Writing Forums

Writing Forums is a privately-owned, community managed writing environment. We provide an unlimited opportunity for writers and poets of all abilities, to share their work and communicate with other writers and creative artists. We offer an experience that is safe, welcoming and friendly, regardless of your level of participation, knowledge or skill. There are several opportunities for writers to exchange tips, engage in discussions about techniques, and grow in your craft. You can also participate in forum competitions that are exciting and helpful in building your skill level. There's so much more for you to explore!

a son who is scared of his mother (1 Viewer)

alpacinoutd

Senior Member
Hello all.

I'm writing a short story. In it, there is a teenage boy who is scared of his mother. I don't quite know how to show this in a way that is not boring.

For example, he wants to approach his mom to ask her to buy him a new phone. But he is scared and worried and I want that to be reflected in his behavior, body language, tone, the way he walks toward her, etc.

Do you have suggestions?

Are you scared of your parents?
 

Tim

Friends of WF
Hello all.

I'm writing a short story. In it, there is a teenage boy who is scared of his mother. I don't quite know how to show this in a way that is not boring.

For example, he wants to approach his mom to ask her to buy him a new phone. But he is scared and worried and I want that to be reflected in his behavior, body language, tone, the way he walks toward her, etc.

Do you have suggestions?

Are you scared of your parents?

Try to pretend that you are a movie director, and now it's your job to tell the actor how to act out that scene. Make a list of actions and thoughts for your actor. For example:

Eyes downcast, glancing sideways, unable to hold the mother's gaze.
Elevated heartbeat.
Quick shallow breaths.
Hesitant steps.
Too paralyzed to move: frozen.
Stammering speech.

Etc.

The teenager could have a flashback regarding what happened the last time they asked for something. It was terrifying. Right?

Now write the scene.

And no. I'm not scared of my parents.
 

Matchu

Senior Member
Write your draft and do 'be boring'.

And teenage sons afraid of mothers - you can write that - you have the skill and the qualities to write that story so trust yourself....you decided to embark on your own project.

Tho' I would argue as adolescence evolves - mothers being afraid of their sons - is the more prevalent societal circumstance. Quite difficult to draw empathy toward our malfunctioning 25 year old hulk. Whilst when I was the exact 25 year old hulk I suppose I was very drawn toward...well...purchase yourself a copy of Confederacy of Dunces and perhaps The Fuck Up for lack of a better selection.

It's difficult, boys are such bullies to their mums. God, it's so easy, you should be writing this and putting it out to crit. GET TO WORK, SON!

'Mummy, may I have a new telephone please?'

'New?'

'Only with the friction burns on the screen...I...I...I...'

'You stammer my little masturbator.'

'Yes Mommy...'

'And you need a new toy.'

'Si..'

'Peel the potatoes.'

'Yes.'

'And flush my lavatory. Mwooah hah hah.'
 

Phil Istine

Staff member
Global Moderator
Hello all.

I'm writing a short story. In it, there is a teenage boy who is scared of his mother. I don't quite know how to show this in a way that is not boring.

For example, he wants to approach his mom to ask her to buy him a new phone. But he is scared and worried and I want that to be reflected in his behavior, body language, tone, the way he walks toward her, etc.

Do you have suggestions?

Are you scared of your parents?

Hesitancy might be one way. Maybe build up to it and he ends up asking her about something completely different - a bit like walking into the chemist shop for first-time condoms and walking out with cotton buds.

No, I'm not scared of my parents. One died in 1976 and the other late last year. I was scared of them at one time, particularly my father, but that's a long story that I'm gradually wading through. My mother died when I was barely entering adulthood and there were multiple years between seeing my father - I didn't see him at all from 2005 to when he died, and I was relieved that covid restrictions meant I had an excuse not to travel 200 miles to his funeral.
 

Sir-KP

Senior Member
I was in that position when I was still in school.

The problem is that this kind of situation never made me ask my parents for anything other than crucial or school stuff.

This however also reflects on the kid's personality. If they were thick skinned, they'll find another way to ask, such as flattering or haggling with promises they won't do.
 

alpacinoutd

Senior Member
Try to pretend that you are a movie director, and now it's your job to tell the actor how to act out that scene. Make a list of actions and thoughts for your actor. For example:

Eyes downcast, glancing sideways, unable to hold the mother's gaze.
Elevated heartbeat.
Quick shallow breaths.
Hesitant steps.
Too paralyzed to move: frozen.
Stammering speech.

Etc.

The teenager could have a flashback regarding what happened the last time they asked for something. It was terrifying. Right?

Now write the scene.

And no. I'm not scared of my parents.

