Monday, November 26, 2012

Human Nature - The Love Affair

Happy Monday, good people of the blogosphere! This week I'm going to be discussing a few different facets of human nature as they relate to characters and writing. See the quick schedule below:
  • The Love Affair
  • Holding a Grudge
  • Seeking Revenge
  • Situation Reaction
  • Thought Processes
You can see today is about Love Affairs and why characters have them. Let's get started, shall we?

As writers, we are students of human nature. If you're a reader as well (and you should be if you're a writer), you've met a lot of people. Yes, many of them were fictional. But I'd be willing to bet you've thought how similar a character's actions are to what someone you know would do. It's because that writer pulled information from life to create the character.

Why do humans have love affairs? There are a multitude of reasons behind them. This gives you a plethora of selections when deciding why your character is going to do it. They aren't always epic reasons. Sometimes, it's as simple as a feeling the person is having in the moment, drugs, or alcohol in copious amounts. Let's go through them:
  1. Feelings of Loneliness - This is probably the most common reason. Even if someone has a multitude of friends and a significant other in their lives, they will have a moment where they will feel lonely. The feeling can cause even the most astute person to lash or act out by seeking someone to fill the void they have.
  2. A Life-changing Event - Another common cause. If a person has a huge event happen in their life that changes the way they think or if the event causes them pain, they may seek out a romantic involvement to ease the blow.
  3. Opportunity - If a person puts themselves in a situation where the opportunity is there, they might take it just because they can. Especially if they're pretty sure no one will know or find out about it.
  4. Fights with a Significant Other - Fights can increase in frequency if the person discovers it leads to solitude in which they can do whatever they wish. They won't have to worry about being bothered by the person they had the fight with while they're seeking out or spending time with someone else.
  5. A Desire to Cause Pain - This may stem from a painful breakup or anger the person is harboring in their heart toward their ex-significant other or current significant other. Chances are, this will happen and the significant other will either be told or will be allowed to find out in some way.
  6. High Sex-Drive - Sex is not synonymous with a love affair. Sometimes, love affairs are simply affairs of the heart. However, someone with a high sex-drive is more likely to step out of their relationship boundaries if that relationship isn't meeting their needs.
  7. Neglect - If the person's significant other isn't showing them enough attention, it may lead to the person seeking out someone who will. This can happen in a variety of ways and commonly ends in a love affair even if that wasn't the initial intention. It's caused by the person finding someone who allows their world to revolve around the person in question. Revolution leads to admiration which leads to a love affair.
  8. Drunk or High - Many times these factors inhibit the normal thought process and lower morals. If you have a person who does this often, they're probably going to screw up at some point and regret it later. These folks sometimes tell what happened, sometimes not.
Now, any character that's going to do these things (if they're a good person), is going to struggle with the initial decision. It's going to cause strife and pain in their life if they choose to move forward. They'll change the way they interacted with people before the love affair began and they may begin to act out in other ways:
  • Excessive Drinking
  • Bouts of Anger
  • Lethargy
  • Feelings of Being Evil
  • Suspicion of their Significant Other
  • Withdrawal
  • Refusal to do Things they Enjoyed Before
  • Drug Use
A decision to engage in these activities should not be made lightly. Your character should go back and forth between yes and no. After, you can make the fallout be unbelievably bad. It's one version of a Monkey Wrench.

Your character should have something worth losing or the whole thing becomes an exercise in futility. But this option opens a lot of doors and gives you a chance to rebuild that character as a better individual as the story continues. They can now fully grasp the implications of deviant behavior and swear never to do it again, go through rehab, or connect with another character who helps them re-build their lives. It also gives you the ability to re-build the character's significant other if they stay together.

Question of the day: Can you think of another reason your character might have a love affair?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!



  1. Great post! Sounds like you'll have some good ones this week =)

    1. Thanks, Heather. I thought a bout of human nature posts wouldn't hurt here near the end of NaNoWriMo :) When tweaking a novel, it never hurts to have ammo. Thanks for the blog luv!


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