Thursday, January 16, 2014

Writing 101: The Love-Hate Relationship

Sam and Diane. Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. And my personal favorite, Scarlett and Rhett. The love-hate relationship is a strong literary device...and incredibly difficult for writers to pull off. 


Opposites Attract

Some say that hate is the other side of love, and the two are closely linked. Many married people will tell you that's the truth. If you haven't really hated someone, maybe you haven't really loved them. So it's only natural to depict love-hate relationships in fiction. When it's done well, it can be very engaging and moving. Done badly, and it's just unbelievably annoying. 



There are many types of the love-hate relationships, because the dynamics between two people can be amazingly complex. Some people mistake hate for love. Such was the case in The Shop Around the Corner, an old Jimmy Stewart flick I love (later remade as You've Got Mail). Some use hate to mask their love. Some truly feel hate that's all mixed in with love, and that makes things complex indeed. Sometimes hate turns into love, and this generally makes for a better story than ones in which love turns to hate -- though this, too, happens.

The love-hate relationship is challenging to experience and it's challenging to write. Make it easy on yourself by truly getting to know your characters. Think about their characteristics and their motivations. Make sure that you know, at all times, what they're feeling -- even if they don't know it. Give them a reason for doing what they're doing, or saying what they're saying. Even if you're the only one who knows the reason, at least they've got one. This makes for more believable characters, and this makes your story much better.

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6 comments:

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  5. This was lovely. Thank you :).

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  6. This was lovely. Thank you :).

    ReplyDelete