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How to Write a Relationship Between Two Characters in Creative Writing

There is a wide range of fiction genres; you can write romantic comedies or science fiction or historical novels. When it comes to writing a novel, you have many options when choosing the secondary characters that the viewers will get to know and love. While you don’t need to match wits with a cyborg or a race against time, it is always an option to make your characters realistic and relatable. In this article, we will give you some pointers on how to write a relationship between two characters in creative writing so that your readers will sympathize with, and even root for, the characters.

Relationships Are Complex

A primary relationship forms the backbone of every narrative; it is what unites and links all the other characters and actions. This kind of relationship can be either romantic or platonic, and usually develops slowly over the course of several episodes or scenes. When you write a novel or screenplay, it is important to keep this in mind because it will affect the interactions between your characters.

However, even in real life, relationships are far from being simple. For instance, people of the same sex or gender often have completely different experiences when it comes to dating, attracting the opposite sex, and participating in romantic pursuits. Since humans are not perfect, relationships are messy and complicated. This is something you must remember when writing a novel or screenplay about them.

Even when the interaction between two characters is simple and straightforward, real-life relationships are rarely if ever simple. Consider the example of a mother and daughter who have had a falling out. In real life, these two individuals might have very different opinions about many things, but in the context of storytelling, they are united by an emotional bond that is stronger than whatever disagreement they might have. The point is, relationships are rarely black and white, and it is important to acknowledge this fact when writing about them.

Consider The Antagonist

The antagonist is the ‘bad guy’ of the narrative. This is the person or group of individuals that you as the author want to prove wrong. They are the ones your story is built around, and despite the best intentions of the protagonist, they will almost certainly fare worse than he or she does at the end of the piece. You might want to consider writing a novel about a teenager who escapes his or her problems by entering a band—only to discover that they were no picnic and that it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. In this case, the antagonist is the band and their antics.

However, you don’t always need an obvious ‘villain’ to create an interesting story. Sometimes, you can make the antagonist a personification of a problem that the protagonist needs to solve. The problem with this approach is that it can become very complicated to show how the protagonist learns to overcome their challenges. This is why we usually see protagonists evolve and mature over the course of a story, while villains remain childish.

Use The Opposite

“Opposite” means that one thing is placed next to or counteracts another. The term originates from Roman times, and it is still used today to describe the use of contrasting words or actions to create contrast in meaning and/or effect. In literary terms, this refers to the use of parallel structure or point-of-view (POV) reversal to highlight differences while maintaining some sense of cohesion. For example, in Romeo and Juliet, Romeo is the more ‘evolved’ of the two characters and he uses logic and reason to try to convince Juliet to stay. In contrast, the passive and impulsive Romeo of the opening scene is completely opposed to the rational and determined Romeo of the play’s final act. When you use the opposite, you can show how two seemingly ‘opposed’ characters can somehow still be tied together by a shared experience or connection.

Create Differences In Genre, Tone, And Characterization

Different genres, tones, and characterizations can be used to create a sense of difference between two characters. Genre refers to the category or classification of a work of fiction; for example, science fiction is a genre that deals with futuristic storylines, while romcom is short for ‘romantic comedy.’ The difference in tone can be described as the way the story is told; for example, a comedic tone might use humorously exaggerated language or make inappropriate jokes. Lastly, the characterization determines the individual qualities that a literary character possesses, such as intelligence, strength, and personality. A good author will make you understand the character even when you don’t know who they are. If you are unable to do this, then the reader might have a hard time getting immersed in the story, and this will hurt the writing process.

For example, let’s say you want to write a story about a high school music teacher who tries to improve the lives of his students by encouraging them to participate in band. You can make this person very different from yourself by using different vocabulary, speaking in a calm voice, and having them wear suits and ties rather than hoodies and sweatpants. This will help them seem more authoritative and professional. In addition, you can make the band’s perspective different by using a first-person point of view and speaking in an ‘archaic’ manner. This type of narration will make it seem like the stories are coming from within, which will heighten the sense of immediacy and authenticity that the listener will feel while reading or listening to your work.

The Relationship Between Family And Friends

The family and the friends of your protagonist will have an effect on the development of the story. This can be positive or negative, and it can change how your reader or viewer interacts with the events that unfold. The closer the relationship, the greater this influence would be; for example, the parents of a newborn baby will have a profound effect on how the child conducts themselves as an adult because they have had nearly continuous intimate contact with them since birth. In this case, the reader might identify more with the parents than with the child because of the closeness of the connection. In other cases, a sibling rivalry between two children or a feud between friends could cause a lot of damage and heartache, but perhaps this is what makes it more interesting to watch unfold because it is not something that happens every day.