Yes, I'm playing cheesy 90's Danish pop today. DEAL WITH IT.
Anyway, today I thought I'd talk about the Meet Cute, which is a term you may or may not have heard before. If you write romance or are writing a heavily romantic subplot (or even a mildly romantic subplot depending on your style), you may be incorporating the Meet Cute without realizing it.
Here's what a Meet Cute is.
In romantic comedies (or just romances in general), the two predestined lovers cross paths. When they do so, the result is usually some sort of embarrassing, awkward, or humorously mild catastrophe. It's a way of smashing the two characters together in a way that will somehow entangle them later. The idea behind it comes mainly from film, where writers/directors have only about two hours to build audience investment in a romantic relationship. They need to bring the characters together and lay groundwork immediately.
A Meet Cute comes in many forms. Some of the more popular Meet Cutes involve two people who insult each other (intentionally or not) and hate each others' guts at first, two people who bump into each other and learn something about the other because they drop something they were holding, or two people who are interested in other people in the beginning and somehow end up scheming to get the objects of their affection. Cue ending up together instead.
These and similar situations are very common in the world of romance. They serve a purpose. However, many are cliched, overdone, and rush things too quickly in the direction of insta-love. The nice thing about the literary medium is that we can stretch things out and let a relationship build slowly and organically without rushing to slam the couple together in ninety minutes.
If you're writing a romance or romantic subplot, how does your couple meet? Is it a Meet Cute, or is it natural? Have you seen any Meet Cutes that you really enjoyed?