Scene Prompt #25: The Meet-Cute

The meet-cute (or cute meet) is an element of romantic stories. It’s where the lovers meet, and, in romantic comedies at least, the depiction of the meeting is usually cute. You may not be writing something that has a romantic plot or subplot. That’s okay.

Does your main character or any of your point-of-view characters meet anyone new, or for the first time in a long time, that they (eventually) like? Romantically or otherwise? Use that.

So, for this prompt: write the scene where these two allied characters meet.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Meet-cutes are usually designed to illuminate the conflict that will keep the lovers apart throughout the middle of the story. If you’re not writing romantic characters, then try to show the main or umbrella point of conflict that will have them butting heads even as they work together or otherwise like each other.
  • Meet-cutes usually include a metaphorical representation of who these two are together. It’s often something that’s repeated at the end of the story to show change, if not repeated and embellished upon throughout the story. It could be anything: object, place, phrase, movement, whatever.
  • Meet-cutes aren’t necessarily “cute”–don’t feel like you have to write a screwball scene–but it should be one of the story’s more memorable scenes.
  • Meet-cutes aren’t necessarily about the very first meeting between characters. It’s the meeting where they first “really” meet — meet in a way that they begin to see each other.

“[T]he successful cute meet is not arbitrary,” says Billy Mernit, “but in some microcosmic, thematic, and plot-significant way is the beginning of a throughline for the relationship, suggesting a kind of signature gesture for the couple’s dynamic.”

Books mentioned in this post

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That’s it for me

What about you? Did you try this prompt? Feel free to post or link to it in the comments.

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