Character Bank – Rival Half-Siblings

This is the first character bank entry I have made that I am including on here. I have others that will be making an appearance over the next year and I hope you like them.

This one is inspired by a story I saw, although the situation is generic enough that it probably appears dozens of times in stories.

Writing Prompt

A man with a child loses his wife and remarries. The man may or may not be concerned with the wellbeing of his child, but not long after he remarries his second wife has a child of her own and she wants her child to be the most important. It turns out that the younger half-sibling is a better at something that is important to the parents or maybe to the society they are in as a whole.

Character Bank

The younger is brought up to believe he or she is better than his or her older sibling, both because of this and because his or her mother props him or her up. Because of this he or she has become full of themselves. The older one is the kinder gentler one and feels guilty about avoiding his or her brother because it was easier to avoid his or her stepmother. Because he or she has less talent in the area that matters to their parents, he is pushed aside as an outsider and in time begins to believe that he doesn’t have a right to be part of the family anyway. Meanwhile the younger sibling gets more and more lonely, wanting to find favor with the older sibling, but at a loss as to how to go about that. The two do not get along, never have, but both of them wish they did, though neither shows it to the other.

It was fun to try and translate the basic elements of these two character’s relationship and try to bring it to a more generic setting. I imagine if you knew where the inspiration was from, you’d know very quickly who it’s based on, but without that, I doubt you will be able to find it unless you are just that familiar with the source material and even then, sibling rivalry isn’t exactly that uncommon in fiction. What could you do with characters like this?


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