One thing I love to read and write about, are characters who are on a journey for self-discovery, that must also discover their family history and the secrets that lie within. They have a need to reflect on something, going into it, and knowing that they might not like the answers.
It is upsetting to be an orphan, or sometimes to even be adopted. Even if they have wonderful parents, some children might not react positively. I’ve known people who let their status as an adopted child second-guess everything they do, and then I’ve known people who accept life and are supportive, beautiful people. And then , maybe sometimes, when the time is right, both kinds of people go back and discover their parentage.
These people who make their life positive, whether or not they decide to uncover the clues of their parents, have resilience, a trait that I wished was instilled in everyone. I don’t know if resilience is a choice or not, and I’m not sure if it can be learned by children who had a rough start, but it is one of the research projects I would love to complete, to see how we could make the world a better place and allow more people to have the right conditions to learn resilience. One of my friends says that you can’t change the world through research, that no one will read it, and only teachers can help children cope. I think sometimes teachers can’t even reach kids, and I think that is a comment from someone who doesn’t value resilience, or maybe she just hasn’t thought about it enough. I think that being able to have a positive mindset and cope is the most important thing we can do while learning about life.
I love to read about resilient characters uncovering their pasts, and every time I hear about adopted characters, my ears perk up (though the visual is quite strange if you take it literally). I want to know where they came from. A few ill-adjusted characters discovering their roots can be a journey in reflection too, because I think they help the reader sympathize with people who have gone through hardships, and when I make these characters myself, they are built off a tough, real-life stories I have heard that break my heart when I re-tell them.
The reveal of parents—and especially in fantasy with magic or powers—is one of the biggest lead-ups we can give characters, and one of the biggest mysteries we can write. Why was the child given up? How and why was there danger? Are both parents alive? Will they meet again? Characters with questionable parentage are my favorite. I especially like to see how they face difficult situations with resilience.
That being said, the misfits of the Supernatural London Underground have a few mysteries to uncover about their own questionable parentage, and in Book Two, you’ll have a clear understanding about 2.5 of the 4. Who is the .5? Good question. 😉
Do you love a book in which there are characters with questionable parentage uncovering the truth? I want to know about it in the comments below!