Today is mother’s day, which is the perfect opportunity to write about love and relationship in your writing. Too often, we think of love and relationships in books as being solely represented by romantic love. But love takes many, many forms, and exploring all the loving relationships in the lives of your characters can add significantly to their depth.
A while back, I wrote a post about how to write good love scenes, but in it I fail to mention that love scenes don’t necessarily have to be about lovers. They can be about friends, sisters, brothers, cousins, mothers, fathers and their children. In fact, most characters, like most humans, will have deep and loving relationships with much more than just one person, because love doesn’t have to be romantic, and love scenes don’t have to be about lovers coming together.
One of my favorite books, Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club, does this fantastically well; the book is all about mothers and daughters, and the complicated relationships which bind them together. There are several poignant love scenes in that book, and they’re all between family members.
Even if your book is about romantic love, and I would say, especially if your book is about romantic love, showcasing relationships which are important to your main characters while being about a different kind of love are a very good way of revealing emotion and personality. Having characters fall in love with each other means letting them get emotionally naked with one another, and getting to know who the other truly is, and there’s nothing like interacting with someone you love deeply to truly reveal who you are to someone.
So explore the friendships and family relationships which are significant to your main characters. Include those people in the story, and let your main characters interact with them. Let those relationships show who they truly are, to the reader, and to their love interest.