No, this post is not an illusion. I’m actually doing BP early in the month, like, the day after it was posted! This has to be a first. I’m so proud of myself. AND it’s BP’s one year anniversary of returning to the blogging world! *throws cake and devours confetti* Or. . .something like that. A very happy anniversary to my favorite blog linkup!!!
This month our ever clever hosts Sky and Cait have worked up a special theme centered all on our characters’ relationships with their. . .PARENTS. Brilliant, right? I think we writers tend to forget those amazing people who, you know, RAISED our beloved characters before we took them under our wing
and torture them. Parents are awesome and should never be forgotten. Now, a lot of us have orphaned charries (you are not alone, I’m guilty, so very guilty) but you can use a mentor, grandparent, guardian, just whoever parents your character! Obviously you want to show appreciation to these people. So head on over to THIS POST or THIS ONE, snag the questions, and show those parental people we do actually acknowledge them. Because if they did not have parental figures our characters would be off robbing candy stores and staying up way past their bedtimes, right? We like the parental units.
Now, as I said, I’m extremely guilty of having a loooot of orphaned characters. What is with us writers? I don’t even know. BUT I am getting better and have been proud at how many parents have been cropping up in my stories. Woot, woot!
Currently I’m still working tirelessly on Burning Thorns, more than usual actually. On a whim I decided to do a JuNoWriMo and set a goal of writing 30k words for the month. Writing has been going a smidge slower than I’d like so I thought this would give me just the boost I needed. So far it’s going well!
Since I’m so deep in Burning Thorns I knew I wanted to do a character from it, and I’m currently working on a chapter through Anya’s POV who I thought would work very well with these questions. Anya is the oldest sister of Rose (my female protagonist) and is. . .basically the antagonist. She’s not exactly the type of sister who will sit around braiding your hair and telling you funny stories. She’s a spiteful little thing, but she’s a fun villain to hate. Something about exploring the inner workings of antagonists always fascinates me. Maybe I’m weird. *shrugs*
With a shout, she slammed her riding boot into the base of the nearest tree. "Just let me in, you stupid trees!" Her boot found another trunk and her fist a branch. "Let. Me. In." A thwap of her fist emphasized each word.
"You know, they really don't like to be yelled at."
Anya's hand froze midair. With narrowed eyes, she scoured the shadows. "Sneaking up on a lady is uncivilized. Show yourself."
"Oh, so you're a lady now? I was unaware assaulting trees categorized under ladylike behavior."
Her mouth parted, a retort waiting on her tongue, but she snapped her lips back closed and pushed the words, the anger, down. Farther down, farther. She dropped her hand to her side and took a step back, straightening to her full height, though her fingers stayed clutched in a tight ball. The new words on her tongue released calmly. "It would be much easier to converse if I could see whom I'm addressing."
~ Anya ~
1. Do they know both their biological parents? Why/why not?
Yep, yep. She was raised by both of them, but when she was thirteen her mother died. (Now don’t roll your eyes, this is a Beauty and the Beast retelling and there’s no mother in the original fairytale either, it had to be done.)
2. Have they inherited any physical resemblances from their parents?
Her father has brown eyes and dark hair, there’s very little resemblance between the two. But she has the same fair hair and blue eyes of her mother. Though, honestly, Marigold (the middle sister) resembles their mother the most out of the three sisters, while Rose inherited a lot of traits from their father. Anya looks the least like either of the parents. She did gain her tall build from her father. The other two sisters are much smaller.
3. What’s their parental figure(s) dress style? Add pictures if you like!
This is a very fairytale, medieval-type setting, so the clothes would match that feel. Her mother liked elegant but simple dresses, airy and soft, like her. She loved light purples and yellows and pinks and greens. While her father prefers more regal outfits. You may find him in things like dark blue doublets, crimson tunics, intricate robes, etc.
4. Do they share any personality traits with their parental figures? And which do they take after most?
Anya absolutely takes mostly after her father. She never took to her mother’s playful, absentminded personality. While Rose and Marigold were chasing butterflies in the gardens with their mother, Anya stayed inside studying politics with her father. Her stern, stately mannerism all came from him. As did her stubbornness. Whatever traits she may have gained from her mother she squelched at a very young age.
5. Do they get on with their parental figure(s) or do they clash?
She and her mother definitely clashed. Anya could never understand why a grown woman acted so childish, and she expressed her opinion often. But her father is her role model. For most of her life she thought he could do no wrong. She spends every single day striving to gain his respect and be more like him.
6. If they had to describe their parental figure(s) in one word, what would it be?
Her mother: Frivolous
Her father: Respectable
7. How has their parental figure(s) helped them most in their life?
Shadowing her father day in and day out fully shaped Anya into who she is. She knows he has stretched her to be the person she wants to be. By watching him she has learned that emotions can’t get in the way of anything, that knowledge is power, that one cannot give up on what they think is right, ever. She lives by these rules every day.
As for her mother, Anya doesn’t believe she aided her in anything. Except maybe as an example of who Anya doesn’t want to become. But Anya turned harder after her mother’s passing. I believe her mother’s soft touch and sweet words left an impression in Anya’s life far more than she would ever admit.
8. What was their biggest fight with their parental figure(s)?
As I said before, she and her mother clashed a lot. I’m pretty sure their biggest fights revolved around Anya demanding her mother stop corrupting Marigold and Rose with her childish ways and start being a proper example to them.
She hardly ever went against her father. That is until one day he announced Rose, the youngest sister, would inherit everything instead of Anya with no explanation to speak of. Yeah, you can imagine the yelling that produced. Her father took a step down from the pedestal she put him on after that day.
9. Tracing back the family tree, what nationalities are in their ancestry?
This is a completely made up world and I haven’t actually done a whole lot in the way of world building yet. I plan on exploring that a lot more with the second draft. So. . . *shrugs* They’re from a long line of families raised in the made up kingdom of Cantrelle. That’s all I know right now.
10. What’s their favorite memory with their parental figure(s)?
One time, when she was very, very young and the burdens of life hadn’t yet been hefted on her shoulders, her mother allowed her to try on any one of her gowns and even braided her hair up in an adult fashion. Of course the dress swallowed her, but Anya had never before felt so grown up and beautiful. When she got older she took to wearing much more intricate, fashionable clothes than her mother’s simple tastes, but that moment stuck somewhere deep and sacred in her memories, however much she pretends to ignore it.
With her father she loves any time when it’s just her and him working in silent companionship in his study.
And that’s Anya for ya. She definitely has some problems to work out, but I really enjoy her role in the story, however corrupt and warped her thinking may be.
~ ~ ~
So what do you think of parents (or lack thereof) in fiction? Do you have any interesting parental figures in your own novels? And hey, I’m curious. Do you have a favorite parental unit in a certain book?