Lists of blackmails?

by Antoinette
(United states)

Question: So, here is the description of the short story I want to write about: Two dirt-poor art students (Main character and her friend a.k.a love interest) survive by sharing a nasty little apartment above a bodega. They struggle through four years, barely making ends meet, comforting one another through tragedies and triumph, but never openly admit how they feel about each other…until they graduate, and one of them gets a job in another city. Is it too late to confess their love?

So, I get what the story is about but, I don't know how to start and, I was thinking about adding a second character that would blackmail the main character so, that she could ruin the main character's relationship with her love interest. The problem is I don't know any good blackmails that would keep a story interesting any suggestions?

Answer: I don't think you have a whole story yet.

There is potential to create a relationship arc:

1. how they meet.
2. how their relationship deepens.
3. how it almost turns romantic, but doesn't.
4. how they separate.

However, I think you will need to develop other throughlines and character arcs to make the story feel complete. On this page, you can find examples of some popular stories and how the four throughlines work in them...

Of course, in a story primarily about a relationship, the other throughlines often take a backseat, but they still serve a valuable purpose.

Also, it's hard to blackmail people who have little to lose. There's no motive, since you can't extract money from those who don't have any. Maybe you could give one of the characters a jealous ex-lover...

Best of luck.

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