Five Overused Clichés about Family in Writing (and How to Avoid Them)

Name a Disney film. Name both of the hero’s parents.

Not easy, right? Usually at least one of the parents is dead. Although Disney has other reasons for doing this, the main one is to develop sympathy in the audience for the hero. Sometimes it works. But it also comes at a price.

People, especially young adults, are surrounded by family. Whether they want to be or not, they are stuck with their family and have to interact with them every day. Though some might not admit it, familial relationships are the strongest relationships anyone can possess.5_Overused_Cliches_about_Family

Why aren’t we highlighting these relationships when we write stories? Most of your readers will have close friends from church or school. Many of your readers might have “significant others.” (I hate that term; isn’t everyone significant?)

But all of your readers have (or have had) parents. [Read more…]

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Raised on C.S. Lewis and matured (to whatever extent) on Tolkien, Brandon Miller is a huge fan of Christian speculative fiction. His favorite stories artfully bend the physical reality to reveal spiritual realities which apply to all realms, kingdoms, districts and solar systems (including our own.)
When not writing fiction Brandon spends his time tending his blog The Woodland Quill, sportsing, or just struggling through that last-year-of-high-school/first-year-of-college which is really neither but is definitely both.

Only A King

By Emma Travis

He loved his kingdom.  Every earthly ruler who had ever taken up the scepter had looked to the stunning beauty of his dominion and yearned for it in their hearts.  The crown upon his head was not taken lightly, nor considered a mere decoration.  To the king, it was a seal.  A promise and a binding oath.  His people would be safe.  He would lead them in every attack, be the last to leave in every retreat. onlyakingpost

The thousands, millions of lives that looked to him for guidance were struck every time they laid sparkling eyes on their king.  He wasn’t haughty.  Nor was he arrogant.  Without a word nor any sound, he made it overwhelmingly clear that he loved his people.  In his heart, he felt the zealous and passionate love that could be found in a new father, looking down at his newborn child.  None could describe the depth or strength of a father’s love.  A king’s love.

 

He was looking out over the land visible from his palace, a castle beyond anything that mortal men had ever dreamt of before its ancient construction.  Towers stretched upwards as if they would pierce the sky itself.  Banners were waving on a gentle wind, the colors easily visible: a lion, regal and fierce, embroidered in white and gold.  Fields of wheat, waving like liquid sunshine, were rippling far below, contrasted to the vibrant forests just beyond them.  He looked silently upon the land unparalleled in its beauty, but grief, not peace, was in his heart.

He knew that the prince from the east was causing pain among his people again.  The bold, defiant knight had defected from the king’s household and tried to overthrow him.  He had little known then that this king was not to be overthrown, but the fact was now widely recognized with fear and trembling after observing the prince’s fortunes.  The knight had been defied and defeated by the king himself and banished forthwith from the kingdom of his origin.  More than seven-hundred of the king’s lower knights had defected with him and had established themselves in the neighboring territory to the east.  Raids and terrorizing attacks had been constantly coming in waves against his dear people.  More counterattacks had been issued, and the prince’s forces were always pushed back.  Always. [Read more…]