1. The Bishop

    The Bishop Active Member

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    Relationships

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by The Bishop, Dec 28, 2019.

    How would I go about conveying a great, strong friendship in a paragraph or a few. The background is I have two characters, who have been good friends since before they're introduced, and one is going to be killed. I want to give the reader the feeling that this is a great loss, even though they haven't experienced the friendship first hand other than for a chapter or two. I need to make them know and better yet feel the strength of the friendship and therefore they'll be able to understand the sadness the one character feels when his bestfriend is killed in front of him. So how do I convey this kind of thing in a paragraph or two? Or is there another way to do it? It has to be quick, maybe a little longer, but how do I do it?
     
  2. jackmajor

    jackmajor New Member

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    Hello friend here's how I would go about it First I probably have them talk about going on a fishing trip together or something like that, this way we established that they're friends in a natural way


    secondly I would use this to develop the characters perhaps one of the characters bailed out the other one from a sticky situation use this to establish a character flaw Maybe?


    Thirdly, perhaps the most important thing is to remember that there is no pressure you can always come back and edit dialogue later


    I hope this helps


    sincerely Jack major
     
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  3. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 Active Member

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    What kind of setting, and do you mind telling, or would you be set on showing?
     
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  4. The Bishop

    The Bishop Active Member

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    I want to tell the audience, no show. It needs to be as minimal as possible.
    The background is that the two friends are higher-ups in a gang. There's a lot of people in this gang, including two brothers. It's set in the future. Anyway, one of the two friends, Jason, decides to make an alliance with a third party. This third party is resented by the brothers for good reason, therefore when the one character makes a deal with them, the brothers get understandably angry. So, a chapter or two after this meeting with the third party, the brothers invite all of the people supporting Jason's idea to a night club and kills who they can. One of the people they kill is Jason's best friend, who the reader only met a chapter ago. Now, Jason will be feeling extreme sadness due to his friend's death, also the other people who were killed and also by the fact that two more of his friends killed them all. But there's not enough time to develop all these relationships before I have to kill them off. So my question is how can I at least somewhat replicate the strength of their friendship in a paragraph or two? A page might even do it.
     
  5. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 Active Member

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    If they're gang members, perhaps you can put in a short passage about how they watched each others' backs in prison. Perhaps one of them has a scar that he got in a fight when standing up for the other. You could have him finger the scar and reflect on how he got it.
     
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  6. The Bishop

    The Bishop Active Member

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    I like the part about adding the bailing out situation, or some form of it, but the fishing trip wouldn't fit these dudes at all. They're young kids in the 2070s, naive as all hell , and they're gang members. They'd probably rather kill themselves than do anything as mundane as fishing. But I see what you're getting at. The issue is it needs to be summed up in a page, max. And thank you for the third tip. I forget that a lot.
     
  7. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Member

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    In my many years of watching Law and Order (all of them, SVU and Criminal Intent included), most of the gang members were friends from elementary school days. Maybe mentioning something about how one of them saw a brown paper bag flapping from someone's trash bin and it made him think about fourth grade arts and crafts in Mrs. Something's class, where they all made brown owls out of paper bags and attached them to sticks.

    It can be a subtle reference without being overly telling, honestly. Like the one grabbed some Skittles from the bodega because he knows other one likes them and has done so since childhood. Something small, but significant is going to have way more depth than going into a monologue about why they were friends and how long or something. To me, of course. In the end, I think go with what feels natural to the story and goes well with the flow of the rest of it.
     
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  8. Arsel

    Arsel Member

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    My first suggestion would be to spend more time on their relationship, even if you kill him off. Otherwise I just don't see myself experiencing sentimental shock reading that rando guy's death.
    If you really have to keep it short... what I like is detailed exposition. Some Authors try to describe relationships in an overview, making sure to visit each important aspect and presenting it as a whole. But maybe if you flesh out an insider joke between them, a way of communication between them that's really subtle, some refrence to a past event - for me that just says a lot more about their friendship than "In fourth grade, Jason saved Dickberry's life. They grew together over time, bla bla bla..."
     
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  9. cosmic lights

    cosmic lights Contributor Contributor

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    Don't know how much help I'll be but you could make a reference to an early event in their lives. How they met. A sacrifice they made. One took a bullet for the other one. Something that gives us some idea of the depth of friendship, which I think is more important than how long they've been friends. I have friends from childhood, but I'm closer to a friend I met a year ago. Something that gives us an idea of this friendship. Are they a have each other's back always type of friends.

    By giving yourself so little to convey the relationship in your making it harder for yourself. I would, since this is such an important friendship, dedicate a bit more if possible.
     
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  10. cosmic lights

    cosmic lights Contributor Contributor

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    You could add it into dialogue
     
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  11. LazyBear

    LazyBear Senior Member

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    I would mention how they got into crime to begin with. A victimless crime with fast money? A good cause to help a sick parent or helping a brother who got caught up in bad shit? The more corrupt, the longer the journey becomes to introduce a character in a likable way. Breaking bad needed many seasons to go from cancer guy to the one who knocks on people's doors. Make the reader understand that they could also become criminals given a horrible predicament. Society needs to face some hard truths to recover from gang violence. We were all innocent once. In the end, the reader will feel bad about him both as the innocent child who grew up in the wrong place and the man who's dying to protect his people.

    I once made a drug dealer cry on the streets of HongKong because I saw the pain hiding inside of him. He just wanted his family to survive, but his eyes showed that he had done terrible acts along the way.
     
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  12. TheOtherPromise

    TheOtherPromise New Member

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    I have a similar situation occurring in my current story. Where a childhood friend to one of the main characters is killed at the end of her second chapter. For my situation I'm relying on nicknames to quickly showcase how close they are. So, in my story the main character is named Kavrina but her friend calls her Kavs, and her friend is Orvyn but she calls him Vyn. These are the types of simple and cute nicknames that children might call each other and it implies that they've known each other since childhood. Though it might not work for your situation, depending both on the characters' names and dispositions.

    You also might not need to worry too much about setting up their friendship before killing the one off, if you expand on it throughout the rest of the book. If the surviving friend thinks about the other one often, you can flesh out their relationship postmortem.
     
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