Thursday, April 12, 2012

K is for Kindred

Kindred - one's family and relations; relationship by blood.

Family, kindred, can be important for a story in different ways. While they can make for interesting characters in stories, also their absence can have a big affect on the main character. There are so many roles for the kindred folk that they can help make a story unique (or make it cliche depending on how they are used).

I will admit it... I have a few stories where a parent or both are dead or at least gone. Ottohahn's mom died in a work accident, Wyck's mom supposedly died near the border cause a monster broke through, both of Isaac's parents were killed, Sage doesn't know who his real parents were and Dominic's are also gone. On the other hand, there are plenty of characters who have parents actively involved in the story. Noah's parents are a part of the story, same with Ephram's and many others. Even the adult characters sometimes have to deal with their parents. hehe

But what about other relatives?

In The Lorax movie, the grandmother was one of the coolest characters, same with the snowboarding grandma from the red riding hood cartoon movie. But how often are grandparents really used, especially in speculative fiction? I've seen them in a few books but to be honest, I haven't written many grandparent characters, or other relatives either. Might want to work on that. There is much potential in the use of kindred that I may work on using more in stories. Depends on the story.

How do family members affect your main character?
Do you have any absent ones?


DeniseCovey_L_Aussie said...

As you say Dawn, it depends on the story. I think with the kind of story I write, parents add a layer and grandparents can really add interest, especially if the actions of the MC somehow spring from something in the past.


Dawn Embers said...

Denise - Thanks for the comment. So true that kindred can add a layer to a story/character or more.

Tara Tyler said...

those are the kind of grannies i want to be! i thought the same thing!

The Hopeful Romantic said...

Most of my Grandparents passed years ago so they have no real bearing on anything i conceive - my parents and my siblings ar my heart so any stories where the character had suffered the loss of one or all would 'get' me instantly.

Magic27 said...

I have the feeling that if I were to write, I would find it very hard to write family relationships (my attempt at NaNoWriMo needs serious editing and it's my only attempt at "writing"). My own family is so small that I have little experience to go on (I'm an only child, I never met 3 of my grandparents and the one I knew died almost 25 years ago; of my many cousins there's only really one that I ever see and just about all my aunts and uncles (and their spouses) are also dead and/or I never knew them anyway. Also, my mother died 9 years ago of early-onset dementia and was basically a stranger for the last 2 or 3 years).
Do you think you have to have experience of something to be able to write about it convincingly? My NaNoWriMo effort doesn't fit that premise at all, so I do wonder...

Charmaine Clancy said...

Good theme to raise. In MY ZOMBIE DOG my 14yr old MC clashes with his mother, his father has dumped the family for something new and his great grandmother has lost her marbles. BUT he is a wonderful big brother to his baby sister and doesn't resent looking after her one bit. I like that characters can relate differently to different family members. A really good example of this is 'A Wrinkle in Time' - a fair-sized family, some were in sync and some didn't understand each other, but there was still love.
Wagging Tales

Dawn Embers said...

Tara Tyler - awesome grannies are the best.

The Hopeful Romantic - Maybe that is one reason for the death in the family to be commonly used. People can relate to that.

Magic27 - I absolutely do not think you have to experience something to write about it. But then again, I am female and write mostly gay male main characters. I often write things I have no experience with at all. lol

Charmaine Clancy - Zombie Dog? I don't know zombies much but you have my attention.