1. Ella Frank
    Offline

    Ella Frank Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2011
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Texas

    Is family important to you?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Ella Frank, Aug 7, 2011.

    Hi all!

    My question tonight is;

    Is a MC and their interaction with their family important to you? Is it important to you in showing you why they are the way they are?

    You see my two MC's are both the people they are because of their family.
    I love to read story's that have strong family connections and make you fall in love with the secondary characters almost as much as the MC's. Plus it also gives you a great opportunity to write a serie's ;)

    So do you think family is important in developing a character?

    Ella
    xx
     
  2. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Family, and the bonds and conflicts therein, can certianly contribute to story or character development.

    But I wouldn't consider it an essential element.
     
  3. Fullmetal Xeno
    Offline

    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1,364
    Likes Received:
    141
    Location:
    Kingdom of Austniad
    Sometimes. It all depends. But if your doing a novel where the kids or teenagers are on their own i wouldn't suggest developing their families too much. But yes, if the character has parents where they are both alive and etc then yes it's good to have that.
     
  4. Pythonforger
    Offline

    Pythonforger Carrier of Insanity

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2010
    Messages:
    405
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Amongst the Mortals
    What's your story, exactly? A tale about a boy stranded on a desert island with nothing but a spade and a match isn't going to be focusing on his family, except for some reminiscence and muses.

    But if you right a story about a teenager striking out on his own, you might want to develop that family.

    Family can also be great tools for character development, but only when appropriate.

    Think of your character as a robot. Now think of the family as a wrench. You're going to need screwdrivers, hammers, wires and all that to build a robot, not just a wrench. But somewhere along the line, you're going to need that wrench.
     
  5. Gigi_GNR
    Offline

    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Messages:
    12,143
    Likes Received:
    250
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    It depends on the character. Some characters that have no family I've loved as much as those that have a big family or are close to their family.
     
  6. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,723
    Likes Received:
    4,821
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    I find that most of my MCs don't have any family - none living and close by, anyway. I tend to write about loners. I'd like to write about a functional family, but I don't normally think in those terms.

    So I certainly don't think family relationships are necessary for a story. Obviously, characters are very influenced by their families or surrogate families, but that doesn't need to be brought out in the story at all.
     
  7. Sundae
    Offline

    Sundae Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    Messages:
    362
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    Astral Weeks
    Yes and No. There are themes in all my writings that I notice I tend to incorporate. Strong relationships is one of them and this can be in the form of family. However, if you're going to do it, I prefer for the relationship to be meaningful apart the fact that they are family. Apart from the fact that you should automatically care because you're related (this is assuming the good family relationships)

    What I really hate in books is when authors incorporate family and make them the cliched and stereotypical. The dotting mother/grandmother. The meddlesome mother just because it's her nature. Really, I don't want to read that unless it has a significant relationship to the plot.

    So as one answer, unless it significantly adds to the plot movement, I rather not read it if it's the stereotypical "filler"/"standard" of having familial relationships.

    Make it unique, I'd me more adept to want more of it.

    On the other hand, I think this is something that is very much an author and reader preference. One of the things that I really love to do in writing is create a strong relationship (father/son), (best-friends), (boyfriend/girlfriend), make my readers really love them and then I like to completely shatter the relationship, divide my readers between the two people and then slowly rebuild the relationship. It's weakness, I love doing this, and so reading books that have strong relationships at the core is something I personally like, but this may also because I like writing about strong bonds in general.
     
  8. VM80
    Offline

    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,211
    Likes Received:
    43
    Location:
    UK
    What I'm working on includes some strong family ties.

    But there's a lot of irony there at the same time, because both of my lead characters cannot speak to their parents about certain things. There is little chance to communicate freely, for a number of reasons.
     
  9. zbwriter
    Offline

    zbwriter New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2011
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't think it's necessary and I'd prefer not to read about it if it's nothing to do with the plot and the characters are just there because they're the family of the main characters.
    However, I like reading about it if it's part of the plot or if main characters happen to be related. I like writing about it, can't really imagine not doing. I've written an unpublished novel about a family set in three eras, the grandfather's actions mirror the actions of the grandson and the younger grandson becomes a different person because of his brother. My current WIP focuses on children abandoned by their parents at different ages and their parents coming back to cause more damage.
    In those cases, I think it's worth developing the family because the plot is all about the family. But even then I focus on significant members of the family to the story.
     
  10. andrewjeddy
    Offline

    andrewjeddy Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2011
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    2
    It really depends on the story as a previous poster pointed out. In my stories I have decided to have the family play a pivotal role. The plot involves two distinct families where the entire family are MC or important SC. A a major part of the story is the family relationship. Such as the children learning from their parents. I think if your story allows it you should try to incorporate the family of the MC into the plot and use it for character developement.
     
  11. Holo
    Offline

    Holo Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    0
    It depends. A lot of authors take the easy way out and make their main character an orphan. But if the parents aren't killed off or missing, I would prefer to see some sort of relationship or at least acknowledgment of the family. Even if their relationship is strained, it should still be addressed. Everyone has some sort of relationship with their family or at least one family member. I think it is important to show this.
     
  12. TerraIncognita
    Offline

    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

    Joined:
    May 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1,339
    Likes Received:
    40
    Location:
    Texas
    I don't find it to be overly important to include a character's family.

    To me it's just too many characters going on at once and gets messy. Unless the parents/siblings are integral to the plot I generally exclude them unless it's in a flashback detailing something important about the character.
     
  13. Xyphon
    Offline

    Xyphon Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2011
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Unless you are using their family as an element to the story, like an abusive dad, or an alcoholic mother, or a baby brother with leukemia or something, then it really isn't necessary. I've read plenty of books where the main character's family aren't talked about or if they are, they aren't talked about much.
     

Share This Page