I’ve noticed my room mate and I have a lot in common: same life goals, similar schedules, similar values, and similar interests. We’ve even been mistaken for sisters:
|My roommate (Megan) and Me|
I guess it doesn't help that we sometimes share clothes. When visiting my friend over the weekend, I noticed she had a lot in common with her roommate as well. It got me thinking. There's a famous proverb that goes something like, “You can judge a man by the company he keeps.”As most of my friends are academically motivated, interested in literature or politics, and into fantasy and science fiction, I guess I'd be judged as a Geek. Fair enough.
How true do you find this in your own lives? Do you feel like you’re drawn to people similar to you, or do you feel like you’re influenced by those who you’re surrounded by? Maybe this is slightly different for writers, who are often intrigued by those who are different and end up with a variety of all sorts of acquaintances.
Whether or not you find people are often attracted to those who are similar, friends are just as essential in stories as they are in real life. You can tell a lot about a character through his or her friends, even if they have a small role to play. What about the main character makes other people want to spend time with him? What does he find attractive/admirable/interesting in others? What does he find repelling? What does this say about himself? Whether a side-kick, a foil, or a potential source of conflict, friends can be great sources of information. When developing them, it’s great to think not only about their own role, but how their role (both prior to and during the time you’re writing about) effects you more major characters.
Who are some of the best crafted friends of main characters? Would the hero be the same without them?