A father, a mother, a sister, a brother?
Is there a method to the making of the families we write into our books?
I've been merciless in ripping apart Tess's family. She started out with two parents and a brother. On a whim I thought she'd like two more brothers, but when I decided the brothers were taking up space, Paul, Abe, and Will were deleted.
Then that dad of hers. He's wonderful. Really, he's too wonderful to be alive. So I wrote him into a tragic car accident three years ago. Poor, poor Tess.
What are we influenced by most when inventing these family ties? An older sister keeps popping up in my other (unfinished) books. Although she comes in different names, colors, and sizes, I usually write her the same without meaning to, and she has a lot in common with my own older sister.
What about the family structure? I come from a large family, but writing large families gets complicated. Again, I feel like I'm just filling space. I can handle two siblings. More than that and my head begins to spin.
Is there a rhyme and a reason to the creation of your families? How much do they change in the evolution of your novel? Do all the family members have a purpose? What from your personal life has influenced your novel's families?