1. Vignesh Ramakrishnan
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    Vignesh Ramakrishnan New Member

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    What would be a suitable backstory?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Vignesh Ramakrishnan, Sep 4, 2016.

    The protagonist and his brother are Indians. The brother is older than the protagonist by 6 years. He is a model student and a devoted son. But however he dies, and his parents start blaming the protagonist for his death. I want an incident that could possibly explain the death and establish why the parents blame their younger son, I was thinking of something. But everything was stereotypical. Do help :) Thanks!
     
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  2. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Indians from India, or North American First Nations? (I'm not sure if it matters, but as you've specified, maybe it does?)


    Do you want the parents to be more-or-less right about the blame, or wrong? Like, was the protagonist driving recklessly and the brother died in the car accident? Or was the protagonist doing well at school and challenging his brother's record and the brother killed himself and the parents have decided it's because he was under too much pressure?
     
  3. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Maybe the protagonist was making a stupid mistake and his brother died saving him?

    Or is that something you've already ruled out?
     
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  4. Lyrical
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    Lyrical Frumious Bandersnatch

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    It could be something as simple as your protagonist being out late at night with friends, calling his brother to come pick him up, his brother gets in a wreck on the way and dies. His parents blame him for being the reason his brother was out at all that night.

    Or, if it really is his fault, doing something wreckless and daring his brother to join in. My sister-in-law's father did this. He and his brother were jumping off small cliffs at a lake when they were teenagers. They found one that was a little too high. My SIL's father landed wrong and broke his back, and his brother landed wrong and died. Really awful. Not sure anyone in that family has really gotten over it.
     
  5. Lyrical
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    Lyrical Frumious Bandersnatch

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    Given the username, I'm going to guess India. At least I hope.
     
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  6. Scot
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    Scot Active Member

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    Suicide is the leading cause of death of young men in India. It is also the one families have the greatest difficulty coming to terms with.

    You have already told us your MC is the younger son, a model student and a devoted son. Perhaps his older brother felt eclipsed by his younger sibling?
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2016
  7. Vignesh Ramakrishnan
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    Vignesh Ramakrishnan New Member

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    Thank you for all the comments, I am going to add a little bit more information. I meant that the elder brother is the model student and the devoted son. And the younger brother is 10 years old. That rules out staying late and the brother being eclipsed by the sibling and killing himself. And I guess Lyrical's incident makes sense, but however you don't find such places in India, atleast not the urban parts. So how about a tree instead of a cliff. And also, the younger brother has a permanent limp. If I could relate both the consequences to one incident, it'd be easier.
     
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  8. Vignesh Ramakrishnan
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    Vignesh Ramakrishnan New Member

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    No, in fact I'm looking at something like that, except not so blatantly stupid that the younger one should be totally blamed.
     
  9. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    You seem to be asking us to come up with all the ideas that you, the author, should be coming up with.

    @Lyrical gave you a scenario that could lead to the sort of guilt/angst that could lead to suicide; how you integrate that into your setting is up to you; especially as your knowledge of your setting is far superior to ours.
     
  10. Francis de Aguilar
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    Francis de Aguilar Active Member

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    Maybe your need for an 'incident' is unnecessary, the parents blaming could be largely irrational, something mundane or routine may work better. They walked to the market together, as they often did, and he was hit by a truck, the limp slowing them down as they crossed the road.
     
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  11. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    First of all, is your protagonist actually guilty of his brother's death? Are the parents blaming him for a good reason?

    I see further down the thread that this story apparently takes place in India, and isn't something that takes place in, say, the UK, where the people of Indian heritage now live.

    I think the best help we can give you is to say this is something you really need to figure out for yourself. If you're having trouble coming up with a way for the older brother to die, just give the idea time to gel. Don't be in a huge hurry. Look through newspapers, look at how people die. Maybe something you see there will spark an idea.

    Have you already started writing? If not, maybe you should. Start with a scene, somewhere.

    Maybe ask yourself (not us) about the younger brother's feelings when he lost his brother? What he wishes he'd done or not done? Perhaps his older brother (whom the parents thought was perfect, but who actually had some fairly serious flaws) was getting himself into trouble? Ask yourself if the younger brother wishes he'd informed somebody soon enough to prevent the death?

    Is the younger brother now an adult, looking back on the situation? Has anything changed? Is your point of view character one of the parents instead? They are unable to come to terms with losing their son and looking for somebody to blame. Was there something in the younger brother's character that would make him prone to causing a death?

    These are all questions you need to work on, to come up with your unique take on the situation. Don't rely too much on other people here. Developing story ideas is something you need to do, as a writer. And great ideas can either come in a flash, or they can take some time to work out.

    Good luck! You certainly have created a conflict for your story. And that's very good.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
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