Writing Words With the Tips of My Toes
A thread on AbsoluteWrite’s Young Adult forum actually inspired me to write this topic.
We’ve all got writing sins, something we either do a lot because we don’t like it or don’t know how to write around it–or it just might be a common trope. In the case for me, I just don’t like writing parents, and I realize absent parents are a trope. At the same time, my characters aren’t without adult figures, but these adults figures also don’t try to act as replacement parents.
In fantasy and paranormal books, parents can do a lot to slow down the protagonist, especially if said protagonist has powers the parents don’t have, or the protagonist is required to go on some dangerous journey the parents won’t approve of. So I try to axe the parent element altogether, mostly because I don’t want to write about them. I can read them in other books just fine, but having to write them myself–no. But I don’t fall into the trap of making my protagonist an orphan either, because that really is a tired and cheap way of getting rid of parents.
But Amelia does have parental figures–mostly the nuns at the cathedral, especially Mother Aurelia. At the same time, these nuns are also authority figures and teachers, and they are just plain busy, so they don’t hover around the girls like parents often would, and they don’t demand conversation or constant insight into the thoughts of their pupils. They are there when they can be, but they don’t force themselves into the individual lives of the girls. This allows these girls room to strengthen their friendships with one another so that they learn how to help and get long with one another, as they do spend enough time around each other.
Amelia probably wouldn’t be the independent person she is with her parents around–and her brother would remain naïve of the world instead of learning at an early age that the world isn’t always a kind place.
Of course, she, too, isn’t without adult figures. Pastor Brandon is the constant adult figure in her life at the safe house, but he is more of an ally than a parent, offering advice without the expectation that Alice will follow any of it.
So, if you’re a writer, what are your writing sins? As a reader, what writing sins have you noticed in other books?
Stay tuned for Sunday’s post, where I do a cover reveal of an awesome book from an even more awesome author.