Sunday, February 20, 2011

Just Friends?

I posed this question on a writer's forum a while back about a novel idea involving a rewrite from a fandom plot. (Which fandom isn't relevant, as completely restructuring the world from the ground up would be part of my game plan.) I thought it would be fun to ask it of my blog, especially as there are some new folks following me now (Hi!).

Here's the scenario - I've provided the names for ease ...

Kailyst and Imori have known each other for approaching two decades, as close friends and business partners (actually, criminal partners - they're the villains). They met when he was twelve, she was fifteen. There is no romantic vibe between the two.

In this potential scenario, Kailyst falls in love with Seshanna and gets married. Imori is no fan from the beginning (personality clashes), but after some months, she raises concerns that Seshanna is interfering with Kailyst's judgment on the business side. Now, two things are relevant: a) being they're partners, this affects Imori's success as well; and b) she's right - his wife's presence *is* hindering him. When being vocal doesn't work, she gets nasty.

Now here's my dilemma: I need / want to keep it unequivocal that there's no romantic motivation, hidden or obvious, in Imori's actions against Seshanna. Probably some jealousy is inevitable, but the overall vibe should be platonic.

So I wondered if which scenario would make this more plausible:

A) There's never been any hint of attraction between Kailyst and Imori. The question has never been on either of their radars.
B) Probably when one or the other was in their late teens (that is, after they'd known each other for years, but still about / over a decade ago), they experimented, kissed, whatever, and the immediate, mutual reaction was, "Eww. No. We must never speak of this again."

That's the question, then after a ridiculous amount of setup: A or B?

There's also C, I suppose, which is come up with a supernatural / magical reason why Imori's not even capable of going there, but that feels a bit like cheating. (Let's not mention that building the world around the plot is completely the opposite of the way I usually work, so it feels darn weird.)

As a point of interest, when I posed this on the writer's forum, B had a slight majority. More interestingly, if depressingly cliche, most of the men who responded had trouble believing that such a relation could have been consistently platonic; most of the women thought it seemed plausible. (Since it's her-to-him I'm concerned about, not him-to-her - he's pretty rabidly devoted to his wife - I can live with this reaction in any case.)

Thanks, anyone who feels like putting in their two cents. I am just insufferably nosey, and just as interested in how people view this as actually solving the problem. ;-)


Jonathan said...

I have to side with the other men who voted. I think it is believable for a passing stranger or an acquaintance. For a lifelong friend, with whom one already has that deep and abiding bond (personalities ARE sexy, and that translates to physical attraction where otherwise there might be none), I think it's naive to think otherwise. The imperative is always there in some greater or lesser degree but there are other things that can override it: marriage, social mores, the friendship being more important, etc.

If I had to choose, I'd say "B" was more plausible.

Diana said...

In order for the first one to work, you have to establish that Kailyst is not the type of male whose first thought when he meets a female is what does she look like naked? and what would it be like to do it with her?

My ex-husband imagined what it would be like to have sex with every woman that he met. It didn't matter whether they were old, young, fat, skinny, black, white, or purple with pink polka dots. If it was female, then his first thought when meeting her was "I wonder what it would be like to do her?" (By the way, this is the reason that he is my EX-husband.)

I do know that there are men who are a bit more discriminating.

There is another scenario other than the three you mentioned and that is that Kailist did consider it for about five seconds and decided that it would be like making it with his sister. Imori remaining blissfully unaware of this five second lapse.

My two cents. :)

Lindsey Duncan said...

Thanks for the thoughts, both.

Owwww, that hurts my head, Diana. I'm not sure I wanted that insight into the male brain. ;-)

Definitely easy to convey Kailyst as a man who has his mind on other things. And a D option might be doable ...

Silver Agent said...

I'd say the opposite, to disagree with Jonathan. :) I'd say A is more plausible. As a guy, anyway. But I don't think A or B fit very well.

I haven't seen B happen much at all. I've seen A happen more, but not a great deal. What I've seen a -lot- of in those situations is having one of them have romantic feelings and the other doesn't, and they don't say anything due to fear or not wishing to change things.

But if I had to choose between those two, definitely 'A' for me.