The best friend

Forums Fiction Characters The best friend

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    Lynn Renard

    Hey, friends! You know the best friend archetype that is just there for the protagonist no matter what because “Power of Friendship”? My MC deliberately picked out one of these, and they’re not without their relational conflict, but the best friend (Riniya) has started to feel two-dimensional to me. She has a naturally positive personality, a quick temper, and a loud mouth, but not really any dark side that I can see.

    Basically, what you see is what you get, with her – and that’s why my MC deliberately courted her friendship. But… Is that enough?

    For reference, my MC is a very positive person – she oozes optimism and kindness and a zest for life and light. But this mentality and behavior is very deliberate. She made a conscious choice to be this kind of person because (can you keep a secret?) a misuse of her magic a few years ago led to her torturing and murdering someone. And my MC’s love interest is the epitome of a gentleman – he’s polite and respectful and projects confidence and capability. But he’s not without his dark side, either, as he feels completely cut off from the rest of the world that a solid friendship through his teen years would have rectified. He’s been raised to be “stronger than that,” but he just feels alone.

    Riniya, on the other hand… I don’t see a “but” with her. Any advice?

    Lady Authoress: INFx.

    Daeus Lamb

    @missfaeriekaiti Hmm. Does Riniya change over the course of the story? What do you love most about her? What do you love least about her?

    👖 🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢

    Lynn Renard

    @daeus-lamb I think she does change, yes. She definitely has an arc or two, maybe even three. Does it make a difference if my MC set all three of these in motion?

    What I love most about her… Her frankness, maybe. She can say stuff to my MC that no other character reasonably would, and that helps dig into topics that my MC just accepts as natural. Riniya provides a friendly opposing view that helps my MC and me and potentially readers remember that the way my MC views the world isn’t the only way to view it.

    What I love least about her… She can lack sensitivity. She’ll make jokes that make my MC uncomfortable – not because the jokes are crude, but just because of the stuff my MC has gone through. And Riniya, like most other people in their world, views a certain group of individuals as less-than-human, even after she corners my MC into telling her about the aforementioned mistake with magic.

    I think this helped, Daeus, thanks!

    Lady Authoress: INFx.

    Rachel Rogers

    @missfaeriekaiti What if you have your best friend says something so insensitive, even if (or especially if) it’s honest, that it causes a rift between her and the MC? Maybe the reason she’s feeling two-dimensional is because your MC wants to have her as a friend, but there’s no “in spite of” factoring into the choice. I think in real life, we love our friends because they’re fabulous, but there’s generally an “I love him or her even though they do X, Y, or Z” that keeps it real…and keeps it a choice, and not just a situation where *of course* we want to be friends because they’re literally perfect. This may be just me, or maybe it’s a reflection of how Christ loves us, but I’m a huge sucker for “I love you even though ____…”

    If your two characters have to overcome a reason to *not* be friends, it has the potential to round out the characters via their reactions to the situation, and it could also add depth to the relationship itself.

    Hope that helps get some creative juices flowing, at least! 🙂

    Ambiverted INFP. Scribbles all the words. Names the plant friends. Secretly Edna the Piguirrel.


    Hey! Cool character name. Don’t think I’ve heard that one.

    A couple of notes off the top of my head–a quick temper and a loud mouth are very easy traits to associate with someone–that is to say, they’re realistic qualities. To me, though, those are things that the people who possess them need to know about it so they can watch for when they’re doing it. Does that make sense? Those are fixable qualities.

    But if you know you have a flaw like that, and you know it could be prevented, but you don’t do anything to do it, well, that shows a lack of respect for the others around you, and it’s kinda rude, in my opinion, and could definitely present the “dark side” that you were looking for.

    Don’t know if that’s what you were hoping to get, but I just wanted to point that out.

    INTP. Writer of fantasy and sci-fi. Wannabe artist. Anime geek. Merakian.

    Lynn Renard

    Thank you for your thoughts, Scribbles and Elizabeth! I’ll definitely look for ways to test Riniya’s actions and reactions with them.

    Lady Authoress: INFx.

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