Why would this kid's parents be out for several months?:

Total posts: [11]
So, for the story I'm making, I decided to have the main character's parents be absent for about a year. The main character is eleven, and he has two older siblings, ages 17 and 20, who are able to watch over their house. The main character's parents leave around the middle of the first chapter, and return in the ending. Anyway, I'm trying to decide why they will be gone for so long.
My teacher's a panda
What do you know about the parents so far?

They could have a job that keeps them away from home for long periods of time, such as a job in the military. Movie and TV actors or some other types of performers may need to be away from home for that long a period of time. Astronauts, too, perhaps.

Or maybe they're criminals, either being sent away to jail, or else running from the cops.
Full custody of children is generally not allowed to military parents, for pretty obvious reasons. So they can't both be in the military, or if you stretch the rules a bit they won't be gone at the same time.

edited 23rd May '11 1:34:16 PM by Leradny

Also known as Katz
Archaeology dig. It's always an archaeology dig :D

Biologists, anthropologists, and the like might also go on long trips to study something.
Firstly, you haven't specified whether the kids know where their parents are. (They might have been kidnapped, or had an accident and be in hospital.) Of course, if they don't know, then they will almost certainly attempt to find out and this will have a large impact on the plot, so you may not want to go that way.

You could try looking at the flip side — why is the 20-year-old still living with his parents at all? For example, if it's because he's attending university in the same town, that gives him a good reason to stay put if the parents relocate, and they might just decide that to avoid too much upheaval it's easiest for all three kids to stay. So in that scenario, the reason for their absence could be as simple as a job opportunity in another town or country.

Another possibility — you may not like the above "running from the cops" idea, since if that were the case the cops would probably keep close watch on the house and might interfere — but they might be on the run from some other danger they don't want to involve their kids in, for instance a criminal gang they've gotten involved with who are threatening them.

It would help if you told us a bit more about the setting you're writing in, to be honest.
I guess I should mention some details on the setting. The story doesn't take place in a specific time period, but it seems to be in the modern day, for the most part. The setting is a fictional country called Concordia, and the main character and his family moved there from America. Concordia's name, which means harmony in Latin, is referring to the balance between urban and rural areas in the country.

As for the government, the country is owned by a Mega Corp., and the company has been very fair most of the time. This story has two Big Bads, each with their own motives, and there's also one hidden enemy that's behind all the events.

Also, the parents will let their kids know where they are going. The main character attends an Elevator School, but it gets closed due to an unnatural event happening there, and the parents leave shortly after, trusting his older siblings to keep an eye on him and his two younger siblings.
7 MrAHR23rd May 2011 06:05:53 PM from ಠ_ಠ , Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
...if it doesn't take place in real life than you could say that they were out for the annual ritual of the Glragletoeotjweinawt. Nobody can tell you otherwise because it's your world.
These are terrible parents. Who leaves their kids alone for a YEAR? How do they pay for teh bills?
as of the 2nd of Nov. has 6 weeks for a broken collar bone to heal and types 1 handed and slowly
9 Dec29th May 2011 07:58:56 AM from The Dance Floor
Stayin' Alive
Maybe an older relative is sick and dying, and the parents want to be nearby for the last of their lives? Perhaps moving the relative away from the hospital would be counterproductive, and paying for all the kids to come would be too much money?

Honestly though, unless they're literally on the other side of the world or in dire straights, I'd imagine they'd at least visit once or twice over the course of a year. A year is a really long time to leave your house and your youngest unattended in the hands of a teenager and a twenty year old...
Nemo enim fere saltat sobrius, nisi forte insanit
[up][up]There is a 20 year old in the house to take care of the others. And, you know, they can just place money on a bank account.

I actually know a person in such a position, her parrents have moved to a different city to work, and she's staying with an older sibling/cousin.

edited 29th May '11 8:01:10 AM by Dealan

I also had thoughts about having one or both parents stay home, but then I would need a good reason why they would allow the main character to go on an adventure.

Also, this whole story is for a video game that I've been designing for quite a while, in case I ever get anywhere with it.
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Total posts: 11