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How to convey friendship, not romance.

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Old October 21st, 2012, 1:29 am
asdfasdf17  Undisclosed.gif asdfasdf17 is offline
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Re: How to convey friendship, not romance.

Originally Posted by jojoroony View Post
In my current project, I want to convey that this boy and girl are JUST FRIENDS, without drawing attention to it, kind of like the Harry/Hermione thing: they just WEREN'T. How do you interject feelings of friendliness without the reader feeling romance? The thing is, I actually do plan on shipping these characters, but not for a long, LONG time. This could get complicated....
Well Harry and Hermione are shown to be friends because they feel pretty comfortable about each others love lives (for ex. Harry feels a spark of jealousy when he sees Ginny and Dean together but when he sees Hermione and Krum he doesn't feel that). Also, its important how you describe them viewing each other. For ex. lets say the book is from the girl's POV. If she were to describe her guy friend's appearance she could be like "his brown hair flopped all over his head" which is very different from if she liked him and said "he had dark, silky hair". Also, when people are really into each other, they easily overlook the others flaws or shortcomings. If you want to convey friendship, it might be a good idea for the girl to point out unattractive qualities of the guy (for ex. maybe he burps a lot at the lunch table and she finds that gross).

Since you want their friendship to blossom into a romance, just give each of the characters a quality that is completed by the other character. For ex. maybe the boy has a hot temper and the girl is really good at calming people down. Also give them something to bond over. Maybe the girl lost her father a few years back, and the guy loses his dad in the duration of the story, so they'll have that to bond over. Also, give them a foil (in literary terms). If you don't what what that is, it's basically a character who brings out the qualities of another character by being different from them. (I'm not good at definitions, so maybe a dictionary would be better?) For ex. the girl gets hurt really badly and the boy shows genuine concern over the girl getting hurt. And than another dude comes along (possibly a guy the girl is crushing on?) who thinks she's a wuss for making such a big deal over the injury. Suddenly, her guy-friend seems a whole lot nicer compared to this other dude so it might spark an attraction to her guy-friend. Finally, just have the characters depict qualities that they find attractive. For ex. the girl could be attracted to athletic swimmers b/c she doesn't know how to swim and she thinks its cool that they're so good at it. And let's say the guy friend is scared of swimming, which is why she's not initially attracted to him. But than she falls in a pool and is drowning and her guy friend saves her life and they fall in love.

Okay so I'm not good at giving examples but maybe that helped.

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Old October 21st, 2012, 2:52 am
Goddess_Clio  Female.gif Goddess_Clio is offline
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Re: How to convey friendship, not romance.

Originally Posted by Tiberius View Post
It's all about body language. Don't say that a character was falling in love with another character. Say that the character did things, like a flick of the hair, or noticed things about the other character that imply there's a deeper attraction. You have to be very careful though, because it would be very easy to go overboard and make it too obvious.
When they're in the "friend zone," I'd have them not noticing flicks of the hair or the particular color of their eyes or cut of their clothing or anything. Focusing on those little details implies to me as a reader that the person noticing such details is spending an awful lot of time staring at their just-friend. When things become more romantic I'd have them begin noticing things, as Harry remembers that Ginny doesn't hang out with him, Ron and Hermione at school like she does at the Burrow (he's noticing her absences, something he's never done before), or remembering the smell of her perfume (which he's never noticed before), or feeling that pang of jealously when he sees her kissing Dean which wouldn't happen unless he had romantic feelings for her.

The revelation of love is as important, IMO, as the preamble when you're drilling it in to the reader's brain that they're just friends.

Originally Posted by Seeker07 View Post
There's this scene in my book where Maggie (the main character) is being followed by theses drunk dudes, and a guy from her school (tristan) comes to the rescue in his car. Tristan and Maggie are sort of friends. And Maggie isn't looking for a relationship, but I don't really know how to say that, she just wants to become better friends with him and nothing more.
You could do this by having your main character talking to a girlfriend and have the girlfriend say something like "Tristan is so cute! Are you going to go out with him now?" and your main character replied, "No, it's not like that. He's alright but he's no [insert previously mentioned dream hunk of the story or your main character's current crush]" to show that her interest in Tristan isn't romantic.

Originally Posted by HersheyLipGloss View Post
I think, mainly just avoid sudden revelations that one realizes about the other.Such as, "I never knew (girl's) eyes were so blue. They are like a stormy sea, but on her, they are beautiful." or "I just grabbed his hand, like I've done so many times before. This time, it was different. I felt a little shock, and it almost made me flinch." See? That's dripping with emotion. You might try, "I looked into her eyes, and saw that stormy blue that I was so familiar with stare back at me. I found comfort in that, and knew things would never change between us." and " I grabbed his hand, like I always did when I was scared. I felt the hard rough calluses under his fingers, and the smooth soft skin of his palm. I felt that, and they reminded me that even with the world falling down, we will never change, and he will always be my best friend."
Where friends are concerned I would leave out descriptions such as "particular shade of stormy blue" or whatever. People don't often ponder the exact shade of their friends' eyes. I couldn't even tell you for sure what color my best friend's eyes are and she's been my best friend for.... 9 years. Eyes, to me, are a no-go zone as far as friendship goes, it implies too much dreamy gazing at each other, too much studying of minute details.

After all, where Harry is concerned, we have a zillion more descriptions of Hermione's unflattering attributes than we have of her flattering ones. We constantly hear about her frizzy hair and her buck teeth, her bossy nature, etc. But where Cho or Ginny are concerned we get comments about how pretty they are, how nicely they smell, the descriptions suddenly get more sensory and are less purely visual and purely things that anyone could spot from five to ten feet away (frizzy hair, buck teeth, etc.)

Maybe that's a good way to think of it: descriptions of ones friends tend to be of things that are easily visible or easily described from five to ten feet away whereas descriptions of a romantic interest are much more intimate and more sensory. Just a thought.

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friendship, harry/hermione, just friends, romance

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