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Writing a One Sided Friendship

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Hi guys!  I’m writing a book where one of the main characters believed she was good friends with somebody else, and goes to great lengths for her.  It will turn out to be one sided. 

The book can be for MG and YA, so I’m worried I would let the reader down if it turned out that the friendship didn’t work out.   Is it too harsh?  Is there a way I can soften the blow?
#1 - February 25, 2019, 11:14 AM

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Gosh, this can be harsh, but it's certainly realistic and not too dark for MG. If the character has another friendship that is blooming, it could help her to realize who is a real friend. One of my personal rules is to always end with hope, no matter how dark the story. Good luck!
#2 - February 25, 2019, 04:08 PM
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There is a chapter book series (Katie Kazoo) in which I felt the friendship was a bit one sided. It made me not like the books as much because I kept asking myself why the main character was friends with the other girl. (My daughter still loved them though.) Not sure if that helps you any.
#3 - February 25, 2019, 05:56 PM
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If the reader sees the friendship is not genuine, they may root for your protagonist and be happy the friendship does not work out. I'd think there would need to be inner growth/realizations when she realizes the friendship is not true.

Ree
#4 - February 26, 2019, 05:44 AM
« Last Edit: February 27, 2019, 04:15 AM by Ree »

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I think this could make a very interesting and engaging story, but, as others have said, the sense of betrayal in a false friendship is going to be huge. The MC may suffer for a while, but she will need to eventually find someone to fill that friendship hole. I agree with V. I always leave the reader with a sense of hope for moving into the future.
#5 - February 26, 2019, 07:29 AM

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There could also be a sense of relief on the MC's part when she realizes the friendship was never real and that her questions and uncomfortable feelings about the friendship had been for a good reason.
#6 - February 26, 2019, 07:56 AM

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Thanks, y’all.  The MC in question is taking the place of her friend (a princess) as a sacrifice to a monster.   It’s a BatB story, so I think it could go two ways:
A.  The MC realizes the princess is a jerk, and that Beast is not only sympathetic, but he makes a better friend.

Or

B.  The Princess isn’t a jerk, and once she realizes what MC did for her, organizes a rescue.

Either way, a plot twist is that the two characters were switched at birth.  Because I like to make my readers work for it.  😆
#7 - February 26, 2019, 09:21 AM

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Sound fun. See which version works better. Sometimes the only way is to write a chapter, and maybe have it critiqued, for each possibility.
#8 - February 26, 2019, 06:18 PM
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