When Book Characters Fall Apart…

I’m going to spring off of @immortalis’s latest post about relationship subplots. After reading her post, I realized that one of my subplots in the story involves mending broken relationships between characters.

My secondary conflict has a lot to do with characters losing each others’ trust. I think I’ve written some interesting scenes about this topic, so I’m going to share with you some of the latest things that I’ve learned (stick to the end to hear an update on my current manuscript).

How to make your characters fall apart

I’m not talking about them literally falling apart. I’m talking about characters growing away from each other and creating new relationships with new people.

I think the biggest secret to ruining relationships (wow, I sound so cruel!) is to make sure that it’s realistic and there is a deeper reason than simply a petty argument. In my book, I have a character betray the other for their own benefit. This was the cause that led to their disagreement, and then their splitting up. I think this is a lot better than having them only have the disagreement.

give them things they don’t like about each other

There’s always something we dislike about our friends. She checks her phone too much. He likes to talk about himself. She’s too clingy. He wants you to like all the things he likes. The list can go on and on. My advice is to never make a perfect friendship in the beginning.

The relationship starts slightly cracked.

All relationships are cracked all the time. The only way to make them slip is to put pressure on those cracks. So in the beginning, give them something they can’t stand about each other. When the time comes, push on those pressure points and BOOM! Their friendship disappears!

create tension after they grow apart

No matter what happens, the relationship still existed. People can pretend all they want that they were never your friends, but it won’t work.

Characters need to have a little bit of tension after they grow apart. Not tension outward, but inwards. They need to miss the friendship they used to have. They need to have regrets. There should be a tension that tries to pull them back together.

From this point you can make them repair their friendship, or leave them disconnected.

An update on my novel

My goal is to finish my rough draft by the first day of school (August 15). I don’t care how rough it is, or how many pieces I’m missing. I’m going to write the story. So far I’m doing quite well. I’m skipping over the areas I don’t know to come back to later. I think I’ve completed about 75% of the story.

Fourteen days to finish my first draft.

Wish me luck! 😀 Thank you everyone for making TAJ such an awesome family!

Log in or Register to save this content for later.

You Might Also Like

Published by



Hello writers of the world! I'm Melissa, the founder / designer of Teen Authors Journal. Although I create blog posts every Tuesday at 4 p.m. (Pacific Time), I have absolutely no clue what I'm doing! I'd love to learn more about all of you, so please don't hesitate to shoot me a message! 🙂

7 thoughts on “When Book Characters Fall Apart…

  1. Funny you should post this… I was just thinking about two of my characters who go from being super close to being distant! Maybe one day I’ll actually write it down ?
    And good luck with finishing your draft! I believe in you!

  2. I can relate. I wrote an amazing, chill giving paragraph as my response, but it holds so many spoilers and secrets that I don’t even want to risk it on the webs. Enjoy the mere sensation of goosebumps trailing over your skin, as if a hand were slowly tracing your spine, breathing softly against your neck in a dark room, and you have no idea what it is. Who it is. Where it is… That is the feeling you’d have achieved from the paragraph I wrote but cannot show. <3

Leave a Reply