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Relationships in a story are a complicated thing. You want to have enough supporting characters to give the story depth, but where is the line of having too much? At Writer’s Helping Writers, the wonderful K.M. Weiland helps you work your story relationships out.
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Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 57: Dead-End Relationships
Once upon a time there were two characters. They got along very well, cared for each other very much, always had good advice for one another, and always, always, always had each other’s back. The End.
Oh yeah, and even though it’s hardly worth mentioning, there was also this subplot character, who once betrayed one of the main characters, even though he loved her and even though he only did it because his conscience demanded he do it.
Main Character #1 (who we’ll say is a tough young woman orphaned in wartime) just happens to be haunted by this minor subplot character, thinks about him all book long, and is constantly talking about him to Main Character #2 (who we’ll say is a crusty old military buddy of her dad’s who has stepped in as a beloved father figure).
But… this is a subplot character, remember? So mostly that’s all they do: talk about him. What’s really important is this nice little relationship between tough orphan girl and her loving mentor.
Or is it?