…if by “parents” you mean “sadistic maniacal overlords”. Let’s see. In my last novel (Book 2 of the Earth and Sky trilogy) I did the following to my main characters:
- Had them arrested and beaten by the police basically for existing;
- Had them kidnapped by religious fanatics…
- …who later killed one of them and made the others watch;
- Trussed up one of them and had her “milked” for her blood against her will;
- Tossed them out of a giant tree above a 1000-foot drop;
- Broke one’s arm and ribs, and gave her a concussion;
- Killed one of them repeatedly. (He was immortal, kept resurrecting. But it still hurt.)
Though I do get the gist of the statement. It sometimes bothers me to abuse my characters the way I do because once I’ve spent lots of time developing a character, thinking as she thinks, feeling what he feels, I do grow to love that character. I take pride when my characters grow and develop in interesting ways, and sometimes I do find myself wanting the best for them.
…But then my inner sadistic overlady rears up and reminds me that the story will suck if only good things happen, so I crush that smidge of parental feeling and resume laughing maniacally while I inflict hellish tortures upon them.
What? Why are you looking at me like that? Why are you running awaaaaaaaay?