Value of Friendship
Can we put a real value on the friendships we make during our lives? Some survive from early childhood or school, while others can be as new as a few weeks ago. In today’s world, friendship now grows between people who have never meet in person but still have a tight bond. Just yesterday I found myself offering hospitality to a group of Wild Rose Press writers present on our weekly ‘chat’ link. Meeting them in person didn’t seem to matter, I know I have a bond with each and every one of them through my writing.
Last night showed me another instance of how strong friendship can be and how long it can last with just a little bit of attention. I meet with a few ex-navy girls for dinner. It was a ‘flash mob’ dinner, our local president had dubbed it, with the organisers booking tables for a few and hoping some would turn up. The poor waitresses did a great job, adding another table, and then later another table, all the time managing to remember who ordered what and who hadn’t even ordered yet cos they’d just arrived. While all those girls had served while I served, I had never worked with any of them. Involved with the initial training of three, my bond with them is something very special to me, but the other dozen or so girls could have been, and remained, strangers forever. But the bond that cements this friendship together – service in the Royal New Zealand Navy – has joined us in a band of camaraderie which is so strong I doubt it will ever be broken.
I like to weave this type of solid, lasting friendship into my romance stories too. Because I’m writing romance and not women’s fiction, the level I can develop friendship in a story is not as great, but I believe allowing my characters to have close and abiding friendships is important to expand their personalities. We are all affected by the nuances of our closest friends, so to write a romance where friendship outside the primary romantic relationship doesn’t exist is to deny some of that character’s individuality. To make our characters three dimensional we need to expand areas of their lives outside the romance. Whether that includes family ties and/or commitments or varying levels of friendship doesn’t matter too much, I believe. As long as we give our readers something more than the romance to get their teeth into. Well rounded characters that resonate with readers are always going to impact more strongly and be more memorable.