1. Drusilla
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    Drusilla Active Member

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    Need help with the relationship/marriage of a fictional couple.......

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Drusilla, Jul 16, 2011.

    I have many characters. Two of them are married to each other and play a large role in the main character's upbringing as uncle and aunt.
    I want you to help me find out what kind of relationship the uncle and the aunt have with each other because I haven't really thought too much about it.
    I want to find out what kind of marriage/relationship they have because they are two of the important characters who are important as characters, not just as uncle and aunt to the main character.

    What kind of relationship do you think they have with each other based on the character descriptions I gave you? You can give many options if you like. Right now I choose to call them Jack and Sarah because I don't want to reveal their weird real names.

    Jack:
    44 years old. Grew up with upper middle class/rich-but-not-extremely-rich parents. He is the oldest of three brothers, and he was the "favourite child" that the parents doted on. He did extremely well in school, something that his parents rewarded him for with giving him expensive gifts and less chores/more free time. He had a good relationship with his two year younger brother, and they were really close friends who respected each other. But Jack never had the same relationship with his youngest brother, who did extremely bad in school and was always punished by the parents. Jack often pretended that he was the youngest brother's father: bossing him around, sanctioning him, looking down on him, but deep down both pitying him and worrying about him. When Jack was little, he used to smooch with his parents, making them believe that he was right and his younger brother was wrong. He was the head boy at school and he liked to boss the other students around and play teacher.

    Today, Jack lives in an apartment with his wife Sarah. They don't have any children. Jack loves reading, classical music, politics, philosophy and astronomy. He loves intellectual debates and he hates admitting that he is wrong. He is a believer in firm discipline and he never wants to waste time fooling around. People who don't know him can get the first impression of him being not-so-kind, grumpy and arrogant. He is not very talkative around people he does not know very well, and it takes a lot to make him burst out in laughter. He is very carreer oriented and his job means everything to him. Since he lives in a magical universe, he has got magical abilities, which he masters very well; better than many people within his position/job (which does not require much use of spells).

    Sarah:
    44 years old. Grew up with middle-class parents (leaning more towards lower middle class). She has a sister who is 2-3 years younger than her whom she always disagreed with during childhood and teenage years. Sarah is a "chosen one"; a holder of an important object which contains extremely important, unimaginably strong magic. Although she is the holder of the object, she is forbidden/unable to use it for herself, due to the object's strong magic that makes it almost impossible for people to use it for selfish reasons. Sarah's parents seemed to favour her rather than her sister, something that caused her sister to dislike her (and even hate her). Sarah, like her husband, did extremely well in school when she was younger and she loved reading. She was a shy, reserved child and teenager, and I think she got her first real friend when she was around 15. Sarah was always stubborn, bossy towards her sister, well spoken and mature for her age (at least people liked to think so).
    Due to her position as a guardian/chosen one, she is exceptionally skilled in combat magic, but that is something that very few people know and get to see today. Her husband, her sister and her stepfather are the only ones who know about her extremely powerful magical possession.

    Today, Sarah is living with her husband Jack and they don't have any children. Sarah is devoting most of her time to her job, her husband and his family and her very few friends. She is a very conventional person, mostly doing what is expected of her. She still loves reading books and she spends a lot of time doing so. Sarah appears as sharp-witted, disciplined, arrogant and hard-to-get-close-to. People might get the first impression of her as an iron lady because she is rarely expressing any feelings of love and joy. She is, like her husband, a believer in firm discipline.



    What kind of relationship do you think Jack and Sarah would/could have as a married couple?


    And..... sorry for my imperfect English. I'm not a native English speaker and I don't usually write in English.
     
  2. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    From how you've described them, I really don't know that I could predict what kind of relationship they would have...even if I could, I feel like that's something that you, as their creator, should work out for yourself.
     
  3. Drusilla
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    Drusilla Active Member

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    I know that I should work it out for myself, but I would really appreciate to hear people's first impressions on what kind of relationship these people could have. It could also help me developing their relationship.
     
  4. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    The problem with that is that knowing their personalities as they grew up and then seeing a small blurb about what they do now that they're married doesn't give any insight into their relationship at all. Based on what little you've said about the life the two of them share, I would say that it sounds like they don't really love each other, they're just going through the motions of being married while really just focusing on their careers. However, I could just be getting this impression because all of the information you've given is about them as individuals, not them as a couple.
     
