Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Themes: Unusual Relationships

So, this is less about writing skills because it's not about what makes a good story, but does deal with things I like to use in stories.  I'm fairly sure this started with the same sort of juvenile "cool lesbians" thoughts a lot of guys end up having at some point in their lives.  That said, I've always liked stories and, as said in my bit on candy and distractions earlier this week, just randomly adding in sex scenes usually results in me losing interest in a story as it becomes repetitive.  I am much more interested in emotions and interplay of the characters involved than merely the physical expression of the emotions.  That said, I've found that I like doing what some people would consider weird things with relationships.

Cross-racial relationships (or cross-species in some of my settings) is not so unusual these days, but that is certainly something I do a lot of.  Half-human hybrids are pretty common in fiction as far back as the Greek myths.  In real life, inter-racial marriage is a lot more common these days.  So, while I like matching people of different races, this isn't quite non-traditional anymore.

However let's look at some of the relationship situations that'll be showing up in some of my novels.  To preserve spoilers I'm not naming which series or character but I'm sure some people can figure it out.


a bisexual woman who tends to fall in love with people not attracted to women

two straight females psychically bonded and in love with the same guy

a straight woman and a lesbian in what amounts to non-sexual life-partnership

a lesbian couple...probably the most normal of the set

A lot of this came up because of me wondering "what would that relationship be like"?

The first arrangement is born out of that particular character's hangups with trust and intimacy.  It's more an expression of how damaged she at least starts out as that she tends to really fall for people which she has no possibility of ending up in bed with.  Though, initially, the matter will be treated rather lightly to make it seem more of a running joke rather than a symptom of her personality issues.

The second arrangement came out of an earlier version of the story where a number of fans of the story repeatedly asked for X guy character to end up with both Y and Z girls.  This is a rather common situation in fanfic and other such things and another situation that goes with the "jackpot" scenario (to use a Dodgeball reference) is the idea that the girls are also sexually attracted to each other.  So having two girls that intimately care for each other and the same guy but reacting to implications that they're intimate with shock and dismay appeals to me as a joke at the community and myself while also being an interesting situation to deal with.  Though I'm certain that if I'm successful, that there'll be a number of fanfics and fan art that ignores my version.

In the third arrangement, I kind of like the idea of two women that everyone else sees as acting like an intimate married couple while the two involved have no idea everybody else thinks that way about them.  Add in the "are they or aren't they" because of the sexuality of the one and you have some meat for some excellent humor.  And it also lets me explore the idea that true intimacy and true love doesn't necessarily have a sexual aspect.  The fact that one of them is a lesbian lets me add a bit of a test to that relationship.

The last relationship also has more going on with one of the individuals being very mentally unstable and the other having to grow up to take care of them.  But that interaction can happen in any sort of relationship where one or another of the two has severe mental issues and has less to do with their sexuality.

In all these cases, one thing I like about the non-traditional relationships is that they do make people stop and think.  Simply setting up one of these weird relationships breaks the common mold and will make the reader focus more on the interplay for one reason or another.  Simply for the fact that it is unusual.

And it has to be unusual.

If every relationship is non-traditional, it loses its impact.  The majority of real world relationships are one man and one woman and, unless you're telling a story about a community of people that are non-traditional, so will most of the relationships in your story.  And I tend to find that it is better to string out the development of these relationships over time rather than *BANG* there it is.

For the most part anyway.

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