Hi all! Welcome to another edition of Guest Post Friday. But before we start, I want to beg, plead and ask with awesome sprinkles on top. See in a few weeks, I have no GPF guests. And it would be terrible if that happened. You'd have to read stuff my ME on a Friday. And that would be wrong (unless it's April).
So... please please check out this post on how GPF works and e-mail me at mishagericke(AT)gmail(DOT)com.
OK... Now onwards!
Great stories have great characters and great characters have great relationships. Now, by great I don't necessarily mean warm and loving relationships (though they may be). I mean dynamic, complex, interesting and fun relationships. Think of some of the great relationships in literature. Here are some I love:
Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy
Frodo and Sam
Denethor and Faramir
Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader
Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner
See? Many different types of relationships and all of them great! I love stories with deep and complex relationships. (Okay, Wile E. and Road Runner don't have a complex relationship, but still…)
In any story your characters will likely be interacting with other characters, and therefore will have relationships. Those relationships are worth thinking about. All sorts of things influence our interactions with others. Appearance, first impressions, background, prejudices, shared experiences, cultural expectations… The list could go on. Relationships are rarely static, either. They evolve over time for better or for worse as each person changes and grows.
My best advice for creating great relationships is to first know your characters. Know them well. If they are real people to you, then they will interact with each other in real and interesting ways. If they're just cardboard cutouts and their relationships exist only to push the plot along…well, that's not usually very engaging. Make sure character interactions aren't based strictly on stereotypes, either.
I always say that great characters are the most important part of any story, but if you look a little deeper, you realize that the characters' relationships with each other can take your story from ordinary to something special!
Angie Lofthouse has published a dozen sci-fi and fantasy short stories in a variety of print and online magazines. Her debut novel, Defenders of the Covenant, will be available this March. You can read her short fiction and learn more about her novel at her website or visit her blog for more writing advice and other fun posts.
So... which are your favorite relationships in books?