1. JPGriffin
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    JPGriffin Senior Member

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    "Dodging" a Few Scenes

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by JPGriffin, Apr 10, 2012.

    For the next idea I'm working with, I'm taking on tasks that I've never personally experienced before. It's a bit of a sensitive area, and I'm not comfortable asking anyone about. To be more specific, burial preparations, arranging for a body to be buried, caskets, the whole ordeal. Yeah, not something to ask about lightly. So, to avoid any inaccuracies, would it be acceptable to give the task to a supporting character and leave only the result for the MC to experience? I'll be giving the MC another task to occupy him while arrangements are made, but would it arouse suspicion (with careful explanations included) if I leave that part of the story in the dark?

    And for those who are wondering, "Why didn't I just ask others on this site about the process," I hope I don't have to explain how asking such a question could dig up old memories, better left buried in one's mind.
     
  2. superpsycho
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    superpsycho Contributing Member

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    It's not unusual for such preparations to be taken up by someone else in the family, or in some cases very close friends, to spare the feelings of next of kin or intimate companion.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yes, it is...

    and even if you don't want to hand it off to another character, there's no rule that says you have to bore the reader with all the details... you can simply refer briefly to what needs to be done and then start a new chapter with the funeral... or even after the funeral, if the readers don't need to know what goes on there for some good plot-related reason...
     
  4. Nakhti
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    Nakhti Banned

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    How come? Death is a natural part of life, and so is dealing with death - it's not like you're asking someone for graphic details about paedophilia.... why all the sensitivity?

    Still don't get it. A close family member of mine died two months ago, and this still doesn't strike me as a sensitive issue. Death is emotional, but emotional and sensitive are not the same thing. Asking an anorexic about their eating habits is a sensitive isue :D

    It's completely fine to delegate the task to someone other than your MC, or not to show it at all (stuff like that is often boring anyway) but I just don't understand why you're so shy about asking someone for details. My only guess is that you're very young and not very confident about research, but most people wouldn't be offended by this kind of research. As I said, you're not asking someone about the best way to dismember and eat a baby.

    It sounds like this is YOUR issue, rather than the hypothetical issue of any person you might ask. Some people find it cathartic writing about issues that are sensitive to them, but others find it painful. Maybe you have some stuff to deal with before you write about it?
     
  5. JPGriffin
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    JPGriffin Senior Member

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    Alright, so I may have misused "sensitive," but the matter remains the same. Death, emotions, I still mean to respect others' experiences and avoid asking specifically about such areas. In relation to the burial preparations, it becomes that much more emotional, having to decide what he/she would have wanted, so on and so fourth. And in relation as to dealing with it, that's my problem- I simply haven't. That's why I ask about omitting such a part. I am young, rather unexperienced, but I know when I'm stepping on hot coals, so to speak.

    I appreciate any and all feedback, but I think I'll stick with the idea of skipping the funural itself- skipping through the scene will actually fit in quite nicely. Again, thank you everyone.
     
  6. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Why don't you go in and ask a funeral director for the details? That way, there's nothing sensitive or emotional about it. You're asking an unrelated third party who does this for a living, who will clearly know most of the details you're after.

    Perhaps watch the Departure, I think that's what it's called. Japanese movie about a celloist who loses his job and goes home to his village and ends up with a job for - yep, preparing bodies in a ceremonious manner and making them ready for burial. It's actually a light comedy that somehow manages to handle the issue with much grace and sensitivity, while still making you laugh. Very special film. Now I know it being Japanese traditions, it may not relate to the practices you're after, but you might be able to glean some atmosphere and some way of doing it skillfully from it.
     

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