1. Z. C. Bolger
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    Z. C. Bolger Member

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    An okay mother death

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Z. C. Bolger, Apr 16, 2012.

    Young Adult, Mystery, Adventure.

    My MC knows of a boy who's mother died from....? What? I feel like "cancer" is kind of extreme for a kids adventure book because it hits to close to reality and could pull readers from the story to thinking about cancer.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    Young adults, respect them as adults.

    Tragic things happen in this world and have to be coped with.

    If it does take the readers mind off your story for a while I'm sure they will come back to it, if deal with the subject with dignity and honesty.
     
  3. superpsycho
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    superpsycho Contributing Member

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    Spider bite.
     
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  4. The Tourist
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    Funny you should mention that. There is no 'mother' for my lead, only a deceased father. I always figured that if Anakin Skywalker can have only one parent, my lead should be able to do the same.

    My mom and I never meshed. She told me that my first word was "down." She picked me up, snuggled my face, and I looked her in the eye and said, "down."

    Not a good start for a lot of Mother's Day cards.
     
  5. Z. C. Bolger
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    Z. C. Bolger Member

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    I do agree with you on this point but for my context it wouldn't fit. The MC is going to mention it in passing "Bob's mother had died earlier this year from *blah* so he is now taking many extra curricular activities. "

    I feel that because it is such a small point and the story doesn't revolve around it at all but is simply a back story point for a Secondary Character, it would be unnecessary to make it something that would potentially take the reader's attention from the story.
     
  6. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    Then do you really need to say what she died from?

    Would, Bob's mother mother died earlier this year so he..., not suffice.
     
  7. Z. C. Bolger
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    Z. C. Bolger Member

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    Well maybe I don't.

    The secondary character is reoccurring and I thought that it would quite the question of "Where's his mom?". But maybe it's not needed.
     
  8. Nakhti
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    Nakhti Banned

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    Personally, I think that would more than suffice. Often writers give more weight to backstory because they think it makes their character seem more 'real', so they include information that people in real life just don't feel the need to know, or don't generally want to talk about.

    If you were discussing the fact that someone is now doing extra activities because their mother died earlier in the year, would you really bother to go into the cause of death? Surely the important thing is the causal link between the death and the activities? Unless it's relevant to that causality, like 'Oh, Charlie's running the London marathon for MacMillan this year because his mum died of cancer last October' then yeah, there's a reason to mention it. Otherwise, it's a bit TMI.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    why does it have to be a disease?... a car/plane crash or some other kind of accident would be quicker and is certainly a common enough cause...
     
  10. AmyHolt
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    I agree that I'd just say, "Bob's mom died earlier this year." But if you had to have a reason the question I'd ask myself is was it a long drawn out death like cancer creates or something sudden like a car accident? That would help you narrow down the possiblities.
     
  11. Z. C. Bolger
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    Z. C. Bolger Member

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    Doesn't have to be a disease. I just wrote cancer cause I felt 1. that's the first thing someone would suggest and 2. I was having a brain fart and couldn't think of another way of death at the time. I recently had a very close friend's mother pass from cancer so I guess it just stuck with me.

    I had a friend suggest car crash last night and I was like "WOW! I can't believe I didn't think of that."
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Heart defect, pneumonia, drowning, fire, mugging, slip and fall, roof collapse, carbon monoxide, asthma, aneurism, just took off, undisclosed causes...
     
  13. The Tourist
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    The Tourist Banned

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    How about "poison mushrooms." It implies both accident and murder.
     
  14. Z. C. Bolger
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    Z. C. Bolger Member

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    great ideas thanks
     
  15. AmyHolt
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    I love this idea.
     
  16. naturemage
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    naturemage Active Member

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    car accident. they happen all the time
     
  17. digitig
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    Well, Bambi's mother was shot.

    Anyway, do you have to tell your readers how she died? Maybe your MC doesn't like to talk about it.
     
  18. The Tourist
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    The Tourist Banned

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    I cannot take a shred of credit. It comes from an old joke about a woman who has been widowed three times. A bystander asks how these men came to pass. She states that the first two died by eating poison mushrooms--the third guy died getting his head bashed in with a crowbar. The bystander remarks that third husband died an unusual death, and the widow replies, "Well, he wouldn't eat the poison mushrooms."
     
  19. jazzabel
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    You can always say that "mother died" end of story. I had a friend whose mother died when she was younger and nobody would talk about it so I didn't know why and I didn't want to make her sad by asking. Another time, someone's mum just died, and it was in a car accident, so people talked and that's how I knew.

    If the MC only mentions it in passing, I think you can easily make him say just that "she died earlier this year", and whoever they talk to will most likely know what happened if they are from the same circle. If not, let the other character say "Omg, that's horrible, poor boy/what happened?" rather than stating "Since his mother died earlier this year in a car accident, Tommy's been taking on extra curricular activities". It reads like too much information.
     
  20. Kaymindless
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    Kaymindless Contributing Member

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    I love this. Just love it. Had me chocking on my coffee.

    That is a very good point. Depending on the cause, and the people, they may not talk about it.
     
  21. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    my maternal grandfather actually died from eating poison mushrooms...

    the family assumption was that a cousin, who had hand-picked the mushrooms he then cooked up in the pasta sauce, had slipped the bad ones onto grandpa's portion, successfully doing him in... the fact that the cousin was both a mafia associate [and mom's papa wasn't cooperating by allowing a still to be operated in his basement] and the husband of one of the ladies gramps [a notorious rake] had dallied with, gave him a double motive... nothing could be proved, so the family consensus was that it was murder, but 'just one of those things' in sicilian-american life in the 1920s...
     

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