“Stop romanticizing cheating.”
But people often interchange “romanticizing” to “including.” Note that to romanticize means “idealize”; hence, “romanticizing cheating” may mean “glorifying cheating.” Example of this plot: a leading man with a “bitchy girlfriend” fell in love with a “kind heroine.” Not an example: a person who was cheated on tries to move on but is anxious about his/her next relationship.
What do you think?
When a book includes “cheating” for character build-up, do not immediately conclude that the story already romanticizes this. There’s inclusion, but not romanticization. I have one short story where a guy wants to break the “bro code” by trying to flirt with his friend’s girlfriend. Here, I have the responsibility as an author to take the “happy ending” away from him and let the readers know the value of loyalty. Even with all the flirtations he has been doing, the girl does not indulge in this and remains in love with her partner, thus leaving the protagonist alone, making him realize that he had to reflect on his own actions before jumping into a relationship.
As authors, we are still responsible for whatever we write, that is, our characters should accept the consequences of their actions.
Spoiler alert. 548 Heartbeats is, unfortunately, an example of how “cheating” is romanticized. And it irks me, as this was my most well-known published book. (I am quite fond of reflecting on my previous works, and while I’m proud of 548 Heartbeat’s audience reach, I’m not too proud of how I thought of its plot. I was fourth-year high school then, and I was too head over heels for someone who did not like me back and carelessly wrote my what ifs.) If I were to rewrite the story, I would remove the part where Rai and Kyle were a thing and replace that with Kyle’s sudden realization that it was Xei he was truly in love with, without being in a relationship with anyone yet.
I am still trying to improve my writing skill by incorporating values into my novels but still not losing reality. I hope I can do this with my stories this 2019, and if ever, please free to critique my works (and to be effective, please use kind words and include suggestions, please).