This month’s Beautiful People link-up for writers is themed around National Sibling Day, and all the questions are supposed to be about a sibling relationship in your novel. UNFORTUNATELY ALL MY CHARACTERS SEEM TO BE ONLY CHILDREN??? I literally can’t think of one character (of dozens) in my WIP series that has a brother or sister. That’s probably something I should work on.
Anyway, that crisis is for another time. INSTEAD, I’m going to be taking two of my main characters, Charley and Simon, best friends since they were little teeny tiny kids, and answer the questions about their brotherly-esque relationship.
1. What is the first memory they have of each other?
I actually have that in the book, sort of! Here’s a little tidbit (grown Charley is watching a memory of himself at five years old, meeting Simon for the first time while playing in his backyard):
“You’re going to get worms in your hair,” said a small, accusing voice from over the fence.
The little Charley dropped his hands. A number of leaves and small sticks landed in his hair in a spiky, dirty crown. He stared at the fence, but couldn’t see anyone. Standing on his tiptoes didn’t help. Charley tramped across the lawn, shedding leaves as he went.
Between the pickets of the fence, he spotted a nose.
2. Describe their relationship in 3 words.
moderately healthy codependence
3. What kind of things do they like to do together?
I have another excerpt! Prior to the start of the series, where they now mostly spend their time running for their lives and ~saving the world~, Charley and Simon mostly just hung out, their lives so intertwined they didn’t really go out of their way to do anything special. Here’s Charley about to be reunited with Simon, seeing Simon’s front porch for the first time in weeks:
Charley ran to Simon’s gate, fumbled with the catch, and hastened up the path. Simon’s front porch was cluttered with hanging ferns, half-melted candles, and wicker furniture that had seen better days. To Charley, the creaky boards and peeling paint were beautiful, bringing him back to muggy summer nights sitting out here decimating six-packs and waving away mosquitos; to Halloweens spent doling out Snickers bars to trick-or-treaters; to every day he stomped the dirt off his shoes onto this porch and walked through the front door without knocking.
4. What was their biggest fight?
Oooh, I’m actually in the midst of writing that fight right now! Charley thinks Simon acts selfishly and rips the rug out from under Charley, while Simon thinks that just because he was doing something for himself, doesn’t mean it was selfish. No one’s clearly in the right or wrong, which makes the conflict all the harder to resolve.
5. How far would they go to save each other?
Oh, very, very far. Charley, after a raider attack that put Simon in jeopardy:
“Ol, he can’t get hurt.”
“I’m serious.” Charley could hear the frantic gasps of the two raiders, could feel the warmth of their blood spreading across the ground. And he could see, quite clearly, that knife pressed to Simon’s throat. “I will lose everything.”
6. What are their pet peeves about each other?
lol in the book I’m writing right now, Charley’s mad at Simon, so everything he does peeves him.
Regularly, though, I’d say Simon’s tendency to constantly ask questions grates on Charley, since he’d rather leap into action while Simon wants to know everything about a situation first, which sometimes (oftentimes) brings him to the conclusion that they shouldn’t go with Charley’s plan, and do something safer and more logical. Simon’s also a person that keeps things very neat and tidy and organized, so Charley’s tendency to dump everything everywhere has got to piss him off.
7. What are their favorite things about each other?
I would say Charley loves Simon’s heart, his constant strive to forgive people and see the best in them. Simon’s favorite things about Charley would be his humor, kindness, and unfaltering instinct to help people.
8. What traits do they share? Mannerisms, clothing, quirks, looks, etc?
I’m not sure!! I spend a lot of time in the book talking about their differences, I’ve kind of taken their similarities for granted…
9. Who has the strongest personality?
That’s a really hard question, actually. Simon seems like he’d be the pushover, because he’s sweeter and quieter, but if he takes a stance on something, there is nothing Charley can say to divert him. Whereas Charley, who is generally loud, and defiant, and nearly always running off to do something stupid, caves pretty quickly to his friends. So, maybe to outsiders Charley has the stronger personality, but within their relationship, if Simon said jump, Charley would leap so high he’d hit the moon.
10. How does their relationship change throughout your story?
Their relationship goes through a lot throughout the series, growing, strengthening, deteriorating, changing. There’s good and bad in store for these guys.
I loved that! Some of these questions I’ve never thought about before, and it’s gotten me in the mood to do some writing today! (I’m falling so far behind with Camp NaNoWriMo already, good lord.) What about you guys? Do your characters have siblings? Or are they all only-child loners? What was the last book you read where an MC had siblings? Leave a comment!
EDIT: Wow. About twenty seconds after posting this, I suddenly remembered I have TWO different pairs of sisters in my books that I could’ve talked about. How did I — I wrote down every character I could think of and couldn’t remember a single sibling for any of them! Well. Poo. Anyway. That’s a good question: have you guys ever completely forgotten that your character DOES have a sibling??? 😛