Adults in children's books are often used to help reveal things about the main (child) character, particularly about the main character's moral compass or self-identity. Adults also mediate, administer justice, and play devil's advocate. While the adult is generally not central to the story, they can play an important role in the development of the main character's journey.
For this prompt, select a scene, a role for the adult to play in the scene, and write for 15 minutes. The challenge is to keep the scene all about the main child character, using the adult to advance the plot or to help the main character reveal something about his motive or emotional state.
1. The main character has has helped a friend, who had some sort of personal crisis, arrive home safely. But in doing so, the main character has broken his own curfew. He can't tell what the crisis is, but must make the adult understand why he did it.
2. The main character has had yet another fight at school. No authority figure understands why he fights, up until now, they have presumed that the main character is simply a bad person. The main character actually has a pure motive, and one adult is determined to understand.
3. The main character is depressed and possibly suicidal. The subtle signs have been adding up, but no one has been willing to confront the situation. The main character has a hard time distinguishing reality from fantasy.
1. A school figure, but not a teacher or counselor. Could be a librarian, a parent aide, a volunteer. Good at mentoring or administering justice.
2. Best friend's Mom, who is unusually uptight, but tries to befriend her child's friends. But she only does so because she has her own child's best interests at heart. Good at playing devil's advocate.
3. A close relative, who is good at keeping secrets. Good at being supporting no matter what. But how far can she be pushed?
4. An elderly neighbor, often has a parallel experience from her own childhood that relates to the child's current experience.
5. The character's no-nonsense parent. Administer's justice and acts as the character's moral compass.