10 Non-Romantic Relationships I Love Writing

non-romantic relationships

Occasionally, one of my characters becomes a teenager and gets a little headstrong. When this happens, usually the first thing they do with their newfound freedom is to fall in love. This is very rarely planned, because my skills at romance are lacking. Like, Chessy just went ahead like the rebellious child she is and fell in love with Justice. And Sapphire was meant to fall for Chandler, but ended up with Quillon? I don’t know how these things happen in my novels anymore than I know how they happen in real life.

However, I don’t particularly love writing romance, and I don’t particularly like reading it. I find them less easy to write than other sorts of relationships, so the whole point of this post is not to talk about romantic relationships. Today, I’m going to highlight the ten non-romantic relationships that I love writing! Let’s have a look.

Best Friends

This is one of my favourites! For me, the most important people in my life, after my family, are my three best friends. I don’t know why, but strong, real best friends are really rare. I love writing them, though surprisingly I haven’t actually done it all that much. I absolutely loved writing Chessy and Rain’s relationship in TSFI, and I love reading Rosemary Sutcliff’s bff pairs in The Eagle of the Ninth and The Silver Branch, as well as Frodo and Sam, and Merry and Pippin, and all the other epic friendships from LOTR.


This can really be big brother and little sister, or big sister and little brother, but I prefer doing big brothers looking after little sisters. I don’t know why this has always appealed to me, but it does. Maybe because I only have younger siblings and have always wanted a big sibling, especially a big brother. There’s some awesome siblings in fiction–the classics, such as the Pevensies and the Marchs (they’re sisters, with Laurie as the honourable brother), and some newer ones like Beck and Joey from C.G. Drews’ A Thousand Perfect Notes.

We’re Not Brothers But We Argue Enough To Be

There’s something so hilariously fulfilling about these sorts of relationships. Two guys who pretend to absolutely hate each other, but they really care deeply about each other, despite the way they bicker over every single thing. It’s really quite endearing and my favourites that I’ve written are, of course, Justice and Kendall and Justice and Zac.

We Really Are Just Friends

It seems inconceivable to the world of media (and the general world at large, if we’re being honest) that a guy and a girl can really, actually just be friends. I have a number of male friends, and while I’m not nearly as close to them as I am to my female friends, I have never…fallen in love with them. So, despite popular belief, it’s actually all right to have female and male friends who are just friends. My absolute favourite example of this in my own writing is between Chessy and Jonas and, unfortunately, I can’t really think of many published book examples 😀

Adopted Family

I absolutely love this one! How do I end up with so many adoptive–whether legally or just…unofficially–families? I don’t know but it happens a lot. I guess I like the idea that if I ever lost my “real” family, I could find another one. There’s something really cool about the idea of people who are bound simply by their love for each other and it’s a trope that turns up a lot in my writing. Of course, my favourite one is Jean Verde with his daughters, and then of course, pulling Kai, Quillon, Justice and Dr Manly, all into his strange little family. I love it.

Sisters with Broken Relationships

I don’t know what it is I like about this one, since I only have one sister and my relationship with her certainly isn’t exactly broken. We have our moments like all people, but it’s not like Sapphire and Chessy shrieking at each other or anything. Anyway, I like writing sisters working through their broken relationships, the most notable of these being Chessy and Sapphire, of course.

Father and Daughter/Son

I think this one stems from growing up with almost all my friends being from single parent families. They all have varying relationships with their dads and wildly different stories, but I think the reason I explore relationships between fathers and their children so much is in an attempt to understand the pain my friends have had to go through, especially the ones who know longer speak to or see their fathers. My favourite father/daughter relationship is between Chessy and Jean, as it is the most interesting to explore. But I also like writing Justice’s relationship with his father, and with Dr Manly, who takes on a fatherly role in his life, filling the hole that his real father made.

Mentor and Students

This one tends to be really fun. I like when one character takes the role of mentor for another character, especially if the characters are around the same age. There tends to be a bit of snark, some arguments, but overall, a good relationship which ends productively, with the student overcoming something and teaching the mentor something in the process. Jonas serves a bit as this to Chessy, and in Wattle Fires, Yilla serves as this toward Courageous.

Big Families

Despite the fact that I come from a big family, I’ve never actually written a big family. Or at least, not in a long time and not in one of my serious novels. Still, I love big families and one day I will write one.

Single Mothers and Cute, Small Children

I don’t at all think that God’s plan was ever to have children raised by one parent, but there is something I love about single mothers and their children, the way these mothers sacrifice so much and the way their children bring them such joy. Of course, my favourite of these is Sapphire and Kai. I like exploring the complexities of being a single, teen mother.

How about you? What are your favourite non-romantic relationships? Who are your favourite fictional sisters? How do you feel about guy/girl friendships where no romance forms?

