Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Parenting Problem in MG: #7 Adventures Lie Outside of Where Parents Normally Are

If you've been following along, we're on our 7th of 8 methods of separating kids from the parents / guardians / authority figures when writing middle grade books. One of the most important things to do, since the kids are the ones who really need to shine, and they can't do that if the adults are solving all the really big issues for them. And there are so many ways to do it! If you've missed any of the past ones, we've already talked about the Orphan, the Absent / Busy / Bad Parent, the Capable Parent / Capable Child, the Sibling as Parent, the Parents who are Missing Entirely and the Present Family, but Adventures Lie Within the Range of Normal. Today, we're on to the adventures happening away from the parents!

Adventures Lie Outside
of Where Parents Normally Are

Characteristics:

The parent situation can be anything you want it to be, because it doesn't have a strong bearing on the kids solving the problems, since most of the problems happen where the parents usually aren't present (such as school, bedroom, sports/music/arts practice, etc.).

Examples:

Okay, let's talk about these examples for a minute.


In Wednesdays in the Tower, the main character, Celie, is in the castle with her family. They're around, and she can go to them at any time, but all of the adventure parts-- and the parts where she really gets into trouble-- happen in her room or in the tower, or in parts of the castle where her family isn't.

In The Glitter Trap, all of MC Lacey's problems happen when she is either at school, walking to and from school, at a friend's house, or in her bedroom. Her family is there at home, but the parts where she solves the book's problems all happen when she's away from them.

And, of course, in P and F, the adventures happen in the backyard. (Well, and beyond, but that's where it all starts.)

Pros:

You usually never need to figure out how to get the kids away from their parents, because they already are, just by being in those places where kids that age are typically away from their parents anyway.

Cons:

All of their problems / problem solving generally have to take place within the physical areas where the parents would let them go on their own.

Tomorrow, peeps! TOMORROW, we'll get to the 8th and final method-- when adventures happen away from the parents. See you then!

1 comments:

Gwen Tolios said...

I feel like some of this happens in contemporary YA too, school time drama that teens don't tell their folk.