Keep Your Friends, Give Me Enemies

A couple weeks ago, a fellow Homeschool author of mine asked if any bloggers wanted guest posts. I jumped at the opportunity. Below is the post she wrote up for you, my readers. Enjoy!

Keep Your Friends, Give Me Enemies

Guest Post by Hope Pennington

Han and Leia

As sad as it may sound in a movie or a book enemies are more interesting than friends.

UNLESS a friend becomes an enemy and you get: the frenemy.

Plain old friends who are not in any way an enemy are not only boring but they’re not very helpful in helping the hero change, grow, learn or anything else epic.

When choosing characters for your stories ALWAYS remember that you want your characters to in some form be enemies of each other.

This doesn’t automatically make your story depressing. Think about it: Some of the best movie or book friend pairs were enemies too.

Bones and Spock

Legolas and Gimli

Hamitch and Effie

Han and Leia

Bones and Spock are friends in that they care about each other but in pretty much every other way are enemies. The logic driven Vulcan and the emotional driven Doctor are constantly arguing about the proper way to make choices and getting frustrated with each other’s view of life. Ultimately this leads both of them to realize that the other has a point and though never perfect friends they do adopt a bit of each other’s ideology and this gives their relationship depth.

Legolas and GimliIn a very similar sense Legolas and Gimli have deep rooted cultural differences. The elves are very delicate, beautiful and nurturing while the dwarves are bulky headstrong and clumsy. Their rivalry turns to an awkward friendship as they learn to respect each other despite their differences.

Hamitch and Effie’s relationship is much more understated but there’s an obvious clash of worldviews between the fancy fashionable dainty go with the flow Effie and the dirty sloppy drunk Hamitch yet they have a common goal to help Katniss and Peeta and this forces the two to work together which gives us laughs and adds interest that two similar characters never could have.

Han’s a thief, Leia’s a princess. His core identity selfishness hers selflessness but their respective attraction to each other leads them into situations they never would’ve experienced on their own.

What’s the core relationship in your story? How can you be sure there are enemy elements or how have you incorporated those already?

Thank you so much for reading!

Have an epic day!

HopeAbout Hope: Hope Pennington is a nerdy sci-fi and fantasy loving homeschooled author who’s dream is to let everyone know that nerds and geeks are epic heroes. When she’s not reading, writing, vlogging or fangirling she can be found singing and praying to Jesus the king and author of her life story.

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6 thoughts on “Keep Your Friends, Give Me Enemies

  1. Claire B. says:

    Love it! I’ve always really enjoyed Legolas and Gimli’s relationship and their unlikely friendship.

  2. Kelsey says:

    So true! My stories always pick up pace when there’s an enemy element there, though I don’t think I’ve thought of it in quite this way before. It’s kind of like how there always has to be tension in a story’s plot, or else it’s boring. “Enemies” of one sort or another are a great way to keep tension flowing.
    Very well put, Hope! And great examples!

  3. bookscoffeeandkitkats says:

    Great post!

  4. laura says:

    Very good! I’m actually in the middle of rewriting a story I started several years ago. The two main characters, Gilbert and Alice, got along perfectly in the old story, but when I came back to it I changed a whole lot, including their relationship. They aren’t friends at the beginning, they’re forced together through circumstances outside their control, and they develop a friendship throughout the story; but they are always clashing because their personalities and goals are so different.

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