1. Ciabella
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    Ciabella New Member

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    Wirting relationship between two characters

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Ciabella, Jun 5, 2013.

    I’m currently writing a sequel to one of my previous stores. My main character got herself tangled in a civil war over the throne, after the previous king died without successor. Along the way she met a potential heir to the crown (distant relative of the previous king), they fell in love and ended up saving the whole country from the evil sorcerer and ended the succession crisis by putting this guy on the throne. Since she herself was barren and a commoner, my main character arranged a marriage between said distant relative and the previous king’s former wife (who was actually the one ruling the country behind her husband’s back), but still stayed as this guy’s lover on a said. All parties involved agreed for this arrangement.

    This story takes place a year after these events. The queen is now pregnant with king’s first baby. My character stays around as the king’s advisor and a high ranked general in his army. While I have no problem writing king and my character (hidden lovers, who know there may be more important things one day that will force them to separate), king and his new wife (they respect each other), I have problem writing a relationship between my character and the queen. I don’t want to make them bitter enemies or rivals. I would prefer to give them a working, somehow friendly relationship.
     
  2. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi Ciabella, what exactly is your question?
     
  3. Ciabella
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    Ciabella New Member

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    I basically have a problem writing a relationship between these two characters (queen and MC).
     
  4. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Must they have a working, friendly relationship or can they be bitter arch enemies? Surely the queen is jealous, pissed off she is just an egg doner and surely your MC is jealous that mamma gets to bed the King every night.

    Has this situation been openly discussed between this little ménage á trois. Did the queen go into this with her eyes open or was she duped into baring an heir. What's in it for her? What does she have in 9 months time? A male successor or a useless girl? How does the King view her now? Happy with the boy child or pissed with the girl (and her mother)

    Put the 2 girls into some scenes together, how do they react?

    Who else knows about this arrangement? Could blackmail be involved further down the line? What does the Queen's family think of this arrangement? Did they give her to the King for peace between their two countries? Maybe there is a dowry they want back?

    Without knowing your story, what has happened, what is going to happen there are way too many variables so you might need to narrow down exactly what you are stuck on.
     
  5. Ciabella
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    Ciabella New Member

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    Where to start?

    Must they have a working, friendly relationship or can they be bitter arch enemies? I would prefer for them to develop a working relationship somewhere along the way. I doubt they would become friends, but I hope they could eventually respect each other and work together in the court.
    The Queen’s history and her place in the court.

    The kingdom my story takes place in was occupied for a few years and recent Queen’s father was one of the leading figures of the rebellion that eventually drove the invaders out of the country. He became a hero and his daughter was arranged to marry the new king as a symbol of “new hope” (officially at least. Unofficially it was a move to give his family more power and secure his place in the court). Queen was the one who actually ruled through her husband. King was not really interested in ruling, more in drinking, hunting, romancing with other nobles/servant girls and finding glory in battle. Queen knew about it, but tolerated it.

    Since there was no heir to the throne, there were some nobles who tried to persuade the king to put his wife aside (believing her to be barren. “Of course the king can’t be sterile! Unthinkable!”) and take one of their daughters. Her father found about this and started shaming on his own. The king finally got killed (not by the Queen’s father, this was a result of a few shames getting in each other’s way. Basically an accident) and a civil war happened. The queen and her father tried to keep control, but they succeeded only partly. At the same time queen’s father started going more and more crazy and finally believed his daughter was manipulated by the traitors (In reality he was the one mind-controlled by the wizard I mentioned in my previous post) and locked her up.

    My MC and her allies rescued her (they needed Queen’s support against her mad father) and created an alliance with her. One of the conditions of this arrangement was her marriage to her former husband’s distant relative. This was deemed the best solution: a) one of the fighting fractions where supporting the new potential king (said relative) other was supporting the queen, b) the queen wanted her throne back and these was her best chance without drowning the country into too much blood.

    The whole arrangement was discussed between all three parties (new king, the queen and my MC) and they all agreed for that.
    Unfortunately my MC had to kill queen’s father to put him out of his misery (he was too far gone with the wizard’s spell to ever regain his sane mind). This did put a strain on their relationship.

    The child queen is carrying is supposed to be a girl, but it doesn’t really matter since in this world both women and men can inherit the throne.
    Who else knows about this arrangement? There is also the King’s uncle (one of the nobles who tried to get the previous king to dump the queen), his younger brother and two of my MC’s friends.

    Could blackmail be involved further down the line? Oh, yes. There are some noble’s who would love to get their hands on this kind of personal information to better manipulate the new king. There are also a few people who doesn’t like my MC taking place so close to the new royal couple (they doesn’t know she is king’s lover but she is still a general and one of king’s close advisors) because of her commoner origins.

