THE WRITER’S OTP CHALLENGE!: in which I squeal like an insane grandma about my precious children


If you couldn’t tell by now, I’m a sucker for writing challenges and tags. There’s just something simple and easy about answering questions, and when you’re in a tight pinch for a blog post, they are quite literally a heaven-sent.

So when I saw a writerly challenge over on Faith’s blog (which you should totally check out if you haven’t already!!!!) I just knew I had to participate.

Now, I THINK this was supposed to be done in the month of February (it was created by the fairy godmothers of Fairy Tale Central as a February Instagram challenge, and was later posted to the blogosphere for us peeps who aren’t as acclimated with Insta), but I digress. It is March, and we are doing it anyway. #tinyrebellions

Also! You might have noticed that this is a writer’s OTP challenge. This means I’m going to be talking about the romantic ships locked within my own story pages. This, as you can probably tell, is going to be exceedingly awkward for me.

Please ignore everything I am about to say, because–as I have mentioned multiple times on this blog and literally everywhere else–I DON’T WRITE ROMANCE.

Let’s continue onwards, shall we?



Wow! Right off the bat and I’m already getting targeted. why did I decide to do a tag that focused on romance, again? help?

I think the first ever OTP that I wrote–and mind you, I DON’T DO ROMANCE!!!!!–was in my first completed book, The Dragon Elements. In this story I had an elf girl named Leia, and a dragon boy named Puck, and they were . . . okay, okay, I’ll admit, they were kind of adorable. Like, there was really nothing at all on the page to even suggest that they were a ship, but holy guacamole were they adorable in my head. . .!

(clearly I know how to do romance. someone sign me for a contemporary rom-com already)


Oooh, this would have to go to Kaida and Leif from my uncompleted YA Dystopian, RESET. (sometimes I wonder if I should go back and revisit this novel. then I remember just how bad of a trainwreck it was, and I laugh casually before going back to my scheduled programming.) This book was obviously written during a time when I thought the only possible romantic relationship was “brooding bad boy” meets “tough, kick-butt heroine who don’t need no man”, so naturally I was writing the next Divergent.

Now, I don’t know if I can say that I STILL love this OTP. To be honest, I’m just struggling to find a cliche OTP that I’ve written in my early years. But of all the characters from my earlier works, Leif and Kaida are probably my favorite. (I mean, Leif had green hair, so??? Can’t get much better than that.)

iii. A HATE-TO-LOVE OTP YOU’VE WRITTEN (or your favorite, if you’ve written several)

Aha . . . hahaha . . . ha. So this is probably the very first question that I can wholly, 100% answer with the complete confidence that I will love these two till the end of time.

(and also this is going to make Ruby squeal for all eternity, but here goes. . .)

My favorite hate-to-love OTP that I’ve ever written in all my years as a writer is . . . Thao and Adaline.



This one has to go to to Iniko and Petunia! I can’t go into too much detail on these two, since this is from a work I haven’t exactly started yet, but basically Iniko is a hunched little Scottish wizard, and Petunia is a powerful enchantress who was cursed into the body of a flower.

It’s a very fun little ship, and I honestly cannot wait to write it. (NaNo 2020, here I come!)


I . . . don’t know that I have an answer for this. I don’t do a lot of fancy-dressed people in my books. Mostly it’s peasants and discredited warlocks and the occasional psychopath, so . . . not a whole lot of fine garments here. Oops?


Ohhhhhhhhhh!!! This one HAS to go to Arial Dupris and Finnagin Flint. (do those names sound familiar to anyone? Hmm? HMMM???) I still haven’t exactly plotted this story out, and even if/when I DO write it, I’m not sure it’s one I’ll share (sometimes a girl just needs to write a book for herself, you know?) but these two . . . they are precious.

I won’t go into the details of WHY their love is forbidden–if you remember who these characters are and what they’re from, you might be able to deduce that for yourself–but just know that they found themselves in a very sticky situation. Pursuing a relationship would entail massive betrayal on both sides, and that, my dearest beans, is going to be a very fun thing to write. *rubs hands together maliciously*


Oh goodness. Who to pick for this one. . .

