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Write Your Novel
Step by Step

By Melanie Anne Phillips
Creator of StoryWeaver

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~ Step 106 ~

Emotional Relationship Growth – Act Two

Perhaps the most complex relationships among characters are the emotional ones because they can grow to any degree in any direction AND because both characters don't have to feel the same way about each other!

For example, how many stories are written about "unrequited love" where one character is infatuated with the other, but the other is repulsed by them.  Another example is the younger brother who tags along with the older brother.  To the younger, the older brother is his hero.  To the older, the younger brother is a pest.

Now, suppose the younger brother is attacked by a bully.  The older brother may come to the rescue and defend his tag-along.  But the moment the threat is gone and the younger brother looks up at his protector with glowing eyes, the older brother say, "Okay, get out of here and leave me alone."  Emotional relationships change with the slightest breeze and change back with the least provocation.  

Consider the emotional relationships you have already determined you wish to explore, and the manner in which you devised to reveal them to your reader/audience in the Exposition Stage.  Now, consider your plot and changes in situational relationships.  Consider the emotional journey of your characters as individuals.  Then, describe how each emotional relationship might shift, change, and grow for each of the characters in each emotional relationship.

It is a fair amount of work, but you will find that this development more than any other will enrich your characters and the passionate experience of your story.

This step’s task: describe how your characters grow in their Emotional relationships in act two.