.
He writes because he’s fascinated by human motivations. What causes otherwise-good people to make really terrible decisions in their lives? Why do some people have the strength to withstand temptation when others don’t? How do people respond to periods of intense suffering? What does it mean to be a hero?
These questions drive him as a reader, and they drive him as a writer as well as he takes normal people, puts them in crazy situations (did he mention he writes fantasy?), and then forces them to make difficult choices with their lives.
Someday, Josiah hopes to write fantasy novels with worlds as imaginative as Brandon Sanderson’s, characters as complex as Orson Scott Card’s, character arcs as dynamic as Jane Austen’s, themes as deep as Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s, and stories as entertaining as Wayne Thomas Batson’s. In the meantime, you can find him writing articles here or short stories at his website (link below) as he works toward achieving these goals.
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  1. *can’t stop grinning and shaking her head* You guys are hilarious as usual.
    And that’s quite an… um… original reason to like Romeo and Juliet, Josiah. XD I personally hate it because I felt like it was more about the two families being re-united in shame over the deaths of their ‘wise children who had the real answer all along— love each other’ which is not only stupid but downright false, but that’s an interesting way to look at it… Hm. I should read it again.

    • Well, I am overstating my case a bit for the video. xD But I do think that the message of Romeo and Juliet is that you shouldn’t allow emotions to be the primary driver of your actions. It seems to me that if you apply the tropes of classical tragedy to the play and look at Romeo and Juliet’s fatal flaws that both of them suffer a lot by being ruled by their emotions.

  2. Heh heh. Best one yet, I think.

    I’ll throw in my own spin on Romeo and Juliet. I think the problem wasn’t so much the plot as that I didn’t have any character to sympathize with. Well, except for that monk guy, but he wasn’t there enough and he wasn’t as good as he could have been. What I needed was some reasonable character whose eyes I could see things through while all the mess was happening.

    • Yeah. That too. I think that would have done wonders for keeping the theme focused and not leaving it to the mercy of the reader’s interpretation. Some people say it’s the most gorgeous love story; all about how love transcends all barriers blah blah blah etc., but I certainly never saw that, and here we are with at least two different interpretations right here, neither of which has anything to do with the power of love.

      • Yeah, that’s definitely an interesting facet of Romeo and Juliet that I’ve noted before. The Prince seems to be the closest person you have to an upright example and he’s a pretty minor character. That being said, Francis is awesome and probably my favorite character in the play. 😉

  3. *dies of laughter* I seriously had tears in my eyes by the time I was done with this. You two… *trails off into more laughter* AND WHAT ON EARTH HAS DANIEL DONE TO HIS HAIR? (No, Daniel, that’s not a compliment – just an answer for one of your questions, or however that went.) And… I guess that is one reason to like a romance. Not morbid in the least bit.

    My favorite romance (not that I’ve read much of it) is probably the second two books in the Eyes of E’veria series. The characters are forced to marry, and then learn to love afterwards. They are perfect for each other, but they both have their flaws and don’t always get along either.

    • Lol–our alternate credits scene for this actually had an explanation for the hair, there. xD Essentially there was some miscommunication between him and the haircutter about how long he wanted the stripe thing to be (I don’t know the technical term for it…)

      I only read the first book in that series, but I do like that tactic. The fantasy novel I mentioned in the video did a very similar thing, which was part of the reason I liked it so much.

      • I enjoyed the first two books in the Eyes of E’veria series well enough…mainly because of the depth of theme one doesn’t get in much Christian fantasy. But the second set (third and fourth books) was so good, both in theme and how the romance played out.

  4. I’m dying!!!!!! *rolling on the floor laughing* Seriously, I can’t even…..oh, my goodness….best ever.

  5. Big Head Kid reference!! Got to love Blimey Cow. 🙂 Good thoughts. Why was the novel you were mentioning? Is there a reason you didn’t give the name?

    • I only left out the name to avoid spoiling the plot twist for potential readers. Since you asked, it happens in Brandon Sanderson’s seven-book Mistborn series. I’ll avoid saying which book it is, unless you want to know.

  6. I was still laughing for an entire minute after the video! And yeah, I guess that’s a good reason to like Romeo and Juliette. We writers become such cold hearted people xD

  7. Hahaha that’s why I like Romeo and Juliet too. Shakespeare had a good grip on balancing romance and tragedy. #writergoals 😛
    But seriously, the romance genre as a whole is a personal pet peeve of mine, (a) because of the perfection stereotype and (b) no one seems to have a grip on what love is. My solution is generally to avoid the genre altogether and go on regularly scheduled angry rants about it, but this comedic solution was a nice change of pace.
    Good topic, amazing video! Loved it.

  8. Loved the Blimey Cow reference! 😀

  9. One of the best so far. Love the blimey cow reference as well

  10. Anne of Lothlorien says:

    Woah. Daniel… his hair…
    Anyways, first comment I’ve done, though I’ve seen some of your videos before. This one is my favorite, because I am sick of the ‘perfect love interest as well’ and I don’t even read romance novels that often!
    I’ve never liked Romeo and Juliet because it was stupid. ‘Oh, I’m fourteen years old, so I’m going to get married and then after my husband dies because he thinks I’m dead because someone didn’t tell him I was pretending to be dead, I’m going to kill myself and really be dead.’ Never thought about liking it because they were stupid and died.
    One of my favorite romances is Faramir and Eowyn, from TLOTR, both in the books, and the movies. How Eowyn thinks she’s in love with what Aragorn is, a handsome ranger/king, but in the end realizes that Faramir is the one for her. Just because it’s so sweet, and hardly there, but there enough that all the sweet romance lovers like me enjoy it.

    • Hahaha, yep. I had a very similar change-of-opinion regarding Romeo & Juliet when I realized their deaths were directly caused by their foolishness.
      I hadn’t considered that before in LotR! Course, I also haven’t read LotR in an abysmally-long time and am forgetful of many details… I think it’s been 7-8 years or something, so it’s in a sore need of a re-read. =P

  11. I can’t help being really distracted by the “Dragons in Our Midst” book in the intro. I LOVE THAT BOOK!!!!!!!
    Also, I only like once romance book in the whole world, and it is Water Princess Fire Prince. It is perfect! Both of the characters are REAL PEOPLE, and the girl doesn’t even like the guy for two thirds of the book. Also, they can carry on a page and a half conversation composed entirely of book references, which makes it the best book ever.

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