Posted by: Schuyler R. Thorpe | October 8, 2013

The Anatomy of A Relationship


There’s this problem I had been facing for the past 12 years now since I started embarking on romantic relationships: How was I going to do them?

With my Vampiress Hunter novel (in the beginning), I had no idea on how I was going to deliver that “spark” which would be the backdrop to a really well written novel. See, I’ve never had that much literary experience in writing such things. The core of my writings had typically centered around the action of that said novel, rather than the relationship.

So bringing two people together, to form a bond was something entirely new for me. And when you’re throwing in romance in any given novel, things tend to get very complicated and dicey. For one thing, I didn’t have a singular clue if this was going to have a holy chance in hell of working out–either between myself or my characters.

Because relationships tend to change very quickly from one moment to the next. Nothing is ever permanent and nor is it ever perfect. (I could never stomach those cheesy romance novels my wife reads because it’s just so…ridiculous! There’s no spark, there’s no nothing in these books because everything is so faked and forced. There’s no chemistry either.)

So developing a relationship between two people–even if they are fictional–is a complicated and oftentimes torrid affair. Emotions tend to run high in them, and so does the drama and tension. (As indicative in my Codename: Velocity novel.)

But it was something that I couldn’t avoid, or put off much longer. Sooner or later, i was going to have start dealing with these problems and deal with them to the best of my ability. Because as writers, we tend to forget about the minutia and focus primarily on the prevailing factors which often times overlaps our own lives.

Relationships are often built on the principles of trust because that’s where everything begins. It’s not the love and the companionship which some people believe is a primer, but it’s mostly trust. Without that, you can’t build on a relationship–no matter what your intentions are; fictional or otherwise.

More often than not, this is a key ingredient in making a workable relationship last in your fictional world–because the key components are already there. But even so, I’ve seen so many writers (especially those on Watt Pad) try and perfect their relationship so that the question of trust is no longer a driving force in the story or novel, but rather a primal need–something goes beyond common sense and logic.

Romance novels are saturated with such examples. There’s just no logic or understanding as to why these writers feel compelled to write such trash when we know that what’s being penned in will never work in the real world in the first place–not even what’s in Fifty Shades of Grey would fly. (Which just made things worse by comparison.)

But really well written fictional novels often show us what an actual relationship entails–even if it is just make believe. These writers who spend their waking hours honing their skills and their abilities to bring us an entertaining tome often teaches us something about ourselves and how we view relationships in general.

In my Codename: Velocity novel, I wanted to give my target audience something new and different to chew on. Instead of focusing on one relationship, I decided to challenge myself and try for two at the same time. How would my main character handle that?

At this point, I had gotten pretty proficient in dealing with and establishing key relationships within the pages of my own novels. So I’m something of an expert on that subject because I know what goes in and what works. (As opposed to what doesn’t and so on and so forth.)

So here’s Velocity, a sixteen-year-old teenage girl who is genetically engineered to fight the Hoard. She’s just come out of her shell after six long years and has spent the last year trying to find herself again. I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice to say, the road back for her has been pretty challenging and rocky–especially since she’s lost a core part of herself in the process.

At this point in time, Velocity is very drawn to her Controller–whom happens to be something like her father and teacher. So she has this giant crush on him and desperately wants to have a relationship with him. And before everyone starts screaming obscenities at me, this is something that I had given a lot of thought about.

In order for Velocity to grow and mature on her own, she has to have something solid in her life that will function as her conscience and as her guide. So Jaen was elected to fill that role. And yes, while he’s twice her age (give or take a few years), Jaen isn’t the type of guy who jumps into a situation or relationship without a full understanding of what’s going on.

As such, the man has erred on the side of caution. He’s open to the idea of forming a permanent bond with his young charge, but at this point (in the book), he’s not committed to it–and that decision has been driving Velocity nuts. Even when push comes to shove–at times–Jaen is still resolute in his decision: He’s not going to rush things.

So while this whole exercise may sound self-defeating, the core tenants of their relationship is still very much in place. Nothing has been threatened or destroyed. And to make things even more challenging, her companion and partner in this whole affair has revealed to Velocity how much she loves her and how attracted she’s been towards her all these years.

This second part of this relationship factor only serves to complicate Velocity’s life just a little bit more, because now she has to deal with a very determined very precocious teenaged girl who is almost the same age as she is (by six months) who sees her as something more than just her regular partner and companion in everything they’ve been doing.

The interesting thing about this new “relationship” of theirs is that it’s giving Velocity the one thing that she wants above all else–when she’s failed to secure it from her Controller: Love and affection.

In this instance, the two girls’ relationship–at times–is very primal and intimate, but passionate too. Very passionate.

Since it’s my first lesbian experience as a writer, I wanted to focus on the emotions and feelings of the moment rather than just the acts themselves. After fifteen or so total chapters (a few more are being planned for the end of the first novel), I must say that I did far better than expected.

Nothing was taken out of context, everything played out just the way it should’ve and it really connected with both myself and my target audience in general.

And such a change has given Velocity a bit more stability in the long run. Because for a time, I wasn’t sure if she was going to make it as a character–let alone a person. She had a lot of complex issues to deal with, but the two things she had going for her was the fact that both Jaen and Mari were by her side the entire time, and two they would never give up on her or abandon her when she needed help the most.

So these things gave her the strength and courage to see herself through the worst challenges of her life. As well as her own personal tribulations.

A plus in my book.

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