Writing a successful story asks for different aspects to be taken into consideration. We will start from building up “credible” characters, so realistic and vivid the reader’s “disbelief” will be suspended (to borrow Coleridge’s words!).
Tough to imagine the kind of upbringing Papa had been subjected to. No “well-done” had ever left his father’s lips. Words resounded like whips, there was no belief in sugar-coated words, such as “sweet heart”, or “well-done, honey”, or “congratulations my boy”, never to mention the absolutely forbidden expression “I’m proud of you”. His father’s belief was “harsh ways will turn you into a man of success”. That harshness, that hearth deprived of any warm sense of affection, certainly turned him into a man before his time and possibly contributed to him becoming a man of success. He toiled over his books and had to walk miles and miles to go to school, in the blistering sun and certainly not wearing the comfortable shoes he could afford for his children. He was undoubtedly better equipped than they because he could rely on himself only. His parents could not afford the best school for him and they could never help him, they were too busy at work. Instead his children had everything they needed, they had comfort, they had a wonderful house to live in, good food and most of all the guarantee of a top-notch education. No need to work to study, this was an advantage and privilege he had not been granted. He had to make sure not to be too soft with his kids. They had to succeed, they had to be the best. They had to be smarter than other kids, they had to be exceptional representatives of Papa’s success. He was a man of responsibility. He had to be tough for his children’s sake. Sweet words do not give you food. Sweet words do not let you climb up the social ladder. Sweet words do not gain you people’s respect. God invested him with that conviction. He was tough because God made him tough, so it was God’s will and he could not possibly go against the Almighty’s plans for him. You straighten a tree when it is still a sapling. His children were saplings and it was his duty to straighten them up.
This is the pdf file of the activity of “Purple Hibiscus”:
Then, the task is to write a poem hinging around the feeling of sadness, to sympathise with Kambili’s personal lot and sorrow.
Looking forward to reading your “depths of sorrow”.