Today we have a guest post from Go Teen Writers community member Abigail Wiley! Abigail has some suggestions for writing realistic sibling relationships:
While every family is different and there are exceptions to all generalizations, here are some ideas for how to keep sibling relationships realistic in your stories:
1. The siblings in your story should pick on each other and look out for each other.
You know the sentiment, “I can make fun of my family, but you can’t make fun of my family?" Most (if not all) siblings make fun of each other to some degree. Usually they are just messing with each other. Depending on the circumstances, the insult may be forgotten almost immediately.
But if someone else picks on a sibling, the others tend to get defensive. Especially if this person is a bully. Unless you have set up a reason otherwise, make sure your siblings know how to tease each other … but also how to protect each other.
2. Have your siblings push each other’s buttons
Similarly, siblings will go out of their way to annoy each other. Because they spend quite a bit of time together, they can be pretty good at it. Whatever annoys your character, his (or her) siblings already know about it. If your character’s siblings decide to get on his nerves, it shouldn’t take them very long.
3. Don’t forget to create unique personalities and talents for your siblings
You can also consider how their talents may or may not overlap. You could create siblings who are all a little artsy, but they like different mediums or styles of art. Or maybe they’re all athletic, but enjoy different sports.
An idea for showing character development through your main character's siblings is to show how your main character feels about his or her siblings' talents. Does he wish he had the same skills? Does he feel competitive?
4. Even if they don’t say it much, most siblings love each other.
Maybe your sibling characters aren’t the types to talk about how much they care for each other, but the feeling is still there. Consider showing the depth of their relationship through actions. Like a big sister doing her little sister’s hair for a birthday party, or one sibling giving another a pep talk when
they are nervous.
Does your main character have siblings? What's their relationship like?