Today we’re responding to the statement “Authors are like parents to their characters.”
And my response is “Oh my god in heaven no.”
Any parent who treated their kid the way I treat my characters would be thrown in jail, most justifiably. I kill my characters. I maim them, I torture them, I mess with them psychologically, I damage them profoundly. I betray them, trick them, and when their lives seem as bad as they can possibly be, I make them worse. I put them up in trees, and surround the trees with wolves, and then I throw rocks at them. (The characters, not the wolves. Unless doing so would further enrage the wolves.)
I like fiction where awful things happen to sympathetic characters, and you see how the characters deal with the awful things that happen. Maybe they triumph in the end, sure, but you’ve got to hurt them first.
I have a son. I consider my sacred duty as a parent to make his life as good as possible in every way I can. That’s being a parent, to me; I’m not the parent for my characters. I’m a horrible sadistic god who takes amusement from their suffering.