The Botanist by AUTHOR
Age Group: Adult
Release Date: March 31, 2015
Amazon ♥ B & N
In the heat of the desert, Detective Cody Oliver inadvertently stumbles upon a strange garden adorned with exotic flowers.
Upon closer inspection, he finds the garden is but a cover for the scores of bodies buried below. Soon, the small town of Mt. Dessicate plunges into chaos as journalists, reporters, and cameramen from across the nation descend upon the tiny, desert town to get a piece of the action.
Along with the media, a mysterious woman appears. She may be the only person who has come face to face with the killer, dubbed the Botanist, and lived to tell the tale.
If Cody can't piece together a timeline of the land the crime scene is located on, decipher how the woman's mysterious past is connected to the killer, and bring the Botanist to justice, he may lose the people he values most.
Creating Believable Character Relationships
As writers, we often talk about creating believable characters, but creating believable character relationships is a whole new level of difficult.
You have to start by creating two (or more) believable characters, which means they need to be flawed, human, well-rounded, and captivating. That’s a whole other discussion, but once this is done, you have to get your characters to interact in a way that’s not only believable, but also compelling to your readers.
The short answer is that the relationships have to be gripping, real, and believable. But how do you go about making them so?
There are three things that allow characters to interact believably. If all of these elements are present, your character relationships will be nearly flawless. (There are many kinds of character relationships: romantic and platonic, friend and enemy, strangers and familial. I’ll try to apply to all types.)
1) Have them connect over something visceral. Already, you should have a compelling plot in your story, which includes a compelling conflict. If the characters are going to be friendly, have them connect positively on something that’s major. If they’re enemies, they can be on opposite sides of the conflict.
For The Botanist, Alex and Cody connect over the fact that they are both involved in the search for a heinous serial killer, and have mutual interest in seeming the killer caught.
2) Add in some tension. Two characters can be the best of friends, but even best friends are at odds sometimes. Add in just a little bit of disagreement (or a lot) to make the relationship seem more human.
In The Botanist, Alex and Cody met once before, and didn’t get along very well the first time. Chagrin and embarrassment over that first meeting puts tension in their relationship.
3) Bring the 5 senses into it. This is more in the writing than in the plot. It’s especially effective if the relationship is romantic, but it can be easily used in platonic relationships as well. If two characters are friends, perhaps the sights or smells of them (hopefully good smells) are comforting. If they are enemies, perhaps those same sights and smells evoke dread. And of course other senses can also be used to make the interactions between characters seem more real.
So there you have it! Those are my three ways of making character relationships believable. Go pick up your favorite book and look for elements of them in the interactions between your favorite characters. Bet you find all three! Happy reading!
L.K. Hill is a novelist who writes across three genres. Her crime and historical fiction are written under her initials, L.K., while her scifi/fantasy and dystopian are written under her full name, Liesel K. Hill.
She lives in northern Utah and comes from a large, tight-knit family. She plans to keep writing until they nail her coffin shut. Or the Second Coming happens. You know, whichever happens first. ;D