Monday, November 28, 2011

Like Mother, Like Daughter

Tip of the Day: Keep yourself from letting holiday stress invade your body. Stock up on yogurt and cranberry juice. Enjoy the last great apples of the season.

So in my past novels, for various reasons, there has been a focus on the main character's relationship with his or her father. Years ago, I heard Laurie Halse Anderson speak about writing as a male character, and she recommended exploring his relationship with his father. This really strengthened my first novel. The next time I wrote from a male point of view, I also focused on Dad.

But somehow it's never gone the other way. My female main characters have had more memorable relationships with their fathers than their mothers. But that's going to change soon. For my next novel, Mom is going to be a very important player. Unfortunately, she's also going to suck.

I feel bad about that. I'd like to model a healthy mother/daughter relationship, but I think if you have a wonderful mother behind you all the way ... well, you're less likely to be in the dire straights that a novel demands.

Some authors who have done mother/daughter relationships very well in novels I have loved are Deb Caletti, E.M. Crane, Elizabeth Scott, and of course Sarah Dessen. So I have some great examples to help me.

But in the end, I think this mother is going to be a bad person. Hopefully, she'll be fun to write, in any case. What about you? When you're writing about a female main character, how much thought do you put into the mother/daughter relationship?

-- Kate, Miss Perfecting the Pages

1 comment:

DeenaML said...

Huh, that's interesting. I never thought about the parent-teen relationships in my books that much, but now that I AM thinking about it, I have more Dad relationships than Mom ones too....