Basic Needs

We are taught that humans have basic physical needs in order to sustain life: air, water, food, shelter, and warmth. It has been my experience that there are also basic emotional needs that are necessary in order to sustain a healthy relationship. As an author when I am developing characters for my novels, relationships have to be explored, developed, and, in some cases, sustained. The premises that I base my novels on is that people have the same needs no matter where or when they lived.

Every relationship should allow for and provide the basic physical needs. Achieving that, the individuals must be safe from physical, emotional, and mental harm. Once these needs are met, then love, respect, and appreciation are needed to sustain a relationship over time.

Every person has the desire to be loved, to be respected, and to be appreciated. Each individual in a relationship should also be willing to give love, respect, and appreciation to their partner/s. This also includes parent/child relationships, any other family relationships, friendships, and business friendships.

If one does not feel loved, respected, and appreciated, they will react in one of two ways. They will project their anger outward or inward. They will blame others or they will blame themselves. If the individuals do not communicate and are not able to rectify the lack of these emotional needs being met, then the relationship is doomed.

And so, my characters relationships develop or dissolve and on a deep level of understanding, without them even realizing it, my readers feel an attachment to them that leads to an emotional reaction. Perhaps I can even say that a relationship also exists between the reader and the character and when the reader can give love, respect, and appreciation to characters, an enduring love for the novel can be sustained.

Theresa Dodaro is the author of The Bayman’s Daughter; The Porcelain Doll; and The Tin Box Trilogy (The Tin Box Secret; The Hope Chest; and Reawakening)

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