Wednesday 6 March 2024


 I mentioned this in a previous post. Friends and families are quite a thing in novels at the moment - especially found families - the ones you make, not the ones you are born to.

And that actually opens a whole can of worms. You have a 'new' family - what happens to the old one?

I've had several occasions when I've scratched my head  over what to do with the protagonists' parents. You can deal with siblings by not giving them any, but I had very supportive parents who would never have let me flounder around in the trouble I have dropped my hero or heroine into. This might be the reason that this bothers me when writing. I can't just ignore the parents. So, sorry, but they have to go. Divorce and loosing touch is an option, but then they are still THERE. The obvious thing is kill them off - heartless but convenient - but there are only so many fatal car crashes you can stage - and I know I wince a bit when I am reading and come across yet another one. It's a dangerous business having kids in fiction. Emigration is a possibility and I have used that for a sibling that I carelessly allowed my hero to acquire. Other than that - I've made the parents older - to allow for natural causes, I've staged a fire, a drive by shooting, an accident on an archeological dig ...

Or you can keep them around and make them a problem in themselves. I must say I have a bit of a weakness for books where the family is trying to coerce the protagonist into something and there is an on-going battle. Always good to be able to cheer for the protagonist. 

And if all else fails, there's always that fatal car crash ... 

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