The other day, I sort of flinched a little bit at calling one of the characters from my querying MS another one's "boyfriend." I mean, Elias *is* Merrin's boyfriend, but he's so much more than that. Their relationship is so special, and so unique. Their attraction is so different from anyone else's, you know, on a cellular level. And so he's not just her boyfriend, he's this other thing to her as well, and it's kind of difficult to explain, but it's one of the things that you have to understand to get the premise of the book, and OH HERE YOU MIGHT AS WELL JUST READ IT.
And, of course, being a querying writer, I worried about that.
I mean, shouldn't the relationships between our characters be easily definable?
But then I started thinking about my CPs' work, and the relationships in those manuscripts. The paranormal and sci-fi ones usually do have the same weird element of "they're together, but they're not just together, there's something different and special from anything else ever between them."
But even the contemporary stuff, or the romances, have the "it's complicated" thing going on.
Maybe the characters are in love, but it's because they ALSO have this weird connection that no one else could possibly have, intellectually, emotionally, or experientially.
Or maybe the characters are friends, but really they're in love, but they won't admit it, because one of them confessed last year and got turned down by the other, and now the other has a boyfriend but really loves her best friend. Except now he's dating someone new, who happens to be another one of her friends.
|Whenever possible, choose this status for your characters.|
See? It's complicated.
The best kinds of relationships are the undefinable ones.
It's not just boyfriends, right?
Parents turn out to be villians, partners-in-crime turn out to be long lost siblings. The new kid at school is the same guy who killed your best friend. The horrible professor is really a secret agent, and he was always on your side, but you never knew it. The MC's baby brother is a genius, and actually holds the key to some of the greater biological mysteries of the universe.
So the way the characters feel, and act, is complicated.
Which complicates the plot. (Or sometimes is the plot.)
Which makes the book awesome.
Okay, sweet readers, weigh in - If you're the writerly type, have you ever worried about "it's complicated?" Or do you try to make relationships more complicated? And, everyone - what are your favorite complicated - and uncomplicated - relationships in literature?