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  1. #1
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    A new replacement trait for one of my characters

    Right now, my MC's uncle is an alcoholic. Although it's minor and only matters in the beginning, and you never actually see him drink, I'm worried that parents might not want their kids reading it, especially 9-10-year-olds. My book is considered MG, so it'll be for kids 9-12 years old. I just thought of a new trait where after he lost his wife, he becomes so stressed out, he takes out his anger on his daughter and niece. I still want him to be tough, mean, and irresponsible. Although I am considering for my next draft, he will buy food, but not what the girls like. Is this believable? I looked all over the internet for ideas and I got nothing. If anyone can think of other ideas of how he could become very tough, that would be great too.



  2. #2
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    Although I am considering for my next draft, he will buy food, but not what the girls like.
    Worms might work:




    *_*

  3. #3
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    Yeah, I don't think so, sorry. Most people reading my book will probably be young girls. I was actually asking if stress causing the uncle to become tough and make the girls' life miserable is realistic, not on what food he'd give them.

  4. #4
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    Oh, okay. So you didn't mean to put in that bit about the food.

    (He could still have an addiction to them, though. I hear fried worms taste just like chicken.)

    *_*

  5. #5
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    "I hear fried worms taste just like chicken." That's funny. But back to my question, do you think the uncle making his daughter and niece's life miserable because he is upset over his wife's death be realistic? I know that after J.K. Rowling's mom died, her dad became very tough on her and her sister. But what normally causes that?

  6. #6
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    Many people don't need a spouse dying, or any reason for that matter, to be mean. Even nice people who have a bad day tend to pay it forward. It all depends on how mean you make him and your explanation in the story for what motivates him to be that way. You may want to give him a reason to blame the girls in some way for his wife's death. Good luck!!!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Susan B's Avatar
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    If you had to guess, what would you think? It's fun to plan your characters, get inside their heads and work out how that person would react to any given situation.

    Be careful not to create too much sympathy for the uncle if the reader is supposed to dislike him. What makes someone seem unpleasant to a 9-10 yr old? You don't have to lay it on too thick, nothing too scary or difficult for a 9 yr old to relate to- just a bit of yelling and low-grade neglect would probably do the trick.

  8. #8
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    I came up with a plan. For the backstory, when my MC's cousin was in 3rd grade, her mom was the class mom and very popular. All of her classmates gave her candy gifts on Valentine's day. She ate a couple of them, but she got a heart attack (she had atherosclerosis her whole life, so the candy didn't cause her death). After she died, her husband became so depressed because her knew her since 7th grade. Because of his daughter's classmates, he took his anger out on her and to make it more unfair, he did that on the MC too. Here's my new plan, instead of being irresponsible, he pulled his daughter and niece out of school to have them home-schooled by a former military chief, he pulled his niece out of ballet class, and instead of starving them, he makes them eat food that they don't like and forces them to eat it. He also doesn't allow any junk food or anything else unhealthy. That sounds much better than drinking, being irresponsible, and not buying them food, right? Does this sound like a better plan for my story?
    Last edited by Sunayna Prasad; 11-01-2011 at 04:59 PM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Miranda Clementine's Avatar
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    You know, honestly, if you're a good writer, you can make anything work.

    I had a hard time believing that the Dursleys would be so cruel to Harry Potter. In every book I kept asking myself "why the hell would they still treat him so bad?" But in the end, I believed it every time.

    And if it's for MG, they'll believe anything. Shoot, some believe that fairyland is real.
    Even those who make their living in dreamland must do their chores in the real world.
    -Scarlett Rice
    MC

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miranda Clementine View Post
    Shoot, some believe that fairyland is real.
    You mean it's not? ;(

    A few things you'll have to discover about your MC is his behavior. What kind of person is he? Does he have a strong emotional connection or is he emotionally disconnected from the girls? What kinds of things does he do - reasons behind it are rarely discovered by the victims - it's what has been done to them that drives them forward. How do they react to his treatment, connection, etc?

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