  5. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I agree with Hidden; you say nothing about how they are with each other, which is the most important piece of information. Part of the problem is with statements such as the one in your description of Sarah: "...she is a conventional person." What does that mean? I realize that it's a shorthand description for a number of things that you assume about her, but how those assumptions work out in real life is what helps shape the kind of person she is and, indirectly, the kind of relationship she can have.

    You also need to understand that life cirsumstances go a long way to shaping married couples' relationships over time. Just how they shape them depends partly on the kind of people they are, partly on the kind of relationship they have built and partly on the circumstances themselves. So, a couple may have started out having what appeared like a strong relationship, but life circumstances may have worn some of that away and exposed some real differences, and so they may not be so strong after a time.

    My wife and I will have been married 35 years come this September. In those years, we have gone through a lot of challenges: we raised two children with special needs, fought for them each to get services, fought to protect them as a class from government cuts and mismanagement, planned for their futures as adults and arranged for others to watch out for them when we are gone. On top of that, we have managed the care for both of my wife's parents, who lived into their 90s and did nothing for themselves. All of that caused a lot of strife, but in the end it made us stronger as a couple. But I've seen a number of other couples with children with disabilities, some of whom did not face the same issues we did but whose marriages nevertheless did not survive.

    I have friends who married a few years after we did, who we knew in college. They went through law school together, mapped out their big dreams together, and when they married, we all thought they would be perfect together. But she turned out not to be able to hack it in the real world and retreated to what amounted to a fantasy life, and he bore all of the financial burdens (she decided after about a year that she couldn't work). These days, none of his friends hear from him except on the odd occasion here and there.

    I suspect that your very reason for asking for help in this area - youth and life inexperience - will make it difficult for you to conceptualize all of the variables that go into the sum total of a marriage relationship. But that doesn't mean that the answer is to have someone else work it out for you. You may want to focus on what the relationship looks like through the eyes of the character whose aunt and uncle these two are.

    Good luck.
     
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  6. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    ^Couldn't have said it better myself. I could give you short biographies about my and my husband's lives growing up and then tell you where we are now, but none of that will give you an idea of our relationship or how we interact with each other because none of that has anything to do with how we got where we are today.
     
  7. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Maybe you should? :rolleyes:
    I agree with the others, to me it seems like something you should work out for yourself. we cannot tell how your characters should be, after all it's your story. Based on what you wrote they could have any kind of relationship, really.
     
  8. CosmicHallux
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    CosmicHallux Senior Member

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    I also agree with the others.

    I wonder why are they even together? Is it just so they can both support each others career growth--or because they want to be normal and be married like they think normal people do? What is the common goal of their marriage?

    Did they fall in love, or just go through the motions? Do they want kids. And if they are both believers in firm discipline--do they believe it is their right to discipline each other? Who are they disciplining?

    Maybe you can imagine what one of their late night pillow talks would be about, when one of them really needs to discuss something about their marriage. What are the issues, what are the desires, and how does the other partner listen and respond?
     
  9. JeffS65
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    JeffS65 Contributing Member

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    i've been in three major relationships. All with wonderful woman. One many years ago that ended because the girl felt she needed to grow on her own since we were a 'college' couple, one with an amazing woman who is now my late wife (yes, I am a widow) and wonderful woman I am married to now.

    All of them had very different backgrounds. All of them were very different relationships but all of them were very good (great) relationships.

    While the background of the characters is all well and good, it's who they have decided to be now that is important. Who they have decided to be in the context of the relationship. Mentioning my 'history' was to illustrate that the backgrounds do create the person and their struggles but the 'type' of relationship is still a creation between the two parties.

    More to the point, what kind of relationship do you think they should have. Though my relationships were good, each had (has struggles) and that is what makes relationships unique. None of them can be more or less better unless the persons involved chose them to be by their actions.
     
  10. seelifein69
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    seelifein69 Active Member

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    Two characters like that would tend to butt heads. They both have control issues and are stubborn it seems.

    Although they may be loving they would most likely dissagree a lot. The husband I think would be very paticular about his routine and the way he likes his house to be run. I feel he would be quick to point out faults in his wife. His wife I feel would be very defensive towards her husband and has the notion that she is better than a lot of people (she can still be a good person and feel she is better than other people, this doesn't have to make her vain). Sex is probably non-existant, and they spend less and less time with eachother because they are so focused on their jobs.
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Their relationship is what you write it to be. There are couples youo'd think would have fought to the death within five min utes who have been married and happy for half a century, other who seem ideally matched who go their separate ways after a few weeks.

    You're the writer. You decide.

    And character summaries are virtually useless. The character is defined by ALL his or her actions and experiences.
     

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