Parents Don’t Be Too Kind to Your Kids

Right now I’m overthinking the dead parent trope. It’s a staple in fantasy for a reason, you need there to be no ties for your MC to worry about if they’re going to be able to go and make their way in the world.

I completely understand why it happens and in several other stories that I haven’t yet told, that is the case. Their parents will have screwed up or died or neglected them or whatever and that will mean the characters are at liberty to disappear and no one will look for them.

But for my WIP, the isn’t the case. I have characters who have parents; living, breathing, loving parents which means I’m playing around with reasons for leaving and reasons for not going back when they have a chance to.

There are reasons that I’m not killing the parents off. In one instance, it would screw up the timeline. For the other, it would fundamentally change who the character is and that wouldn’t work, not to mention the deep emotional ramifications that would have to be dealt with which would entirely slow things down. Then there’s the challenge aspect – I feel at this point it would be giving up, giving in to the easy option because the path ahead is a bit tricky.

Most importantly, I have great parents and I’ve still travelled the world and left home multiple times so it can be done. It just has to be done in a good way and that is the trick of it.


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