Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, Helen Keller. I get that. It's only through tribulation in which a person, fictional or not, can develop, change, and become stronger. A novel about a woman who lives a good life, without pain or conflict, would make for a boring tale. No one would read it. Bor-ing! Life is FULL of trials and suffering, and as readers, we want to watch and root for the main character (MC) to overcome their issues and achieve happiness in the end.
ALL books, the MC must suffer in one way or another, but as I'm developing new story ideas and as I look over my already published novels, I've come to realize a trend in my writing that I'm not sure what to make of: Nearly all of my female main characters suffer from some sort of abuse, whether mental or physical, and a great many of them suffer from "mommy-issues" in which their mothers were terrible horrible people.
I haven't got a clue.
My life is wonderful. My mother is incredible and one of my greatest friends and supporter, so what the heck is going on here? I don't know. I don't know why these particular characters decide to come and sit on my shoulder and whisper their stories to me. Maybe it has to do with reading a lot of fairy tales as a child (wicked step-moms littered all the stories or the mothers die in the first few scenes) or the fact, that as an adult, most of what the books I read tend to lean in that direction (I read a lot of depressing books).
It's strange, but as I've studied this out in my mind, my only conclusion is to simply write the story that comes to me. I can make some adjustments, and plan to, but if the story needs these two elements, then I guess I will write it that way. Every story is different. Every plot is unique, even if my female characters suffer similarly. I discussed this with a good friend of mine and she mentioned that most of her stories the female character suffers from abandonment issues. Wow. Once she said that, I could see it, though I've read her books and never pieced it together.
So maybe it's okay to repeat like-themes, as long as the story is unique in itself that readers aren't aware of it. That's my hope anyway. I can only write what the little voices in my head tell me to.
What do you think? Have you seen this type of thing before from other authors? How about in your own writing? Do you have repeating themes or similarities?