Bad Mothers

The mothers in my novel are terrible. A couple characters have good moms, but they’re not in this story. Part of me wonders why it is these women are so awful. Then again, part of me believes they fit the story, even though someone may accuse me of blaming moms or mom-hating or some such horror. To be fair, the fathers aren’t so great either. Overall, almost all the parents in my novels come across as less than ideal. Therapy might clear this up, but then I might write more boring characters.

6 thoughts on “Bad Mothers

  1. I think the “bad” parents allow the characters to be much more interesting and releases the reader from wondering, “Now what would your mother think of that behavior?!” The “bad” parents give freedom to the characters. Plus, who wants to read about storybook-perfect parents? That is not enterainment.

    Bad is good.

  2. SBW, that’s what I was thinking, but then I wondered if maybe I couldn’t make one of them nicer. Hmmm. No.

    telecommutingtruths, you are so right.

    Shelli, you don’t have to have bad characters. Your good characters just need to want different things that put them in direct conflict with each other.

  3. Therapy could help – if YOU need to figure this out. Otherwise, go to town! Your characters are who they are. “Good” moms or bad, I continue to love these little nuggets you share, these musings about your writing process.

    xo Jena

  4. I think that every parent makes bad choices at some point, and those bad choices can easily be defining moments in the child’s development. Lots of times, children focus on those bad choices, which can influence how your characters see their parents.

    Who said that all happy families are the same, but each unhappy families is unhappy in a unique way?

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