20 thoughts on “10 Non-Romantic Relationships I Love Writing

  1. YES to all of these! I especially love the “we’re not brothers but we argue enough to be” relationship. Also – writing cousins. It’s just fun. XD Great post, Chelsea!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love this!! We need more of these relationships in fiction! My favorite for reading and writing is definitely best friends, followed by unofficially adopted siblings and father/daughter. I also love reading the “I’m gonna insist on pretending I don’t like you but I’d give my life for you without thinking” type relationship. 😆

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  3. In Fairy Frogs, there are a lot of friendships.

    Sparkle and Misty are best friends- they have been since they were five years old. The events in the novel start 12th years old. Misty is so protective of Sparkle- she doesn’t want her best friend to get in trouble. Sparkle is my main character, who easily can break the rules of Fairy Creek.

    Darcy and Felipe are best friends.

    Then there are the friendships that develop as the story unfolds:

    Sparkle and Marge- the beginning of their friendship is when the story kicks off. Sparkle has the idea to befriend Marge after hearing how poorly Sarge treats her. It is an interesting friendship- soon enough, Misty is part of this friendship. It was Sparkle and Marge’s idea for all the Fairy Frogs to befriend all of the toads, which leads into other friendships.

    Claude, Darcy, and Felipe- Claude is around Darcy and Felipe’s age so he does become friends with them

    Effa, Rudy, and Celeste- Effa and Rudy are identical twin sisters. They warm up to Celeste.

    So Friendship is the biggest theme in my Fairy Frogs story I am writing

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  4. YES, why can’t fiction have more of these relationships? I especially like sibling relationships and “we’re not brothers but we argue enough to be” ones. 😉 Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ah, so many excellent relationships here! I definitely love LOTR level friendships, and sibling relationships of all sorts. I tend to write about pretty broken sibling relationships, even though my relationships with my own siblings are pretty stable. I also really like the protective older brother. Really I would happily read or write any of these relationships that you mentioned here. There are so many good ones, and they all have a lot of possibilities!
    Another type of relationship that I enjoy reading is foster parents and kids.There is something so inspiring and heartbreaking about it. I haven’t actually written this, but I would like to someday.
    Hm, some of my favorite fictional sisters are the March sisters, actually, and I like Orual and Psyche from Till We Have Faces. Now I am wondering why I can’t think of more sisters. Oh, I like Katniss and Prim in The Hunger Games, though I haven’t actually read the books.
    I LOVE guy/girl friendships where no romance forms. It’s much more likely to happen in MG than YA, but I always appreciate it when it occurs. I really like Harry and Hermione’s friendship in Harry Potter, and Maks and Willa in City of Orphans. I appreciated Chessy and Jonas as well.
    Fantastic post!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I love this post! Non-romantic relationships don’t ever seem to quite get the level of appreciation and/or featuring that romantic relationships do in fiction which is kind of a pity because they can be just as meaningful and touching to read about. My favorite fictional sisters… oof, that’s a hard one! I think I’ll go with Vianne and Isabelle from The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. I felt like their relationship was very believable! I also really loved Chessy and Sapphire! Their whole arc was amazing! 😊

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  7. Definitely! Oh, I’ve heard a lot about The Nightingale recently. I need to see if I can track it down somewhere. Thank you. I must say I loved writing Chessy and Sapphire 😀


  8. Siblings are so much fun! Especially if you throw in all the angst and drama, just for good measure.
    Yes! A foster/adopted parent and child relationship would be so interesting. I know quite a lot of adopted and fostered kids too, so it would be great seeing someone portray the ins and outs of that sort of relationship.
    Yes me too! I’m pretty sure YA doesn’t know that such things exist though 😛

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  9. I love best friends so much. It’s a pity more authors don’t take advantage of it! Yes, yes to those relationships! It’s especially good when A’s love for B is obvious to everyone but A, whether that be romantic or platonic 😀


  10. Yes! I can appreciate a romance if it’s well done, but mostly they just get annoying. There are so many other types of relationships like the ones you talked about that I would LOVE to see in books more. And, if a book does have a different relationship, it seems like it’s placed below romantic relationships or is somehow bad (For example, a character with terrible parents.) Strong platonic relationships are good too! 😀

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  11. I definitely agree with that! And yeah, it really annoys me that romantic relationships are always made more important than non-romantic ones. As if a solid and strong friendship in a book is not as good as a half baked romance. 🙂

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  12. Well, I don’t love reading or writing romance very much either 😃 (soft, emotional yaoi or bromance are always welcome though)
    I love reading or writing father-son relationship which is unfortunately quite rare in the sea of fiction. 😀


  13. Well, I don’t love reading or writing romance very much either (soft, emotional yaoi or bromance are always welcome though)
    I love reading or writing father-son relationship which is unfortunately quite rare in the sea of fiction.

    Liked by 1 person

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