Monday, February 6, 2012

Dynamically Paranormal Relationships

The dynamics of a relationship really shouldn’t be all the paranormal. It should just be normal. Unfortunately, that is most often not the case. In normal life we all experience relationships, most we’re forced into, either a birth family or co-workers. We search for years for that true family that we choose, the people we love because we can, not because we have to.

We all laugh about those in our family who are the black sheep, and maybe some us are those fluffy dark critters. But we’re all ingrained with this horrible need to belong. Not just in work, school, or public society, but to our families too. People get married to try to create that secure family unit, only to divorce later when they realize it’s not something that can be faked, forced, or fooled.

Writing a good story, especially romance, isn’t just about the main couple. Sure we all know they will get together, probably have hot sex, and end up happy ever after, but where’s the family to the equation? We all know that often times a lover is just not enough for support. Slash writers really get this idea, often twisting the dynamic relationship even further to create a romance that originally wasn’t intended.

 In the real world we have children to try to fill that need. They have us so they have to love us, right? We all know in truth, that’s the wrong reason to have a child. After all, a lot of us have horror stories about growing up with parents who really didn’t want kids. To this day, my own mother claims I owe her tons of money for “raising me”.  However, her failures helped shape who I am today. And while I dream wildly of paranormal relationships I don’t have, I know what to do whenever I find one.

This is the building block of the dynamic relationship, the desire to rise above the forced family and create one of true support and love. Romantic love or otherwise, relationships are the key to any good writing since most of us read to escape our own problems for a few hours.

What does that have to do with paranormal writing, you ask? The best fiction isn’t about one or two characters. It’s about a cast of them. The supporting actors and actresses, who shape the main characters, nudge them in the right direction, and lecture them on bad decisions are just as important as your hero and villain. Paranormal relationships are the core of good writing, and the key to keeping a series alive. Would my protagonist, Seiran be his growing self without Jamie following him around and trying to protect him? Or Gabe’s quiet but unshakeable love? Of course not.

Any genre would be lost without the paranormal relationship dynamic. Would Harry Potter be anything without Ron Weasley or Hermoine Granger? Bella without Jacob?  Frodo without Samwise?

So how do you create that dynamic relationship? The answer is simple of course. And no it’s not to add more characters. It’s to make the ones you do have more personal. How to do that? Well all your characters should have flaws and strengths, something that is helped by knowing the other character. For example, Jamie’s biggest flaw is that he needs to take care of someone. Seiran is insecure and really needy, so he fills this role for Jamie. Gabe’s biggest flaw is that he likes to be in control. Seiran fulfills this by letting Gabe control most everything.  All of the characters should pyramid each other with flaws, a bit like a puzzle.

So while I don’t have a big brother who is willing to put up with my crap, and my sisters and I could live on different moons and still never talk, I do write my characters to have that paranormal relationship. I build my from the inside out, flaw to strength, until the network is complete. So what is your favorite paranormal relationship dynamic?

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