1. wolferz
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    wolferz Member

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    Accurate Portrayal of Older Brothers and Younger Sisters

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by wolferz, Mar 5, 2009.

    I don't have an older brother, but I've always had my own "idea" of what an older brother would do and say. I am thinking of two characters for my story, but this thread is simply for some basic, human interaction advice.....Is this accurate....?

    *Would it be accurate or common place in most households for the following situation to took place?
    A younger sister (maybe 15 or 16) feels ill in the middle of the night and goes to her brother's bedroom next door (she knows he is still awake, he is about 18 or so, still in high school). The brother asks what is wrong, she tells him "I don't feel well, I can't sleep." He makes sure she is ok, he is really comforting, sensitive, and caring. He offers to make her tea and offers to walk her back to her bed to go to sleep. OR he offers for her to sleep in his bed or help her somehow to sleep better that night.*

    Is this likely or am I really off?
     
  2. CharlieVer
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    CharlieVer New Member Contributor

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    I'm not sure it makes for an interesting story, though you might have a purpose for this scenerio.

    More likely, the brother says, "Get out of my room!" and throws a sneaker.

    I'd love to live in a house like you describe, though, or have a brother like that!
     
  3. Viamence
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    Viamence Member

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    Perhaps this is just my family, but that's a fantasy many parents will never experience.

    If my younger sibling came to my room and woke me up saying she was sick, I'd tell her to not throw up in my room and send her to the bathroom.

    In that case, the younger child would probably know better than to wake up the older sibling by then.

    That's not to say there aren't families who really watch out for each other, I just happen to have experience with the opposite extreme. Maybe it would be best to find a middle ground?
     
  4. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    I'm an older brother, and I can tell you I don't see my sister ever doing that. She'd go to my parents first, and if they weren't around she'd probably rather handle it herself than come to me.

    I think this is a bit meaningless though. Sibling relationships vary widely depending on the siblings, where they are, their family environment etc. You can make the relationship work anyway you want and I doubt it will lose realism provided it's well written.
     
  5. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Of course it is. Every family is unique. But like Charlie said, it doesn't make for interesting story-telling. There had better be something else going on for me to want to read a story with this happening.
     
  6. yellowm&M
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    yellowm&M Contributing Member Contributor

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    Like Rei and lordofhats said it really depends on the siblings.
     
  7. iolair
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    iolair Active Member

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    As said, every family is different, but with the ages you mention the relationship between them is unlikely to be that good ... they are close enough in age that they will probably irritate one another. The exact scenario you describe is possible, though really unlikely. (Unless of course he suspects or realises there is something *badly* wrong with his sister - but here he's still more likely to fetch a parent if they're available)

    Based on families I've seen: If there is a bigger age gap then the older brother is more likely to take on the protective/caring role. The larger the family is (in terms of number of children) then the more likely they are to treat each other as friends.
     
  8. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    It depends what is going on in the story. Maybe there is a reason why she doesn't go to her parents, and why the elder brother is particularly caring. THIS is what would make the story interesting. Although I must say, me and my brother and sister all really looked after each other and would never have just thrown a shoe and told the sibling to get out.
     
  9. KP Williams
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    KP Williams Contributing Member

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    You can make your characters however you want them to be. There's no rule that says you have to take a written photograph of a real person's behavior and work around that. It should be the other way around; make the character work for you.

    For whatever it's worth, I've seen siblings who hate each other, and I've seen siblings who couldn't live without each other. Nothing's impossible.
     
  10. lipton_lover
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    lipton_lover Contributing Member

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    To echo the sentiments of the other posters, there's an infinite amount of possibilities. You can make their relationship however you want and it will be 'realistic'.
    Nate
     
  11. pacmansays
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    pacmansays Senior Member

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    I'm an older brother with a younger sister. Our relationship is nowhere as nice as the one shown above.

    I'm 17 verging on 18 and she's 14 verging on 15...We mostly irritate each other and only rarely do we act anywhere near the scenario you mentioned
     
  12. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    There was a five-year difference between my older brother and myself. Sometimes we annoyed the snot out of each other. Sometimes we were insanely jealous of each other. Sometimes we goofed around like friends. Sometimes we really cared about each other. And much of the time we were just neutral and didn't interact at all.

    You can't judge what your characters might do based on what other people's siblings might have done. Everyone is unique. All you can do is write the relationship as realistically as you can, for your particular characters. As my post shows, even one set of siblings can react in a hundred different ways, depending on the circumstances.
     
  13. Natalia
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    Natalia Member

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    I think a older brother holds a sense of awe for a younger sister at times.Im a older sister and I remember my siblings followiing me around wearing my clothes and wanting to get involved in everything I did.I also remember how irritating we were too each other and our relationship ranged from the hysterial private jokes to a hatred that would dissapear quite quickly but felt so real at the time.I was also quite protective over my siblings.Males especially are from my experience over their younger sister.Maybe having the male show a bit of irritation but softening when he realises the sister is upset.Not overly soppy but caring would ring more realistic.it would be best as someone has previously said to write from your own observation of relationships.Everyone is different despite there being some similarities.
     
  14. lipton_lover
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    lipton_lover Contributing Member

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    I agree with tehuti. I have 7 siblings, and i've had dynamic relationships with each one.

    I looked at this from the point of view of me and my brother who's two years younger, and my sister who's two years older. I have a great relationship with both, us three are the oldest and stick together. But none of us go to each other for comfort when we're sick. If one of them woke up in the middle of the night feeling like throwing up, they'd take care of themselves. Now, if it were my sister and she thought she was feeling like that because she's pregnant (never gonna happen and never has) I think she would go to me and my brother before going to our parents. But that's a rare extreme situation.
    So really I think for •most• situations, what said just wouldn't happen. That's my expert analysis ;)
    Nate
     
  15. Kas
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    Kas Contributing Member

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    Create whatever kind of characters you need in order to facilitate your story. The Quality of writing will ultimately determine how realistic they seem to be. If the siblings are very close, it might be helpful to shed some light on why that is so...

    Any kind of relationship can be realistic, assuming you can present it in a realistic manner. You just need to know why your characters do what they do, at all times. The why should eventually come out in the story, and the reader won't question it - so long as it makes sense. And anything can make sense, providing you reason it out thoroughly beforehand.

    I have six siblings and a very different relationship with each. I'm generally very close to 3 out of 4 of my sisters... And I have very specific reasons for disliking the other. I'm always caring and supportive for those I am close to... and again, there are unique factors in each case which influence how I think of them.

    You can make your characters do anything, but you need to know the reason. In this case, try to fill out the character history. As the backstory unfolds in your mind you'll find that you can write their present actions with greater confidence. Because then you'll know why.

    Good luck.:)
     
  16. Kas
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    Kas Contributing Member

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    Double Post.:( Please delete this.

    Foul weather has my wireless acting up again.
     

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