1. elisabeth nkrumah
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    elisabeth nkrumah New Member

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    children characters in adult fiction

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by elisabeth nkrumah, Aug 14, 2007.

    I'm writing about an adult character who grows up in the south and through a number of incidents, trouble etc, winds up overseas where she begins a new life. The character is therefore an adult but what happened to her as a child is important to that transformation. I'm not sure how to tackle it- either as memories looking back or as a more chronological movement from childhood through adulthood. The only problem with the second approach is that the reader may wonder where I am going with this and also, I want to make sure this is adult fiction and not for younger ages even though I write about a child. Any advice or input about how I can go about this? Any good examples of where this is done well?
     
  2. TheOnly13
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    TheOnly13 Senior Member

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    Definitely use the flashback idea. The character could view their demented childhood through dreams; use nightmares as a way of showing what happened in the character's past, which also shows that the character cannot forget about the events in the past and that they have had a lasting effect on him/her. Just a simple suggestion.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    if it's not vital to your plot, just have the character drop bits of her background info here and there, where appropriate to the situation and/or do the same in the narrative... imo, that's much better than a full-fledged flashback, if we don't need to know her entire childhood or pages worth of parts of it...

    most novels deal with this to some extent, so pick up any book by any acknowledged master of the writing art and i'm sure you'll find examples of it in just about all of them...
     
  4. Charisma
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    Charisma Transposon Contributor

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    I would agree with mammamaia. Parts of flashback would make it interesting. To make it adult-compatible, you may want it to be full of emotion and pain, which is more important than what happened. Like:
    I *think* it is a good example of a flashback. Even if you do it with third person, it works.
     
  5. Daniel
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    Daniel I'm sure you've heard the rumors. Founder Staff Contributor

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    I'll second the flashback idea. You might not even want to let the reader know it's the main character as a child right away - let them figure it out.
     

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