A good story has a protagonist, goals, and opposition. Opposition includes obstacles and forces of nature, but typically opposition also takes the form of a character. Sometimes the opposition is another protagonist, leaving the audience to choose who they want to root for, but many stories include at least one villain, a character that is definitively “wrong”. Villains can be narrative or mechanical.
I think if we talked about some of our favorite characters, and why we liked them, each of us would cite different reasons, but I also suspect that there may be an underlying principle or two that explain why we like specific characters, in general.
Most relationships include a social aspect, but a true social relationship is rooted in coming together to share an experience. Social relationships are based on a common interest or shared experience. A social relationship can be casual, two strangers meeting at an event, or they can be intentional, two friends who specifically gather to meet each other.
When people hear the word relationship, most think of a romantic and/or sexual relationship, but it’s important to recognize that this represents a small fraction of the relationships that influence every character. In the context of this post, a relationship is any time that one character applies opinions or expectations onto another, whether the other person knows it or not.
Part of good storytelling is making the audience believe in the story, believe that the characters really existed, acting out events exactly as the author outlines them. This means everything the character says and does needs to be rooted in who the character is. An author must always be aware of why a character acts and reacts as they do, so that audiences never stop to consider the invisible hand behind the curtain.