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Parents as main characters?

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I have been told not to use parents as characters in PB. I have a story where the mother solves the problem. Tried to rewrite it and I still like it better with the mother as a character instead of someone else.
I have to clarify that the main character is sick that is why he can not be the one solving the problem. His mother does everything possible to obtain the needed medicine.
Any thoughts?
#1 - May 11, 2017, 05:03 PM

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I don't think that works. Could it be another kid who gets the medicine--maybe a sibling, or a friend? Or their pet dog? Or a turtle who looked in the window and saw there was a problem?

You can always trunk this book for a little while, too, and work on new projects. Sometimes an idea from something later down the line will give you a solution to a problem in a previous book.

Good luck!  :goodluck
#2 - May 11, 2017, 06:36 PM
Learning to Swear in America (Bloomsbury, July 2016)
What Goes Up (Bloomsbury, 2017)
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Love the idea of animals coming to the rescue, Dews.

I don't really believe in hard and fast rules though. Sometimes the parent is the perfect choice. It's very difficult to judge whether this is working in your story or not. I suggest you post in the SCBWI critique section to get some opinions.
#3 - May 11, 2017, 07:18 PM
TEN EASTER EGGS (Cartwheel/Scholastic, 2015)
www.vijayabodach.blogspot.com
Author of over 40 books and 60 magazine pieces

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Oh! I love the idea of the turtle, Katie! Nice!!  :like

Yes, as Katie says, the adult in a PB should never be the one to solve the problem. You have to look at it from a kids POV (which is your target audience). Would a kid want to read (or be read to) about an adult saving the day? No. They want to see kids like themselves (or pets or something other than adults) be the heroes. Kids are super smart and pick up on 'lessons' very quickly and if they see a lesson, they will run from your book. You have to be subtle in providing that lesson. Make it fun and enjoyable. Hence, the kid being the superhero, or as Katie suggested, a turtle!

My best advice is to try to rework the story without the parent at all. If you pull the parent from the book then you won't be tempted to let Mom solve the problem.

Hope this helps.  :goodluck
#4 - May 11, 2017, 07:19 PM
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Love the idea of animals coming to the rescue, Dews.

I don't really believe in hard and fast rules though. Sometimes the parent is the perfect choice. It's very difficult to judge whether this is working in your story or not. I suggest you post in the SCBWI critique section to get some opinions.

Cross posted with you V.  Great suggestion on posting in the crit section.
#5 - May 11, 2017, 07:20 PM
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I have to clarify that the characters are not humans. They are birds.
I will try to rewrite it again.
Thank you everyone!
#6 - May 12, 2017, 04:17 PM

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