Flawed Fathers

Timing is incredibly serendipitous. My last entry was about the themes in my manuscript. Accidently, or accidentally on purpose, there were two themes riding in the background. Betrayal and the fall out of the behavior, is the most overt theme intertwined into a narrative of action and suspense.

But there was a second background theme. Fatherhood.

The fact that I am writing this today, Father’s Day, was completely unintentional. But I write these posts on specific days of the week and here we are.

In the manuscript that I wrote as a first draft in 2019, (yes, I know, it is now 2021 and I am still working to get an agent through a process), all the fathers in the narrative follow one of two paths – the benevolent father or the tyrannical parent.

And the two paths helped to create characters that are divergent. One is a flawed individual who does that right thing despite the risks. The other is a flawed individual who cannot break through their own flaws and who realize they do not want to follow their father’s path yet somehow cannot help themselves.

Why is this a theme? I don’t know, other than that it appeared as the words that came into my imagination. I believe because I had a father who was very flawed but a good man. And in the moment, he did not always do the right thing, but always tried to correct the mistakes he made. He, like his father before him, taught me that there is a path of integrity. Regardless of circumstances, and often to his detriment, he taught us honesty, integrity was always the best path. Do what you say and say what you do.

The main characters in the book often follow those footprints of their fathers. Sometimes they do so reluctantly. Sometimes they do so despite fighting the legacy of a fatherly relationship that soured.

My own world view is that fathers have an influential and integral part of our maturity regardless of how flawed they are.