Jun 9, 2012

My Personal Rambling: Character Development ~ Relationships

Writing a book is hard. It's also incredibly mind-blowing, absorbing, and a completely obsessive task that consumes hours of your day without your realization until your red-shot eyes finally glaze over and you can't see straight anymore. My life revolves around reading, writing, movies...- anything involving a solid-downright-good story. I keep my journal handy, mostly at all times, just in case I see something that gets my neurons firing. I'm quite obsessive in finding inspiration to push my book further into the story I want it to be.

Lately, my mild case of CWS (compulsive writing syndrome) has steered me toward focusing on the relationships between characters. Friendship, rivalry, romance ~ it's the essential human element of all stories - it's what makes us tick - and it needs to be believable.

I'm reading four books at the moment, and all of them have some form of romantic interest, all varying in intensity. Some are love attraction at first sight and others take a realistic amount of time to build. I have a slight problem with character relationships that suddenly appear, whether they are romantic or otherwise ~ they feel forced and completely unlike anything that would form a strong connection in real life.

There needs to be some kind of foundation, something that eases readers into the emotions the characters develop so that readers can feel the integrity of the growing relationship.

I read a lot of YA novels, and I understand the hype about the strong, gorgeous, mysterious guy falling for the slightly outcast girl and vice versa. These novels usually tell the story of a young person in the midst of a maze of trouble finding their way to who they are, and most of the time, to someone who loves them for who they are. This is all well and good, but when that love appears out of thin air, I think it sets the standards pretty high.

Even more...adult...books, *cough*Fifty Shades of Grey*clears throat*, have this element, and although I believe Ana is more in lust than in love with Christian Grey, her ability to turn into a pliable mess of gooey hormones at the sight of him completely contradicts the character we were initially introduced to. I get his appeal, but she doesn't even put up a fight or question the situation ~ totally naive.

Here's a list of a few books in which the relationship in my opinion between two characters is admirable and note-worthy:

  • Blood Red Road - Saba and Jack
  • Graceling - Katsa and Po
    • My favorite characters - they built their relationship from friendship and respect for each other's independence - they lift each other, each helping the other come to terms with who they are.
  • Beautiful Disaster - Abby and Travis
    • Abby and Travis were a little intense and a lot crazy, but I loved the complexity between them.  
  • Beautiful Creatures - Lena and Ethan
  • Divergent - Tris and Four
  • Hollowland - Remy and Lazlo

All of these novels or series have tangible elements in the relationships between the characters. Friendship, hesitation, fear, independence, admiration, respect, questions... Nothing is simple or easy about being in a relationship or falling in love, and these books I've listed represent the complex emotions that people go through when they find someone worth risking it all for. It doesn't happen with the turn of a page or the skimming of a paragraph, but develops from page one through the entire book or series of books. 

I know some people like to get to the nitty-gritty, and there's something to be said for the entertainment value in that, but...I don't know.. it always feels forced to me. On the other hand, if the characters take it too slow, readers tend to get frustrated. Finding the balance between the two seems to be the predicament. 

What about you? Do you like jumping right in to the emotional intensity of a relationship, or would you rather read about two characters who form a bond through events and over time? 

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

No comments:

Post a Comment

I so appreciate you taking the time to comment :) It really means so much to me!! Thanks for stopping by!