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What is the most romantic way to propose?

Proposals don’t happen often in my books, or if they do, they aren’t exactly typical proposals in the same way we think of them in the Western world. Though they would be some variation of asking to spend the rest of one’s life with a person.

Because most of my stories take place in secondary world settings where culture might be slightly different, the definition of romantic might change as well. Now, most of the time, I lean toward familiarity because there’s such thing as a strangeness budget, which just means there’s only so much strange a reader can take before they frustrated. If I’m going to demanding a reader learn about a new world with new rules and different fantastical, magical elements, I might not push too hard on cultural differences. But I’d try to do small changes.

this means that what might be the most romantic way to prose in one story might not equate to the most romantic way in another.

Another element that needs to be addressed is the personality differences in characters. This is more basic and familiar because not everyone likes the same things even in our modern world; so while one person might think a proposal in Paris at the Eiffel Tower or in a gondola in Venice is the most romantic, another might think the summit of a hike or during sunset at the beach might be the most romantic.

This means for these types of questions, if indeed, a story deals with this moment, I have to consider the character and the culture and the world. Not to mention the circumstances (i.e., characters are about to die and thus one proposes in case they don’t make it or to give incentive to survive).

My favorite thing to do is to make the setting and situation meaningful to the characters. Whatever might evoke the most emotion in them, the most connection—and in doing so, hopefully the reader.