I mentioned in my previous post about my original vision for Ali’s life that I took a lot of inspiration from where I was at in life at the time. For Ali’s family, I did the same thing. I gave her kind, loving, and supporting parents like mine.
However, that scenario didn’t lead to conflict (which is essential in storytelling) or help mold Ali into being the character I needed her to be. One of the most important parts of who Ali is for the story is her stubbornness in absolutely refusing to make wishes. So I changed her parents to be uber-controlling people, giving Ali an obsession with making all her own decisions and achieving everything she wants under her own power and abilities.
The one nod to my relationship with my parents that I kept is how Ali and her dad treat museums. My dad and I are fierce museum lovers who like to stop and read nearly everything. This was brilliantly showcased when I was 12 and my family went to New York for my brother’s high school graduation trip. We went to the American Museum of Natural History where my mom and siblings ushered my dad and I along, annoyed with our dallying. Then both my siblings started not feeling great, so my mom took them back to the hotel. My dad and I returned to sections we’d already viewed to go through them in greater detail. Did we see everything the museum had to offer? Not even close. Did we have a wonderful time? Absolutely.
Having this for Ali and her dad still fit the story and gave me a reason to have Ali at the museum where she found Rajan, so it stayed!