Thursday, February 10, 2011

Relationships, Characters, and Love Triangles ... Oh My!

Relationships can shape and define people. They can also define our characters. Imagine if Bella married Jacob? Or if Juliet had no interest in Romeo? Or if Allie decided not to visit Noah before her almost-wedding? Not only would the plot twist in a completely different direction, but our views of those leading ladies would be quite different (how many Jacob fans would be happy? Lol).

It's not just the main character's choice in romance, but also the subtler points in life. Does the character's relationship with their parents play a roll in how they view the world? Dose their boss make them insistent to react to situations? Does a childhood bully haunt their nightmares?  Do dead siblings keep them thirsty for revenge?

See how these relationships quickly become the driving forces for character motivation? Who your characters know and how they relate to them will mold your character and the story, just like in real life.

Authors have to take time to consider their characters relationships and decide which ones are vital to the story. An old friend from grade school, for example, may or may not be important.

Thankfully, character relationships are not one-hundred percent like real life. We authors have the ability throw a curve-ball here and there, and maybe have a tiny influence (aka begging) over our stubborn characters' decisions.

Hey, readers! Since February is the month for L-O-V-E, let's hear some more famous love triangles. What's your favorite? Mine is Elizabeth, Will, and Captain Jack Sparrow. ;-)

6 comments:

Viviane Brentanos said...

Very interesting post, JD. I believe a characters relationship with parents, bosses, past friends do help shape their personality and ultimately how they will interact with the love interest. I tend to make this a common thread in all of my tales. My characters are always on an emotional journey, trying to grow and strive to be more then perhaps not too supportive family and friends have led them to believe they are.
Love triangles - my all-time fave. Scarlett, Rhett and Ashley.

Viv

J. D. Brown said...

Thanks Viviane. Gone with the Wind was a great movie. :)

Arlene said...

Arthur, Guenivere and Lancelot comes to mind,
but currently, Bill, Eric and Sookie are my favorites.

J. D. Brown said...

OOOO, good one Arlene! I didn't even think of True Blood and I have the entire series (both book and DVD, LOL).

jolenejolenejolene said...

An oldie [1970] but a goodie......Oliver, Jenny and Mr. Barrett [a slightly different spin].

J. D. Brown said...

That was a tough one, Jolene, but thanks go Google, I've found the love triangle you're talking about. A Love Story. The synopsis for the movie sounds like something I'd like. I think I'll rent it next chance I get. Thanks. :)