As a writer, I have been thinking about the importance of relationship in creating character dynamics and in driving plot. Relationship is defined by Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary as "the state of being related or interrelated; 2. the relation connecting or binding participants in a relationship: as A) kinship or B) a specific instance or type of kinship; 3.a. a state of affairs existing between those having relations or dealings, 3.b. a romantic or passionate attachment.
That took me back to the definition of relation, which has some very different and interesting meanings. Remember President Clinton who said, "I did not have relations with that woman?"
Here are a few of the more pertinent definitions: 1. the act of telling or recounting; 2. an aspect or quality (as resemblance) that connects two or more things or parts as being or belonging or working together or as being of the same kind; 3. the referring by a legal fiction of an act to a prior date as the time of its taking effect – usually used with back; 4.a. a person connected by consanguinity or affinity, 4.b. relationship by consanguinity or affinity - kinship; ...6. the attitude or stance which two or more persons or groups assume toward one another (e.g. race relations); 7.a. the state of being mutually or reciprocally interested in (as in social or commercial matters) b.1. dealings, intercourse, b.2. sexual intercourse.
Really, with that list of definitions, a writer cannot afford to ignore the power of relationship. And, here is the Laura Knoerr definition: the state of connection between two persons or groups of people. For instance, by my definition, two people could be related and have no relationship.
Worth pondering. More on this...