Creating Fictional Families
How do writers go about creating fictional families? I suppose there are a lot of ways, but I start by looking at MY family, and I go from there. (Yes, this is a picture of me and my siblings. I’m the youngest. The cutest, right?)
When I submitted a 6 book series to Love Inspired, I knew that I wanted a tight-knit family. I wanted a lot of romance too. And I wanted some built-in tension.
So, I created Amos Yoder–a widower raising 5 girls. See the tension? He doesn’t really know what to do with 5 girls, and now they’re all adults or near-adults. Why is no one married? What can he do to help? (Ha! Stay out of it, dad.)
But 5 girls can be sort of confusing to read about if they’re not DIFFERENT enough. The oldest and youngest were easy. Sarah is the oldest, and she took on the role of caring for her sisters when her mother died. She’s the Little Mama.
The youngest was easy for me too because I was the youngest. I knew a little bit about that role in a family. For me, it meant that I was the one who could tell funny jokes, make people laugh, ease the tension a little bit. I was also the “baby” of the group too. So, yes, I was a little spoiled. Ada was a lot of fun to write, and you’ll get to read her story very soon.
But what about those 3 middle sisters? They needed to be different because everyone in a family is an individual. So I made Becca the person who wanted to travel, wanted to be “anywhere but here.” For an Amish girl, that’s a difficult dream to have. I made Eunice the tomboy. (How many times did my mom tell me to stop climbing trees? A LOT of times.) And then we have Bethany–sweet, quiet, shy.
So what did I have? 5 sisters. 1 worried father. 6 weddings. I guess you can figure out how I reached SIX weddings. Hahaha. I needed one more thing–the perfect setting. A setting that would kind of act as another character. A setting that defined who they were as a family. Which is how I picked the outdoor market in Shipshewana. It’s big, busy, and a nice combination of Amish and Englisch.
As far as who gets married when, I don’t know the answer to that question. I do know that Becca is up first. An Amish Proposal for Christmas is available now, and I hope you enjoy reading the story as much as I enjoyed writing it.