books · shanti · writing

Parents and other Drama (Beautiful People)

Hi Virtually Readers! So I am currently VERY excited because I’m about to graduate from high school. You’ll definitely hear a bit more about that in the next few weeks. Anyway, because apparently I’m not busy enough, I’ve been working on my current WIP, Lighter Places, during May. It’s currently at about 10k words, but hopefully I can give it lots of time this summer. Lighter Places is about Elaine, who does lighting at her school in Thailand. She’s in her last year, and trying to figure out what it means to pursue a passion and also serve others. I’m linking up with Beautiful People (thanks Cait and Sky) to tell you a little more about her parents (but if you want snippets, go look at my twitter feed, ‘kay?)

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1. Overall, how good is their relationship with their parents?

Elaine really admires her parents, who are divorced, but is a little intimidated, particularly by her mother, who does so much. Her dad works as a businessperson in Singapore, and is always giving her gifts, like a scooter–but she really wishes that he was around more.

2. Do they know both their biological parents? If not, how do they cope with this loss/absence and how has it affected their life?

Elaine does know both of her parents, and lives with her mum. She doesn’t see much of either of them, because her mum is so busy, and her dad only comes when they have holidays. This means that Elaine has to deal with a lot of the daily issues with her siblings.

3. How did their parents meet?

I actually have no idea, haha. Let me see…. I think they were both in an international club in university (Elaine’s mum studied International Development and her dad studied International Business Management), and went on a trip together, and fell in love. But they divorced basically because they were too busy, and had high expectations of the other to manage that busyness.

4.How would they feel if they were told “you’re turning out like your parent(s)”?

Elaine would be gratified, but she’d be thrown into a bit of an existensial crisis, because she sees her chosen direction of work, managing lights, as not being able to serve others or make a difference like her parents have.

5. What were your character’s parents doing when they were your character’s age?

Pakpao, Elaine’s mum, was studying hard to get into a university in the UK, but also giving a LOT of time to soccer–she was co-captain of her team. James, her dad, was managing his friend’s band, dealing with their money.

6.Is there something they adamantly disagree on?

I assume this is Elaine and her parents? They don’t disagree so much as get into trouble over what they perceive each other’s expectations are–Elaine worries that her mum thinks she spends too much time and money on lights stuff, but her mother doesn’t really care.

7.What did the parent(s) find hardest about raising your character?

They don’t really understand why she loves lighting so much, and she doesn’t explain it to them. They wish that she was friends with their friends kids, but she isn’t, because she’s still figuring friendship out.

8.What’s their most vivid memory with their parental figure(s)?

Elaine remembers when her dad took her to the theatre when she was about twelve. She had loved film lighting before, but after that she fell in love with the interactive nature of lights in a live production. She also remembers meeting some of the women who her mum worked with, and how much her Mum cared about them. That’s what compelled her to look into serving others somehow with her job.

9.What was your character like as a baby/toddler?

She was very stubborn and very loud, and consequently had lots of friends. Her dad is always asking her why that isn’t the case any more.

10.Why and how did the parents choose your character’s name?

I don’t really know, because her name was initially Elissa, then it changed to Elin, and now it’s Elaine. Her dad liked it because it sounded old-fashioned and sweet, and her mum liked how it sounded, and meant ‘bright shining light”. But it took quite a while to settle on a name!

So are you engaged in any writing endeavors? Would you like to hear more about this one? how do you feel about parents in stories? let me know in the comments!

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8 thoughts on “Parents and other Drama (Beautiful People)

  1. I feel that parents should have a more prominent role in YA. I think it would make things more realistic. I like how you know so much about your characters. I don’t even know how MY character’s parents met *rolls eyes* but I did do some outlining on their family tree? Kinda complicated, though 😦

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    1. I want more parents to be around in YA, because that’s how most teenagers live. I guess it comes back to the whole question of how much YA is a space for teens or people who read YA (including adults) Ooh, a family tree sounds fun.

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  2. OH MY GOSH, THAILAND??? My parents are Thai and I am (somewhat) fluent in Thai! Actually I take that back — I can understand Thai but am really bad at speaking it. XD And ooh, graduation! I just had my last day of school today and I’m SOOOOO HAPPY. I FEEL FREE. Your novel sounds super awesome, Shanti! I’ll have to stalk your Twitter now for those snippets (and won’t follow because #noaccount).

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    1. YES! Lighter Places is set in Thailand because I knew if I set a book in an international school in India it would be too based on my own experience. Let’s see if I finish it. I need to do SO MUCH more research on Thailand though. I’m so glad for the holidays and I hope that you enjoy the snippets and the break!

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  3. Your story sounds so great! I’ll definitely be checking out the snippets soon!
    Right now I’m writing (OUTLINING, more like) a fantasy story..
    Parents in stories are definitely a complicated thing. Most often, in fantasy stories, they’re absent but I really love nice and supportive parents in contemporaries.

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    1. Thank you so much! Oh, outlining is a lot of work. I got halfway through outlining a fantasy story once and I haven’t written it *yet*. I really appreciate having good parents around in stories because it seems too unusual.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Your welcome 😀
        sdfghjkl I KNOW. I’M TRYING TO OUTLINE A STORY. EVERYTHING IS HARD. I’m *trying* to keep action in every chapter, you know?
        Yes, I love good parents. It *is* really weird for someone to have no parents, but I’m afraid my book has this trope 😦 oh well, hopefully the rest of the story is original enough!

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