You made my day with these great suggestions. \\:D/
 

Foxee

Patron
Patron
Why is he scared of his mother? Is it an unreasonable fear or is she actually mean or even abusive to him? The reason I ask is that I would probably write it differently depending on the 'why'. Not to mention the whole action/reaction sequence between he and his mother is vastly different if she's a rather nice person or if she's all the way at the other end of the scale and has been dishing out serial physical abuse or something for his entire life.
 

alpacinoutd

Senior Member
Why is he scared of his mother? Is it an unreasonable fear or is she actually mean or even abusive to him? The reason I ask is that I would probably write it differently depending on the 'why'. Not to mention the whole action/reaction sequence between he and his mother is vastly different if she's a rather nice person or if she's all the way at the other end of the scale and has been dishing out serial physical abuse or something for his entire life.

She is mean and controlling and she humiliates him a lot. He always has to beg to get what he wants.
 

Foxee

Patron
Patron
She is mean and controlling and she humiliates him a lot. He always has to beg to get what he wants.
Fair enough. So here's a question back for you...are you in touch with any memories of feeling humiliated or embarrassed? Have you ever had to ask for something and felt very awkward doing it?
What did your body feel like?
What were your fears?
Any particular taste in your mouth or texture?
Did you sweat or just tense?
What about sound? Did your fear cause roaring in your ears or just inattention to noises around you or did the ambient noise seem louder?
What sorts of things might you have noticed about the other person? What sort of body language?

The reason I'm asking is that I can feed you description all day long but until you can feel yourself there to some extent in that moment you're going to struggle. Think about how your senses feel in a moment when you're uncertain and afraid and try to write the scene with those feelings. Then maybe post that and see if we can help you dial it in.
 

alpacinoutd

Senior Member
Fair enough. So here's a question back for you...are you in touch with any memories of feeling humiliated or embarrassed? Have you ever had to ask for something and felt very awkward doing it?
What did your body feel like?
What were your fears?
Any particular taste in your mouth or texture?
Did you sweat or just tense?
What about sound? Did your fear cause roaring in your ears or just inattention to noises around you or did the ambient noise seem louder?
What sorts of things might you have noticed about the other person? What sort of body language?

The reason I'm asking is that I can feed you description all day long but until you can feel yourself there to some extent in that moment you're going to struggle. Think about how your senses feel in a moment when you're uncertain and afraid and try to write the scene with those feelings. Then maybe post that and see if we can help you dial it in.

Thank you. These questions give me a lot of good ideas.
 

MistWolf

Senior Member
A teenaged boy mother like that isn't just humiliated. He's also angry, continually hyper alert, doesn't allow himself to show fear or pain because that's weakness, unable to perform basic hygiene because he's naked and vulnerable while bathing.

Kids sense there's something wrong and he's either bullied, shunned & ostracized, or becomes a bully to survive.

When writing this, the questions aren't along the lines of "how does my body feel when I'm afraid?" The questions are, "how does it feel to struggle with everything you have just to survive another day? Another night? To risk your life just to hold on to a small scrap of yourself? That no matter how well you do, she'll never be happy because it's not enough, it's wrong, that you turned it all to shit! Again! How does it feel to bail the rising sewage from the ship that's your life sinking into a cesspit, with a leaky teaspoon so you don't become an addict, a rapist, serial killer or worse!- the loser she knew you'd always be?"

What does it feel like to be embarrassed, humiliated and fearful of your mother? Like another fucking Tuesday.
 

Foxee

Patron
Patron
What does it feel like to be embarrassed, humiliated and fearful of your mother? Like another fucking Tuesday.
I'm sorry if it seems like my post was a detraction from an abused boy's suffering. When I asked about the level of abuse I was trying to figure out if it was physical, mental, etc. 'Humiliated' didn't give me much to go on as 'humiliation' can range from embarrassing a child in front of others to the severe physical and mental abuse in the book A Child Called It. (Warning: it's a rough read.) My post was intended to help a writer, not be an exhaustive exploration into psychology.

With that in mind, perhaps, alpacinoutd, delving into some research on the psychology on the sort of mother/son problem you're writing. Though MistWolf sounds like he's got a window into that.
 

MistWolf

Senior Member
I'm sorry if it seems like my post was a detraction from an abused boy's suffering. When I asked about the level of abuse I was trying to figure out if it was physical, mental, etc. 'Humiliated' didn't give me much to go on as 'humiliation' can range from embarrassing a child in front of others to the severe physical and mental abuse in the book A Child Called It. (Warning: it's a rough read.) My post was intended to help a writer, not be an exhaustive exploration into psychology.

With that in mind, perhaps, alpacinoutd, delving into some research on the psychology on the sort of mother/son problem you're writing. Though MistWolf sounds like he's got a window into that.

You did nothing wrong and have nothing to apologize for. I used your post as a jumping off point to get into character. Yes, it was hard to write and my heart was racing, but it gave my post punch.

It felt good to write.
 

Foxee

Patron
Patron
You did nothing wrong and have nothing to apologize for. I used your post as a jumping off point to get into character. Yes, it was hard to write and my heart was racing, but it gave my post punch.

It felt good to write.
You did a bangup job, that's for sure!
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top