Yes, I know I’ve done this kind of post before, but the relationship between Clyde and Mab is a central part of the story. War of Nytefall: Ravenous will see a really big twist in this relationship. There will be a brutal test for them to get through and it’s going to get messy. Let’s be honest, folks. People enjoy romances more when they aren’t clean and unchallenged. It’s the perfect spot for drama.
Now, I can’t go into details because the book needs every bit of curiosity I can build to get some sales. In Eradication, Clyde and Mab suffered a really big blow. They’re still kind of standing, but it’s definitely awkward. Strained is another way to look at it. This creates a dangerous situation because of Clyde’s condition. He can be very monstrous and violent when his temper is unleashed, which puts his humanity at risk. It’s his mortal-like relationships that keep him grounded with the biggest one being Mab. Even if they are only partners and not lovers, he depends a lot on her emotional and physical support. I know some might consider her a crutch, but she has something similar. While not to Clyde’s extreme, Mab being with him helps give her a sense of belonging. Otherwise, she would be a lone thief wandering around without any real connections. Not a good thing for Dawn Fangs who can have emotional surges.
So, why do I like messing with these two? Well, have you met me? I did the same think to Luke Callindor and Kira Grasdon in Legends of Windemere. It’s actually rare that I leave a relationship untouched. Xavier Tempest and Nadia Sylvan might end up being the exception. Putting relationships to the test help to make the reader believe that they are real and effort is being put in to maintain them. If the characters become a couple and never have a challenge to that status then it doesn’t hold much weight. Not unless that’s the end of the story. Emotional drama and anguish stemming from relationship turmoil is very juicy because many people can relate to it. Might not be to the same extent as the characters, but we all know a little about heartbreak.
An added challenge with Clyde and Mab is that I’ve trying to write a love story arc with a broken heart. Yes, I’m noting the divorce again. My blog and I can admit when it’s been a factor. It makes it difficult to write romantic scenes, especially here. This is the only relationship I had planned that was based around my own marriage, which one would think should result in me crashing it into the ground. Yet, I can’t really take it out on the characters because their strong relationship is needed to keep the story going to the final volume. That has resulted in me being a little more brutal to the characters. It’s developed into something rather different than me being mean though. I’ve turned it into a story where these characters will go through utter, mind-crumbling, heart-crushing hell and stay together. I’m fine with this spoiler. Mostly because I think this can give readers hope that you can make it through rough patches as long as you have the following in a relationship:
There might be more to add onto the list, but I’m going for myself. You can even maintain one without all of those as long as you have some stability. Those are what I see behind the Clyde and Mab relationship when I step back to write them. It’s going to be something I try for in future stories where romance is going to happen. As far as War of Nytefall goes, this is at the core of the connections. I’d say this goes for Xavier and Nadia as well, but their relationship has enough of the first category that faltering in the others doesn’t make a dent. Seriously, those two are blissfully enamored with each other, so it’s like an eternal honeymoon stage. Funny how they’re also on the villain side of things.
So, what aspects of a relationship do you look for in a fictional relationship? Do you enjoy them simply to see them fall apart? Do you hate them entirely and wish romance would stay in its own lane? (Pretty sure I’ll get more answers to that last one.)
I don’t have a lot to offer for a romantic thread. I’m bound and determined to write a couple in the next few years, but I’m stumbling blind into them and relying upon critique partners.
It’s deceptively difficult. I just write it working off character personalities. Not every romance is the same. It’s more about how they interact and how much they open up and trust the other. At least in my mind.
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Makes sense. The only thing I know is to keep them apart and keep teasing that sizzle. Won’t work for an established pair.
That’s only for the start in my opinion. You have to give an answer at some point. Then there’s the challenge of keeping a romance going.
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I love relationships in books, especially those with good conflicts. As Lysander said in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, “The course of true love never did run smooth.” The only thing that gets me to rolling my eyes is the fact that some authors consider a love triangle a necessary trope, particularly in young adult fiction where they seem very overused. I am not saying I am against love triangles. I’m writing one right now. But I tend to stop reading if a third person is thrown in “just because.”
Love triangles are very common. I tried one and it didn’t work out very well. A big issue is that most are done with audiences already knowing who the real couple will be in the end. Not much suspense there.
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So true! Sometimes I wonder if the third person is added for fans to ship certain pairings. “I’m Team Peeta.” “I’m Team Gayle.” “I ❤️ Jacob and Bella.”
I think so. It’s to give the illusion of drama. Shipping does seem to make for good promotional material.
I think relationship is a good ingredient in books. That’s something we can relate, especially in conflict and resolution. Your list is good!
Good point. Most people can relate to relationship issues. It’s almost like a universal connection.
Yes, we can have that in any genre.
I think it is interesting to mess with character relationships. Makes the story so much more entertaining. Super post, Charles.
Thanks. It is fun to mess with it. Though it’s risky. Some people don’t like that kind of disturbance.
I think you’re right to have honesty on your list. A couple can be one of the underpinnings of a series, but the writer can’t take that for granted. Or the characters, either. So if something huge happens to one of the couple, you can’t blithely have the other partner just stand by them if that change is something they are previously established to hate.
That’s a tough one. I think it’s difficult to simply have the one walk away. There should be a conflict between hate and love there. Otherwise, one would question if the love was true to begin with.