Yesterday, I had the pleasure of hearing Rhonda Nelson, fabulous Blaze author, and her senior editor, Brenda Chin, talk about characterization. Great presentation, but that’s not what I want to blog. Maybe some other time. Instead, I wanted to talk about something Rhonda mentioned, Dead Parent Syndrome.
That is where your character doesn’t have a parent. Usually, they’re out of the picture because they’d died of [insert your demise]. In turn, allows the author to have their characters free to act anyway they want without interference or explanation to their parents.
I’ve read many books like that. While in historicals it is more common as many mothers died in childbirth and fathers in war. But in contemporaries the parents really shouldn’t be dead unless it is part of the plot [heir of unexpected fortune, survivor syndrome, revenge, etc.].
For myself, I enjoy having family for my hero and heroine. They love stirring up trouble. They’re sometimes comedy relief, confidante, sidekick, red herring, a murderer, or even better, the next book.
So I say, next time you’re about to write in a friend, use a sister or brother. Next time you’re about to include an advisor, make it a mom or dad. Viva parents!
Happy Father’s Day, Dad! Love you, your daughter.