Do you ever just want to go home?
Maybe you’ve had a long day at work or are stuck in traffic. Whatever happened or is bustling around you, you’re just ready to be home. You’re ready to be in your comfort zone with the people and pets you love the most.
Do your characters want to go home?
In this blog post, we discussed your characters moving away from home and managing their feelings about the move. But what about the opposite? What if your character doesn’t feel at home where they are?
This can be many things. Perhaps your character is going on an adventure, but it doesn’t feel right. Maybe your character was kidnapped and they’re scared. Or your character knows they’re different in some special and unique way.
My current MC isn’t like most teens her age. She knows she’s unique. This can range from “I’m going to be president someday” to “I’m the only religious person in my class,” or something mystic and fantastical. This uniqueness sets her apart from the rest of her class and her family. In fact, she knows she belongs in space.
When I started writing this project a few years ago, my MC’s home became the problem and solution to my story. Her friends and family don’t believe her, but she chooses to find her home anyway, which is the start of her adventure.
What do you do when your character doesn’t feel like they’re home?
You start their adventure toward home.
Where is home for your character? It doesn’t have to be where their parents and siblings live. It doesn’t need to be an immaculate palace or perfect nook. It can be their favorite swing at the local park when mom and dad are fighting. It can be the neighbor’s closet that smells like lilacs and reminds them of grandma. It can be somewhere they’ve never been, but they dream about it every night.
Why don’t they feel at home wherever they are? This reasoning doesn’t have to be traumatic, although it can be. It can be as simple as having a dream to “leave this town,” and as complicated as their childhood home burning to a crisp and the newly built house just doesn’t feel right. It can be peer pressure, pain, fear, sadness… It can be anything.
Challenge: Where is home for your characters and why? Let me know in the comments.