Friday, February 22, 2013

5 Keys Ways to Add Depth to Your Fictional Relationships

Jordan Dane

In Indigo Awakening (Book #1 in my “The Hunted” series for Harlequin Teen)—there is a love triangle that is layers deep. I’m a sucker for love triangles, but I wanted the one in Indigo Awakening to be a little more than a girl’s attraction to two very different boys. At the apex of this triangle is a very strong girl, Kendra Walker, the leader of an underground movement of Indigo children and feelings run high when beliefs and ideologies are tested.
Lucas Darby is psychic and becomes mentally linked to a girl he hears in his head after he escapes from a mental hospital. Kendra thinks she has made contact with another lost Indigo, but after she realizes that Lucas is a powerful Crystal child, she sees the future she always dreamed would be possible. And for Lucas to connect with the “hive mind” for the first time, the link is intoxicating and seductive. Kendra is older than Lucas, but for him their connection is as intimate as making love for the first time. It changes everything for both of them. Since Lucas is evolving into a Crystal child, the next evolution of mankind, Kendra is motivated to be with him so she can be a part of a new, more powerful movement. She is a modern day Joan of Arc on a mission to save the Indigos, but someone else is her rock when it comes to protecting her Indigo children.
Another boy, Rafael Santana, has helped Kendra build a safe underground oasis for the homeless Indigos. Rafe has feelings for Kendra that he’s never shared with her, but he’s also driven to protect Benny, a 10-year old boy he loves like a little brother. This conflict will drive how he reacts when Kendra’s Indigo revolution threatens the home he wants for Benny. After she focuses her attention on Lucas, Rafe becomes jealous, but in his quiet way he deals with it until the conflict between the Indigos and the Believers blows up, the fanatical church zealots who hunt Indigo kids to stop the next evolution of man. Rafael’s love for Benny collides with his loyalty for Kendra and changes everything.
Kendra must choose how far she is willing to go to save her Indigo family—the one she has and the one she’s dreamed about. Lucas, the powerful Crystal child, represents the future she had always hoped for, but Rafael is the heart and soul of the past she started with him—the boy who made her dream possible.
Key steps to adding depth to your fictional relationships:
1.) Give a strong character vulnerabilities that conflict with what they might want and force them to choose. There are consequences to actions. Someone’s gotta lose, even in love.

2.) Give them choices that test their emotions. Their choices shouldn’t be easy. For example, make them choose between their personal happiness or the greater good. This is classic and always relatable.

3.) Pair them with opposite types of characters to enhance the conflict potential. Opposites attract for a reason. Fireworks, baby.

4.) Create internal conflicts or flaws that make them struggle with their external goals and the goals of the character(s) you’ve paired them with. Conflict is key to any great story. But add depth to your character by layering the conflict inside them first.

5.) Give them a noble cause that is a roadblock to their personal happiness. What would they do? Not every character would make the same decision.

Discussion Questions:

1.) What would you add to this list?

2.) What are some of your favorite literary or film love triangles? Please share your thoughts on why they resonated with you.

"Dane's first offering in her new series, The Hunted, is sensational. Indigo Awakening has strong characters and a wild and intense story, matched only by the emotions it will generate within you. Readers will love this book and eagerly await the next adventure. Fantastic! A keeper."
4.5 Stars (out of 5)
—Romantic Times Book Review Magazine


Amanda Stevens said...

I once told my writer son that I wanted a threesome in my YA. He said, "Mom, I think you mean love triangle. That's very different." Doh! I knew that.

Jordan Dane said...

D'oh! *red face*

Your son probably still talks about that, just not with YOU.

Jordan Dane said...

A thriller author guy shared his most mortifying experience as a writer-- when his mom called him to correct the love scene he wrote in his pubbed book.


Amanda Stevens said...