Want to develop your character? Write a Dating Profile

canstockphoto15012604Run a Google search for “character profiles” and you’ll pull-up lot’s of character worksheets and questionnaires. Some of them are really basic, asking your character’s favorite color or if he ever had a pet. Others delve into character background – sometimes tracing steps all the way back to the character’s immigrant great, great grandparents.

But what if we took a real world approach to character profiles?

Stay with me, as this may sound crazy — but dating websites are designed to ask questions that allow other people to really get to know you. They’re geared toward real people, and you want your characters to be as real as possible. So, what if you turn the profile around and answer questions in the head of your protagonist (or antagonist or love interest or whoever). You’ll really get to know that character, and probably discover some new, surprising things in the process.

Here are some sample questions from an eHarmony profile:

  • Other than appearance, what is the first thing that people notice about you?
  • What are your three BEST life skills?
  • Four things your friends say you are…
  • What are five things you “can’t live without?”
  • What are you most passionate about?
  • What are three things for which you are most thankful?
  • What is the ONE thing that people DON’T notice about you right away that you WISH they WOULD?

These questions (and many more found in a good dating questionnaire) go beyond the basic height, weight and hair color descriptions found on generic character profiles, and really ask for a deeper-level understanding. Spend time thinking about the answers and it will directly influence your writing of character reactions and dialog. It will also subtly weave descriptions and imagery that lead your reader to say, “That character was soooooo real!”

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How do you get readers to connect with your Sleuth?

canstockphoto1131704A memorable murder is essential for a memorable murder mystery. However, readers don’t turn the pages because they care about an unfortunate corpse. They want to help the cool kids solve the mystery.

That means your murder mystery has to start with an interesting sleuth.

Being smart, attractive, and witty with the puns doesn’t cut it. In a murder mystery (and really any modern novel) an interesting protagonist has a character trait that readers identify with. They feel a connection to the character, and can empathize with what makes that character tick. When you think about it, characters that have a strong desire to achieve something – whether that’s overcoming an internal struggle or finding love, freedom, forgiveness, acceptance – have the strongest impact on readers.

There’s an inherent tension in wanting the Protagonist to achieve his desire, but also knowing that he may fail. It makes great character drama.

So how do you write this?

Well, first establish the Protagonist’s desire. This is different from solving the murder mystery. This is an individual and deeply personal need of your main character. It could be to reconcile with a family member, to seek forgiveness for a past accident, to return home, to overcome an addiction, etc. What would be unique to your main character’s life or personality?

Second, define what obstacles are keeping your main character from achieving this desire. If it’s to reconcile with a family member, what’s keeping them apart? What’s preventing him from receiving or accepting forgiveness? Why can’t he go home? Is there an enabler in his life that’s preventing him from overcoming the addiction?

Finally, establish the stakes. What terrible consequences will result if he doesn’t achieve his desire? Will he never find love? Lose his family? Never see his son again?

This internal drive serves to make the Protagonist relatable to readers. This desire should affect the main plot as well, providing a stumbling block or two while solving the murder. And, if you can come full circle, tie both plots together in the end so that the Protagonist achieving his desire allows him to ultimately identify and catch the murderer.

Inexperienced Evil: “Will the Real Bad Guy Please Stand Up?”

canstockphoto18799595Hey JC,

I read your post about Seven Archetypes to Create a ViIlain and I want to ask you a question.

One of my antagonists is not quite out there evil, unlike a lot of antagonists in books where you know right off they’re evil (e.g. Cruella de Vil. Darth Vader. Hannibal Lector. It was obvious that they were evil from the very beginning) but I want the reader to think, “I don’t know what it is, however I don’t quite trust her”.

Any suggestions on how to write such a character?

Just to give an example of what I’m talking about, if anyone saw the original Friday The 13th, when you first see Mrs. Voorhees she does not seem like an antagonist until she talks about her son, Jason.

Sincerely,
Inexperienced Evil

Dear Inexperienced,

What genre are you writing? I’m guessing it’s more in the suspense-thriller category rather than a mystery. Either way, the best villains are those who think they’re the hero. They believe their cause is just, and maybe in the beginning of the story it is. However, as the plot moves forward, the villain continues to take his actions to the next level and loses sight of who he is hurting in the pursuit of his goal.

