I’m writing an action/adventure story and I basically start out with two people in the “end game ship” meeting. By “end game ship”, I mean each is the other’s primary romance, but I’m not promising they will have a happy ending or wind up together by the book’s end.
The two have their differences, so it’s not like they instantly get together. And as I generally don’t like the roller coaster teen romance dynamic, despite their differences I have them start to admire each other early on. Since they’re both fairly honest and straight forward people, they readily admit the other is their favorite person.
The problem is, they spend some time adventuring together to figure out the plot triggers for the main plot. After the main plot triggers, they both realize they have different roles to play and will be separated for years after that. Their conflict is of the “let’s not get distracted from saving the world” and “I would admire you less if you threw away your ideals to be with me” variety.
I’m worried that they spend too much time bonding before the real inciting incident. They are put in a lot of life and death situations together. Two people in that situation who admire each other, share mutual attraction and have no qualms admitting their affection for each other tend to move fairly fast, I imagine. In one scenario I even have them agree to get married because their relationship got to that point before the main plot could start, and they realize they like each other so much there was no reason not to.
I’m worried I’m setting up the readers to expect a romance story even though it’s not, and that the readers will revolt once the main plot starts and they realize almost nothing whatsoever happens in that relationship for most of the book because both characters will agree the main plot is more important than their romance and put it on hold with no promise to get together at the end.
Any advice would be nice.
Source: reddit post