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.
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 😀
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.
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?