I’d start with the Protagonist and Antagonist possibly being on the same side, maybe even being friends. As the plot forces the two apart, the Antagonist will take a stronger, more aggressive approach to the situation. This approach will conflict with the Protagonist’s principals and ideals, creating conflict. I read a story once about two environmentalists who were trying to protect a forest from loggers.

In a mystery, the Antagonist’s identity is a secret until the very end. Several genuine clues will be dropped here and there that a perceptive reader may pick-up. Referring to your example, the original Friday the 13th was a mystery to some degree, in that the audience thought Jason was committing the murders. The mother explains that he drowned, giving the audience the impression the teens were being pursued by his ghost. Then in the end it is revealed that the mother was actually dressing up as her son and killing the teens. That type of story requires a red herring (who the reader/audience believes is the killer) and a hidden murderer revealed in the end of the book..

Good luck and keep writing.

JC

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Got a question for me? Hit the contact button at the top and send me an email. Or do you disagree with my advice? Let me know in the comments. How would you respond to Inexperienced Evil’s problem?

Five More Life Lessons that make great character growth

canstockphoto13359774I’ve found five more sentiments that can add a layer of personal growth for your sleuth and leave the reader feeling that the book meant something. Sure, the adventure is fun or the mystery is thrilling, but readers love character development because it adds weight to the story. As the old saying goes, a strong plot plus a strong character arc equals a great novel.

There are many examples of character growth out there. These are a few additional ideas I had, especially for an amateur sleuth thrust into the middle of a murder mystery. You can read Number 1 – 5 by clicking here.

6. You’ll never know yourself if you Let others define your dreams and identity for you.  Kids who have parents who pushed them into sports or a “family profession” can grow up with all sorts of insecurities and resentment. Marriages with a spouse who has squashed her dreams in order to see her companion succeed can lead to ticking time bomb. This provides a clear character arc, where the Protagonist learns to stand up for what she wants and ultimately strives to achieve it. The greatest challenge in life is discovering who you are; the second greatest is being happy with what you find.

7. Holding on to negative friends and family members will corrupt you.  People are often held back from pursuing their goals because of the friends and family members around them express negative attitudes. Here, the heroine learns that keeping the company of negative people is a choice, instead of an obligation, and once she frees herself to keep the company of compassion instead of anger, generosity instead of greed, or patience instead of anxiety, she find a whole new world of opportunity awaits.

5. Avoiding change and growth will limit your potential.  One of the most basic of personality traits is one resisting change. Whatever the change (be it family, work, or socially) the resistance can create great internal and external conflict. For the character to grow, she must learn to let go of the old to make way for the new. There may be consequences and/or loss with either decision (to change or to not to change) but ultimately the change should lead to new opportunities and success.

8. Settling for less than you deserve will hurt you in the long run. This is always a great place to start with a character — whether she’s settled in her career, marriage, or social status — she must become strong enough to let go of her insecurities and wise enough to recognize and pursue what she truly deserves. The drama comes in when it will take something big to really knock her down lower than she’s ever been before, only to, by the end of the book, stand taller than ever before.

9. Endlessly waiting until tomorrow will never allow you to live, accomplish and move forward. A character with big aspirations and starstruck dreams but is all talk and no action is fairly relatable. We all think we have more time than we do. However something must happen to shift her thinking (a brush with death, the loss of a loved one, a milestone, another character’s success). At that point she must either set out for (and maybe achieve) her goals, or wallow in a list of excuses.

10. The world doesn’t owe you a thing. Many a story starts out with a character who has entitlement issues. Ultimately, this character must learn to take full responsibility for her life. It often comes from the universe knocking her down a peg or two, and she learns empathy for other people and a realistic idea of her place in the universe.

ROUND UP THE (UN)USUAL SUSPECTS …

SuspectEvery suspect is hiding a secret. Let me repeat for emphasis: EVERY SUSPECT IS HIDING A SECRET. It’s just that only one of them is hiding THE secret. The others don’t want your hero uncovering that they’ve stolen family heirlooms, was responsible for the happy couple’s break-up, dealing drugs, burned down the school building, pirating cable TV. Part of the fun of reading a murder mystery is unraveling the sordid lives of the suspect line-up.

So what makes a good suspect?

