Trying to figure out how to write more natural character relationships

Hey all :star2: I’m trying to improve my portrayal of dynamic and natural character relationships in my writing.

What are your favorite examples of character relationships in Wattpad stories? Or even of your own books? Also, all genres are fine, so are LGBTQ, POC, and Neurodiverse stories. Feel free to share the link, just a snippet, or even just notes/advice you have compiled somewhere, whatever you have!

Quick note: I’m not necessarily looking for romantic examples. I’d prefer more like friends, coworkers, rivals, etc. since I don’t normally write romance. However, if you have one you just have to share I won’t complain! Lol.


Platonic male-female relationships. Like, I’m a girl and I have a ton of guy friends (I guess the fact that my surroundings tend to be male-dominated no matter where I go also helps). Not every guy and girl has to get together.

I mean, sure, I do have couples in some of my stories, but a ton of platonic relationships as well.

And also I like seeing people who are close to each other—whether they’re just friends, dating, or married—having fun banter, exchanging insults like there’s no tomorrow, being brutally honest with each other, just because they’re that close.


Oh yes! It’s so hard to fight the feeling that a boy with a friend who’s of the opposite sex should either be awkward around her or in love with her! I had attempted a platonic male-female relationship in my last book, but it just felt… weird. Any tips on how to make it feel more normal and natural? Or do you think it’s something that’s just going to feel weird because that’s our ingrained expectation?


Lucky Star has some really good comedic dynamics that are worth studying.
Here’s a quick example: Kotona is a lazy weeb that always asks Kagami, serious and hot-tempered, for help with her homework. Kagami also has a foil in the form of her fraternal twin sister, Tsukasa, who is airheaded and sleeps a lot. Kagami likes them both well enough, they both just get on her nerves because she’s really Type A and super serious while they’re more immature and easy-going.


Well, a platonic friendship would look a lot like a relationship, as far as a lot of interaction is concerned.

Not that I’m comfortable with doing it, especially the older I get, but friends who don’t want each other will hang out all over each other. I mean, my roommate comes and leans on me because she needs physical connections and I can’t stand it because I’m me, but it is normal to us. Same exact reaction I have to having 3 kids crawling on me.

The problem is clearly defining where the line is between friend and more and allowing the couple to have all the things a friend would have, even if it’s not the type of friendship you have with anyone.

Small pranks, heart to hearts, clear inside jokes…it might be easier to think of it as energy levels, like writing about how elevated the person feels to be going out with this friend, how much they are looking forward to it, etc.


Haha, it’s totally possible for male-female platonic relationships to feel normal and natural! The key is to see it as not a male-female platonic relationship, but as a just a platonic friendship. Try not to think with gender in mind. Try not to think about shipping or couples. Don’t think of him as a guy friend, but as a friend who just happens to be a guy. Treat your characters as friends first and foremost, and let gender take a backseat.

I have to admit that it may come more naturally to some people than others, depending on experiences. For the longest time, my cast was mostly male (with some of my stories being all-male) even though I’m a girl, probably largely because that I had—and still have—a lot of friends who just happen to be male. For some, it may be the other way around.

So yeah. Try to think of them as a friend who happens to be a guy/girl, not a guy/girl who happens to be a friend. The friend part should be the focus.


I don’t read Wattpad stories so I don’t know of any there, but there must be tons. Have you searched for the tags #friendship #friends #platonic #bromance and things like that? There are plenty of tradpubbed works about friendships, like If I Had Your Face about four women in Korea, or Boys Life about a schoolboy growing up in Alabama in the early sixties and his relationships with people in his small town. But I think you’d have to read those whole books to get the friendships; I mean, I can’t think of any particular passages that encapsulated the friendship.

I wrote a book about friendship recently, but it’s on Amazon, not Wattpad, and I think you’d have to read the whole thing to get the friendship there too. Two men in the Edwardian era start off a little racist against each other, but by the end of the book they’ve saved each other’s lives, lost their families, and they’re all they have left, so they become like brothers. I can’t think of any passages that summarize the friendship, though. It’s just a slow process of needing and helping each other throughout the book. They did have to work together on a common goal–finding a killer on board an airship–so maybe that’s the key? Give your characters the same goal and make them work together to achieve it. They’ll have to become friends along the way in order to do that. Nothing wrong with making them fight, argue, or break up along the way to lasting friendship either. (*^-‘) 乃


Comfortable banter is probably the easiest way to show a friendly relationship. As mentioned above, joking, ribbing, being able to talk serious subjects and listen to one another is probably the best sign of a strong relationship. In one of my stories, I have two people (of opposite genders) who have been friends since they were like five. They’re able to talk to one another about anything really, even sensitive subjects. Granted they do eventually become a couple, but their relationship has always been rooted in their friendship.

Conversely, you can create a tense relationship just by changing the way the actors are talking to one another (or how the actors react to what another is saying). If a joke doesn’t land or irritates the primary actor, then it’s easy to talk about how their shoulders tense or their brow furrows. In their language, you can have them say things like “not funny” or their voice drops or rises as they respond (depending upon the severity of their reaction).

The best advice I can give to smooth it out is to listen to the way people around you converse, watch how their body responds to the things being said. Pay attention to the non-verbal cues people give to one another (eye avoidance, crossing arms, the amount of space between them and another) to help determine meaning behind the words. (things can be said two different ways and have a completely different subtext.


To the point made by Akje. Friends do not ALWAYS get along. Even best buds will get under each other’s skin at times, whether from internal conflict, external conflict outside the two’s relationship, or even a misunderstanding between them. People who get along all the time are quite rare.


I love writing relationships between women, friends, buddies, mother-daughter, or older and younger woman bonding. I feel that female friendships and motherhood takes a back seat to men-women relationships. I really like it that in Rivals and Revels my main character has important relationships with her sister, friend and the mother of her two love interests (it’s a bothers’ rivalry story romantically). To me, networks and parallels in relationships in the same book make each one more real.


The only time you really need to worry about it if you do nut check.

But even then, as a female who hit the bolt on her bike’s handlebar assembly at the age of 10 (from stopping too hard), females can experience that level pain in that area. After all, I remember it 30 years later.