Sunday, November 9, 2008

Backstory : Birth Order - The Youngest Child

I’ve presented information about the effects of birth order on the first born and middle child. This article will cover the youngest child. Using this information can provide an author with excellent material to create realistic characters for your novels. It will provide realistic motivation, goals and conflicts, especially in contrasting relationships.

Characteristics
The youngest child presents a new situation. This child has the benefit of older siblings and parents who tend to dote on them and think it’s cute when they get away with behaviors the other children were not allowed to display. This child often receives a great amount of affection. If the child’s wishes are ignored by one family member, another will often grant the wish. Excuses will be made to cover the child’s indiscretions. He will be given help with homework and others tasks he is too lazy to complete. This child often grows up believing he has “king” status not only in the home but in the world.

Traits:
• people-oriented
• attention seeking
• manipulating
• dependent
• forgetful
• sensitive
• affectionate
• confident that they can’t go wrong
• laid back
• enjoy being babied
• fun and sometimes outrageous

Family Relationships:
• pampered
• catered to
• give more freedom
• excused for inadequacies

Results:
• Unable to follow through on commitments
• Expects others to cover his tracks
• Unable to see the seriousness in a situation
• Unable to keep deadlines or follow through
• feels disconnected
• Loving and can express affection
• skilled in negotiating
• determined

Family Dysfunction
Having been “spoiled,” when adversity strikes the individual continues to demand attention anyway he can obtain it. This individual can either being the family jokester (providing a needed and positive distraction for the family) or fall into a life of crime.

Career and Youngest Born
Because the youngest has been the focus of the family and given much affection, the individual remains with that need. He tends to be charming with a good sense of humor. He has the ability to manipulate situations and is often creative, since he was creative squirming out of responsibility. These individuals tend to select professions in the creative fields: advertising, sales, promotion, design, journalism or freelance writing and other arts fields. The abilities also leads those who are first born into administrative positions and into politics. They will often have higher incomes, greater than $100,000 per year.

Think of the interesting conflicts you can create by using birth order and dysfunctional family information.

5 comments:

Avily Jerome said...

Great info- thanks Gail!

Tara Ryan said...

Being the youngest, I have to disagree with much of this. I think sex has a lot to do with it too. My two older siblings are both boys and I have been a motherer (as opposed to being babied) since I popped out. I was by far (and still am) the most responsible of all three siblings. I was given less freedoms because I was a girl and because my brothers screwed up so much that my parents got stricter by the time I came along.
That being said, there are several qualities that hold true, for me at least. Fun and outrageous, sensitive, affectionate, determined, creative.
Just another perspective.

Gail Gaymer Martin said...

Tara - As you know exceptions happen to every rule. As a whole, the birth order is quite accurate but it is effected by a variety of things that make such a unique family structure that it is different. I'm glad about that. I don't like some of the things for the oldest -- but I do see them in me.

Gail

Yustinus said...

I wrote 2 novel scripts, about 400 and 100 pages 2 years ago. So far, I can't found any publishers interested in my scripts. I can't blame them, I know my scripts lack of drama and conflicts.
So, I found your website, I read and read, hoping I can learn to create more complex drama and conflicts in my scripts.
Thank you for share your knowledge and experiences.

Gail Gaymer Martin said...

Hi Yustinus - So glad I could help a little. Scripts are a whole different bag with their own unique format. Have you ever thought about going to a conference or workshops such as Act I. They are top notch in training screenwriters or playrights for that matter. But you're right. Conflict techniques and character development are still used in plays as well as novels.

Gail
www.gailmartin.com