Skip to main content

NaNoWriMo - Writing Relationships

Day 6 - Writing Relationships

Photo by Git Stephen Gitau from Pexels

Relationships are tricky – not just in real life, but in writing as well. We essentially have a relationship of some description with everyone that we meet – and certainly anyone that we meet more than once. I was shopping in Tesco during the October holidays and spoke with so many people I knew – ranging from current pupils to one of the conductors on the train which was a part of my commute eighteen months ago.
These relationships can be difficult to recreate in literature. We tend to dwell on the meaningful, and they are tricky enough! But how often are we writers guilty of neglecting those people who are important ‘friendly faces’?
When I’m writing established relationships, I tend to make it all about inference. Think about introducing, if appropriate, a nickname for one of the characters. Or what are you inferring if the teenager in your YA manuscript calls their parents by their first names? It automatically says something about the relationship that your character has with their parents which, in a YA novel, is probably going to be quite important.
What about if your main character says to someone “I booked a table at that restaurant you love”?
Another key feature of writing relationships is that the relationships we write have to reflect the relationships we have experienced. That doesn’t necessarily mean we have to have experienced them ourselves, but I do think you have to have witnessed it at close quarters. Even so, I would suggest focussing on what you know – those are the relationships which will leap naturally off the page and grip your reader.

Judith Crow


Popular posts from this blog

GUEST POST - "Hallo teachers! Would you like to write a book?" by Jessica Norrie

  The Magic Carpet  is available at I'm absolutely thrilled to share this gem of a blog by Jessica Norrie on the Crowvus Book Blog. It's personally relatable for me, too, as I'm teacher who also writes children's fiction. I just love all the comments made in this blog - they are so true! It's a delight to meet another author/teacher/soprano! Check out the links to Jessica Norrie's books at the end of the blog too! Hallo teachers! Would you like to write a book? Primary and English teachers spend their days with books. It’s not surprising many dream of writing their own. Some make the big time - think Philip Pullman, Eoin Colfer, Michael Morpurgo. Teachers start with several professional advantages: 1) All child and adult human life enters the classroom. Teachers overhear conversations, respond to different personalities, encounter heartrending or enviable household  circumstances. They see family and cultural likenesses and cont

#IndieApril Craggy Blog: On the Hoof!

When people say they’re doing something “on the hoof”, it generally implies they’re making it up as they go along. When it came to writing my first book, I did so on the hoof in more ways than one. The photos that feature in Craggy the Coo Wants a Place to Call Home  were snapped all over Scotland, from the top of mountains to the surface of Loch Ness. But the words that accompany the pictures were largely concocted near my hometown of Langholm in Dumfries and Galloway. I’m relatively notorious in these parts for embarking on epic walks of 20-30 miles around the surrounding hills. And while most people would carry their phone to chart their route or maybe listen to music, I used mine to put words to my pictures. Having all the photos of Craggy’s travels on my iPhone meant I could weave a clear narrative together based on where he happened to be, and what could be seen in each image. So I would set off on a long walk armed with all I needed to create the verses and his direction of trav

#IndieApril Craggy Blog: My Inspiration

When I’m asked who my favourite author is, I also tend to consider who my favourite writers have been at various stages of my life. When I was very young, Roald Dahl could not be beaten. Like many children, I found his sense of mischief combined with superlative storytelling and Quentin Blake’s glorious illustrations irresistible. In my angsty teenage years, I must have re-read JD Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye  about 20 times, dreaming of leaving boarding school and running off to the States with just a rucksack on my back (which I actually did for a year when I was 17. I wasn’t quite as rebellious as Holden Caulfield though. It was all above board.) But the writer who has stood the test of time with me most, and was taken from us far too soon, is Iain Banks. I love the twisty intrigue of Complicity , in which my hometown of Langholm has an early cameo. I adore the assault on the hypocrisies of organised religion that lie at the heart of Whit . In my teens, I was traumatised in a can’t