The Importance of Friendships in Literature

Holmes had Watson. Crusoe had Friday. Don Quixote had Sancho Panza.  Laurel had Hardy.

In fiction, establishing viable relationships between characters is crucial. This requires establishing well-defined roles for each character.  A story would be pretty drab with just the protagonist and antagonist battling wits. Enter the secondary characters–the pals, the co-conspirators, the foils and the dweebs.

Herein lies yet another stumbling block for the elusive Book #4 I hope to someday write!

My characters—the 2-legged, naked ape ones anyway–refuse to fall into their required roles.

The lovable albeit chameleon-like Main Character originally was going to radiate eccentricity. But then she brought friends with her. They, too, insisted on being eccentric in their own ways ( my editor assured me having more than one eccentric a story was fine as long as their eccentricities weren’t similar. The story would lose pizazz if multiple characters wore matching crocheted sweaters and hats in the summertime, after all).

I’m all for eccentricity. I Peni-fy things every chance I get. But it takes real effort to be patient with these annoying characters who refuse to behave.

The goal is to weave strong, believable relationships between the characters, and likewise between the protagonist(s) and antagonist(s).  My concern is, these wonderful characters of mine will never populate Book #4.

But I haven’t given up. I just need inspiration.

Meanwhile, I’ll continue to blog and hope my characters eventually decide where they want to go in relationship to each other.

Laurel & Hardy - publicity shot (1) Shorts