First of all, my apologies. I did not mean to leave the blog untended for four days in a row. I meant to post something Friday afternoon, but my artist's date turned into an all day thing and I simply couldn't rouse myself to come up with a post. Then yesterday, I was totally sidetracked by real life. So here I am. Finally. And I will get back to plot stuff, I promise.
But one thing I've been thinking about a lot lately is something I heard a long time ago at a business seminar. The speaker said, It is the things left unspoken that define the relationship, and boy, did a flashing light and a gong go off in my head.
If you think about that for a moment, you will begin to see all the ways that it is true; it is the things we are too afraid or too angry to say that often define the shape and quality of our personal relationships. That betrayal you felt from your sister that you never dared to tell her about will shape all your future dealings with her. The fury you felt at your father, or the heartbreak your husband unknowingly dealt you; all of those emotions will bend and distort your interactions for years to come.
And it occurred to me what a powerful tool that would be to use in our writing, what an effective layer of subtext. So consider asking yourself, what is left unspoken between your characters? And how does it distort and drive their relationship to each other?