1. __scarlettdrawl
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    __scarlettdrawl New Member

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    Advice?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by __scarlettdrawl, Oct 8, 2008.

    Okay, so, I started writing a new story today. It's kind of based off of a true story, although I combined a lot of my aunts' pasts into one, kind of.

    There's this girl, and she's seventeen and pregnant. Her boyfriend (the father) is really into weed and speed and sells drugs. They're incredibly poor. She's going to end up running away. That's really all I've decided on right now.

    But, I'm afraid that she's going to end up being a Mary-Sue because she has a bad life and everything, and I don't want it to seem like I'm only trying to make people feel bad for her. Any tips on how to keep her realistic?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    This really has more with character development than with plot development.

    To start with, what about it means she sees it as a bad life? She might be both excited and terrified about being pregnant. She may be leaving her boyfriend to help him - tough love, many addicts cannot get better until they hit bottom.

    Maybe she is concealing her condition and turning away attempts from well-meaning people, because she's independent, or because she doesn't want to owe anyone a favor.

    There are so many ways to add depth to the character. Read threads in the Character Development forum to try to get some more ideas.
     
  3. Honeybun
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    Honeybun Active Member

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    I dunno if I'm allowed to do this, since it's all about writing in this forum, but as most of us get inspiration from real life experience, I also get it from watching movies-and reading of course. Try watching "Riding in cars with boys" starring Drew Barrymore :) about a girl who got pregnant very young and her life was so skrewed up! Watch it and se how her life turns out to be and what difficulties she encountered to survive.

    Good Luck and..


    Keep it up ;)
     
  4. Scarlett_156
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    Scarlett_156 Active Member

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    Hm... if you're having a hard time making a character like that believable, then it's a bet that you are also having a hard time relating to her situation.

    If you think that the events of a young life that you have related so far are "bad" then it's possible that you may in fact sort of despise people who end up in these situations, or at least feel somewhat contemptuous toward them.

    To really be able to write a story based on the situations you are describing you should be able to relate personally to at least one of the conditions described--not that you have to have had it happen to you in person, but at least be closely enough acquainted with someone who meets those conditions so that you can draw from the experience and make it believable in your writing.

    • Have you known someone personally who became pregnant at a young age?
    • Have you known someone personally who had a boyfriend who was a dope fiend/dope salesman?
    • Have you known someone personally who was or is extremely poor?
    • Have you known someone personally who ran away from home as a youth?

    If you have never experienced any of these things yourself, and don't know anyone who has, then it may be that all you can do right now is outline the story and then go out and try to gain some more experience at these things. Again, you don't have to actually BE pregnant, or BE a dope fiend, or run away from home yourself, but you should try to gain some real-life familiarity with those situations.

    Volunteering in a social services setting where all kinds of people come and go may be one way you can get closer to the type of life you're describing without having to actually be like that yourself--ask a school counselor or a church minister, or check into opportunities for volunteering that may be available to you. For example, you may be able to work on a crisis hotline, or at a shelter for homeless or runaway teens.

    And one quick way you can perhaps inject some "non-Mary-Sue-ness" into your character is to consider how she ended up getting knocked by a dope fiend in the first place. If you can't let your mind go there, then perhaps this story should go on a shelf for awhile until you can consider all the possibilities without wanting to gag.

    Poor people are not universally "bad", and even drug addicts are not universally "bad"--they just are what they are. Lots of very famous and well-loved people go their whole lives without money for one reason or another, and live in conditions that are somewhat squalid; many dope fiends have acquired great fame and honor for their accomplishments. So always try to consider a person's humanity before you write about that person; hardly anyone is completely "bad". (Except for me, of course. :p)

    I hope this was helpful! yours in Chaos, Scarlett
     
  5. Citadel.Baby
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    Citadel.Baby New Member

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    If you write well, whatever you decide to do with her will be believable! :)
     

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