Guest author: Charles E. Yallowitz – We’re Not Together: Male and Female Friendships

Thank you to Sue Vincent for letting me write a guest post to help promote my newest book Legends of Windemere: Ritual of the Lost Lamb.  This is the 13th book of my series and it’s where things go downhill for the heroes. Luke Callindor, the longest running hero, has been captured by their greatest enemy and they have to save him before he breaks. To do this, Nyx decides to use a forbidden ritual that requires some traveling and racing against a new agent of their enemy who is out to stop them. Of course, this isn’t surprising since Luke and Nyx have been best friends since the end of their first adventure. It didn’t take long for them to call each other little brother and big sister even though they aren’t related. They certainly have one of the deepest and strongest relationships in the series.

Yet, people aren’t always happy with this because it’s a male and female. We’ve all heard the phrase ‘men and women cannot be friends’. Seems many people believe that such a connection has to evolve into something more than friendship, but there really isn’t any rule about this. Still, there’s a big call for characters of opposite genders to hook up even if they’re barely friends. You see it in nearly every fandom and it doesn’t really factor in everything about the characters. We’ve seen it in real life when close friends start a closer relationship and the entire dynamic changes. Sometimes for better and other times for worse, but most readers that push for this assume it will always be for the better.

In the case of Luke and Nyx, it would definitely be worse. Their personalities work great to make them pseudo-siblings, but a couple like them would be at each other’s throats. As friends, a male and female character can be more free in their actions and words. We all know that we can get away with a little more chicanery with our friends than our significant others. Primarily because the friends are more likely to be involved with you. I’m not saying this is always the case since many people have a significant other who joins in the fun, but there are still different boundaries in the two relationships. Nyx calling Luke an idiot as a friend has a different weight than if she did it as his girlfriend. Luke annoying the heck out of her as a little brother is comedically adorable while him doing it as a boyfriend can get people to demand that she kick him to the curb. It’s almost like there’s more forgiveness and flexibility as friends, which is a key component of the Luke and Nyx relationship. No matter what they do, they always find a way to forgive and help.

They also work as confidants for each other, which doesn’t work if they’re dating. Again, we come down to their personalities that don’t create the same flavor of bond with the other characters. It isn’t even that they aren’t close to them, but their relationship has evolved on a path that would get ruined by romance. Yes, they have trust and support, which are important to a relationship. It’s just that it’s not the same kind and a lot of readers tend to overlook the nuances when demanding a pairing. I’m pretty sure a lot of this stems from people wanting their favorites to be together, but there are times where the aspects that make them favorites are the reasons they’d be a bad couple.

Personally, I think pushing for a romance can cause a person to miss something equally special. You focus so much on seeing something that isn’t there that you miss the real connection. Is it really so bad to enjoy a male/female friendship instead of a romance? Luke and Nyx do have romantic plotlines, so it isn’t like either one lacks a love life and should look at the other. Yeah, this is coming out as a defense for this, but it is strange that I’ve gotten many ‘when are Luke and Nyx going to hook up?’ messages over the years. It’s even led some readers to turn on their real romantic partners who have done nothing wrong. Again, you could miss something truly special if you’re only looking for romance since friendships are just as, if not more, important. After all, we learn how to make friends long before we have to figure out how to get a girl/boyfriend.

So, what are some tips to making a male/female relationship in fiction? Simply don’t worry about it. Strange to end it on that note, but that’s really the best way to go.  If you find yourself focusing a lot on driving home the fact that they aren’t a couple the you could damage the characters themselves. With Luke and Nyx, the friendship bond came about naturally. Did I ever consider making them a couple? Consider the characters were originally in a D&D and played by my wife and I, it was a thought. Yet, I couldn’t get it to gel in my head, which meant it would be forced and flimsy in the book. Luke matched better with Kira and Sari (that’s another post in itself) and Nyx with Delvin in terms of romance. That’s how it turned out when I stayed true to the characters. When I worried, things got sour and I had to rewrite until I got it in my head that I shouldn’t even tease the idea. Why mess with a good thing that will take center stage in Legends of Windemere: Ritual of the Lost Lamb? That bond might be the only thing that will bring Luke home. Maybe even in one piece.

Read an extract from Ritual of the Lost Lamb HERE


1About the Author:

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Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn’t working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. ‘Legends of Windemere’ was his first series, but it certainly won’t be his last.

Blog: Legends of Windemere
Twitter: @cyallowitz
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz
Website: www.charleseyallowitz.com

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Ritual of the Lost Lamb (Legends of Windemere Book 13) by [Yallowitz, Charles E.]Ritual of the Lost Lamb

The latest book in the epic Windemere series

Charles E. Yallowitz

Death is a blessing that the Baron is not ready to bestow upon his precious guest.

