1. Some_Bloke
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    Some_Bloke Active Member

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    Relationship: Funny or Complex?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Some_Bloke, Nov 11, 2014.

    I'm not very good at writing romance, let alone romantic stories (yet for some reason there are several relationships in my novel).

    As it's a science fiction story with aliens, cyborgs and AI you have a large handful of complicated relationships so next to describing ships, weapons, armour (ect) doing a romance is the hardest thing.

    There's only really one romance that gets a lot of focus. I have one of the characters fully developed already. He's a human with mental health problems due to an error in his cryo-stasis pod (he was partially concious for some of the trip), is pretty highly trained due to the ship's AI trying to keep him sane (ran various programs through his mind) and is obsessed with pre-war literature, movies (ect) due to further attempts by the AI to keep him sane.

    Due to mental health issues he was rejected from the navy and so took on a job as a scavenger, a bounty hunter and eventually became a space pirate.

    He's the kind of character who's damaged and so uses a shell, one of a humour to hide his fragile self. The idea of shells is kind of a theme throughout the novel, with multiple characters having their own to hide behind.

    The other character is still a work in progress, mostly due to her species and the fact that this is the first story she's been in (different versions of Gregory have appeared in short stories before) At the moment (as my characters' backstories change as they develop) she's a convicted criminal on her own planet and so is hiding out in other parts of the galaxy. I'd describe her as extremely intelligent, adventurous, curious and at times she can be quite humorous. Like Gregory, she also has a fragile side she's hiding under a shell. Her shell consists of both humour and knowledge.

    I haven't decided on a name for her yet as I normally add names to characters after they've been developed.

    Of all places, they meet while tracking down a serial killer on the streets of a Mars colony (see my thread about writing a psychopathic character for more details on that). As she's telepathic and a shapeshifter she's an obvious asset to the investigation. Not to mention that she's been falsely accused of this crime and so is trying to prove her innocence.

    The relationship itself can take one of two directions in future parts of the novel. I have one where it's a humorous "Bonnie and Clyde" style relationship, with two outlaws going across the galaxy. This would be easier to write and both characters use humour and both lead criminal lifestyles.

    It could make a good change to parts of the novel that are dark and gritty (such as one I've mentioned before involving genocide and intergalactic war) and could even break off into a story featured in the novel (which is a collection of stories set in the same universe).

    The other version of this relationship is more complex and has a lot to do with the mind rather than any kind of physical attraction. Both try to escape from the criminal lifestyle, seeking an easier life. As she looks deeper into Gregory's mind, Gregory discovers more about her, most notably what crime she committed that forced her to flee her home planet.

    There would be humour of course but there would be a lot more focus on the shells they have and trying to repair the fragile parts underneath.

    Or I could always write a relationship that combines the two, with the "Bonnie and Clyde" stuff being part of their shells.

    What do you think?
     
  2. gwrolls
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    gwrolls Member

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    I like the idea, but before you had even given the option I thought that your second idea was the better one. Like, you could make it so that the woman breaks down Gregory's shell over the course of the novel and vice versa. They could begin out as the harder people they wants people to think they are, but gradually give in to each other. (Obviously, you could use the telepathy in a way with this) I can envisage some pretty interesting and moving dialogue that you could use in emotional scenes between the pair, while still managing to maintain the humour in the faster bits
     
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  3. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    The way their relationships develops depends on how you've crafted the characters. They decide the path it takes, if you will. One option is to just write it out and see how it turns out, as I think both can work very well. I think for this Bonnie & Clyde thing you might want to add a certain crazy devotion/obsession verging on co-dependence. It's going to look insane to those who've never experienced it, but it can also be very relatable, I think. If your characters are inclined to that kind of dynamics, that is.

    The latter sounds interesting, though if it's not physical I guess as a reader I'd be wondering why aren't they trying their damnest to get into each others' pants, but I expect you've got an explanation for that. Plus, there're non-physical relationships out there.

    My suggestion is, see where your characters take it. I've had two characters who were supposed to be just friends go bonnie-and-clyde, which I didn't expect, but sometimes they take a life of their own inside your mind and go to places you didn't initially plan to take them.
     
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  4. williams321
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    williams321 New Member

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    I love the first idea. Alternatively, it's great to refer to Bonnie and Clyde, in order to take idea from :)
     
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  5. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    Romance is so hackneyed, though. I'd be much more interested in the complex friendship, the Bonnie and Clyde idea. With romance, I feel like your audience will be able to tell what's going on before you write it. They'll be calling "oh, that's an obvious romance" before they've ever gotten close, so making them the best of friends would be a welcome change and throw your audience for a loop.
     
  6. Some_Bloke
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    Some_Bloke Active Member

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    Er...Bonnie and Clyde is a romance.

    If done right, the audience won't feel like that. Not every love story is as terrible as Twishite or as obvious as Romeo and Juliet (or anything else that uses the love at first sight device, I hate that device).
     
  7. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    It's not a slight on your writing - it's just that every single time there's a male and a female character, I'm exhausted seeing them get together. It's unoriginal, it's sappy, and it's annoying.
     
  8. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    But it's also life, and it doesn't have to be written in an unoriginal, sappy and annoying way, right?

    I mean, write what you feel like is most naturally going to happen. Ok, someone tired with romances (not romance novels, I mean romances in, say, a sci-fi novel) might not want to read it if the two jump in the sack on the second page, but that's their prerogative. People who like them, will gobble it up if it's well written. I wouldn't go out of my way to please readers who shun romance by making it into something that doesn't feel right to you, either. Some relationships start with a bang, some grow slowly into a blaze, and some just... simmer, and none of them are inherently the best option. It kinda depends on what your characters are like, what kind of decisions they tend to make, what they want etc. E.g. your girl might just want to get laid, but then after the first/second/umpteenth time, the guy acts like he actually wants more, so eventually she, too, realizes it's not enough to be friends with benefits, and lo and behold, they're in love.
     
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