Not in Front of the Adults

One of the problems when writing middle grade fiction is getting rid of the parents.

This appeared to be easier in the past as children roamed freely in books such as ‘Five Children and It‘ and the ‘Famous Five Series’ with limited parental inference.

With the advent of social media and especially mobile phones it becomes harder to write credible adventure stories.

Firstly, would today’s parents allow their ten year olds to be out and about unmonitored?

Secondly, even if they do manage to escape from adult supervision, they’d still be able and expected to ‘phone home’ at the first sign of danger.

Maybe, this is why I find it easier to write time-slips or stories set in the past.

So the dilemma is to write believable real life stories which allow the characters to experience danger, conflict and adversity as well as excitement and adventure.

This is my list for, ‘Not in Front of the Adults.

  • Get rid of the mobile phone by:

a) no credit   b) flat battery  c) no phone signal   d) lost, damaged or                   stolen phone

  • Events happen when parents or adults are at work, out shopping, asleep or otherwise engaged.
  • Events happen during the narrow window of time when children are not supervised: travelling to or from school, friend’s house or playing outside.
  • Include parents or adults in the action, but they have to be incapacitated in some way so as not to be aware of events.
  • Write time-slip, historical, futuristic or fantasy fiction.

I am writing this blog from a campsite near Madrid, waiting for the birth of my first grandchild.

The internet connection is extremely patchy so I apologise for not acknowledging emails or followers.

Please reply with any suggestions you may have as to ‘How to get rid of the adults.’ I’d be delighted to hear them.

Finally, best wishes to three of my friends who have all had birthdays this last week:

Kathryn, Kate (Churchill’s Parrot) and Karen (NWR)

6 thoughts on “Not in Front of the Adults

  1. Alcoholism, heroine abuse, poverty which forces the parent(s) to work 3+ jobs all result in less interaction with and oversight from parents. Illness can take the parent-child dynamic and flip it on its head, turning the child into caretaker, as the parent is too weak to make food, clean the house well, etc.


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