In the aftermath of the Baron’s attack, Luke Callindor has disappeared and the only clue is a psychic scream of agony that Dariana cannot ignore. Fearing that a journey to Shayd will start their final battle before they are ready, the champions have devised another way to rescue their friend. With permission from the gods, Nyx has begun the long-sealed Ritual of the Lost Lamb. It is a complicated and exhausting spell, which is made even more difficult by a new enemy whose only goal is to make all of the Baron’s enemies suffer.

It is a race against time where every passing minute brings Luke Callindor one step closer to a fate worse than oblivion.

 

Follow Charles on his blog or on Amazon to be notified of new releases!


If you would like to be my guest, please read the guidelines and get in touch!

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About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She has written a number of books, both alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com
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29 Responses to Guest author: Charles E. Yallowitz – We’re Not Together: Male and Female Friendships

  1. Reblogged this on Legends of Windemere and commented:
    A fun guest post on a rather odd topic.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Running Elk says:

      Odd? Not at all! We need more characters like this, if for no reason other than to educate!
      Such a relationship cost me my first serious relationship, as the GF couldn’t handle that a (hitherto) mutual female friend and I could still hang around together and there NOT be anything going on. Really? It’s so hard to accept that sometimes men and women can have an intense, loving, supportive relationship and yet have absolutely no thought or desire to change the dynamic of that relationship into a sexual one?
      OK… so maybe just me and Luke then? :/

      Liked by 2 people

      • I guess odd in that it’s hard to do or even a problem, but I’ve been there. One aspect is how little boys and girls hang out with no worries from adults. Then it’s like people turn on the concept as soon as puberty hits. Wonder if part of it stems from media exposure like shows and movies that always have the close friend that’s in love with the protagonist

        Liked by 3 people

  2. Great post, and a great topic. Extra credit for being the only blogger to use chicanery in a sentence.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I think romance almost always “ruins” friendships with the change in dynamics, and I never believed the “friends with benefits” assertions. Personally, if I could have only one I’d choose friendship every time.

    It’s odd to read the discussion of the topic from the straight male perspective, however. I’ve had many a discussion along these lines with girlfriends and gay male friends over the years, and most of my girlfriends would be more than happy to remain friends forever. It has always seemed that testosterone eventually enters the equation, my female friends feel pressured, and the friendship devolves from there.

    My own best male friend was gay (died years ago, didn’t “switch sides”), and that’s one of the reasons our love for each other worked so well and continued to deepen. Neither of us EVER mistook the intimacy of friendship for any indication of budding romantic intentions, and our romantic partners never suggested anything else was going on.

    For what it’s worth, Charles, I LOVE to read stories with characters of the opposite sex who are close but not romantically involved or heading that way.
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sue Vincent says:

      Most of my friends have been men over the years where the intmacy of friendship never altered. Yet the deepest loves I have known grew from friendships that blossomed.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I’ll have to say yes and no. Only because my wife and I were friends before we were a couple, so I can’t say every time the dynamic changes is a bad thing. Friendship does create a solid foundation for something more if there’s the spark, but one shouldn’t ever force it. In fiction, this ruins characters because the chemistry simply isn’t there and you can’t go back. Not like I’m real life where you say that it isn’t working out and amicably split like adults.

      I’m not sure I follow why it’s odd for a straight male to bring up this perspective.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Odd simply because it is rare in my personal experience. Most of my straight male connections have had an opinion they expressed with no real interest in exploring the topic further.

        Note I said “almost” in my first sentence – certainly there are exceptions (and congrats for being one of them).

        Your point about characters splitting amicably and returning to a friendship dynamic is well taken. You could certainly do it, but it would be a real challenge to make it fascinating reading – and it would be confusing for readers of series who don’t read the books “in order.”
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I actually like this idea of having a hero and heroine who don’t end up together. If you think about real life in the work situation, men and women work together all the time and it often doesn’t lead to a romantic interlude.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Excellent point. Heroic adventures are practically a job for some of these characters. Romance in the workplace is not nearly as common as people are made to believe. I think you’d be more likely to find a ‘warrior bond’ after several shared experiences, which is what happened with Luke and Nyx.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I agree with you that no author is required to have characters “get together.” Obviously it can happen. Going on dangerous adventures would be an intense experience that could draw people together. But it does have to be true to the characters. I’ve known a few authors to put their characters in that awkward situation of “Is this a thing?” and both decide, “No, it is not. Glad we got that out of the way.”

    Just like in real life, though, one character’s feelings might be different than the other. One might be, “No thing,” and the other, “Yes, please, I want it to be a thing!” At least, as the author, you can Control All Things and adjust characters to prevent this happening if it isn’t what you want for your story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chemistry is essential for the characters. This is actually how the Luke and Kira Grasdon relationship started. She was a very minor character, but there was a spark between her and him. Same thing with Delvin and Nyx. The idea of forcing it is cringeworthy because readers can tell.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Adele Marie says:

    I loved this post, Charles and you are correct. My two best friends were boys and there was no way any romantic interest was going to spoil us. Fiction or real life, girls and boys can be friends.

    Liked by 1 person

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