I'm writing a book and I am struggling to write the relationship between two sisters. They are very close and 8 years apart in age.

The older one is called Reagan (she is 16 years old) and she's quite protective of her family but she's quite snarky and torments her sister. She values family over anything and everything.

On the other hand, Melian the younger sibling who is is 8 is quite reckless and nonchalant but can be quite grumpy or aggressive. They are not the type of siblings who snitch on each other though.

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    This is kind of the whole point of writing. Doing this well is good writing, and it's full of subtlety. Choose the end-goal for your story, and have the two behave to reach it. Is one of them the point-of-view character? Does it switch back and forth? Do you have any personal experience with sibling relations (yourself or those of close family/friends) on which to model the relationship?
    – DWKraus
    Commented May 31, 2021 at 21:24
  • Well Reagan the older sibling is the point-of-view character. I do have two older sisters (10 and 14 years older than me) but we are not very close and I think If I wrote a relationship based on my relationship with them, it would be quite unrealistic.
    – Chloe.m123
    Commented Jun 1, 2021 at 10:56
  • Does this mean that you already figured how to develop Reagan's and Melian's characters on their own, and struggle only with their relationship aspect?
    – Alexander
    Commented Jun 1, 2021 at 18:49
  • The advantage of writing sisters over writing spies or robots is that most people know people with sisters, even if they aren't one or don't have one themself. Look at people you know. Think about your childhood. How do they relate? What kinds of different relationships do you see? And there are also a lot of fictional siblings, so why not look at a classic like Little Women or something more recent.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Feb 7, 2022 at 18:09
  • Will you please cite three of four titles which in your view do that well, and another three or four that fail at it? How many come from the same author matters not at all… Commented Mar 9, 2022 at 19:17

1 Answer 1


To write believable characters, you need to ask each one a lot of questions. If you want to get seriously into their nitty-gritty, you want to ask yourself what goal or objective each of them wants to reach. Why do they want it? What will they do to get it? How will they react if the objective is denied?

These questions are much more important than the color of the characters' eyes, or what their birthday is, etc. Your characters' responses to the goals/objectives questions will show you the best sources for conflict. And conflict lies at the heart of all good fiction.

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