Relationships: The Things Authors Aren't Very Good At: Part One

Relationships: The Things Authors Aren't Very Good At: Part One

A Lesson by TopHatGirl

Writing needs relationships. Let's make them! Hi, my name is_____, and I would like to be your friend!


    Relationships. Don't get defensive about this, but if you're like me, you spend all day in your room/office, writing, and writing, and writing. So you don't have time for eek!-human contact. Just kidding. Actually, probably about 90% have gone through chaos and controversy with family, friends, love, enemies, or frenemies. That's awesome. Whenever you have relationships like that, it shines through in your writing, in both yourtone and voice. Me, I'm very, very, very, bad at relationships. I'm a loner, so all of the relationships in my writing are awkward.
   If you really don't have many relationships going on, then the most obvious solution is: make some! (This sounds like a self help book....sorry) Go up to someone, say "Hi!" or "Hey!" or "Hello!" (Warning: please, please, please do not go up to creepy strangers off of the street. Go up to someone who you at least know aren't kidnappers. I don't want to be responsible for any stolen people!!) If you're still in school, like me, it's best to choose someone in one of your classes that you really don't know very well. Say something like,"How are you going to approach Mr. So and So's assignment?" Something along those lines.
   If this relationship doesn't work out well, fine. Its a good fuel for the relationship. The point is to get your familiar with how people interact, and the reactions from certain people.

   Are like me, and totally shy, cowering away at any human contact? Then become a stalker, listen in on groups of people chatting. You get a good idea on what would be okay to say, and would not. Just, don't be caught eavesdropping. (I cannot believe Im telling you guys to do these things!)

   On to the actual writing. Read this conversation between two kids.

      Sally groaned. "I cannot believe Ken actually got angry and attacked him! That was strange."
       "I know," Ben said. "That's unusual for Ken. He's usually a good guy. So casual and nonchalant.
       "I guess he was letting out his anger with physical violence because he was kissing his girlfriend, Barbie," Sally said.
       "I hope he get's punished for that. That is against school policy."

I hope you guys noticed how awkward that sounded. Do you think two kids would be saying 'physical violence' or 'school policy'? Maybe kids who are in the advanced program and have a high IQ, but not regular kids talking. Let's try again.

Sally groaned. "Dude, I can't believe Ken got so pissed and just jumped him and punched him like that! That was really weird. "
       "I know, right?" Ben said. "That's so unlike Ken! He's usually okay, and calm."
       "I guess he was just mad so he let out steam by attacking him. I mean, he did cheat off his girl, Barbie."
       "I hope he gets in trouble. That is so against the rules!"

      That sounds a lot more like two kids talking about a fight. Notice how they don't have a great vocabulary, and they use verbal crutches. Verbal crutches are uneeded words int he middle of a sentence, but are used often. Example:

     "So, like, I was totally, like, at the mall, and it was awesome!"

All of the words that weren't in bold are verbal crutches. 'Like' is the most popular verbal crutch. If you talk with a teenage girl for five minutes,(me!), you'll notice that MOST of them use verbal crutches. Not all, some of them are good little grammar speaks. Not me. I'm, like, so totally a bad speaker.
     Don't overuse verbal crutches. It just gets annoying.

     Remember the last lesson in emotions? Good. Emotions show how the characters feel about eachother. Hate is a good one for enemies. Bliss is good for love, and happiness is good for friendship. Though, if someone is always mad at their dad, you can learn that they do not like their father very much.

Relationships are very long, and detailed things. So the relationships lesson is split into 2 parts.

   Your homework for the next lesson: Make at least one new relationship! Don't be afraid! Don't read Part 2 of the lesson until you've done your homework. (Boo hoo, I have homework. Whine and complain, and I might make you do a worksheet on it. So shut up.)


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Posted 10 Years Ago

This is good advice. I'm horrible at relationships as well - I'm one of those "lock myself up in my room and write, write, write" people that you mentioned, haha. One thing that you could have added though is to read modern classics. Authors like Hemmingway, Orwell, and Harper Lee have a deep understanding of human character that you can pick up from reading their works.

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Posted 10 Years Ago

These will help me greatly! Thank you so much!

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Posted 10 Years Ago

Great! Keep writing!

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Hi, I'm TopHatGirl! If you're here about my character lessons or to get some advice, email me instead of messaging at [email protected] This is because I don't go on this site as much anym..