It’s with much pride that my mother says I’ve never broken a bone in my body. My parents are big on protecting their kids from harm and of course I appreciate that, but in my opinion they went a little to far. To them, avoiding harm and broken bones meant no sleepovers, school camping trips, plane flights, riding bikes, dating, etc. I still don’t know how to swim, roller skate, or ski. But one thing my parents encouraged me to do was read and do well in school, which definitely helped me love books and become a better writer.
Now that I think about it, it seems that some of my best qualities are the result of some of my parent’s “mistakes.” They tend to shout (when happy or angry), so I’m more quiet, observant, and reflective. They’re so cautious and resistant to change that, while I’m not impulsive, I do push myself to overcome my fears and pursue my passions. They’re stubborn and opinionated, and so am I. They’re loyal and would die for their kids and I…well, the same is true for me. I’m a mixture of some of my parents’ admirable qualities as well as their flaws, with a whole bunch of my own thrown in. No, my parents aren’t perfect and we’ve had our share of conflict, but they’ll be named with much gratitude on the acknowledgment page of my debut novel, Chosen By Blood, because I wouldn’t be who I am today and I wouldn’t have been able to pursue my writing dream if it wasn’t for them.
Yes, we can stifle the ones we love by wanting to protect them. Parents are overprotective of their children. Men of their wives. Brothers of their sisters, and so on. People sometimes do things out of love that we can’t understand. Sometimes their love ends up hurting rather than safeguarding, even if that’s not what was intended.
So what do overprotective parents or rocky childhoods have to do with writers and writing? Just a reminder that whether someone intends to do something for your own good or theirs, or to hurt you or not, very few people’s journeys will be perfect or smooth. In the end, it’s what individuals do with the rest of their lives that’s going to matter. That responsibility can’t be shirked or blamed away. Accept what is, change what you can, move forward, and build your future.
On April 4, I’ll be starting a workshop here at Savvy Authors on Story Structure. I’ll discuss a variety of ways to structure a story, as well as some things these methods have in common. Here’s a little preview—one of the things the methods have in common is CONFLICT. Of course, the main story conflict is created to stonewall one person—the story’s protagonist.
What’s the protagonist going to do with conflict? Well, she might cower or stumble or act rash and make mistakes, but she’s not going to lay down and just take it. Because how interesting would that be?
Wishing you much love and luck in life and writing!
Article Edited by: Rachel Firasek