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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    May 2011
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    A way to replace one of my character's traits so that it's appropriate for kids

    I have been thinking that because my book is middle grade, it may not be appropriate to have an alcoholic character at the beginning, even if you never see him actually drink and it's a very minor element. It may be okay for mature 11-12-year-olds, but I can't imagine many parents letting kids 9-10, maybe even eleven letting their kids read a book where a character is an alcoholic. I still want him to be tough, unfriendly, and irresponsible. But in a way where there won't be controversy over whether it's appropriate for MG readers or not. Any suggestions?



  2. #2
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    Can someone move this thread to Brainstorming? I think that may be a better forum for this topic.

  3. #3
    Junior Member Kelouise's Avatar
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    He can still be tough, unfriendly, and irresponsible without being an alcoholic. Just portray his character flaws though his dialogue and attitude towards other characters. If you really want him to have a vice, you could maybe get away with implying his alcoholism, or just give him something else he "needs". Depending on the tone of the book, it could be silly or a little darker. Like, he has to spend hours working on his car, he's a couch potato, fashion obsessed, addicted to spending money, eats a lot, a neat freak, or a complete slob... Etc.

  4. #4
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    Aug 2011
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    Give him a bad habit during speaking, it'll annoy the heck outta people. That with his character traits will fix it.

  5. #5
    Member K.S. Crooks's Avatar
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    Having the character constantly skipping school or shoplifting are common problems. You can even have him steal alcoholic drinks from a store. Make up a name that an adult would think of as alcoholic without actually stating that it is, like a Big-Boy can of Crimson Gold.
    K.S. Crooks - Dreamer and Author
    http://www.kscrooks.com

  6. #6
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    Aug 2014
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    Mean pranks on students and teachers would be a good way to do it. Then, of course, there's the whole "being lectured about his grades" thing.

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