The vast majority of us do not walk through life alone. We have best friends who listen to us, support us, advise us when we need it the most. They go places with us, visit when we are ill, bring us happiness and stand by us when we are afraid.

Sometimes our friends come to see us, sometimes we go see them, and often we meet somewhere in between. We go out for lunch, dinner or drinks. We go to movies or the theater. We walk in parks, sit on benches, sip coffee in a coffee house.

What about your characters? Do they have best friends? If not, is there a reason why they don’t?

For example, some mentally ill people see conspirators wherever they go, so they hide alone, in some cramped room, terrified to live.

But most of us do meet with others. So must your characters. Reread one of your stories or a scene from your novel. Is there a substantial friend? Not just a convenient conversationalist, but someone to whom the character leans?

Add in a good friend. Give them meaningful dialogue. Have them walk together, go someplace together, meet up regularly. Make this acquaintance not just a one-time occurrence, but something that happens with regularity.

After you’ve done this, go back and reread. How is the story now? Does it have a more natural flow? Is your protagonist more interesting? Does she have more depth? Do we get to see inside her and understand her better?

Hopefully this is so.

Have fun with this one.

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