I've been thinking about birth order lately because my novella's heroine is a middle child. My Summer 2014 Indulgence release has a heroine who is an only child. And my Margie Lawson Visceral Response manuscript's heroine is the last child in a family of many. Each of these heroines have different personalities and ways of coping with life, adversity, other people, themselves.
I'm one of two children. The oldest. Possibly the bossiest. But my brother grew up and became his own boss, runs his own company and is a take-charge guy in an understated way. So who's the boss now? The Physicist is one of two and the oldest as well. He's a take-charge guy, too. Coincidentally, my brother and my husband are the sign Taurus.
I'm a Capricorn. Locking horns is the name of the game here.
My daughter is an only child. She's got qualities of a first born child and a last born child as part of her personality. Some people think only children fit a stereotypical "spoiled child" picture. That couldn't be more wrong. I've met a lot of people who are only children and without exception each one of them have not behaved in a spoiled way. If anything, they are generous to a fault and very easy to get along with because they're probably used to navigating between two hovering adults. But that's just my theory.
My best friend in the Netherlands is from a family of five and lands smack dab in the middle of the clan. She's a great negotiator, arbitrator and knows how to take care of herself very well. She grew up and has four children; each one of them as unique as the snowflakes that fall in winter.
I'm not sure if birth order impacts personality as much as nature, nurture, life circumstances, and life experiences, but it's interesting to evaluate and understand from a writer's perspective.
So now I'm about to write a story about heroine who has always been stuck in the middle, a good kid with two parents who love her but were busy juggling the demands of running their resort, raising two other children, and loving each other. Sometimes she thought of herself as the "ride along chick." And sometimes being left to her own devices meant she could do what she wanted when she wanted to do it. She also likes being part of group, in the middle of a team and getting things done.
But now she has to face something that has rocked her world, and given her usual spunky optimism a cynical edge. If she doesn't figure out how to redefine herself, she could lose the one man who is perfect for her. Even though he seems completely, totally, out of her league.
I'm curious about your place in the family pecking order. Where did you fall? If you are a middle child or have raised a middle child, I'd love to hear about your experiences.