Sibling Rivalry

            Children growing up in the same home, raised by the same parents, may experience a bit of rivalry now and again. For example, one child may believe that Mom loves the brother more or that Dad spends more time with the sister. Often a younger child thinks that the older one has preferential status in the family, and if allowed to fester, can lead to verbal and physical fights. These beliefs can lead to long-term familial dysfunction.

            Recall a time when you disagreed with a sibling or close relative. What caused the problem? Who started the argument and how was it resolved? Did the relationship improve over time or continue to disintegrate?

            Your task is to write a story in which sibling rivalry plays an important role. Begin with the characters and their order within the family. Create a list of issues that might arise. Establish whether arguments will be physical, verbal or a combination of both.

            Setting is crucial. Readers will need to see the environment, not just in terms of concrete objects, but also in terms of how the parents or guardians interact with each child. Dialogue is important as well as readers will want to hear the words spoken. Lastly, emotional reactions will drive the story forward.

            Have fun with this one.

Siblings in Our Stories

Our characters might have brothers and sisters. If so, we have to define their relationships and how our character feels about the siblings.

For example, in some families, siblings seem to get along marvelously. This has a lot to do with how the parents treated them. If achievements are applauded equally, if discipline is handled fairly, and if comparisons never come up in conversation, then there will be no/little ill will.

In other families, it’s all about competition for parental attention and favor. Sons might be held in higher regard than daughters. Sons might get preferential treatment when it comes to borrowing the car, staying out at night, doing chores around the house. Girls might be subservient, only being able to use the car if the boy doesn’t need it, having restrictions that prohibit socializing at night, and having to clean the entire house, including the boy’s bedroom, before having free time.

Sons might be expected to learn to mow lawns and care for the car, while girls learn to cook, sew and shop.

You have to decide how to handle siblings in your stories.

Your task is to write a scene in which siblings interact with each other and with at least one guardian. This will require some dialogue, some description, some movement/change.

Have fun with this one.