Welcome back to another edition of the Beautiful People linkup! For those who don’t know, BP is a monthly blog linkup hosted by Paper Fury and Further Up & Further In. Each month, they share a list of ten questions for writers to think about for one of their characters, and then the writers share their answers on their blog! It’s a great way for fellow writers to connect with each other, so for more information, click here.
If you’d like to go back and read (or re-read) some of my past BP posts, you can do so with the links below.
BP #17 – May 2016 (Riley Taylor)
BP #18 – June 2016 (Leslie Summers)
BP #20 – August 2016 (Chey Cooper)
BP #21 – September 2016 (Trevor Johnson)
BP #22 – February 2017 (Leslie Summers and Riley Taylor)
BP #23 – March 2017 (Eden Hunter)
This month is a “parental edition” of BP, so all of the questions focus on the character’s parent(s) and their relationship with their parent(s). I chose to do my character Riley Taylor once again, mostly because I haven’t really talked about his parents before and the story there, so I thought this would be a nice new look at his character. Without further ado, onto the questions!
1) Overall, how good is their relationship with their parents?
Riley only really has a relationship with his father, Jason, and for a long time, it was distant at best and tense at worse. More recently, they’ve been on better terms and have a closer relationship. There’s still some lost time to make up for, but they’re doing the best they can.
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?
Not really. Riley’s mother, Colleen, abandoned the family when Riley was about five years old, and so he only has a few memories of her. Growing up, Riley had a hard time dealing with this, but he tried his best not to show it. Even so, his frustration and bitterness came out sometimes.
In terms of how this affected Riley’s life, Jason is emotionally distant by nature, and so Riley never felt comfortable going to his father with his problems. He ended up internalizing a lot of personal issues that made him explode later, especially in his middle school and early high school years. Fortunately, Riley’s grown up and come to terms with that happened, and he’s a much more mature person now.
3) How did their parents meet?
Jason and Colleen attended the same high school, but they didn’t know each other until their senior year. Jason was performing in a school coffeehouse and needed a second vocalist, so he asked around and met Colleen.
4) How would they feel if they were told “you’re turning out like your parent(s)”?
If someone told Riley, “you’re just like your dad,” he’d probably deny it. Not out of malice or dislike, but just because he doesn’t believe it. Riley does look up to his father though, so if someone told Riley he was turning out like him, he’d be secretly proud.
5) What were your character’s parents doing when they were your character’s age?
Riley’s about 20 now, and when his parents were that age, they were already married. Jason left home at age 18 and eloped with Colleen a few years later. They married young and had children young, which may have been one of the causes of their strained and eventually broken marriage.
6) Is there something they adamantly disagree on?
Other than who the best guitarist of all time is, there isn’t really anything major that Riley and his father disagree on. They have disputes here and there, of course, but there’s never been any huge issues that divided them for a long time. Even when they weren’t very close, they still got along most of the time.
7) What did the parent(s) find hardest about raising your character?
The hardest part about raising Riley was that neither Jason nor Colleen was really prepared to be a parent, and coupled with money being tight in their family, it was very stressful. As Riley grew older, he became more of a rebellious kid (kind of like his father), which provided another challenge for Jason.
8) What’s their most vivid memory with their parental figure(s)?
Riley’s most vivid memory of his mother isn’t anything specific, just that she used to cook pancakes for the family on Saturday mornings. And, of course, he remembers the day that she left very clearly. With his father, Riley has a very distinct memory from when he was about eight years old, nearly breaking one of Jason’s guitars as he tried to take it from where it was hanging on the wall. Fortunately, Jason caught him just in time, but Riley still remembers that moment.
9) What was your character like as a baby/toddler?
Riley was energetic, but not as much as most other young children. Even so, he managed to get into his fair share of trouble around the house.
10) Why and how did the parents choose your character’s name?
Well, Riley’s middle name is Lucas, just like his father’s, so that’s where that came from. As for his first name, it was one that both Colleen and Jason liked and could agree on, so there isn’t any special meaning behind it.
Have you ever thought about your main character’s parents? What sort of things do you think are important to know?
Also, if you’re participating in BP this month, feel free to drop a link to your post in the comments below! I’d be happy to read about your character!
Until next time!