There are some of us who might stare at our sleeping parents and feel like prodding them until they wake up so that we may ask: “Why do parents exist?” Of course, that could just be me (in which case I can’t say I’m surprised) but still. It is an interesting question, seeing as it links (in my head) to ‘what do parents mean to you’ and by extension, the characters you write. Now, when considering that, we do also have to consider how our parents’ views influence us. Do we believe one thing or another? Why exactly? I’m pretty sure my belief that griffins exist somewhere in the world has nothing to do with my parents influencing me (they tell me that griffins don’t exist often enough for me to be able to say that, knowing that I’m not lying with that statement.)
But how would a character who is, for example, just born out of energy, or never knew their parents and grew up on their own, decide what to believe? Would their environment affect them, or would they be just so weirdly innocent that it is awe-inspiring, the lengths that their mind will go to to explain something in a way that coats it in sugar…. and a bit more sugar, for good measure.
What lenses do your characters look through, that were tinted by the lenses that their parental units see through? I can’t exactly speak for my characters (don’t know the ones I’m currently working with well enough yet) but I do know that parents mean the following things to me:
A) Good grief…. GET IT DONE ALREADY!!!!
B) Lots and lots of teasing, with embarrassing baby stories thrown in for good measure.
C) Encouragement…. Followed by a reminder that your creativity is splendid but could you please save it for once the chores are completed, etc?
D) Outrageous stories (particularly about learning to crawl, when it’s my Dad talking. Mom doesn’t usually think up outrageous stories about my time as a babybut I can’t seem to think of any good ones right now) mixed with a couple lies (i.e. When my Dad told me Mom had gone grocery shopping without me and I burst into tears, not knowing she was in the next room. Subsequently, I told her to give him trouble and never do it again, which, to her credit, she managed to do with a straight face.)
E) Finding the stuff you wrote as a little kid so you can be appalled with how atrocious your writing was (even though its only improvement is that the letters are smaller and less wonky).
F) Hugging (a.k.a. The loving assault of the parental units when they get in the door).
G) Teaching. What? Everyone likes knowing something their parents didn’t, then lecturing them on it! Or is that just me?
H) Editing posts. Mom makes sure I’m not overusing words, which would mean this might not be as interesting.
I) Occasional initiative to finish a story. Hasn’t someone other than me got the “I’ll finish reading it when you’ve completed the story” response to a puppy-eyed request for them to read it?
J) They are a driver for you until you are sixteen, or you have an older sibling who has their driver’s license (I’m looking’ at you sis. Get it so you can drive me places…. like the mall! Or better yet, the book store!)
K) Boosting your ego through telling you that you are wonderful etc. to which you just smile and nod distractedly, seeing as you are much too busy planning world take-over to notice compliments. If your favorite author or a bunch of free books had arrived for you that would be a totally different matter of course.
L) I promise this is the last one! They are also meant to tell you when even though you can hug a person to help them get warm in real life, you aren’t allowed to do it in the swimming pool (even if it’s for your sister or an imaginary crocodile person. You must have been imagining him trying to bite my fingers Mom, Chazz wouldn’t do that to me! We’ve been friends too long!)

A fun fact: Chazz existed for about five seconds in my head while I was practicing my “back rocket ship” with no floatation devices for the first time.

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