On screen or in books, I noticed that fully developed friendships are depicted more commonly than developing friendships. As a result, I realized that I’m sorely lacking in good examples to learn from.
For the series I’m plotting, my character has to travel to different worlds to look for her missing sister (and along the way uncover clues to bigger world mysteries). You can also say it’s about an introvert forming unexpected friendships across different worlds.
What are some tips to building strong, platonic friendships naturally? Also, what are some tips to turn not-actually-bad-antagonists-but-it’s-the-circumstances characters into friends as well?
Thank you for your time and don’t forget to wash your hands
The secret is that friendship arcs and romance arcs are pretty much identical. There are only two differences:
- The characters don’t have sexual or romantic chemistry.
- A platonic relationship doesn’t need the same careful balance of power between both people to not be gross.
This means you can take any article we have on romance and use it for your friendships. In particular, I recommend my post on relationship dynamics. For inspiration on platonic relationship arcs in particular, watch some buddy cop stories like Hot Fuzz.
Befriending a former antagonist is pretty similar, but with a few pitfalls added in. You don’t want your antagonist to have done anything too upsetting, and if they did something hurtful, even if they did it under intense pressure, they should show some remorse and dedicate themself to doing better. Avoid bad behavior that could hit too close to home like abuse or bigotry. I have an article on redemption arcs, if that might be helpful.
Happy writing while you stay inside! (If you can stay inside.)