You’ve got a mind-blowing plot, a terrific protagonist, and a concept higher than Mt. Everest.
But then those pesky parents enter the picture. Everyone has parents, so you can’t ignore mom or dad or some kind of guardian, yet our stories are for kids.
Here are some choices I’ve seen in both YA and MG:
- One parent is dead or better yet, both parents are dead.
- Child grows up in an orphanage for lost souls and other neglected creatures. Parents might never enter the picture.
- Parents are kind of loopy and rather neglectful. (But, hey, this is fiction.)
- Parents disappear suddenly and that mystery is included in the plot.
- Parents are stable and the parent/child relationship provides conflict.
- Many of the scenes are set outside of the home as to avoid the parents.
- Child attends a boarding school.
Of course, there are as many options as there are stories. And one choice isn’t really better than the other. It totally depends on what you want to do with your story. Don’t automatically think the parents have to be dead, sometimes they can add depth to your main character and make the story more believable.
Two great examples of this are author, Kate Messner’s, award-winning THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z and her soon-to-be-released SUGAR AND ICE. I loved both these stories and gave them terrific reviews. My reviews are here and here.
And lucky for us, Kate will be visiting tomorrow and talking about how she deals with parents in her stories. It should be a great post! Hope you’ll come back and visit.
What are your pet peeves with parents in fiction? How do you deal with the parents?