And what the heck is UST?
Also know by it’s PG cousin “Will They or Won’t They?“
(Click on the links for a near endless yet fun list of examples, if you dare!)
It should come as no surprise to my gentle readers (and the few rough ones as well) that I no likely the UST. It is a cliche, tightly wrapped in a undead trope beating merciless the empty leathery flesh of what once was a horse, before it became a fossil.
OK, back to our show.
I don’t mind the ST part of the equation, is the U as in Unresolved, especially when you build (or worse hang a show with it) to avoid it going straight into the shark tank. It feels gimmicky in a soap opera kind of way. Now, if it is not central to the story, that is, I can safely ignore it and let the Estrogen Brigade have its way it.
And I will NOT give you a list of how it doesn’t work. I gave you links, people. Please tell me you’re not THAT lazy!
Instead I’ll do something better!
I’ll tell of ways to either avoid it or justify it.
Yes, I am that kind of guy.
What can I say?
(Whatever it may be it will not include words like modest.)
So in no particular order yet numbered for your convinced:
- They got together and it didn’t work: It happens. You thought it was going to be great but alas it sucked. Writers, think of the mileage you can get out “I hate you now and forever!” You can milk that for a long time. Avoid the break up-hook-up-break up tango. That’s just sucks.
- I suck at relationships: Because the MC simply doesn’t know how to get the girl or she has a horrible time with imploding/exploding relationships. Basically they’re too scared to go down the same path again and f ail again and again and… Avoids the dating other people is fine but key character is a no-no crap.
- Get it done: Have your UST for a short while, but get them together and run with that. My favorite option.
- My name is X and I fear commitment: The serial dater than looks for love in all the wrong places. A lighter version of “I suck at relationships” in that yes the character can attract them but doesn’t know how to stay committed to one person. The character need not be a bad person per say, he may just lack maturity.
- I love you but I don’t want to hurt you: Spider-Man (the comic books, making this older than you think, also in some versions of Superman and Batman as well) or Harry Potter (I had to go there). Simply put there are larger reasons, real reasons, for why the couple can’t get together (which is not their stupidity). War, a genocidal maniac, the end times, what have you. The MC cares too much for the love interest to put them in danger (fits males and females equally. After all do you want the man you love be tortured to death,? No, I didn’t think so).
Like I said, I prefer to get whatever pairings that pop up together way before the main plot hits the climax. I find relationships, with all their possibilities, far more interesting than vague shipping. Of course if this is the subject of just one book or movie, sure I’ll bite because I know that at the end either they will or they won’t (no question mark at the end). But in a book/movie/TV series?
So do me a favor, don’t do UST, it’s not good for you, your characters and your readers.