1. Cardboard Tube Knight
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    Cardboard Tube Knight Member

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    Sisters?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Cardboard Tube Knight, Sep 1, 2010.

    Now that the second draft of my novel is done, I'm sitting on my hands as far as its concerned and planning for how I want the second to progress and where I am trying to go with it exactly. I have the story and the like mostly ironed out, but I realized the other day that I haven't even considered the sisters of one of my main characters.

    Part of me thinks that the whole "opposite sisters" thing might be kind of overdone and that I could bring nothing new to it. Plus there are three girls, so its not just like its a pair of people.

    One of the sisters is a mute, that's been planned from the start. But the daunting thing is making them all seem like they're related and like they have this past history that fits in with the MC.
     
  2. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why do the "opposite sisters" thing then? Why just not make them individuals alike in some ways, different in others that been strong inflations how the others were formed as persons?
     
  3. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Why do they need to be opposites in the story? What role do the sisters play in the MC's plot?

    If I know more about this, I could help more.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    They can be different without being opposite.

    Are you perhaps an only child, with only one child (or none)? If not, take a long, objective look at the dynamics among siblings in your own little behavioral laboratory.
     
  5. Cardboard Tube Knight
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    Cardboard Tube Knight Member

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    I guess that its hard for me to explain, there's a certain effect I want there to be and a relationship I want them to have, somewhat different and then at the same time seemingly similar.

    Her sisters come to visit her, the oldest on business and the youngest because she's just with the oldest. The young one is around 13-15 and she's a mute. But she's very close to the MC. They came to surprise the MC and at the same time the MC has a secret to tell them about their bloodline.

    Her sisters coming is a set up for a big event later but its the kind of thing the reader probably won't see coming and it won't effect their relationship at all at first.

    I'm not an only child, but my siblings are all very much older than me so its hard for me to really relate to a pair of siblings two years apart.
     
  6. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why not decide each of them individually let them tell you what they want to be?
     
  7. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    My daughters are aged 30, 19, and 15. Believe me, the age gap is immaterial. Two years gap or 12, they all interact like 9 yr olds when they are having an argument...
     
  8. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    So the MC has a young sister who is 13-15 and a mute? And this young sister hangs around with her oldest sister? Well, I can relate to the 13-15 mute girl because I'm ridiculously quiet myself. Since she's close to the MC, make sure to include conversations or body language showing the close relationship. Also, since she's a mute she'll be relying on the sisters a lot to communicate for her, and look out for her. You considered making them opposites, well that would work well in regard to social interactions.
     
  9. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    I have three sisters and I can confirm that :)
     
  10. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Having said that three brothers with a 12 year age gap can fight like 9 year old girls:)
     
  11. Cardboard Tube Knight
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    Cardboard Tube Knight Member

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    My older brothers used to fight a lot, the oldest died a few years back. But we all did get into it quite badly at times.
     
  12. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    When sister and even twin sister catfights turn nasty, they turn nasty, like banging the others head into the wall nasty, and ripping off pieces of the other ones ears.

    But tar experience were from friends that lives in a home where there were some degree of child abuse.
     
  13. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I am an only child, but I have two adult children, and my girlfriend has two teenage daughters. I have seen plenty of sibling rivalry escalate to the throwing and destroying of cherished possessions and other forms of nastiness. I have also seen them drop all the differences in an instant if an outsider threatens one of them, and I would NOT ever wish to be the target of THAT kind of rage!

    Unless you have actually lived to see it up close, you could not possibly believe the ferocity of either the fights between siblings, or the strength of the love shown when they redirect it toward a common threat.

    And the moment the external threat has been dealt with, the infighting resumes. :)
     
  14. Peerie Pict
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    Peerie Pict Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not all sisters cat fight and throw things at each other. My sister is a year and a half older and we've never once had a physical fight. We lived with each other while both at university and while our arguments got heated, we always knew when to stop.

    There's a danger of stereotyping with the comments I've read above.
     
  15. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Good point, and I certainly never intended to imply that every set of siblings behaves the same way. I watched the twin boys next door grow up too, and although they were very competitive, they took it out by becoming star athletes and teammates, and in devising ever more ingenious ways to get into harmless trouble. They were very protective towrd their sister, three years their junior, and I never saw much conflict among them.

    Cardboard Tube Knight was asking about sisters being opposites, so the conflict parameter was a natural point of discussion. Most of the time, my kids got along with each other, and the same is true of my girlfriend's daughters. Still, disagreements are bound to break out occasionally, and no one can make it hurt like someone who knows you like a close sibling.

    Like I said, you have to have seen it close up to know the depths of both conflict and solidarity that can manifest.
     
  16. Peerie Pict
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    Peerie Pict Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah I know what you mean about siblings being able to hurt you emotionally. They know your sore points and can exploit them.
     
  17. Cardboard Tube Knight
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    Cardboard Tube Knight Member

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    All of this makes the arguments with my brothers and even the fights seem more "ordinary" and all. I don't want the girls to come to blows, I think that my main character (really she's half of the main pair) Holly ultimately gets a long with her sister 90% of the time. Though she's jealous of her having kids and being this outgoing woman.

    I wrote up some little notes on character background and the like, just things to spur me along and even some quotes the new sister might say even in reaction to things.

    Its hard for me to really describe what I am going for, but I guess there will be some silent rivalry between them, for different reasons, that seems like a good place to start--with the kids thing and that jealously.
     

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