If ultimately the murderer is proven to have motive, means and opportunity, a viable suspect should have one or two of these attributes, but not all three. The obvious suspect will have “motive.” (She stood up in a crowded theater and announced her vow to make sure that the victim wouldn’t live to see the light of another day just hours before the murder occurred.) The suspect with “means” just happens to own the murder weapon, and the one with “opportunity” was at the wrong place at the wrong time. However, upon investigation, everyone of these attributes point to something else entirely – something that’s probably scandalous and juicy.

So how many suspects should be standing in the line-up?

That can be a little tricky. There’s got to be enough suspects to ensure that the murderer’s identity is a surprise, but not so many that the poor, confused reader can’t keep up. Three is the minimum (see above) but, if the story calls for it, that line-up can stretch to four or five.

Show me a good suspect, and I’ll show you a good liar.

At least one, if not all, should be lying through his teeth. He is feeding the sleuth (and the reader) false information that leads them looking in the wrong direction. Obviously he’s lying to keep a secret hidden, but could also be protecting a reputation or a family member. Protection makes a believable motive for deception. And, when his lie is revealed, it makes a great twist in the book and places this suspect in the spotlight.

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Does your sleuth have a quirk? He better have a history to back it up

canstockphoto11602983I just finished a manuscript in which a mystery is solved by an amateur sleuth who hates technology. It’s an interesting premise. Surprisingly though, the sleuth’s aversion to laptops, cell phones, iPods and treadmills had no impact on the story. It had nothing to do with the mystery or in any way helped him figure out the whodunit or capture the murderer. He just complained about technology.

After reading it, I asked the author why she gave the main character that quirk. She told me that she was trying to make the sleuth interesting, to give him a memorable personality trait. As it turns out, her writer’s group read her story and told her that the main character was too bland, and that she needed to spice him up. So she came up with that personality quirk and inserted some new dialog.

That got me to thinking: how do you make an offbeat quirk a natural part of a character’s personality?

Offbeat characteristics can be fun to write, but if not done correctly, they can be distracting to the reader. In the story I just read, it was clearly not an organic part of the narrative. It was tacked on and it felt like it. And to fix that story, two things need to happen. Number one, the sleuth’s extremely negative reaction to geeky coolness should — in some way — help him solve the murder. Number two is rooting the quirk within the character’s history.

For the most part, supporting characters can have odd, outrageous quirks without delving into that character’s pathos. The same can’t be said for main characters. Their back stories need to be more developed and should provide an explanation for the abnormal behavior. Cause and effect comes into play. You’ve got ask, “What experiences would produce that trait?”

If your sleuth is going to have a quirky personality trait, he better have a history to back it up.

Want to read more? Check out:
Quirky Character Traits

Zealous Zodiac Characteristics: Basic Character Templates

canstockphoto11107671Sometimes when creating characters, it helps to begin with a character template. There’s a great set of character traits described in the Zodiac. Each sign has specific personality traits that describe who a person is and the type of emotions they are likely to display.

Capricorn

A Capricorn is hardworking, responsible, reliable, loyal, sincere and has a strong will power. They also tend to be introverted, slightly obstinate, short tempered and have difficulty accepting authority. Capricorns are very calm individuals. They do not become agitated easily. Capricorns like being leaders in the workplace and they do not take orders from others well at all. You may find a Capricorn unleashing a sharp tongue lashing if you try to take control of a project. In matters of the heart, Capricorns are very romantic. Dinners by candlelight and flowers for no reason are qualities you can expect from a Capricorn. Capricorns like to be wanted and needed.

Aquarius

Aquarius is friendly, affable, intelligent, kind, compassionate and practical. Weaknesses of the Aquarius are being unpredictable, adamant, dislike towards making commitments and hating adhering to conventions. Aquarius are generally soft spoken but can demonstrate the ability to change up now and again. They love things that are new and enjoy experimenting with new ideas and concepts. Creativity flows through their veins. Aquarius tend to have a large number of friends though normally not many close or best buddies. They are friendly and nice and enjoy being around other people. Their flighty and ever-changing personality make getting close with an Aquarius next to impossible. One minute you may be an Aquarius’ best friend and the next just someone who is in the way.

