Whom do you love the most? [Fearless: Chapter 17, Excerpt; DRAFT]

Here’s an example of a longish excerpt that I could probably remove…except I like too much what it says about the crew, and it gives a neat little point for Amber at the end:

Venus gave Emma a bounce in her lap and bent her chin to the girl’s shoulder. “Emma. Who’s the best surfer in the crew?”

Emma’s face split into a wide smile, and she clapped her hands on her thighs. “Neville!”

The crew laughed, save for Scott, who shot his daughter an incredulous look.

Wha-?” he said. “What do you mean, Neville?”

See?” Neville told Scott with a wag of his finger. “That is why I am your captain. Even a four-year-old recognises my superiority.”

Venus snickered, then leaned in to Emma again. “And who is the sweetest?” she asked, glancing at the expectant faces around her.

Danny,” Emma answered with a smile, and here the crew gave a collective teasing croon, while Danny blushed beneath this praise.

Venus twitched her nose and gave Emma another bounce. “And who is the cutest?” she asked in a mock-whisper.

Emma squeaked, burying her face against Venus’s arm. She mumbled something into her mother’s sleeve, which prompted a repeat asking.

You can say it,” Venus told her, poking her in the belly.

Emma raised her head, her round cheeks redder than even Danny’s had been, and said, “Finchy!”

The crew turned their hooting to Ross, who thanked Emma with a pat on her head.

I call foul,” Scott said, sounding miffed, while the other guys continued to laugh.

Amid this jaunty mockery, Amber rubbed her hand over Ross’s arm. But then she leaned out and looked at Emma, and asked, “But, whom do you love the most?”

Around her, the rest of them fell hushed. Save for Emma, who didn’t pause to think, but instead said, quite readily, “Daddy!”

Oh, that’s my girl,” Scott said with a coo, and he pulled Emma from Venus’s lap into his own, which the little girl accepted gladly.

Amber – like a lot of my protagonists – has father issues. Which is weird, to me, since I have always enjoyed a good relationship with my own father. With my mother, too. I grew up a pretty happy kid, even if we never “had” a lot. I always felt my parents were people I could trust.

But I also crave their approval. And perhaps that’s from where these character issues come.

Daddies and daughters. They’re always the same, deep down.

In one early episode of the science fiction comedy series “Red Dwarf,” the character of Rimmer receives word that his father has died. Another character, Lister, asks him if he loved his father. Rimmer replies that he despised his father…but he still desired his father’s approval. Maybe that’s what plagues my characters. No matter what difficulties they have with their families and loved ones, they still seek that praise we all want, as children.

Amber may say she hates her father…but I think that line’s important for her to voice.

How do you write family in your stories?

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4 thoughts on “Whom do you love the most? [Fearless: Chapter 17, Excerpt; DRAFT]

  1. Adorable! And very smart of Amber to ask that last question.

    Whenever I write family, they always seem so together and loving, pretty much how my family is. But, sometimes the father of the written family can be a little on the stern side, but that’s pretty normal, I guess.

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    • Well, Amber’s mind is on other things than just the crew, at least subconsciously.

      I know what you mean about writing your own family. It’s difficult for me to imagine a family just falling apart, or one where no one stands by each other. Writing Chie’s family in 1MC! was the most conflict I think I’d ever done in a family…and there was still a lot of love, there, even if it went mostly unspoken.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. The excerpt is well-written and I liked learning about the characters, but I wonder if you’ve already shown us these ‘facts’ about the crew in earlier parts of your story?

    I tend to write about tragic families, actually. It sounds like I go in the opposite directionas you do, where families tend to fall apart in my stories.

    I love family dramas where a main theme is family identity/loyalty vs. individual identity/desires. I majored in Psychology as well as English in college, and my favorite area in psych was Dysfunctional Families. I truly believe that how people play out as adults is a direct result of their childhood/upbringing. Environment plays a role too, but I still would argue that families have a stronger thrust. The old Nature vs. Nurture argument.

    I love knowing that you had a happy childhood. It makes all the difference! 🙂

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    • I agree that family plays a big part in personal (or character) development. Even my happy families have their issues…e.g., when tomboy daughter protagonist falls seriously in love with boy, that creates tension between her and daddy.

      I’m concerned that the character bits aren’t necessary, too. They’re left in for now, though, and they were a good reintroduction to the issue of the one character’s father. She hates him…but she doesn’t. It’s become an interesting subplot for me to examine.

      Creating families that fall apart sounds tough to do. Although, the crises that create that tension and animosity are probably great story fodder!

      Thanks for stopping by, Kate! You always make me think more critically about these sorts of things.

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