The relationship (or lack thereof) a person has with another person, whether it be familial, professional or romantic, has a great and lasting impact on one’s life – on their overall opinions of themselves, of others and how they view the world around them. These relationships can be staggeringly straightforward, deliberately complex, or something in between, constructive or destructive, or ambiguous. In writing, as in real life, how a person relates, interacts and reacts to others is an essential component in a person’s motives, motivations and perspectives.
In a quasi-continuation of a blog posted a fortnight ago, in creating realistic, well-rounded characters, how the characters interact with one another is a starting point in figuring out who they are, and why they are the way they are. There is nearly an infinite number of possibilities a writer can create characters’ relationships, and intricate layers they can assume – combinations that not only shape the characters but also the story in which they reside. As my current writing project [the MASC Chronicles] spans several centuries [in the late 19th Century, the early 20th Century, and in the mid 21st Century], there is the added challenge of figuring out how the relationships change and impact future generations.
Thankfully (maybe?) the world in which the MASC Chronicles is an alternate universe from ours (a Steampunk-influenced one), the historical and social aspects that exist within the aforementioned time periods need not adhere to how it was/is/will be in “real life”. That is one of the joys of writing fiction – the freedom to tweak historical and social norms to conform to the universe in which the narrative resides. It’s almost like working with a blank canvas on which a writer (or artist) can create a brand new (almost) world.
As it stands now (and given how quasi-random ideas regularly pop into my head, this can all change), there are several layers of complexity in the relationships of my main characters (or at least of the ones I’m focusing on at the moment) – some of which is evident, while some aspects are covert, with hints dropped here and there. Thus far the characters and their interactions, impressions and influences on one another is a great work in progress, and it might even surprise me what kind of story they will have to tell.