Friday, December 16, 2011

Bad Parents

While working on my project (Axl Rose as Vampire) I came across that common trope of a childhood mired in abuse (which Axl had). We had discussed reasons in class why many, or all, protagonists in UF have sordid childhoods, and one reason that came to mind was that maybe it's just easier for the author. When you place a character in a fantastic world, maybe more so than other environments, the reader wants to know as much about them as possible. In a real-world drama, we assume what we don't know about characters, but in fantasy, nothing can be assumed, so as readres we strive to know all. So therein lies the need to explain a protagonist's parents in the first place. As for them being dead or scoundrels, it seems like the quick and easy way to cut them out of the narrative. If we say "So and So had a lovely childhood and still goes home from goblin fighting to spend xmas with her family" the reader expects to see interactions with these parents at some point. Do they know what their daughter is out there doing? They must be worried and constantly checking up on her? So just kill em. Or make them bad people she never wants to see again. Then you don't have to write about them anymore and the reader gets an answer as to the background of So and So.

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