Thursday, April 7, 2011

A to Z: Family

Family; what series of psychological related to writing series would be complete without discussing family? Many things can influence a person's development. I already mentioned culture in a previous post. A family brings a person into their culture, a child first learns from their parents what is culturally acceptable. Parents pass down values they think are important to their children. As children grow older they have influence from other sources, but their family members provide that initial learning in their early formative years.

Whenever I create a character I spend some time working out what their family dynamics are. Was the character's mother nurturing, or was she emotionally distant? How has this shaped the character? Was the character expected to follow a certain path in life by their parents? Did the character have older siblings to emulate? Is the character the eldest and grew up with being expected to be the role model?

6 comments:

Angela Felsted said...

You take an excellent approach.

Margaret Almon said...

In a sense, family is a culture of its own, and children at first do not realize there are other "family cultures" out there.

Karen Walker said...

I am in the beginning stages of my first novel after 30+ years writing nonfiction and am spending some time with developing family dynamics. This is great advice. Nice to "meet" you thru the a-z challenge.
Karen

Claire Goverts said...

Angela - Thank you :)

Margaret - Good point, a family does have it's own mini-culture. Something fun to keep in mind for character creation.

Claire Goverts said...

Karen - Nice to meet you to, and thanks for stopping by. Glad my post is helpful.

~Claire~ said...

I honestly never thought about how much authors had to put into character development until reading your posts. I like that even though I am not an author myself, I DO have a great (hidden) passion for psychology, so your posts are engaging for me as well!! I'll definitely be following!