Characters

How to Write Realistic Sibling Relationships In Just Three Steps

I haven’t read a lot of novels with many sibling relationships in them, but I can seriously enjoy them when they’re pulled off really well!

Still, sometimes it can be hard to write realistic sibling relationships, and I can totally understand that because there are so. many different ways to write them!

So today, I’m going to be helping you guys with a few tactics that will enhance your  character’s sibling relationships.

Let’s get started! 

Screen Shot 2019-02-10 at 2.39.03 PM

*Just so that things don’t get haywire, I’m only talking about two siblings, although I’m sure you guys can incorporate this information for more than just two siblings if you need it!

 

First, You Have to Determine Characteristics About These Siblings

You have to figure out:

  • Are they a sister and brother?
  • Brother and brother?
  • Sister and sister?
  • Twin and…twin?

After determining your choice, next you have to decide how old they are:

  • Exact same age?
  • A year older?
  • Two?
  • A year younger?
  • Two?

And, finally, you have to figure out the sibling’s personalities:

  • Is one super kind, the other mean?
  • Is one headstrong, and the other timid?
  • Are they both the same?

There are a whole lot of possibilities, so definitely play around with all these for a bit.

 

Second, You Have to Determine How They Interact and Feel About Each Other

This is going to be a big deciding factor for their relationship between each other.

Does one seem to hate the sibling to the ends of the earth, while one loves him or her more than anything? Do they both love each other, or seem to not care for each other in the slightest?

They have to have some sort of feelings, good or bad, between each other, or else it’s going to feel pretty robotic between the two of them. Like, readers will probably start questioning whether or not they’re actually siblings if they have zero feelings towards each other.

Let’s say, for example, you have one older brother who’s eleven years old, and one younger brother who’s nine years old. The older brother likes to be aggressive and get into playful fights, whereas the nine-year old is a smart, geeky kid, who would rather have his head in a book rather than to be grappling around with anyone.

This is definitely going to affect how they act towards each other. Maybe the older brother is bouncy and excited all the time to get into high energy and arouse people’s spirits, meaning he might snatch the younger brother’s book, tease him about it, and race away with it to start a game.

Meanwhile, the younger brother might be a slouch and is grumpy to everyone, so he yells when his brother grabs his book, stomps all the way to where his brother ran, yank his book away, stomp back and dives into his book again.

But what if the younger brother has a different personality? He might laugh and take off after his brother, he might tackle his brother, he might cry for him to give him his book back-there are so many different possibilities!

You starting to see what I mean?

And, of course, it’s going to be completely different if it’s:

  • Two super young siblings who are immature
  • Two older siblings who are mature
  • Two siblings with that in-between immature/mature feeling
  • And a whole lot of other possibilities depending first on their age, and second on their personality.

So, yup, depending on what you decide, the siblings can vary between a relationship like this all the time:

Siblings.gif

my siblings made me include that GIF, just saying

Or this:

0cc42f953ca3547aff5564adaa61de20

 

Third, You Have to Determine What Actually Makes Them Siblings

Okay, fantastic personalities and fantastic ages are…fantastic, and all…

giphy.gif

…butttt there’s got to be some deeper thing underneath that actually makes them feel like siblings.

This is just the base layer of their personalities. But sibling relationships have to go deeper, because they’re family and share a whole lot of things.

Soooo, even if their personalities are opposite, similar, or exactly the same (which is actually unbelievable, but I suppose it could be an option depending on what your story is about), they’ve got to have a connection with each other.

Meaning, in one way or another, they’re going to care for each other, no matter if they hate each others guts or not.

They’ll have their own unique ways of doing it, too, but one way or another, they’ll show each other how they love each other, even if it’s in the craziest ways ever.

Some possible ways to show this:

  • They protect each other
  • Neither of them let other people pick on the other.
  • They stick up for each other
  • They get each other – understand what they’re saying, and finish sentences
  • They tease each other mercilessly-in a fun or mean way, who knows?

There are actually a whole lot of combinations, which you can totally play around with as well. Just as long as it feels like something real siblings might do to each other, you can do anything you want!Screen Shot 2019-02-10 at 2.39.03 PM

Sibling relationships can be hard to create, but once you find the right ties between the two, (or many different, varying ties between many different siblings with different personalities and ages…) then you can create believable, realistic sibling relationships.

 

Have you guys ever struggled with writing sibling relationships?

What are some of your favorite books with awesome sibling relationships?

 

I hope you enjoyed this post! If you have any questions or thoughts, leave a comment down below.

Thanks for reading!

Mary

 

 

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5 thoughts on “How to Write Realistic Sibling Relationships In Just Three Steps”

  1. I have so many siblings (as you know) so I think it’s great that you wrote this post. *nod nod* Also, love the Toy Story 3 GIF. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely do know 😂 why thank you! *nods with you and professionally slurps tea* Course you do, you made me put it in 😂😂I’m just kidding, thank you, I quite like it too 😆

      Liked by 1 person

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