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Writing Authentic Relationships

“It is…a biological need for human beings. Their brains are wired to push them into a relationship…Human beings do have the ability to override this biological imperative as far as being in a relationship, but few make that choice.”

Read that quote again. Isn't it interesting? That’s not to say everyone has relationships in their lives (although I would argue they do to some degree); it’s saying that it is such a strong biological pull, it’s unnatural for us to try to avoid them.

I sat back after reading that and said, “huh” and decided I agreed with it.

Relationships are in everyone’s lives. Good and bad. Healthy and unhealthy.

Sometimes it’s hard to see the difference between the two. Lines often get blurred. Or sometimes it’s bad but most of the time it’s good. I think that’s a natural and realistic profile on relationships.

“You learn more about someone at the end of a relationship than the beginning”

Like any connection between two or more people, it’s impossible for it to be perfect 100% of the time. you have to take the good with the bad. Roll with the punches. Learn and grow. Or not. Stay in the dysfunctional cycle of the roles your group has decided to take on. Decide what you’re willing to accept and live with and what you’re not. Others may have an opinion, but in the end, it’s up to you to decide. And that’s realistic, too.

If all of these scenarios are real and active in our everyday relationships, then why shouldn’t we see those in writing, as well?

We often think that we should always see healthy relationships portrayed in books, or if it’s unhealthy, then the protagonist should make whatever choices needed by the end of the book to get rid of the toxicity and emerge into a fresh, new, mentally healthy world.

Sure, that would be great, but that’s not real. most of the time.

And our books should be about what’s real. Not in regard to your genre (i.e. – high fantasy, sci-fi, paranormal, etc.), but as far as cause and effect, actions and consequences, human nature and decisions.

Well-written relationships are going to be part of the make up of your characters. It is going to contribute to how they see the world, their problems, their solutions. They will press on them and influence every area of their lives. It’s going to affect the activities they do and how they act. How they see themselves.

“Relationships include fights, jealousy, arguments, faith, tears, disagreements, but a real relationship fights through all that with love.” --Unknown

Relationships are huge. So why don’t we include authentic ones that will make writing our characters (and thus our story) easier?

Let’s take the realistic relationships in the world and bring them into our writing. Let’s give our writing that next level depth all readers want. Let’s leave them sitting back at the end saying,


This is the introductory post to a series I’m doing this month about authentic relationships in our writing and it will cover the main types of relationships in most of our lives:

  • Friendships

  • Family

  • Romantic

And perhaps a bonus post somewhere in there.

Join me as we explore ways to make those connections in our characters’ lives a little deeper and a little more real.

See you in The Writer Community!


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