Family plays an important part in our world – no matter how many times we try and break families apart, more often than not they come back to one another. We have families that are born families and families that are found families. There are perfectly happy families and then there are the broken, dysfunctional families that leave us scratching our heads going … how do you even work?! And yet somehow, they do work, sometimes even better than our perfectly happy families. But then, maybe that says more about us and our writing than it does our characters!
We have one large, over arching family that we’ve suddenly come to realise is probably the one and only reason that we have a story. It started with them and will probably finish with them, they’re dysfunctional, a little crazy and some of them have been born into it, some have been adopted into it and yet it all works perfectly. I’d say so who are we to mess with them but … our track record probably goes against that – especially as earlier this week we did try to do that. At least this time we realised what we were doing and stopped ourselves before we did anything catastrophic!
But the thing with family is that we need it. Or ok, no we don’t. Let’s be honest, there are times when really we could do without it. Where we’d rather chose our own families and make it work for us that way around. But that’s life in a way isn’t it? Some you win, some you lose and unfortunately family is one of those things … and families are the same when you put them into writing. You can’t always guarantee that just because you make and create a family that they’re going to love one another, stick with one another and all of that … but a lot of the time they don’t.
Which is the challenge we’re faced with now.
This character doesn’t want to talk to that character, and that character doesn’t want to talk to this character and it’s a bit like … why?! Where we feel like putting the kids into time out because now they’re behaving like moody teenagers. They grunt at us, tell us ‘just because’ and don’t actually give us the real reasons but leave us trying to figure out just what went on … but that’s family and that’s writing. It’s a lot of dealing with moody teenagers who would rather give us anything but the truth …
And that’s a major headache.
A major headache that frankly at times Charlotte and I don’t need! It’d be a lot easier for them to just come out and tell us what was wrong but I do honestly think that our characters enjoy this. They enjoy being moody teenagers and watching as their parents are driven to despair trying to decipher the grunts and the stilted silences …
But I guess we’re going to have to keep ploughing on and hope that eventually one of them will let us in … eventually!