Pisces

Strengths of the Pisces include being intuitive, empathetic, uninterested in material things and having a sharp memory. Weaknesses of the Pisces include being emotional or sensitive, and prone to wistfulness, mood swings and inflexibility. Greed in not a quality Pisces possess. They are not materialistic people. Pisces are well aware of how the world works but they also know their place. Pisces either run with the flow of the people around them or they run against it. They are either one extreme or the other there is no in between. Pisces are calm and cool and rarely lose their tempers. Pisces can charm your socks off without blinking an eye. In the event of troubling situations, Pisces have the ability to remain calm and rational. They think through situations rather than through reacting impulsively. Pisces are great lovers of music and art. You may find a Pisces in an orchestra or crafting a new picture for an art gallery. Pisces try to help everyone around them. They dislike their friends being unhappy and they will bend over backwards to be helpful.

Aries

Adventurous, energetic, courageous, and confident are the strengths of Aries. Weaknesses include being self-centered, short-tempered, impulsive, and impatient. Aries are known to be friendly and outgoing people. You would notice an Aries in a room full of people since they would be the ones talking and introducing themselves. Aries stand up for what they believe in. You will find them rooting for the underdog or defending and assisting those with weaker personality traits. Aries only are aware of their wants and needs. They are not selfish they just don’t always realize they are putting someone else out.Though an Aries can be pushed to have a temper, it normally won’t last long. Seldom will you come across an Aries that holds a grudge. Forgive and forget is a motto most Aries live by.

Taurus

The Bull symbolizes strong and silent, and this is exactly how a Taurus is said to be. Until you really get to know a Taurus you will probably not see his or her true self. Strengths of Taurus include being compassionate, dependable, loyal, reliable, and also being strong both physically and emotionally. Stubbornness, aggressiveness, sensitivity and a dislike when faced with change are all weaknesses associated with a Taurus. Taurus are very stubborn individuals and once their minds are made up, swaying them even a little is next to impossible. If you do not try to push, Taurus folks will come across as being laid back and reserved. Take heed though because if you anger a Taurus, it is likely that you might find a violent temper. However, Taurus tempers generally will not flare until they are pushed. Taurus make wonderful friends, and whenever you need them they will certainly be some of the first ones there. Taurus know exactly how to brighten the day of friends in need. Don’t count on a Taurus ever calling on you to return the favor. They are very in tune with their emotions and rarely display them. Taurus are loyal and will stand beside a friend until the bitter end.

Gemini

Jovial, good communication skills, inquisitiveness and flexibility are all strengths of the Gemini. Weaknesses of the Gemini include selfishness, restlessness, confusing personalities and difficulty being on time. Gemini change their minds as often as they change their underwear. Boredom quickly makes a Gemini turn and look for other avenues of excitement and entertainment. Gemini have little to no patience. Ironically, they do not flourish in environments where indecisive people are present. Gemini can talk themselves in and out of a situation all in the same breath. They do not stay in one place too long. In most disagreements, Gemini will come out the victor with an extraordinary ability to use words in their favor. Falling in love with a Gemini can be exciting and dangerous. With their dual personalities Gemini keep their love life spicy. In matters of the heart, hang on tight because you are in for an ever-changing ride. Don’t hold them to a time schedule as something can catch their eye and cause them to be late in a heartbeat.

Cancer

Cancer strengths are adaptability, loyalty, genuine attachment to a family, and empathy. Weaknesses of Cancer include moodiness, sensitivity, and emotional outbursts and indecisiveness. People assigned the sign of Cancer are genuinely moody and have ever changing emotions. One minute they may be laughing and having a good time and the next minute you may find them mad at the world. No one single emotion or personality can label a Cancer. Cancer will often masquerade their emotions with humor. Laughing is a common disguise used by Cancer to hide signs of depression. Cancer will set their aspirations high. Constant struggles for success and achievement lay beneath the exterior shell of Cancer.

Leo

Strengths of a Leo include kindness, big-heartedness, an energetic nature, optimism, honesty and loyalty. The weaknesses of a Leo are prone to jealousy, possessiveness, egotism or a more dominating personality. Leos dislike being bored and enjoy being around many people as they are at home playing the role of a leader. When Leos love, they love with all their hearts, and they take what they believe is theirs. They enjoy dishing out tons of advice and they expect that you should heed their advice as truth. The best way to tame the proud lion is to feed into their opinion of themselves. You can easily have the roaring lion eating out of the palm of your hand with kind words and praise. A Leo will tell it like it is – always. They have difficulty holding their tongues whether they are right or not. Leos will mean what they say and say what they mean. They speak their opinion whether you want to hear it or not so be prepared. Leo prospers most when in a loving relationship. You will rarely find a Leo alone. Leos automatically take on the leading role in a relationship even though they may complain now and again about having too much responsibility. They really do not feel that way they just growl now and again.