    What does the Queen's family think of this arrangement? Her father and mother are dead. She does have a younger brother, but as the oldest daughter of the previous house’s head she is now in charge. No one in her family knows for now. Her brother is suspecting something, but that’s all.
    How does the King view her now? King is wary of her (She was did a lot of shaming previously and tried to save her crazy father) but also respects her for her ability to move in the court. They slowly develop a working relationship. She actually likes it that he wants to learn how to rule, since her previous husband was an idiot and she enjoys having a partner.

    Is she jealous? She is, but I think she finds the situation preferable to what was with her previous husband: that he had many women and was quite opened about it, which shamed her as a queen. My MC and the king manage to keep their affair quite (for now at least). The funny thing she would totally accept it if her husband had one lover on a side to keep him company, but nothing more. She is worried by the amount of influence MC may have (she holds the army and is one of king’s advisors).

    What my MC seems to think about a whole situation? Is she jealous? She is as well. Through she is pragmatic enough to see that this was the best solution to stop the civil war. On the one hand she admires the queen for her political skills, on the other they crash about some things in the court.
     
  6. huntsman40
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    huntsman40 Active Member

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    I have a few thoughts about your characters. Some lyrics that I heard that seem apt are, that "two can keep a secret if one of them is dead." I think too many people know already for this secret to last, and more so if you say others are suspecting. Royal courts are generally gossip pits like no other, certainly if based on ones of past eras.

    I see it being difficult for your characters to have a friendship really. I can see them perhaps being civil to each other, and I also don't believe the jealousy would be one way either. You mention "the" Queen is jealous of your MC, but I would think your MC would be somewhat jealous as well watching her lover making a child with another woman when she is unable to ever give one to him herself.

    I guess friendship might be possible, but I think some of that would depend on time, and on who loves who in the triangle. It might be harder if both women love him and he only loves one of them. However, if both women are getting something out of the arrangement, and both have strong senses of duty it might be possible.

    If you go down that route I’d say start their relationship off as strained, maybe bordering on rude when in private, and then find some common ground to bring them closer if that is what you desire from them. Friendship is rarely a quick thing, and certainly not when you bring the baggage they have to deal with.

    On the blackmail issue you mentioned. That would be fairly tough I would think. I think anyone trying blackmail or threats against a king or queen would soon find they’re dead or locked up in some very dark hole. Think Game of Thrones, as that never worked out for anyone trying to do harm to any king or leader in that too often, and it’s pretty similar in our history too.
     
  7. Ciabella
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    Ciabella New Member

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    I didn't say MC isn't jealous. She is. She doesn't like there is another woman in her lover's life and that she has to hide their relationship. About a child - yeah this is a mixed issue here. On the one hand she she is sad since even if she wanted she couldn't give her lover son/doughter, on the other she is relieved since she never wanted children (she grew up with knowledge that there would be no offspring in her life anyway due to magical accident that left her barren). She was actually afraid that any man she would be with will want to have a child eventually if they married and her sterility would destroy their relationship.

    King's romance is probably going to be more known among the nobles soon, which will bring trouble (I'm currently working on this part of the story.)

    About queen and MC - as I said I wasn't planing on making them friends - just respect each other and have them work together when this is necessary. Thanks for advice I think I will manage to take it from here.
     
  8. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just so you know, jealousy and rivalry are great for stories.
     
  9. Ciabella
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    Ciabella New Member

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    I will try to take the most of it. Thanks again.
     
  10. sanco
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    sanco Contributing Member

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    It sounds like you know enough about the situation, but not enough about your characters. Once you get to know your characters more, their reactions to certain situations may come a little easier to you. I don't think asking us about how you should write their relationship will be helpful as members will give you differing opinions. For all we know, their relationship could be any where from purely antagonistic to passive-aggressive.
     
  11. heal41hp
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    heal41hp Contributing Member

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    Though you sound as though you've gotten what you wanted, I just have to chime in on this subject.

    First off, I am very taken by your idea. So many people glamorize marriage to the point they wouldn't allow this to happen without bitterness and hatred between the characters. Marriage must involve true love and soul mates and "till death do us part" and all that gibberish. I adore that you're pragmatic enough to do this and I hope so badly that you don't change what you're doing (unless you take some of my advice ;)).

    I'm kind of tired so this might be a little scatter-brained. Bear with me. :)

    I myself am involved in a polyamorous relationship. There is no bitterness, angst, or other negative feelings between me and the other woman involved (the legal wife in the relationship). Of course, neither of us wants children so that changes a little bit of the dynamics compared to your trio. No one is perfect and no one is the same. This is reflected in our relationship. The other woman and myself are very different people and fill very different roles for the man. He calls me his brain and her his soul. She is the sweetest thing ever, incredibly giving and selfless (though a little blonde), while I am practical, logical (generally!), and a little selfish (I have some OCD issues). We don't ever really compete for the same type of attention or step on each others' toes in our roles. It works quite nicely, though she drives me nuts on occasion and I can't spend too much time around her or I go crazy (she can be pretty emotional and illogical and I can't stand that). We can easily spend time together though and rather enjoy it but to be honest we don't share much of the same tastes in things. We have our common ground, though, and that is what makes things work so well. We're like a Venn diagram. There's some overlap and that's what brings us together and holds us together.

