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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

My sister's a real character

by Terry McLaughlin

Sisters and series: a match made in heaven. Or so it seems, judging from the number of sisters-based book series. Or is that series-based sets of sisters?

I glanced through my own published and upcoming books, searching for female siblings. I've written two three-book series, yet within those six books I found only one–one!–pair of sisters. And those weren't biological sisters, since one was adopted.

I guess this proves that I'm a fan of sisters of circumstance. Sisters of story.

My story sisters gossip and tease and talk in their private codes. I love inviting them into scenes just to discover what they'll do or say. Yes, they support each other, but they also tell the tough truths. It seems no one else can help a heroine get back on her story track like her kitchen-table sisters.

Sisters can be handy characters in an author's toolbox, can't they? They can enrich and expand and explain the heroine's world. They can serve as sounding boards or studies in contrast, as mentors or mirrors.

Do you enjoy reading about sisters? Do you add sisters to the stories you write? What do you think sisters add to a hero's or heroine's story?

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At 7:56 AM, Blogger Gillian Layne said...

It's been interesting for me to write sister characters because I have no sisters of my own, but have three girls. Watching them interact is fascinating.

At 10:20 AM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Gillian, that's great. My husband never had sisters and I never had any brothers so when we had two boys and two girls, we were always having to tell each other that whatever they were doing at the time was perfectly normal. :)

Terry, fun post. I bet you're going to have fun with your writing friends today!!! Writing friends are the best because they get what we're going through...

I agree with what you said that sisters in books can be HONEST and set the characters straight! :)

At 1:20 PM, Blogger Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

I do enjoy reading about sisters, particularly when each one gets her own book. It's always interesting to see what they have in common and what things differentiate them.

At 3:14 PM, Blogger PatriciaW said...

I do like reading about sisters, maybe because I have three of them. But funny thing, I always find myself writing about brothers. I have two of them, but I think it's more because I also have three sons, so I'm pretty surrounded by testosterone.

At 3:54 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Patricia, that's funny you said that about writing about brothers because I do the same thing. I always throw two or three brothers in there... I wonder if it's because we didn't have any so it's fun to write about them!?

At 6:52 PM, Blogger Judy said...

I've read more brothers series than sisters series. I enjoy seeing the interaction between the siblings. Siblings bring out things no one else does. :-)

I recently read The Diamonds of Wellbourne Manor, an anthology by Diane Gaston, Deb Marlowe and Amanda McCabe. Having three different authors write for different sisters and yet having to interrelate within their stories is always fascinating.

After ordering my first Diane Gaston/Perkins book (a heart sister got me hooked) from Amazon, I received the notice, "You bought this book, so you might like this book" for Perfect Waltz. My favorite sister series is Annie Gracie's Perfect Rake, Perfect Walt, Perfect Stranger, and Perfect Kiss.

At 11:27 PM, Blogger Terry McLaughlin said...

I'm glad you're having fun with your fictional sisters, Gillian :-). I know I have a lot of fun with mine ;-).

At 11:28 PM, Blogger Terry McLaughlin said...

Yes, Theresa, I had a great time with my writing buddies today :-). And that long drive gives story ideas a chance to seep in ;-).

At 11:29 PM, Blogger Terry McLaughlin said...

Hi, Trish :-)! Ahh--differences in siblings. Fascinating stuff :-)! I enjoy assembling groups of fictional friends that have lots of contrasts, too.

At 11:32 PM, Blogger Terry McLaughlin said...

LOL on being surrounded by testosterone, Patricia :-)! I enjoy writing men characters more than writing writing women, but I sometimes wonder if I'm getting the men "right." Ah, well, reading in this genre is supposed to be a bit escapist, right ;-)?

At 11:35 PM, Blogger Terry McLaughlin said...

Judy, you're so right--siblings are better at revealing secrets than just about anyone, aren't they ;-)?

I loved Anne Gracie's "Perfect" series, too :-)! And I enjoyed getting to know Anne herself a couple of years ago.

At 9:23 AM, Blogger Mo H said...

I have a published short story about sisters called "Resolutionary War" in A Day in Mossy Creek. The protagonist Pearl has to deal with her sister Spiva trying to sabotage her diet. It was a lot of fun writing it. A paranormal YA I wrote also deals with the sisterly relationship among other things. My protagonist in that book is the middle sister, something I know all about!


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