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Ways to create relationships in stories
One of the best things about writing is creating characters readers can relate to, but do you know what is even better? Love scenes; coupling up characters to add some richness to the story. You can call this blog a love language because we will be breaking down three tropes and how we can strengthen their bond (their love bonds, of course!)
Childhood is a deep pool to pull from when it comes to relationships. These characters could have been friends' children, growing up going to functions together for years. They could have been two heirs to the throne betrothed to unite two kingdoms. Or, they could have met from coincidence, one saving the other from particular peril, twining their lives with fate that is notched with every meeting they have as they grow up in their respective worlds. These are all great avenues to build or bloom love from, but stick with whatever route you choose, or else the relationship between characters will be stunted, and no one loves that.
Enemies to Lovers is a scandal, but a fun scandal, especially when building your series. I adore this trope in any scope; book, movie, show. When it is well done, it is such a precious thing. I especially adore when they realize they love their former rival. They hold each other’s gaze for a moment; eyebrows furrowed as they go over the other’s features, heart picking up its pace until they break away, confused, blushing, careful, making it all the more fun bringing these two closer and closer, chapter by chapter, until the moment where they reveal their true feelings. Just like in real life, the writer has to put on the mood to ensure the transition is a smooth one. Play some jazz, get a glass of wine, light some candles, whatever gets your romanticism going. I recommend delving into the history to make the shift from enemy to lover all the more exciting. Was their a betrayal? Were they raised to hate each other? Make the reader uproot something (even old wounds) with every scene they share, or don’t share, and urge the characters to look past the dirt to notice the growth that is happening.
Love at first sight is another trope where reaction or description plays a crucial role in playing this off. What do I mean by description? There is a law in fiction that goes as such *clears throat* show, don’t tell, meaning you don’t have to write paragraphs like this; ‘then I saw her, a woman with silvery hair, pale skin, and deep gray eyes. She stared at me, eyes wide as the moon, mouth agape, the skirt of her blush pink dress fluttering in the wind, a sign that we were the only things frozen.’ This gives us details we don’t need, for example, the color of the dress love interest is wearing, and it provides us sensory overload. Instead, use details as deemed necessary, and have us learn new information as the main character does in time with the scene and “trim the fat,” by taking out additive adjectives to strengthen the piece. Check out my second attempt of writing a love a first sight scene with this exercise in mind. ‘She stood in the crowd, looking at me with wide eyes. I swallowed. I could feel her silver gaze trailing over me. I flexed my hands. My chest tightened. Blood rushed in my head, filling my brain with thunder, ignited by her.’ Here, we have a hint of what she looks like, silvery hair, big eyes, and we know how the main character feels - nervous, frozen to the spot as she looks at them. However, like every glance, love, at first sight, can be fleeting unless you give the reader a reason to keep looking at the love unfolding.
I hope you enjoyed falling in love with me; I know I did! See you (as friends) later - or - wait… I will write to you later, thank you!
PS: For other examples of show instead of tell, look up Ernest Hemingway, the king of little details. I recommend the short story “Hills Like White Elephants,” personally!