When I was a child there was nothing I liked better than a book with no adults in it. The idea that adults could be excused from duty was a delight to me. This is probably one of the main reasons that I (and many other children) loved Enid Blyton. A group of children going camping, exploring an island, a river, a mountain WITHOUT adults. It was my daydream.
In the year 2010 it is unthinkable that children would ever go anywhere alone. Most children are escorted to and from school and are driven to and from friends’ houses. Stayovers are only allowed if CRB checks have been carried out on the host family, their dog, their cat and their rabbit.
Children in 2010 still like reading books where they have charge of what goes on. So adults have to be eliminated from the plot somehow. This has to be done in a plausible way.
Here are five possible ways to get rid of the adults.
ONE: Put one of the parents in hospital and have the other distracted and preoccupied so that the children/teens have to work things out for themselves.
TWO: Make the parents enthusiasts (anoraks) about something. If they are obsessed with going to Civil War battle re-enactments then they won’t notice when their children/teens are being lured into some internet/bullying intrigue.
THREE: Send the parents on a much needed holiday from the stresses of modern life and the children/teens have to go and stay with a grandparent. The grandparent is a little distant. Unfold the plot there.
FOUR: Modern parents have busy jobs. Have two career parents who are decent enough but don’t notice what is going on under their own noses. This enables the children/teens to circumvent rules and have maximum freedom.
FIVE: This is probably the most desperate means of all. In the new book that I’m working on the parents vanish. They go for a meal one night and are never seen again. This is the heart of the plot. The teens in this book spend their time trying to find them.
Can you think of other satisfying ways to Get Rid of the Adults?