1. Pippy May
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    Pippy May New Member

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    Filling some holes in back story

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Pippy May, Aug 14, 2015.

    I’ve been trying to write around it for as long as possible, but I can’t go any further without facing a few holes in my back story, and I’m still just as stumped as I was when I started.

    In short, I need a believable reason for needing an heir to be produced ASAP. If you don’t feel like reading everything else, please give me some possible reasons, I would be so grateful. The rest is just background on the families involved. The story takes place in the present.

    Some background: There was a civil war in an undisclosed country. Toward the end of the war, an old, powerful, very wealthy family realizes they are on the losing side, and immediately drop all support for the maniacal dictator trying to overthrow the corrupt, but not completely evil, government. Either way, the country is not in great shape and has both a history and a future of political unrest. That’s why another old family, less powerful, less wealthy, and only recently having gained prominence as war heroes, decide to relocate with their unborn daughter to England after playing a big part on the winning side. We’ll refer to them as “good family” and the other family as “bad family”. Just before the good family leaves, the bad family, now somewhat disgraced and quite powerless, asks them to consider arranging a marriage between their children.

    I think they do this because the bad family can’t currently leave the country on account of being tried for war crimes, etc. and want to ensure that their son, let’s call him Solomon, will get to England and a better life. If their son and his enormous inheritance are promised to the good family’s daughter, Rina, the good family will have a reason to keep Solomon safe and get him to England, should the bad family be imprisoned or anything. Rina, of course, would benefit by becoming very, very wealthy.

    Long story short, the bad family aren’t imprisoned, but the two families marry their children when they are fairly young so that everyone feels safe with giving the good family guardianship of Solomon so that he can go to England and get an education. Eventually the bad family are able to get citizenship and move to England and everything is good until they start insisting that Solomon and Rina produce an heir. (Solomon has been away at various schools, so they barely know each other at this point.)

    Perhaps this is because something from the civil war, or the politics of their home country, are catching up with them? What other reason could there be? And what could be going on that they need an heir? Their home country is, obviously, pretty old school and probably not all that developed, since arranged marriages are still happening, so needing an heir isn’t totally insane, but why the urgency?


    I'm open to tweaking parts of the backstory to make it make more sense or to work around certain stuff, but this was the general idea of what's going on. Note that this is all backstory, and the 'political intrigue' type stuff will be secondary to the story of coming of age within this setting of political intrigue. But I will still need a solid idea of what's going on that caused them to need an heir.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2015
  2. Sifunkle
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    Sifunkle Dis Member

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    I'm don't have any magical breakthroughs, but the main motives I can think of for wanting an heir are:

    1. The line of succession is getting uncomfortably short (i.e. running out of 'insurance policies': were some catastrophe to befall its remaining members, what would happen to the family's assets?). For drama, perhaps Solomon or one of his parents have a terminal disease, or uncover an assassination plot, or... whatever fits with your story.

    2. 'Bad Family' wants to irrevocably get their hands on some asset that 'Good Family' own, and to definitively do this, Good Family's heir needs to have Bad Family blood (so Solomon needs to get bizzay with Rina). For urgency, maybe Good Family are about to uncover some secret that would disrupt Rina and Solomon's marriage, so Bad Family need to seal the deal before the skeleton's closet is opened.

    3. Not wanting an heir so much as a child/grandchild. Passing on your genes is pretty much the biggest biological imperative other than surviving, and if Solomon's parents are past reproductive age and he's their only child, the pressure's on him. This depends on Bad Family's characterisation a bit, but you shouldn't necessarily pass up simple 'genetic pride' for social chicanery. What's the point of a family accumulating wealth if there's no genetic legacy to benefit from it?

    I think the best option really depends on what your characters are like, and obviously I have no clue, but maybe thinking about broad motives will allow you to hone in on the details. Good luck!
     

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