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  1. bdw8

    bdw8 Member

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    All three MCs had conflicts with their parents...

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by bdw8, Aug 5, 2019.

    I've found that all three of my main characters have something in common: they all had conflicts with their parents.
    • Character 1's conflict actively plays out in the story, and is the vessel through which the theme is explored. Her father is overprotective to an unreasonable extreme, but rather than challenge him, she silently suffers...
    • Until she meets Character 2, who joined the military to get away from his father, and has yet to return home. He empowers Character 1 to stand up to her father.
    • And then there's Character 3, who didn't have any major conflict with her parents, but identifies Character 1's struggle, and decides to help her.
    Of course, my characters have more going on than just this. But, it's what ties them together thematically.

    Still, is this something everyone can relate to? Are there any of you out there who never challenged your parents or can't remember any conflict where you felt they were wrong -- and, if so, how common are you all?
     
  2. NiallRoach

    NiallRoach Contributor Contributor

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    I personally never went through teenage angst and never had any major problems with my parents (besides your very standard squabbles). That said, I understand and can accept it in a book since it's such a commonplace trope in writing (and my girlfriend fucking loathes her father).

    I imagine most of us who had very few or zero issues at all with our parents understand that it's a very normal and expected source of conflict.
     
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  3. suddenly BANSHEES

    suddenly BANSHEES Senior Member

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    It's absolutely relatable. I had an abusive upbringing and have completely cut contact with my father. My relationship with my mother is strained as well, but less so, because she wasn't as bad as he was, and she's actually owned up to how she treated me and has been trying to make amends. In my own friend group, I'm not an outlier by any means.

    Though, thankfully, most of my friends were raised in less extreme situations, there was still enough neglect or open hostility to damage those relationships. I'm the only one who's cut ties with a parent completely, but most of my friends have strained relationships with at least one of their parents. In fact, there are only 2 out of the 8 of us who are still on good terms with both of their parents.

    I wish it wasn't as relatable as it is, but it's the reality for a lot of people. And like NiallRoach said, even those who haven't lived the experiences can understand it as a story mechanic.

    Also, that it would be something that helps the three characters bond with each other and support each other makes perfect sense! In my own friend group, we're definitely able to support each other when something bad has gone down involving family. It helps having friends in the same boat as you, even if that boat is full of holes and water and dead fish and is being eaten by a killer whale :p
     
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  4. bdw8

    bdw8 Member

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    Thank you both! I was afraid that I'd written myself into my characters a little too much, in that they all shared this common theme which I relate to as well. But, it sounds like this is indeed an all-too-common experience. The fact that it works to unite them is something that evolved entirely on its own -- and I really appreciate your encouragement here, suddenly BANSHEES! It sounds like I'm on track to write the story I want to tell. :)
     
  5. Malisky

    Malisky Mercury Retroblade Contributor

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    I'm not sure, but I think Rajneesh said this: "So, you think you are enlightened. Go and live with your parents for a week."
    There is no human relationship -not one!- without any conflict, especially when it comes to the people closest to you. And the people closest to you are the ones that have a direct effect on you and you on them and that's what every story is about. Relations and evolving. You don't need to hate your parents in order to get mad at them or rebel against them. It's all part of the relationship dynamics. Otherwise we would be nothing but the exact replica of our ancestors, which we aren't. Even if we were, we would still fight with each other. Would you take after your mother or your father and don't tell me that they never fight. Of course they do. Maybe they are decent enough never to have been caught on the act. This is one of my favorite parts in this manga. It resonated so much with me when I first read it, more than a decade ago, that I still remember it:

    [​IMG]
     
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