“I love that you get cold when it’s 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you’re looking at me like I’m nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it’s not because I’m lonely, and it’s not because it’s New Year’s Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”
the thing about writing a ship is like y’all realize there are aspects that AREN’T supposed to be realistic, right? this was something i learned way back in the day when i watched how i met your mother and i realized the writers had no clue how to keep barney and robin together and make it interesting and engaging. the thing that worked with barney and robin was the almost-maybe-will they-won’t they aspect of it. once they got together and stayed together, their relationship grew stale and boring. and that’s not to say it couldn’t have been interesting and well done, but the writers, in my opinion, sort of failed in that regard. where they succeeded with marshall and lily, they dropped the ball with barney and robin.
that stupid show is the reason why i’m very conscious of how i write ships and especially how i write slow burn. i don’t want to have all this build-up, chapters and chapters of build-up, only to get the two characters together and have them be constantly together all the time and everything is perfect and then you get bored of their relationship. or maybe bored isn’t the right word for it; it’s more just like you’re accustomed to them being together so it doesn’t feel like a big deal anymore.
like, when an author only has the ship kiss once every three chapters, then i’m going to cling to those kisses with all i’ve got. i’m going to cherish those kisses and get a tingly feeling inside when i read those kisses. if the characters kissed every paragraph, i’d get used to it pretty quickly and then it wouldn’t feel special anymore. is it more realistic to kiss a lot? probably. is it better storytelling? debatable.
there is of course a place for these characters fuck all the time!!! fuck for four chapters straight!!!! nothing but sex!!!! but there’s also a place for gentle touches and small gestures and refraining from constantly touching each other.
is any of what i’m describing “realistic”? probably not. but sometimes you have to sacrifice realism for the sake of good narrative engaging storytelling, and hopefully you do it well enough that the audience suspends their disbelief and forgives you for not writing something 100 percent realistic.