Virgo

Strengths of Virgo are perfectionist, realistic, practical, dependable, sincere and patient. Weaknesses of Virgo include being way too critical, restless, and they lack demonstrativeness and tend to push themselves too much. Virgo also tend to be quiet and family oriented people. Though you may notice a Virgo quietly off to the side, you can bet that he or she is simply taking in the details of every little thing. Virgos do not often put themselves in crowded situations, as they prefer to socialize one on one. Virgos are perfectionists meaning everything has its place. Virgos live in reality and seldom daydream. They take life for what it is and don’t set themselves up for disappointment. Virgos are workaholics and even in their work they expect and demand perfection from themselves. From their clothes to their homes, everything must be perfect. Much time is spent worrying about whether things are correct. Virgos are tidy and neat freaks. Dirt and sloppiness can cause a Virgo to offer a harsh tongue-lashing. A Virgo can also be a wonderful friend. Knowing what to say and when to say it is a trait most Virgos possess.

Libra

The strengths of a Libra are patience, balance, gregarious, loving, affectionate, cheerful, energetic and a social nature. Weaknesses of the Libra include indecisiveness, carelessness, prone to indulgence, and being overly emotional and sensitive. You will find a Libra to be extremely nice and polite. Libras love being around people and often serve as mediators between quarreling parties. A Libra will most always appear cheerful. Libras are very independent individuals and do not take orders well. Libras are intelligent and excellent listeners. They can also be naive and restless. Libras are often as confused as the people surrounding them by their wishy-washy traits. A Libra can bring laughter to the dreariest of circumstances. They are happiest when the people surrounding them are happy as well. They do not like for friends to be sad or upset. Libras take their time weighing pros and cons of a decision before committing one way or the other.

Scorpio

Strengths of the Scorpio include loyalty, trustworthiness, passionate, charismatic, mystifying, caring and patience. Weaknesses of Scorpio are stubbornness, becoming jealous easily, and being overly sensitive and egotistical. Scorpios have the ability to appear as though they are staring through people. Their gaze seems to penetrate the outer body and see directly into the soul. Scorpios have large egos and can stand on their own. Once they get something in their heads they can’t rest until they finish the task. Scorpios rarely let their emotions surface. They possess a sense of knowing when they are right and when they are wrong. Rarely will you notice a Scorpio playing bashful or shy. If you want an honest opinion about anything ask a Scorpio. Brutal honesty is a feature they cannot help but offer.Scorpios love with their complete hearts, but they have no tolerance for unfaithfulness. Questioning their own worth causes Scorpios to be very jealous and overly possessive especially in matters of the heart. They will stand beside the ones they love come what may, through thick and thin. You could not ask for a more loyal friend.

Sagittarius

Strengths of the Sagittarius include honesty, forthrightness, lightheartedness, intellectualism, and possession of excellent communication skills. Weaknesses of the Sagittarius are sharp tongue, prone to change, restlessness and a flirtatious nature. Sagittarius have a way with words like no other. They try to come across nice and friendly but normally end up hurting the feelings of others or just downright annoying others. They are not at all gifted with a talent for dishing out compliments. Most often compliments will come out more like insults and any attempts to correct misunderstandings are futile. Sagittarius are animal lovers and are most always the ones apt to take in homeless and stray animals that no one else would think about touching. They will nurture these outcasts back to health and prove they can be wonderful pets. Decisions of the heart take Sagittarius some time to make. They fall in love easily, but do not love lightly. A long internal struggle goes on inside the head of a Sagittarius before a decision related to commitment can be arrived at.

 

 

Yielding Yesterdays – Writing a Character History

canstockphoto18571274Does the plot create the characters or do the characters create the plot? Which comes first, the chicken or the egg?

Every once in awhile I come up with a fun, fascinating character and I go searching for the right story in which to place that character. Then again, and more often than not, I have a plot — a specific mystery idea — and begin creating characters to bring that story to life. Ultimately, the characters will determine the structure and direction of the plot anyway. So, maybe the chicken and the egg is kind of irrelevant.

Since I write about amateur sleuths with no to very little investigative experience, their motivation and approach are very different from, say, a law enforcer or a hired P.I. The amateur sleuth must rely on unique character traits, and fall back on previous experiences that are in no way related to the murder investigation but are surprisingly useful. It’s almost as if she’s lived a lifetime of yesterdays of unique experiences that prepared her for the day when she’d have to seek out the truth in an odd and suspicious murder.

