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A hard character to nail down

Posted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:32 pm
by Olsenpotter
Ok here's the deal. I'm writing a novel and up until now I've been doing good on my own for coming up with movation and the like for my characters. I'm stuck on the wife of my main character. I don't want o give too much away about it (I'm playing things very close to the vest), but I'm having trouble coming up with a good reason for a mother to kill her child. First a little background. The child isn't her husband's, the child is her lover's. The wife is also 12 years younger than her husband. I want to be able to have her kill this child (all this is happening prior to the story starting but it plays a big part in the relationship between the Protag and his wife because she lets him think that it was his fault, mainly because she doesn't want him to know about the affair) and still have her seem like a good person.

I guess my question is can a mother still seem like a good person if she kills her baby?

Posted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 4:10 pm
by *Elle*
In my input no.

Posted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 11:32 am
by pengwenn
There are real-life people out there who have down really hideous things for "the right reasons" according to what they believed to be the right reasons. And there are people that outwardly appear to be good people who have deep inner secrets that would scare the pants off of their close friends. Maybe if she's desperately in love and is afraid her husband would leave her if he found out she "would get rid of the evidence" and make him feel guilty about the death so he feels guilty about her "grief". She manipulates him out of fear of losing him, but everything else about her is good.

Posted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 2:52 pm
by Mlou
Well, that's a poser, Olsen. Perhaps she knows of a horrible, progressive medical problem that crops up in her family, for which there is no cure. And she sees the early signs in the child. She could convince herself that it was to keep her/him from suffering, although it would remove an obstacle to her own happiness as well, which she doesn't CONSCIOUSLY think about. Subconscious is another story.
I'd suggest you read up on some of the recent cases of mother's killing their children. There was one who drove her car, with the kids in seatbelts, into a lake. Another whose child was missing for days and she didn't report it. I think she is, or was, on trial not too long ago. What was their motivation?