I’m gonna have to go with two characters from my current WIP–SK. They shall, however, go nameless, because I don’t want any spoilers about this story getting out right now.

Just know that they have secretly been in love with each other for years, but neither of them is willing to admit it to the other. Instead, they insist on insulting each other and pretending like they’re totally oblivious to the fact that they’re totally pining.

Now if I could only determine whether to let this ship sail on the page. . .


HA. HAHAHA. HA. What on earth is a healthy relationship? Have you been reading any of this post? I KNOW NOT HOW TO WRITE A HEALTHY OTP, OKAY? My characters are insane and oblivious and don’t understand they love someone until it’s far too late and someone’s dead.


I think this one has to go to Peter and Bella from everlost. I mean . . . not that they’re a ship or anything. Because I doN’T WRITE–okay, you guys get it.

Honestly, I’m not sure if this OTP counts as “sweet”, or just plain annoying. It took a lot of work (and brainstorming with my lovely alpha reader) to get Peter’s POV from being the most annoying monologue on the history of the planet, so even now I’m not sure if I actually did this ship justice. Hopefully my beta readers can help me with this. . .


Oh goodness. I’m not sure on this one! I mean, MOST of my OTP’s happen by accident–I really don’t set out trying to write romantic entanglements among my precious children–so basically ALL of them are unexpected.

But I think the most unexpected one was Thao and Adaline. I tried really, really, really hard to fight that one.

. . .it’s not really working.


This one has to be Iniko and Petunia again. These two are the moodiest lovebirds I’ve ever come across. They have a really bittersweet relationship, though, which I think matches their ship.

(FUN FACT: they even have a SONG!! If you’re interested in listening to it, you can find it on YouTube here)


I . . . have not written a class-crossed OTP as of yet. Most of my characters are equally matched, which I’m just now realizing is severely lame.

I guess now I need to write a book about some royal who falls in love with a sea-witch?

. . .

. . .

I’ll have to get back with you on that one.


PETER AND BELLA. I mean. . .??? Maybe people will ship them? But goodness knows they annoyed the living daylights out of me there for a while. . .

Pro Tip for smol writers out there: if your character is annoying–and your reader SAYS, “Hey. I think this character might be a little annoying”–L I S T E N  T O  T H E M!!!! Trust me. It may be difficult to chop out your protagonist’s intense inner monologues, but for goodness’ sake and all that is wonderful, you must try.


Thao and Adaline. I can’t help it. Truly I can’t.

And also Iniko and Petunia, because they have this super bittersweet moment that just breaks my heart into a million tiny little pieces every single time I think about it. So. Gotta love those two forever and ever.

But yeah, Thao and Adaline are–forever and always–my one true pairing. Their relationship makes my heart squish with giddiness, even if I don’t write romance.


I’m not sure if I’m supposed to tag people for this or not (and judging by the fact that it was supposed to be a February instagram challenge, I’m doubly not sure if I should tag people or not. XD) But because I am the Great and Powerful Kenzie and cannot be contained, I SHALL TAG SOME PEEPS!

  • Ruby << because she has the best OTPs of ever
  • Ally << because she loves romance as much as I do
  • Phoebe << because Saeunn and Lir are #goals


  • Jethan << because her stories are the best, but I’m currently unaware of any OTP’s within them, and I NEED ALL OF THE SHIPS FROM HER.

And, of course, to anyone else who reads this and wants to try their hand at the OTP Challenge, PLEASE go right ahead and steal it like the precious pillaging pirate you are! Just make sure to pop your link down in the comments below, because I want to read all of your answers. XD


So! What kind of ships do YOU have in your manuscripts? Are you a romance writer, or do you–like me–try your very best NOT to write romance? (I really do try. Sometimes I think my characters have minds of their own…) What is the worst ship you’ve ever written? What is your FAVORITE ship you’ve ever written? and most importantly of all. . .


Personally I prefer enemies-to-lovers. . . (thanks, Jane Austen. you’ve ruined me.)

As always, let us talk about ALL OF THE THINGS in the comments below! And until next time. . .