Whatever the murder, the sleuth I eventually develop must be a living, breathing personality who is capable of solving the murder and keeping the reader engaged for 300 pages. There’s a lot that goes into creating a fully-developed character but here’s where I start:

  • Where was your character born and raised?
  • Who were the parents?
  • What was the character’s childhood like?
  • What members of a family does the character have?
  • What kind of student was the character?
  • What special skills or knowledge does the character possess?
  • What hobbies did or does the character have?
  • What are some of the traits of the character – emotional, mental and physical?
  • Does the character have any quirky personality traits?
  • What kind of job or profession is the character occupied with, past and present?
  • And finally, what are some of the character’s past and present relationships?

 

 

Vibrant Victims: Two types of dead bodies in your murder mystery

canstockphoto14296225Your thriller has an intriguing plot, a captivating sleuth and a mysterious villain. Now what? Well, there’s still one more character who needs to be just as compelling: The victim. After all, your whole Whodunit revolves around the victim.

Victims generally come in two flavors.

There’s the beloved character who no one would ever want to hurt, and it seems like absolutely no one could have a motive to kill. This creates a challenging mystery: Why would anyone murder such a well-loved person? There’s always greed — maybe the victim had something that someone else wanted. Maybe the victim wasn’t quite so adored after all—hiding a mean streak, covered-up a secret past, was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Then there’s the malcontent who everyone despises, and just about every other character in the story is a viable murder suspect. Red herrings galore! With an abundance of suspects, the reader must pay close attention to figure out which one has not only motive, but means AND opportunity.

Both types of victims need a fleshed-out back story. Even if the entire history doesn’t find its way into the final draft, the author must be intimately familiar with it to create a memorable, yet peripheral, character, Readers must connect in some way with the dearly departed. That won’t happen unless the victim leaves an impression.

Finally, whether beloved by all or despised by many, the victim must have at least one Person of Significance. This person is motivated by his connection to the victim to ask questions, seek out information and pursue the truth. He can be the Protagonist or he can be a supporting character who sets the plot in motion, allowing the Protagonist to begin investigating the murder.

More than just a dead body, the victim must be a character who leaves a lasting impression.

Want to learn more? Check out:

Murder Mystery Victim Generator

Romantic Subplots: 20 ideas beyond Romeo & Juliet

canstockphoto4542744Granted, the focus of the mystery is, well, solving the murder. However, a romantic subplot can enrich your story, adding humor, tension, suspense and character development. In interwoven subplots, the outcome of the main story will in some way depend on the outcome of the subplot.

The following is a list of premises that can be interwoven into the main plot. When the idea is added to the basic formula “Boy meets Girl, Boy loses Girl, Boy gets Girl,” you can start to see how the plot would develop. There are endless variations on this theme and it’s as trite and mundane as your characters, plot, and resolution.

  1. An individual is in love with someone who doesn’t know the individual even exists
  2. Lovers are kept apart by external forces, such as disaster, family feud, misfortune, or war,
  3. Lovers are forced apart by a misunderstanding
  4. Lovers are separated because of another person’s deceit
  5. Two people with a similar weakness, addiction, losses find strength and love in one another
  6. Two people from different worlds, cultures, classes, positions, politics, religions, or nationalities find themselves attracted to each other
  7. A person falls in love with someone who is secretly terminally ill
  8. An individual is forced to marry someone he doesn’t love to protect the person he does love
  9. Two people, each engaged/married to another person, fall in love
  10. Two competitors who initially dislike one another grow to harbor deep feelings for each other
  11. A couple who never considered themselves more than good friends discover their feelings run much deeper
  12. Two childhood sweethearts rediscover each other and rekindle that old spark
  13. An individual falls in love with someone who won’t commit because of having to hide a secret
  14. An employee falls in love with the boss, or vice versa
  15. A trusted friend, associate or investigator falls in love with the person he or she was hired to watch
  16. A divorced or separated couple discovers how much they really need or care for one another
  17. An individual falls in love with a photograph of another and seeks to find that person
  18. A young person falls in love with an older person, or vice versa
  19. A brief encounter occurs between two people who know their love can never be
  20. A loner is in love with his best friend’s girl