1. Darkkin
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    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

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    Following the footprints in the sand...

    Eavesdropping.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Darkkin, Jul 8, 2012.

    Okay, I have two characters, Angel and Lilla, both are huddled under a large desk at the moment. Neither is supposed to be there, but curiosity has gotten the better of them. They want to hear what the High Council has to say. I have a couple of ideas, but am struggling with winnowing it down. Would using one or more in junction overwhelm a reader? I don't want this to devolve into an info dump, but rather, the start of the major action.

    i.e. High Council finds out it has been duped by one of their own, one they trusted above all else. A termination order is issued. The girls hear it and know they need to warn the target, but they also know that the Council wouldn't have convened for that reason alone. From a reader's perspective: Should I reveal the reason or is the inference of a second, primary motivation for the meeting enough?

    - Darkkin
     
  2. Steph4136
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    Steph4136 Senior Member

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    I have no idea since I don't know what's going on or what led them there.

    If it were me, it would be something big to move the plot along...maybe a betrayal in the making...maybe someone that is going to be quietly 'done away with' and they need to stop it? Maybe one of them find out that their parent (or other major figure in their life) isn't who they thought they were, a spy perhaps.
     
  3. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't understand your question -- this seems more like a writing prompt. It seems like you're asking us for a story, yet you indicate you have your own. What are you asking?
     
  4. Patrick Gallant
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    Patrick Gallant Member

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    Hey,

    Yeah it seems like you might be fishing for an idea and that's perfectly fine. Two good ideas already as well. The High Council could talk about a prophecy relating to the main characters, a plot to manipulate them, or perhaps even just a normal innocuous meeting that the main characters THINK is a big conspiracy but will work out to a misunderstanding later in the story!

    That's my take. :)

    Regards,
     
  5. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    This is one of those questions that make me bash my head onto my desk saying "Why, oh why, are you asking US? You're the writer - YOU tell US what they hear!" It's as if you're saying "OK, friends and readers, after taking a lot of time and trouble doing so, I've finally managed to manipulate my characters into Situation X. Can someone please tell me why I did this? Because I certainly have no clue."

    It's the writer's job, the writer's responsibility, to dazzle and enthrall the reader, not the other way around. You're the writer, so the first item on your to-do list for today is figure out what these eavesdropping characters hear!
     
  6. Darkkin
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    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

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    Actually, it took only about three sentences to get them there... I did edit and rework my post because it wasn't clear. I had a blurred perspective. Critical thinking. Why did I ask my question when I didn't even really know my question? Well, I found my question, a concise question. Getting it out of my head helped untangle a few knots. I now know what the meeting is about. I am leaning toward keeping the second piece of info in reserve, but it is a tempting carrot to dangle. Sorry if I gave anyone a headache.

    Okay, total Narf moment going on...My knots are reweaving themselves. Viable pieces that have been at a standstill, characters vibrantly alive, but lost. I know what to do! This, this is why I voice questions. I had the characters, but their stories where in the wrong order. One critical scene and a question...Thank you for making me look, to think beyond the given. I know the way now.

    - Darkkin
     
  7. Complex
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    Complex Senior Member

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    Or you can still dangle the carrot in a way, but reveal something effectively minor from the stand point of the characters? I have annual council meetings to discuss horticulture matters, but the big lead up to the event is the announcement of the discovery of a certain pitcher plant which has the ability to grow in total darkness. Doesn't sound like much, but it is a revolutionary discovery worth killing to keep secret.

    I'd almost prefer that the characters listen to the important meeting and then switch back to the first and currently critical information being the most important; since it was the first order of business and involves murder. If the council's secrets are so critical that the target must be silenced then it should be top-importance. Even still, a seemingly lack luster discussion about the true reason is likely to lead the MCs to disregard it as a threat.

    Afterall, nuclear fission wasn't that important until its potential as weapon of total destruction was worked out. In a technical meeting discussion, someone discusses the chain reaction which releases X amount of energy. It could be enough those in the know to realize its potential without someone shouting out, "It will be a doomsday weapon! AHAHAHA!"

    Though I'd also like to point out a problem with your post. Is the target on the high council? If so, why is the target not present for the meeting? Typically 'one of our own' implies that, and serves as a rather cliche place to plot the murder of a colleague without knowing where loyalties lie. And if it is obvious, why convene at all?
     
  8. Darkkin
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    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

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    As this is set in the Regency period, the target is not on the High Council, which is comprised solely of the eldest males of the Tribe. Seats are inherited, passed from father to son, or nearest related male heir, as the case may be. And as such, there is much contention and antagonism among the members. The Council is blinded by its own hidebound hierarchy and superstitions. They never questioned the loyalty of the Matriarch. They never had cause to. Hence, furthering the conflict and action of the plot.

    With the death of Breckenridge, questions concerning a certain elder, Lady Emmaline, have been raised. Her secret is out, and the depths of her deceptions are revealed. What remains hidden are her motives, (the carrot...). It was something none of the Council members saw coming. This gives my young eavesdroppers a little bit of a chance. The decision reached by the Council will have a devastating, far flung effect on more than just the Tribe. This is the ignition point for the story arch of the series.

    And as to the carrot, it is not totally obvious. Where would the fun in that be? Can we hear it for motives... When the Tribe deals with an issue; they act swiftly and quietly. After kill order is issued, it is carried out within hours. Often the target has no idea until they are staring their fate in the face. It has been centuries since the Tribe has issued a kill order against one of its ladies. This is a web, but the threads are there.

    - Darkkin
     

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