_flings cookies in the air and disappears_

Featured Photo by Photo by Kristina Litvjak on Unsplash


18 thoughts on “THE WRITER’S OTP CHALLENGE!: in which I squeal like an insane grandma about my precious children

  1. I did this tag in March, too. Heh. We can be rulebreakers together!

    Thao and Adaline forever!!!

    I love BOTH enemies-to-lovers and friends-to-lovers. But the enemies have to have respect for each other and the friends can’t be boring. That is essential.

    Liked by 1 person

    • YESSSSSSS!!!! I will have to read your answers!!!! Mwahahahahahaha!

      Oh my goodness. XD Not you, too!!

      Oh oh oh!!! I forgot about friends-to-lovers!!! That is definitely a favorite, as well. And I 100% agree with you. There are some prerequisites for what makes a good trope, and sometimes I feel like it’s the characters and their relationship falling flat that makes it feel cliche…

      Liked by 1 person

      • I filled out the version of this tag for fairy tales, mostly because I have a really hard time getting my couples past the holding hands stage of romance. XD

        Oh, yes, that’s DEFINITELY true. Someone can use the most amazing tropes in the world in their story and still have it fall flat because they didn’t bother to develop their characters. It kills me when that happens

        Liked by 1 person

        • UGH, DUDE, SAME. I honestly DON’T write romance. I just . . . can’t do that. But awkward crushes and shipppable characters? Apparently my casts insist that this must happen. I honestly have no control over my own characters at this point. It’s great.

          UGH, SAME. There is literally nothing worse than falling in love with a premise, only to have the entire thing fail to live up to what we were promised.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. AAAAHHHHH YOU DID THIS TAG AND I LOVE YOUR ANSWERS SO MUCH!!!! I love your approach to writing romance– I mean AHEM. NOT writing romance. XD It sounds so like me though! I mean, yes, I write romance, but it’s always sloooooooow burn. As in, the characters might not get together until book 10. XDDD Heavy romance is NOT my thing. #sorrynotsorry


    All these ships sounds absolutely delightful and I need to meet them somedaaaay! BUT INIKO AND PETUNIA. A Scottish wizard and enchantress cursed as a flower???? Kenzie. KENZIE. THAT IS THE BEST THING I’VE EVER HEARD. I NEED YOU TO PUBLISH ALL YOUR BOOKS SO I CAN READ THIS DELIGHTFUL STUFF. I mean, this sentence: “Mostly it’s peasants and discredited warlocks and the occasional psychopath…” Um YES PLEASE. I NEED THIS IN MY LIFE.

    This was just so funnnn! I LOVED getting a peek at your ships who aren’t ships. ;D

    Also, enemies to lovers is my favorite tooooo! It’s just way too much fun I can’t. XD

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL!!! Oh no, I D E F I N I T E L Y do not write romance. Not at all. Never. XD (seriously, though. I really try very very hard not to? I swear my characters are alive and never listen to me. . .) OH MY GOODNESS. Christine, you’re books are going to KILL me. XD I may not enjoy writing romance, but if I ship a character–and dude, I ALREADY ship a few of your characters–I need them to fall in love immediately. Otherwise I yell at the book in a public setting and THAT IS NOT A GOOD THING FOR ME TO DO, OKAY?? XD But like I also really enjoy a beautiful slow burn, so. . .? I’m even MORE excited to read your stories now! <333

      MEEP!! Oh my goodness, Christine. You make my heart so happy, I can't… Just. . .! Thank you!!! And YES!!! Iniko and Petunia are two of my favorites. If all goes according to plan (which is highly unlikely but we shall still try) I'm hoping to get to write this story this year??? Which means I will get to write these two idiots which will be VERY fun, I do declare. XD ASDFGHJKL, OH MY WORD. *hugs* Hopefully I will get to publish all these books someday! Goodness knows I'd certainly love to. But first I guess I need to write them, so. . .lame. XD And MEEP. I don't even remember writing that sentence but WOW IT'S A GOOD ONE I'M GONNA STEAL THAT. XD XD XD

      YESSSSS!!! Enemies to lovers is literally the best. I think it's why I love You've Got Mail and Pride & Prejudice so much. . .

