SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

Things That Would Make A Kid Feel Fake

Discussion started on

Right off....this is a short story that is not FOR children. Rather, it's for adults where the MC is a 12 YO girl, so if this is too much of a stretch to post on the board, I get it. My thought was everyone here knows the heads of kids....

The MC needs to have increasingly nagging feelings of being a fraud, which hasn't been easy to write: inferiority/low self-esteem is something common in a 12 YO world, not feeling like a fraud or a fake.


1) She helps take care of her grandmother whom she loves, but when I try to use this to my end, it ends up feeling more like typical resentment or woe-is-me. (It would be out of character for her to intentionally slack off with her grandmother.)

2) She isn't a good student but everyone thinks she's smart and doesn't work to her potential, so this could be one area to draw it out...but she wouldn't find herself smart, so this would be more about self-doubt, etc.

3) She doesn't understand her religion, and her grandmother is devout and proud of her progress, so this could be another area...but, again, it seems to come off stronger as feeling inept, stupid, etc.

4) She is quick to identify hypocrisy. She calls her best friend on it once and she feels a clergy member is guilty of it.
4a) I have a scene coming up where she will be guilty of hypocrisy. (I don't think I'd want to use this more than once. Nobody's perfect yet more than one seems too easy-cheesy.)

Here's more elements to the story:

5) Through medical issues that can't be substantiated and what others call hallucinations or a very active imagination, she will become an enigma to her family. Realistically, they come to believe she has emotional or psychiatric problems.

6) Mother is single, hard-working, and man-crazy. Father blames mother for child's demise because the girl is left alone too much.

7) An internal struggles emerges in the MC once she realizes she harbors another identity inside, and if not concealed, would create chaos in her family, church and community.


Does anyone have ideas what would make a normal 12 YO feel like a fake? The story has a weird twist, but the constant elements throughout are family and religion. 

#1 - October 27, 2014, 03:59 PM
Imagination is more important than knowledge. Einstein.

Member.
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region arizona
Wow. That's a lot of stuff. Only thing that comes to mind is a pet. Maybe grandma has a pet or gives her a pet so she has to pretend to like dogs/cats/birds when she doesn't?
#2 - October 27, 2014, 05:49 PM
www.Facebook.com/MythRiderBook
- 4RV Publishing, April 2015
NO MORE MR. DAWDLE (Caramel Tree, April 2015)
UNGLUED (Caramel Tree, June 2015)

Trench Bunny Caretaker
Member
Poster Plus
What if she's adopted? I can see that being ripe for feelings of being a fake or fraud in the circumstances you've laid out. She's not really the granddaughter. She's not really that religion. She's not really like everyone else. She's a fraud.

Hope that helps!

Rue
#3 - October 27, 2014, 05:49 PM
WIP: ETBs 10687/35000 (30.5%)
WIP: IWWP 12045/35000 (34.4%)

Thanks, Cyndy and Rue!  :goldstar

Yeah, it is a lot. I'm not done with the first draft, so I haven't thrown it against the wall to see what sticks and what falls on the floor. The mother has too much baggage for this story and doesn't really move it forward. She'll likely be the first of a few casualties.
#4 - October 28, 2014, 06:36 AM
Imagination is more important than knowledge. Einstein.

Owl Princess
Admins and Mods Emeriti
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region canadaeast
Stuffing her bra?
#5 - October 28, 2014, 09:03 AM
ANTIQUE PIANO & OTHER SOUR NOTES
http://decoowlpress.com

Barb  :owl

Website: http://barbaraetlin.com
Blog: http://owlsquill.blogspot.com

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region canadaeast
I know she's only 12 but - dating a boy she doesn't like because she doesn't know how to say no or because it would make her more popular?
Having a secret habit that would be unexpected like smoking when she's the "good girl"
#6 - October 28, 2014, 09:17 AM
https://marlalesage.com/
Pirate, year round 2019 Acorn Press

Ooooh. Thanks, Barbara and Marla.  :goldstar
#7 - October 28, 2014, 09:58 AM
Imagination is more important than knowledge. Einstein.

Global Moderator
Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region longislandny
Kids this age will often do anything to be popular. It could be about friends as well as boys. Fake comes when you know you don't believe in what you are doing.

I think you need to have this be pervasive. She doesn't understand the religion, so she knows she doesn't believe in it. You can't believe in what you don't get. Add something that she is only doing to get the reward and not because she actually cares.

We all feel fake in certain moments.Sometimes we fake it until we make it. Other times we fail. The key will be to take her fakeness from one moment to the next.
#8 - November 03, 2014, 08:45 AM
Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
Twitter: @dvilardi1

Thanks, Debbie.   ::-)    Definitely...it needs to be pervasive.
#9 - November 03, 2014, 03:20 PM
Imagination is more important than knowledge. Einstein.

Members:

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.