All My Characters Are Orphans


Okay. Not all of them. But my point is that I’ve noticed over the years almost all of my main characters have Absent Parent Syndrome. Specifically, Absent Mother Syndrome.

Let’s break it down by series:


Danielle – Mother is (presumed) dead, father is dead, both from separate car accidents before she was in kindergarten. (In a previous life, both her parents died in a similar fashion. Oops!)

Devon – Father ditched before he was born, mother was emotionally distant growing up and did fun stuff like drugs and getting them evicted everywhere. Needless to say, he doesn’t talk to her much. (In a previous life, both of his parents were assassinated in front of him when he was a teenager. Wee!)

Miranda – Mother is emotionally distant and abusive, father is kinda-sorta destroying half the universe.

Yumiko – Yeaaaaaaahhh. No.


Jack – Parents are murdered while he is away as a teenager. Spends the rest of his life wishing he could avenge them better. Blah blah blah.

Jessie – My only character with an emotionally healthy mother around. Congrats! Dad’s a dick though, so we still fill my status quo.

Roku – Parents are murdered in similar fashion to Jack’s. Spends the rest of eternity pretty bitter about it.

Zachoran – Mother died during childbirth. Father is emotionally distant and abusive but dies of tuberculosis anyway.

MY POINT IS…for some reason I love killing parents or otherwise screwing up my MCs’ relationships with their parents (especially their mothers). It’s bizarre to me because I have a great relationship with my mother, and even though my real father skipped out when I was a toddler I was raised by a step-father pretty early on. All I can figure is…I’m lazy. I already have a million characters and if I don’t have to deal with MCs’ parents then wooooo! Seriously. That’s all I can figure. Although  I do love me some “mommy didn’t love me” angst in novels. 

Do your characters tend to have parents around, or are they emotionally and maybe  even realistically roughing it on their own?