      Christine, thank you SO much for this lovely comment!!! You never fail to make my day with your absolute sunshininess! <333


  3. Thao and Adaline. Iniko and Petunia. Arial and Finnegan!!! They’re from the Dare Squad Dare, yes? That was HILARIOUS. I’m glad to hear there’s more of them, even if I’ll never get to read it. And of course they’re extremely angsty. Of course.
    I just love the sound of all of them.
    I try my best not to write romances too, haha. Not that that stopped me from doing this tag…it was just too fun not to.
    My favorite romance trope is when she thinks he’s someone else. You know what I’m talking about??? I like to laugh, I guess. The best kind of romance is where you’re laughing at their antics, rather than biting your nails hoping against hope they’ll resolve whatever insurmountable issue.

    Liked by 1 person

    • DUDE!! YES!!! Finnegan and Arial are from the Dare Squad Dare! (I’m actually quite impressed you got that, because in the Dare Squad Dare, I never even mentioned Finnegan’s name. So. Wow???) Thao and Adaline are from everlost, and Iniko and Petunia are from The Girl and The Goblin King–my 2018 NaNoWriMo project.
      And YES. My characters are literally filled with angst. I just. . .? . . .kind of want to clobber them over the head. . .? . . .with a frying pan. . .? XD But alas. I am the one who created all this angst, so who knows. Maybe ’tis *I* who should be clobbered over the head with the frying pan. XD

      WAIT!!! YOU DID THIS TAG??? I must look this post up!!!! *makes mental note to check this first thing tomorrow* But yeah. It’s a little difficult to do when we clearly don’t write romance, right??? Aha. Hahahahaha… Ha. *sweats nervously*

      OH MY GOODNESS, YES!!! That’s kind of a similar situation with Arial and Finnegan, which I think is why I like it so much. That’s actually a trope that isn’t mentioned very much, but it’s a GOOD one. . . We need more stories with this. (and 100% YES to the laughing!!! laughter is the best!)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Kenzie: I dON’T dO rOMANCE noPE
    Kenzie: *describes a handful of incredible OTPs which I ship after just a paragraph of description*

    Enemies to lovers is the bEST AND I WANT A DOZEN. (My ‘romance’ is extremely sarcastic dialogue dressed up in a pretty floral bonnet, though, so I’m maybe not the best judge??)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I D O N’ T W R I T E R O M A N C E!!!!!! *swings pitchfork threateningly* I DEFINITELY DO NOT. NOT EVER. *sweeps ships under the carpet*

      DUDE YES!!! Enemies to lovers is the absolute best in the whole entire world. (and I will literally devour any sarcastic dialogue you’ve dressed up in a pretty floral bonnet, so please. Please give me the sarcastic ships to ship… I need this.)


  5. So fun! I really enjoyed your answers and now I want to read more about all these characters.

    I’m sitting here going… huh. I don’t write romance much at all (and I basically never intend to) … and when there are ships/OTPs in my books, they’re all *spoilers*

    This is what happens, apparently, when you write books with zero intent for any romantic relationships at all, and then your characters rebel… but only a little.

    Liked by 1 person

    • MEEP!! Oh my goodness, THANK YOU!!! I always love it when people enjoy my characters as much as I do. . . They are my children and I adore them. XD

      OOOOOOOoooOOOOH. Okay. I don’t want to know the spoilers, but . . . I really wanna know the spoilers. XD I MUST READ THE BOOKS. I WILL read the books. They’re up next on my TBR!!

      UGH, YES. I never intend to write romance. I try to keep them clean out of my books, but apparently my characters have different ideas than I do. They’re crazy, I tell you. It’s like they have minds of their own or something. . . I literally cannot control them. XD


  6. KENZIE!! YES! So glad you joined in this!!

    Aww an elf girl named Leia (was this Star wars inspired? *raises an eyebrow and smiles*) and dragon boy Puck sound so adorable.

