The last post, I asked you ten questions. Here’s the answers.
- Why are your characters together?
I can’t answer this for you. I can only give an example. Let’s go back to Suzy, Jack, and Martin from Monday’s post. Say Suzy is with Jack. They’re together because he challenges her. He shows her who she can be and helps her grow. If she’s with Martin, it’s because that’s what she feels she was raised to do. She was supposed to be stable and have a family. Jack is with Suzy because she’s beautiful and funny, even though she can be a little crazy. It’s okay, Jack likes crazy. Martin, however, just feels like he can’t get anyone else. Especially, not another girl like Suzy. She helps him grow to be more confident with himself and with his work that he’s been promoted to Sheriff’s Deputy. So, Suzy grows with Jack but he feels that he likes spending time with her. Martin grows with her but she’s only with him because she’s supposed to be. Passionate love Vs. Empty Love.
- Why are the relationships their own character?
A relationship is the sum of both parts but is not the total. Each individual is still themselves. The relationship is how they are together and how they complement each other. Please, do not mistake “complement” with “compliment”. Either way, if you look at the relationship sketch I’ve previously posted you will understand where I am coming from. We need to know how each get along with the important people of their SO’s life. But do not mistake the relationship as the person entirety. They have their own interests, as well as the interests they have to share with each other. Does Suzy like to go to the gym? Does Jack? Martin? Yes, yes, no. Thus if Suzy was with Martin, she would go to the gym and he would do his hobby, knitting. If she was with Jack, however, that would be a shared interest that they could do together. Thus, relationships are different between different people but do not encompass the entirety of both individuals, they still are their own being.
- How do the similarities bring tension?
Tension is the presence of high emotion. If Suzy is passionate about the gym and Jack is as well, the emotion would be acceptance or something positive. Similarities can always also bring conflict. If Suzy is short tempered like Jack, could bring about many fights, which would also be tension. Anger is an emotion thus raises the tension. Tension doesn’t have to be bad or sexual, it just has to be a highly emotional scene. (Also understand that working out increases endorphin thus the libido, so could be sexual tension that they experience later on in the scene.)
- How do the differences bring about conflict?
Conflict is what is standing away of the goal of your character whether it be a situation or another character. Say Suzy’s goal is to get married to Martin. What’s the worst that could happen? Martin’s ex-wife comes back into the picture with a six year old kid that she claims is his. Martin is family-oriented thus begins to have doubts. What could happen, make it worse. That’s your conflict. That’s standing in the way of Suzy. What should Suzy do? This creates the ability to express another characteristic of Suzy and Martin as well. What does he do? Two way street, now do they both drive to the sunset together with weekend custody or does Martin pull over to let Suzy out?
- What traits work well together?
- What traits are like oil and water?
We always hear that opposites attract, and in ways they do. It’s the other traits and interests that bring about if the couple can remain together. Remember, your characters are your babies and creation. They are people in your eyes. We don’t want them hurt, but we have to. So what if Suzy kisses a few frogs before she meets Oliver who she ends up with in the end? (Ohhh look plot twist!) We know Suzy, she’s amazing even though she thinks she should do what society is telling her to. She’s a conformist. Then comes in Oliver, gorgeous Real Estate Tycoon with a vacation home in the South of France who just sweeps her off her feet… (Like that’ll happen, see be realistic). Say Oliver runs a bar in the middle of town that is always busy. He doesn’t get a lot of physical time with Suzy but he calms her down when she’s going through her crazy moments, and he genuinely cares about her and wants to marry her. There is no ex-wife to worry about, but he is really into his work. Suzy just wants love, that’s her goal. So she tends to get dependent whilst trying to keep the guy she’s with. In ways, they really do love each other. And guess what! They have opposite goals, yet they work. It’s true some traits work well together and some don’t, but it’s how much we emphasize those traits and their importance. That’s what can make or break any relationship, real or fictional.
- What level are they in according to Laws of Attraction?
Again, example. Did your characters just meet and still are into more of how the other looks or are they getting to know each other? Have they been together for years or weeks? It’s up to you. Suzy and Oliver are already almost to the “L” word so they’re already through the entire list. They have each other. The “Proximity” is what is changing for them. Can Suzy handle it? (By the way, Proximity is next week’s post!)
The rest of it is self explanatory now that I could answer all of these for you. It’s all what you think is best for your character. Don’t shape your characters to be together, shape them for the job that they have in the story. Is Suzy the heroine or the scholar? Is Jack the fool?