So, for the last several days, we've been talking about writing middle grade, and how to get the parents / guardians away from the kids, so that they kids can do the really big, impressive things that solve the problems, without those pesky adults stepping in to save the day. So far, we've talked about The Orphan, the Absent / Busy / Bad Parent, the Capable Parent / Capable Child, and the Sibling as Parent. Today we are talking about those parents who are mysteriously MISSING.
Parents Missing Entirely
Generally the parents are never even mentioned, as if they don't even (and didn't ever) exist.
- It's the easiest method. Because, come on-- if there are no parents, then there isn't a single thing you have to do to separate them from the adults. They already are!
- The reader will always (always, always, always!) question why. The real trick is getting the reader to not be bothered by not knowing why there are no parents / guardians.
- Only some books will have a whimsical or fantastical enough feel to pull it off.
- Without parents, the kids have no parents to please or to have as role models, and the opinions of parents really matter at this age. So with no parents, you lose that element of your story (and also lose out on some of the relatability kids will have with your characters).