    HA! Love how you were writing the “next Divergent” with bad boy and tough girl. Nothing like a trope-heavy OTP :D

    “Iniko is a hunched little Scottish wizard, and Petunia is a powerful enchantress who was cursed into the body of a flower” UMMMM I WANTS THIS! Wow, can NanNo 2020 come sooner???

    OOo Arial Dupris and Finnagin Flint sound so cool with their forbidden love. And that part about needing to write a book for yourself – I feel that.

    Okay, MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY about the “healthiest relationship”. Who knows how to write a healthy OTP?? (well I’m sure they exist lol) My OTPs are just all moody and probably noble idiots and such.

    And to your questions –

    I absolutely love romances and I always have an OTP in my manuscript. Sometimes too many. Like I will ship everyone together and probably even someone with the villain and then want to turn the villain into an anti-hero just so he/she can be happy with their love interest. Now, I don’t think I’m GOOD at writing romances. *laughs and wipes tears from eyes* ohhhh nooo. Not good at it. But I do love it!

    Worst ship I’ve ever written? A great question. I think I’m weirdly biased and kind of really like all my OTPs. But I had this short story that I wrote years ago with this prince who marries this girl, but doesn’t tell her he’s a royal and then his father the king is enraged when he finds out but the prince doesn’t really care because he just wanted to marry someone who wasn’t politically powerful. I guess looking back at it the prince was a jerk. I mean, be honest before you marry someone lol.

    My favorite OTP Trope – well I love LOTS of tropes. But a fav is “he’s always loved her” haha. This is typically class-crossed or star-crossed lovers where he’s secretly had a crush on her since forever but never said anything cuz he didn’t think he was good enough.


    • I’m so glad you guys CREATED it!! This was so much fun to do!!!

      Okay, but I honestly don’t even remember? I know for a fact that I wrote this years before I actually watched Star Wars for the first time (but I probably knew who Princess Leia WAS??) so it very well could have been partly inspired by that. . . Initially her name was going to be spelled “Leah”, but pronounced like “Leia”, and my mom was like, “Yeah. . .that’s not how people are going to pronounce that when they read it.” Puck was the best thing that came out of that story, tbh… XD

      UGH, RIGHT??? I also just realized that I said the “bad boy”‘s name was Leif. It was actually Vein. No clue what I was thinking when I typed that. XD But yeah, that story was a mess. I loved it.

      DUDE, I AM SO EXCITED FOR NANO 2020!!! It’s going to be AMAZING. (assuming that I do, in fact, participate, and I’m not just building myself up for epic failure AGAIN.) And yeah, Iniko and Petunia are quite honestly two of my favorite characters I’ve ever written. Which is SAYING SOMETHING.

      UGH YES!!! I definitely do not write healthy relationships (at least, they’re definitely not healthy at FIRST) but hopefully later on they become healthier? Maybe? Hopefully? *nudges Petunia’s flower pot with toe* I definitely think there’s some hope here. I actually have a writer friend who writes the literal B E S T OTP’s, so I’m hopeful that she shall fill the shelves with all the healthy relationships so no one notices the monsters I’ve created. XD

      UM??? Okay, so I seriously NEED to read some of your stories now. I may not like WRITING romance, but I really do enjoy reading a good ship, and shipping the VILLAIN??? YES PLEASE. Shippable villains are my FAVE. <333 (and also I have a really bad tendency to develop "crushes" (more like extreme infatuations, but STILL) on villainous characters so. . .yeah, that's a problem. XD)

      Oh goodness. XD Okay, but I'm sensing some serious thematic moments here! Like you could show how their relationship is strained beneath the weight of his lies… The story could swing round to focus on the poor girl who was lied to, and how she tries her best to become a royal for her husband. It could be a struggle over love VS. lies!!! (<< oh look, now I'm getting plot bunnies… XD)

      AWWWWWWW!!! "He's always loved her" is honestly one of the BEST. And quite honestly one that I often overlook? But it's definitely one that throws my heart for a loop, so clearly I need to read more books with tropes like that….

      Oh my word, thank you SO much for this beautiful comment!!! You honestly just made my day!!! <333


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