Tuesday Writing Tip – Building Relationships Between Characters

You’ve developed your main character. They are compelling, well rounded, proactive, all the things you want your main character to be.

IMAG4171Unfortunately, your work doesn’t end there.

The relationships that exist between your characters are just as important as the characters themselves.

Well developed character relationships can reveal all sorts of things about your character and their story – and they can be a catalyst for action and story events.


So how do you build strong character relationships?

You need to take the characters involved in the relationship, and ask these questions. (I tend to put the characters side by side in a table so I can make instant links and comparisons)IMAG2072

  1. How do these characters know each other?
  2. How do these characters feel about each other?
  3. What do these characters like about each other?
  4. What do these characters dislike about each other?
  5. How do these characters treat each other?
  6. Outline a situation where these two characters have got along well.
  7. Outline a situations where these two characters have clashed.
  8. How do these characters try to work out their differences?
  9. Which character is most dominant?
  10. Which characters is most peace loving?
  11. What do these characters have in common?
  12. How does each character think that they are perceived by the other character?
  13. How different is this perception from the truth?
  14. Do these characters care about each other?
  15. Do these character’s have expectations of each other?
  16. Are these expectations being met?
  17. If not, why not?

Once you have answered all these questions, you’ll know a lot more about your characters and how they interact, and you’ll be able to make their relationship believable for the reader.

I hope you found this helpful.

Happy writing:)


8 thoughts on “Tuesday Writing Tip – Building Relationships Between Characters

  1. This is a great list to check back on when developing characters. Relationships are important to plot – they can determine cause and effect and could also be used to change the way a character might react to something. Very helpful!

  2. Great questions. I copied them down so when my characters are floundering, I can ask them these things. Will definitely use them for my SF series.

  3. Love your questions list (and the bunnies). It’s true—even if you have great complex characters, it means nothing if you don’t fully explore how your character’s connect with one another. It is important not to leave character relationships simple or shallow. Relationships in real life are far more complicated, and realistic fictional relationships need to be equally messy. 🙂

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