Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Relationships in Romance Novels and Beyond

Once, in a writer's group I read the first half chapter of one of my WIPs. The man said my writing was always about relationships. I replied that everything in life is about relationships. A relationship doesn't have to be about love or sex or romance. The group we were sitting in was a combination of relationships. When we go to the grocery store we have some sort of relationship with every person we interact with. By reading this, my fellow blogsters are engaged in a relationship. Relationships happen on a daily basis whether we realize it or not. Some are limited, some vanish as quickly as they came, some might grow, some might kill.

The chapter that was read in group eventually led to a murder investigation and wasn't going in the romantic way that the group might have suspected. It was only half a chapter so they really didn't get the whole story.

In romances the relationship has to go somewhere. Maybe a good place where they fall in love, in bed, into a happily every after or maybe just a hint at what was coming next for our characters.

What makes up these relationships? Eye contact/looks, verbal exchange, physical exchange, and even information exchanged by a 3rd party. In some stories we can use all of these to build characters. We hear their thoughts when eye contact is made, watch the verbal exchange and reactions, or sometimes we're in the character's head while they work out questions.

Kinds of relationships?

Norman Bates and his mother
Prez Obama and Speaker of the House Boehner
Teachers and students
Doctors and patients
Bus drivers and riders
Stewardess and passengers
Cops and victims and criminals

Relationships are everywhere!

I was a little surprised I had to explain that everything in life is a relationship of some sort. I think some limit that word to romance, but its so much more and important in every single thing we write.

So what kind of a relationship is building in what you're writing? What techniques do you use to build it?

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