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Thread: Character Question

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Character Question

    Hello!!I just started writing my novel hopefully when I get to 50 posts,I can share it with y'all.But for now I was stuck with one of my characters not sure where I want take her.At the beginning when the narrator and her family arrives to their new house,they are greeted by an old lady in blue uniform.My friend suggested she could be a governess or maid.My question is,Is 15 too old for governess?Also would it be realistic for modern family have governess for their daughter who attends private school?
    Last edited by mandymanders85; 01-11-2013 at 04:50 PM.

  2. #2
    You can't sit with us! missesdash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Paris, France
    I'm sure mods will clarify this, but I'm fairly sure you're not allowed to share your work on any of the sub-forums until 50 posts.

    This is a small paragraph, however, so maybe it doesn't count. I'm not exactly sure what you're asking? The passage has so many typos and grammatical issues that it's hard to get through. It reads as if English isn't your first language; there are conjugation issue. I'd suggest reading it out loud and also ordering a style manual.

  3. #3
    Trust: that most precious coin. little_e's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Modern families don't have governesses. Private school is irrelevant.

    Even my full-time, live-in caretaker was just called a 'babysitter', though now that I'm an adult I refer to her as my nanny (or just by name), since she did so much more than just take care of me for a few hours on Friday evenings.

  4. #4
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin storiesinmyhead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    East Coast, USA
    If they are really wealthy they might. A 15 yr old can't drive yet so she would be reliant on someone else to driver her around and provide meals if the parents are absent or busy at work. She wouldn't really need someone watching her around the clock though. Is the 15 yr old the only child? If she had a younger sibling it might be more realistic.
    Last edited by storiesinmyhead; 01-13-2013 at 04:06 AM.

  5. #5
    practical experience, FTW cornflake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Housekeeper - everyone I know uses 'housekeeper.'

  6. #6
    practical experience, FTW breaking_burgundy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    in transit
    Is this a modern novel or a historical novel? If it's a modern novel, then probably not, as 15-year-olds are not legally allowed to work in the US without parent permission, and even then I don't think they're allowed to work full-time jobs. (Also, what kind of responsible adult would hire a teenager to clean their house/take care of their kids full-time? Eighteen, maybe, but definitely not fifteen.)

    If it's a historical novel, then go do some research on the time period. Libraries and the internet exist for a reason.

    Also, if you just started this novel, I wouldn't recommend jumping to show it off ASAP. A) A lot of beginning writing attempts are trunked before Chapter 6, B) if you actually do finish this draft, there's a good chance you'll realize that you're starting the novel in the wrong place, so the Chapter One everyone worked so hard to critique won't even make it to the book, and C) it's usually courteous to critique a few other people's writing samples before you ask them to do the same for you. I know it's hard to be patient and that all of us can't wait to show our writing to the world as soon as it lands on the page, but asking for critiques this early in the game will only waste a lot of people's time.

  7. #7
    practical experience, FTW amschilling's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    In my head.
    I think the OP meant the MC was 15. She said the governess was an old woman.

    IMO, if this is modern day and in the US then no--it's not realistic that she'd be a governess (or called that) per se. Perhaps a nanny/live-in babysitter if there's a younger sibling. More likely a live-in housekeeper, with some child-watching duties. For the UK, I'm not sure if governesses are still the term. And I'd still think 15 might be too old.

    If the 15-yr-old had some emotional or physical challenges, it would be more likely that the family would hire someone as a babysitter at that age.

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