    I know this sort of arrangement is weird for most people and though I would be thrilled to hear you adopt this path for your trio, I won't be terribly disappointed if you don't. Find that common ground and let it bond them all together. Let the two women complement each other, as it sounds like they do. There might be some tension regarding the child (or children, as the case may be in the future) but I think you've more or less taken care of that by your MC's acceptance of her infertility. She can always be an aunt to the child (a role I, personally, would far prefer over motherhood) and a sister to the queen. Sisters have their tiffs but in the end they're together forever (or so it tends to go). What causes problems in relationships like this are an individual's insecurities. The more insecurities, the more problems (as with any relationship). The less insecurities, the less problems (again, as with any relationship). It's just that there are three people's insecurities involved instead of just two. Keep them under control, be practical about them and take care of them rather than hoping they're forgotten, and it should be smooth sailing.

    I hope this helps. And if you need any more assistance with the dynamics of polyamorous relationships, feel free to ask and I'll see what I can do. :)

    PS: I really appreciate some of the thought and pragmatism you've put into this story. :love:
     
  12. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I think one might consider there are different cultures other than the one we are all used to when it comes to arranged marriages and lovers on the side. I can see a barren woman being jealous/pining that she can't bear a child in a culture where that is a key to being desirable as a wife.

    I'd ask a couple questions:

    Does the protag pine over her barren womb or does she prefer to be a general and see bearing children as problematic? Some women actually are happy without children.

    If she doesn't pine over being barren, then she could easily see the king's wife as a partner, and not be jealous of her. Or she could be resigned to the relationship but still jealous that the king loves the child, or has sex with someone else, but depending on the culture, it could be a big deal or not a big deal.

    Does the wife like the king? Love the king? Or just tolerate the king?
    The wife might be ecstatic about her good fortune. She has power via her child, status, wealth. Maybe she's glad the king has someone else to satisfy him so she only has to have sex to procreate.


    You need to answer those questions and I think the relationship will reveal itself.
     
  13. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    After reading your first post, I really didn't see why there needed to be any conflict, so I mentally catalogued possible causes of conflict. Your later post affects my comments somewhat, but I'm just going to post anyway:

    - Sexual/romantic jealousy re the king.

    But it doesn't sound like this queen is in love with the king - it sounds like she married him as a business arrangement and a way to produce heirs. I don't see why she needs to share a bed or quarters with him - sure, a few "appointments" in order to get her pregnant would be called for, but once she's pregnant it seems to me that they don't need to have any intimate contact for another two to four years, when they might try for a another child.

    So this doesn't need to be a conflict, IMO.

    - Jealousy re the child.

    I'd think that this could get ugly if the commoner bore the child, and the queen then took the child and acted as the child's mother. But it's the queen's child, so I don't see any motherhood-role jealousy here. It would be a bit different if the commoner _wanted_ children, so it seems to me that things would be easier if she didn't want them.

    Now, it is still the king's child, and the king is the commoner's lover, so the comoner might feel possessive of the child. But to me that's jealousy once removed, and I can quite easily see that jealousy not occurring at all.

    - Jealousy re status and power.

    Does the commoner want status, power, wealth, ruling authority? It sounds like she has a good deal of authority, as advisor and general - perhaps, in fact, more real power than the queen. But the queen has the status. So it seems plausible that both are reasonably content with what they have.

    ----

    You say that the queen is somewhat jealous. Why shouldn't the queen have a lover of her own, so that the royal marriage truly is just a business relationship? In fact, if she's the highly pragmatic sort, I could see her noticing that jealousy is growing in her, and _deciding_ that she is going to balance the situation, giving herself a love relationship so that she will be less jealous of her husband's.
     
  14. heal41hp
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    heal41hp Contributing Member

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    That actually occurred to me while I was reading through your post and was going to post it myself. Looks like you've got it taken care of though. :) Kudos.
     
  15. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think if your MC really loves him, and she understands why this was necessery, she'll try to be supportive of the Queen, because as a mistress and a warrior, she'll no doubt be a feminist and will want to help her sister :D
    She still can't help despairing sometimes, saying nasty little things about her 'rival' aren't entirely beneath her, but she tries to atone for them by being pretty decent to the young Queen, certainly more decent than most other women would be.
    Just think Princess Diana and Camilla Parker-Bowls.
     

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