Now it's time to consider your protagonist's love interest. Very few stories, even those that are not intended in any way as romance novels, can get by without a love interest. Relationships - and the emotional issues that stem from them - are a huge part of the human experience, and readers expect to see some of that. Whether it's the sexual tension of courting a desired partner, or the emotional tension of saving or leaving/losing a relationship, or the altruism of protecting a life-mate at any cost, readers want to know how your protagonist's struggle is reflected in his/her love life. Or that he/she has one. Or if not, how that affects him/her.
1. Who does your protagonist love? Why?
2. Describe the person your protagonist loves. What does it reveal about the protagonist that he loves this type of person?
3. Does the love interest love the protagonist back? Why or why not? What does this reveal about both of them?
4. If this love is already established, write out for yourself the backstory (how they met, fell in love, married, whatever). Decide how much of this is necessary to reveal in your story.
5. If this love is part of the plot, reflect on how it will unfold and how important it will be to the story you are telling. (In Hunger Games, Katniss' and Peta's love is a complicating factor; in Twilight, it is the whole story).
6. Does your protagonist have a secret (s)he doesn't ever want the love interest to learn? What is it?
7. Does the love interest have a secret (s)he doesn't ever want the protagonist to learn? What is it?
8. What does the love interest want? What is her compelling goal? What will he do to achieve it? Is it in agreement to or opposed to the protagonist's goal?
9. List 5-8 adjectives that describe the love interest's personality. Again, go for a mix of good and bad qualities.
8. What is the love interest afraid of? Why?
9. What does he love? Why?
10. What does she hate? Why?
Did you discover something new about your antagonist? How will today's exercise enrich your story? Are there questions that you used to get to know your antagonist not listed here? See you tomorrow!