Acid + Alkali

Full disclosure y’all: I got a B in Honors Chemistry, so my science is probably all wrong. But while I can’t tell you the difference between an ionic and a covalent bond, I do remember that certain chemicals uniquely neutralize others – just like characters.

Whether opposites attract or friends become lovers, characters ultimately have to complement and change one another. It may be a good girl reforming a bad boy, or a cowboy teaching a city slicker how to get down and dirty. Regardless of setting or trope, one chemical has to react to – and with – the other.

Love in Straight SetsPersonally, I like the combination of an acid and an alkali: a hot, fiery character (acid) who’s neutralized by one with cool head (alkali). Easily the best example I’ve written is in Love In Straight Sets, when hot-headed tennis champion Regan is totally tamed by her cool, calm and collected coach, Ben. In turn she re-energizes and reawakens him, proving that the chemical equation goes both ways.

What’s your favorite chemical combo when it comes to characters? Two acids burning super bright, an acid + alkali balance, or the soothing sound of two alkalis sloshing along together? Or is my chemistry so far off that none of the above are remotely correct?


Comments

Acid + Alkali — 1 Comment

  1. I think your chemistry is spot on. The best kind of relationship is one where the characters are better together than they are on their own, and it sounds like your alkali and acid mix is the perfect combination!

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