2 Diva's Bookish Discussion (5): What makes a good love interest and sidekick?

September 1, 2013

Introduction -
Hi, we're Francoise and Sunny and we have known each other since our nappy days. We're constantly having rants and raves about the latest books and bookish news. This is a fortnightly discussion that you can find on both of our blogs, so please make sure to stop by both blogs as our written content is different, although on the same topic. Our posts are not intended to offend anyone or anything but this is just our opinions and we would love it if you would share your thoughts in the comments. Enjoy!

Hey Guys,
2 weeks ago for our discussion Francoise and I posted what qualities we liked in a protagonist and antagonist. This week we're back with what makes a good couple and sidekick. Enjoy and please share your thoughts through comment and or twitter.

What makes a good couple -

  • Flawed love interest: As appealing the idea of a perfect interest is... I’m kinda sick of it.  I don’t know much about all this because I only have ever had book boyfriends. But I love it when a author can make a flawed person seem perfect in our mind, instead of making out that there are no flaws there. C’mon, as great as it is, its way to unrealistic. We want to see some inner demons unleashed! 
  • Instalove, No thank you: I don’t know about you, but I find Insta love incredibly annoying and unrealistic. I personally find it ridiculous when a character barley knows such and such’s name but proclaims to love them for eternity. Er no.. What makes reading a book with a romance so good, is when we see the relationship develop. When we get to watch them get to know each other and eventually turn into a relationship that because we watched blossom, we can appreciate.
  • A not so perfect relationship: I may sound like the biggest hypocrite right now because I’m all for cute and perfect, happily ever afters. But it’s beginning to irk me when all they do is talk about their love and agree on everything. When book couples fight it makes their relationship stronger and more believable. Because of course you’re not going to agree on everything so are couple of bumps on the road are to be expected.
  • SWOONABILITY: Look if we don’t believe the romance then how are we going to be convinced.  I feel that you either appreciate the romance or you feel like your in it, because you too are in love with the characters. When that’s achieved then you know you’ve written a good romance. To do this we want to feel emotion, and the best way is Swoon ability. I want to love the male interest and ship the couple all the way to the dock. So us readers also need to find them loveable.
  • Original and not your stereotypical pairing: I want the interests of the romance to be original and flawed. And the whole normal girl loves jock thing is getting a bit old. So make the romance unique , original, different, realistic and special on its own.

What makes a good best friend/sidekick -

  • Loyal and Dependant: A best friend is one that is basically going to be there every step of the protagonists journey so obviously a sidekick needs to be a trustworthy one. One that will stick by when things get rough and will always be there for the protagonist. 
  • To keep them in toe: Whilst the protagonist is battling dragons or whatever, it’s up to the sidekick to be that breath of fresh air, to be the one who keeps them in a positive headspace. Whether it be with humour, comfort or logics. Sidekicks are the protagonist’s eye openers.
  • A history: If the friends have supposedly known eachnother since childhood, we want it to show. We want to see their connection and strong bond that has lasted years and made them as close as they are today.
  • Protective: I love a friend who isn’t afraid to stand up for their bestie. Who’s protective but not over protective.
  • Individual: I like it when I see a friend who isn’t afraid to speak their own mind and has their own life and personality. Because obviously we don’t want a mirror copy of the protagonist and sometimes it’s their differences that make them close. 

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  1. Great post girl. Sorry I had to post mine so late afterwards, I had a history assignment I had to do. I obviously agree with everything you said. Can't wait till our next post, boy does 2 weeks go fast.

  2. I read insta-love and I run. Insta-love is not welcome! I love funny secondary characters who really drive the story on.

    Great post!

  3. INSTALOVE = GRRRRRR! No one falls in love just by seeing someone... Just no. -.- AND I LOVE A FLAWED LOVE INTEREST TOO! They are the best! I absolutely adored the love interest in Icons because of how flawed he was... *swoons* And a perfect, let's-agree-on-everything relationship is certainly boring. BRING ON THE ARGUMENTS!

    And I LOVE it when the MC and their best friend have known each other for years and the bond between them is really well developed and believable... It's adorable! ^.^

    Great post!

  4. Yes I so agree to no insta-love and a flawed interest and relationship. Like you have to actually work to get somewhere and most relationships usually aren't just "oh hey you're here I like you let's get married we have no issues and we're perfect!" And I love a good sidekick, especially the protective and supportive ones, because side characters are always just as important as the main character!

    Fantastic post! <33

  5. I LOVE this post ! Especially the part about how the sidekick needs to have their own personality. I absolutely hate it when the MC's best friend is there just to do the MC's dirty work, and for no other reason. They need to be fleshed out, y'know? And about how the relationship with the love interest needs to be flawed, you are completely right. Great post Sunny!

  6. I completely agree with you on the couple side of things! Flawed love-interest makes me like the character much more when reading and a bit of development instead of meeting and loving eachother instantly is always welcome. I find it so much more exciting to see characters I've gotten to know separately come together. And yes - swoonability is a key. With a touch of fangirl-ability! I love knowing background stories so, if that's written into a friendship, I'm certain to enjoy reading about the characters more!

    Great post! Love this feature!

  7. Lately I can't seem to write love interests WITHOUT flaws so I am glad that's super okay. I mean, mostly I object because it's disturbingly easy to for me fall in love with thes perpetual liars, and the thieves, and the moment stealers I create.

    Instalove I so agree with! Where's the depth? Where's the terrifying fall?

    Hmmmm. I feel like this comment is just a jumble of thoughts badly sewn together so I'm going to stop there. <3

  8. LOVE THIS! Instalove? Nuh uh. No thank you! Also if the guy is way too overprotective and he actually verges on obsessive then that's a strike for me. There seem to be quite a few unhealthy relationships in books nowadays :S
    Definitely agree with you on the sidekick front, they definitely need to be a breath of fresh air. Especially in the darker moments!

  9. Instalove is so annoying and it seems to be everywhere at the moment, I feel absolutely nothing for the couple then! I love how you brought up a relationship with flaws. How often do we see that happen, instead of perfect, annoyingly cute couples?

    Great post Sunny!

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

  10. I totally agree with everything you've said! Insta-love/ Love at first sight, is my biggest hatred in everything (which is why I dislike Romeo+Juliette) so much. I also love sidekicks who don't go along with everything the main character does.
    Great post!

  11. All of these things are so true! I love a non-perfect relationship and YES SWOONABILITY. if the author can't make the character seem swoonworthy to some as fangirl-y as myself then....THAT'S BAD. ;) INSTA LOVEEEEEEE....i mean. PLEASE GET OUT OF MY FACE I HATE YOU.

    And the good friend/side-kick things are really true too! I love the point about keeping them in toe. :)
    great post Sunny and Francoise and LOL i love the intro..;)


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