1. lowcarb

    lowcarb New Member

    Oct 3, 2018
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    how to learn Character Chemistry?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by lowcarb, Oct 3, 2018.

    The relationship between characters gives the reader pleasure. The humor and conflict between a character and a character, as well as a friend, a lover, a teacher, a student, a rival, make the work more interesting. There are many books about making great characters, but isn't there any book on the joys of this relationship? If you have a book that deals with the type and principle of this, please tell me the title so I can buy it from Amazon.
  2. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

    Mar 7, 2013
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    I don't have a book on this, but I agree it's an important thing to work on.

    The trick is probably 'awareness.' The people who share a good relationship (romantic or otherwise) usually have a subliminal awareness of the other person. They get the true meaning behind words and gestures and actions. They get each other's jokes. They know each other's sore points, and try to avoid poking them. They are protective of the other person's interests and needs. They care about each other and try to mitigate any pain the other one might suffer as a result of things that happen. They help each other out, usually without being asked, and expect nothing in return. They seek out and truly enjoy each other's company.

    If you can show some of these things happening between your characters, that should do the trick.
  3. Just a cookiemunster

    Just a cookiemunster Active Member

    Sep 4, 2018
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    cookie world
    Wow this is so accurate. As I was reading this I started thinking back on my own personal relationships and it is EXACTLY as you described. But at the same time it's something I never thought about as the awareness just happens naturally. I will put that into consideration for my sotry also. Great advice!
    Shenanigator, deadrats and jannert like this.
  4. Paradisa116

    Paradisa116 New Member

    Oct 20, 2018
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    I don't have a book either, but I usually just model characters' relationships after my own. It adds realism and just sounds better.
  5. Night Herald

    Night Herald L'Anatra di Guerra Supporter Contributor

    May 23, 2012
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    @jannert's post pretty much covers all I had to say on the subject. Regardless:

    People in very close relationships over time tend to develop a particular way of conversing with one another, almost a kind of dialect, radically different from how they generally speak (this can of course extend past groups of two). This means liberal use of in-jokes, custom figures of speech, unorthodox grammars, and even entirely homegrown words. It gets so that you can express relatively complex thoughts in a kind of code that would take a trained cryptologist to parse.

    That might just be me and certain equally weird friends of mine, but I'd be highly surprised if this phenomenon isn't fairly universal.

    This would be easy to overdo in fiction, of course. I could see it getting confusing, and fast. Of course, you can train your readers in this private language with the use of proper contextual clues. For reference, you might look into the Nadsat argot used in A Clockwork Orange. For me, that's one of the main attractions of that book, and lends it a most agreeable flavor all it's own. But I digress.

    You needn't go overboard and invent an entire language. It's probably better if you don't. For your purposes, as I understand them, a light sprinkling will do. Just enough to suggest a deep familiarity and mutual understanding.
  6. JessicaT

    JessicaT New Member

    Apr 9, 2019
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    Good thread. I don't think you can so much as learn character chemistry as develop it from your own experience as many have stated here.
  7. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Has the Vocabulary of a Well-Educated Sailor. Contributor

    Sep 17, 2017
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    ^^^This. A lot of authors try to do the "she hates him, therefore she must love him" thing, and my reaction to it is always, "If he/she really cared about this person, he /she wouldn't say antagonistic things he/she knows they wouldn't like." In a friendship or romantic relationship that sort of tonedeafness is a dealbreaker.
    jannert likes this.

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