Parenting Your Characters isn’t necessarily the same thing as going easy on them. (See my article on how not to parent your characters.)
Parenting your characters means:
- Not letting them take chances.
- Having an adult solve their problems.
- Making your child characters nicer than real children tend to be.
You can avoid this by:
- Letting your character take risks.
- Using adults as obstacles or problems to be overcome.
- Creating wonderfully naughty child characters.
If you do these things, does it mean you are putting your characters in the worst possible situation? Not necessarily.
If your character values something highly, he needs to risk it or loose it. That’s putting your character in the worst possible situation.
Unfortunately, I don’ t know that its something I do to my characters. Yes, I can keep the tension rising, but do I do the worst thing possible? Probably not. And, in light of that realization, I’m going to be looking at my plots very closely.