character

Formulary Friendships

Something I’ve struggled with in writing is creating a believable friendship between my characters. There’s the meet-cute, the struggle, the development and the love. Yes, I’m talking about friendship here, not a love story. It has the same elements as a romance story without the sexual tension.
So. What have I come up with? A formula! Because no good writing come from freeverse, right? Well here we go:
How to build a fictional friendship:
– At first meeting, one character doesn’t like the other. He’s fiercly independent, “I don’t need a friend,” etc.
– Soon thereafter or in the same meeting, the one who knows the environment will save the skin of the one who does not know what’s going on. One depends on the other for understanding of the situation. Maybe there’s a bully in a new school or a self importent centaur in the middle of a magical forest. You get the idea. Typically works best if the independent character from step one is the one needing to be saved. Give your character a piece of humble pie. No one’s an island.
– Once the skin has avoided a skinning, there should be a joke the two can laugh about. This can be a funny conversation that crops up throughout the book or a practical joke they play on a less favorable character (the unsuspecting centaur?).
– The conversation drifts to common ground on which to build the relationship.
– The characters have had their own experiences in life leading up to their meeting. Now they need to have some life experiences together. Queue adventures.
– Conflict will make the friendship believable and show the audience that it’s a relationship worth fighting for. I’m not good at writing conflict. Find your own formula for this.
– Boom. Friendship.
I’m open to suggestion on this. What are your thoughts and experiences creating relationships?
Image credit: Made Man
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