Not gonna lie, this is legit the saltiest, snarkiest thing I've ever written and I adore it completely. Without further ado, here's a fun little thing I wrote just now:
MY KID WAS A YA MAIN CHARACTER AND I SURVIVED
Interviewer: Ms. [REDACTED], I understand that your only child was a YA MC.
Interviewer: I have to say, I’m really surprised to be able to have this conversation. As I’m sure you’re aware, most YA parents are … um … rarely seen.
Me: Because they’re dead.
Interviewer (uncomfortable): Yes.
Me: I know.
Interviewer (clears throat): So, Ms. [REDACTED], can you tell us when you first realized your daughter was an MC?
Me: It was right around when she hit puberty. See, our life had been fairly normal up until that point. Then it was like, overnight, she became extremely studious and very pretty. But, of course, she didn’t think of herself as pretty. What really cemented it for me, however, was when I overheard one of her classmates remark that ‘she’s not like other girls’. At that point, I knew I had to do something or I would be dead before she hit fifteen.
Interviewer: What did you decide?
Me: Well, I did a lot of research that night. Read a lot of terrible YA fiction–I couldn’t decide if this was to be a contemporary or a fantasy. So, the next day, I scheduled myself for a physical with my doctor and had him run the gamut of every cancer screening possible. When they came back negative, I then asked about any rare conditions. Also cleared for those. So, I learned that this was obviously a fantasy and my death would likely be super mysterious and whoever my child’s guardian became would probably be villainous. Since I want the best for my daughter, but I obviously didn’t want to die, I decided to straight up Harry Potter this situation.
Interviewer: I’m sorry, did you say ‘Harry Potter’?
Me: Yeah. You ever noticed how the smartest and best parents in any YA novel are Molly and Arthur Weasely? And both of them survived. I figured it was best to do what they did and send my kid to boarding school so as to remain out of the line of fire.
Interviewer: So for your own safety, you sent your child away to face whatever dangers at her new school?
Me: Okay, it sounds bad when you put it like that. Let me explain. The purpose of a YA parent isn’t to be a parent. They’re a symbol. A device, if you will, to use for the MC’s emotional turmoil. If you want to survive as a parent of an MC, the best thing you can do is accept the fact that you cannot do anything to help your child, as the plot clearly does not want you in the way. So, I looked into it and found a boarding school that seemed to favor a growing MC’s development needs that would also allow her to make friends with side characters that would prove to be invaluable allies. So that’s what I did.
Interviewer: How did that all work out for you?
Me: Oh, perfectly! For the first few years at her school, my child had begun to exhibit more MC symptoms, but I knew we hadn’t yet reached the point of the plot’s beginning, so it was a great time for us.
Interviewer: And when did you realize the plot had begun to unfold?
Me: Oh, the moment she went back to school when she was sixteen, I knew. In her first letter of the school year, she mentioned a new boy and gave a very distinct description of him. From that moment on, I knew I wouldn’t get any other letters from her and I had to sit back and wait it out.
Interviewer: Is that all you did? Wait it out?
Me: No, I got a little proactive. See, her father was never in her life–which was probably another reason why I was able to survive–but I knew his name and last place of residence. Since I had no mysterious history, it was safe to assume that he was the reason for her graduation from a tertiary character to an MC. So I started doing a little digging and slyly slid my findings into the way of my daughter and her friends.
Interviewer: So you were instrumental in a subplot–
Me: SHH!! Don’t say anything to that effect. We still don’t know if the author will revisit this storyline.
Interviewer: My apologies. Let’s move on.
Interviewer: So can you tell us how you knew in which direction the plot was going?
Me: Well, these things seem to follow specific formulas. So I tried to figure out which one we were adhering to. For that, I first looked at my daughter’s friend. She had a token POC friend who was considered the brains of the operation. Then there was the male friend who’d been crushing on her since she first got to that school. With the addition of the new boy, I was at least fairly certain that there would be a love triangle that the friend would lose at, the new boy would be a dangerous addition, but was also my daughter’s soulmate, and the poor POC friend would have to carry a lot of the plot’s internal mechanisms while also being a comedic relief character.
Interviewer: You mentioned getting a step ahead and providing background information on your child’s father. Were you also able to determine what the overall arc for the storyline would be, or were you more determined to stay out of the upheaval?
Me: As I said, I knew my position clearly. If I got too involved, then I would either die or put everyone at risk. With the addition of the new boy and the creation of a love triangle, I felt fairly certain my child would come out of this in one piece, but with a wounded heart and possibly some PTSD. So that’s what I prepared for. I knew if I got to survive to the last page, there would be at least one minor moment in which I would get to hold my crying baby girl and help her figure out her emotional anguish with some wise words and hot chocolate.
Interviewer: Did you get that final scene?
Me: Neither of us would be here if I didn’t.
Interviewer: And how long did this plotline last? The entirety of the school year or a few short months?
Me: About six months. This did traverse over three books, and the author did attempt a slow burn with the new boy. For a while, everyone was actually fooled into thinking there was something more between my daughter and the childhood friend, but the author was able to pull us back from the ledge at the last second.
Interviewer: So now that the story is complete–for now–were you at all surprised with how it ended?
Me: Not at all. My daughter and her new boyfriend are absolutely soulmates and will spend the rest of their lives together. The childhood friend was given a truly noble and heroic death, so that he doesn’t have to deal with the rejection. And the POC friend may actually be getting set up as an MC for a spinoff–but we’re not holding out much hope for it. You know how this industry is…
Interviewer: Was there anything more you would have liked to see happen? Any particular twists you were looking forward to?
Me: Oh God no! If even one thing had been different, I would not be here today.
Interviewer: Once again, we are so relieved that you are. Wait… What’s that?
Me: What? Where?
[We both look up.]
Interviewer (gasping): Is that … a red pen?
Me: No. It couldn’t be. The books are written. It’s done.
Interviewer: But have they been edited yet?
[A malfunction has occurred. Content cannot be found.]