1. picklzzz
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    picklzzz Senior Member

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    Help! My two main characters don't want to be together!

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by picklzzz, Feb 16, 2012.

    Hi All,

    I have written about four or five chapters (depending on how they're defined, which is still a bit loose right now) of my novel, and I've developed the main two tragedies (which I'm debating if there should be two or just one), the characters and the setting fairly well. Now, I'm searching for a way to bring my main two characters together to investigate. I want it to be natural based on circumstance, not just like, "Hey, let's solve the mystery!"

    So far the woman MC is new in town, and her brother-in-law is desperate for a reporter because both of his are AWOL. She begrudgingly agrees to help until he can find someone else. The male MC is directly related to both tragedies - his brother has been arrested for rape and his best friend died tragically. So, they both have reason to be curious and want to investigate, but I can't seem to bring them together!

    I would like to have them work together, but also build a sexual tension. I'm just stuck right now about how to do this.

    I've been questioning why I even want them together, but I have such a great ending involving both of them and I think it makes a more interesting read to have two people seeking the truth together, especially if there's a possibilty they will hook up or something.

    Help!
     
  2. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I'm not sure if I get this. What do you mean by "her brother-in-law is desperate for a reporter because both of his are AWOL."? Is he a newspaper editor or something? Why does he have reporters who are AWOL? What does he want your female MC to investigate? The male MC's brother's rape arrest? The male MC's best friend's tragic death? Something entirely unrelated? If she's supposed to investigate the rape arrest or the tragic death, then that puts your two MCs together automatically.

    Otherwise, can you be more specific? What is your female MC actually doing?
     
  3. picklzzz
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    picklzzz Senior Member

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    I guess it was vague. The MC is new in town. Her brother-in-law runs the local paper. One of his two reporters is recuperating from surgery (so, I guess not AWOL) and the other one thinks he was fired (this is part of the main plot) although he never was. So, he's left with no one and dealing with his sister, who's fiance has just died. So, the MC decides to help him and agrees to do some reporting for the meantime.

    The male MC is best friend's with the fiance who died, so he's torn up about that. Then, at the funeral, his little brother is arrested for raping some girl, only he knows his brother couldn't have possibly done it.

    I've tried to set it up so that they would have what to do with each other - they're both involved with the same people and both have a reason to want to investigate, but I'm having trouble getting them to want to do it together. Maybe they shouldn't, and then they keep crossing paths until they decide to pool their resources. That's what I'm trying to decide. I want to be a natural reason, not something forced.
     
  4. TheIllustratedMan
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    TheIllustratedMan Active Member

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    Exactly what I was going to suggest... Have them each working on their own things, but at some point they are at the same place at the same time and one knows a bit of this, the other knows a bit of that... they end up working together to figure out what's going on.

    Or maybe one posts on Facebook and the other sees it... who knows?
     
  5. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I am not sure if I got this right, but if she agreed to help out as a reporter, you can have her interview the other MC, who then invites her for coffee, she refuses, but he keeps calling, or he makes sure he runs into her again, she can't stop thinking about him because of course, he is handsome, before you know it, you'll have both, sexual tension and partnership in trying to figure out what happened. Something like that, maybe.
     
  6. picklzzz
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    picklzzz Senior Member

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    I was thinking of that. She tries to interview him, but he refuses because he's upset about brother, but then he finally agrees to, only they meet at different times, which makes them both think the other stood him or her up. At this point, I already have them together working on something - they've practically just met - but I want there to be a misunderstanding or something so that there's that tension.
     
  7. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    That sounds good :) Also, in the proud tradition of the detective fiction, you can have her wonder whether he is the killer (since his brother is accused and his friend has been killed), the psycho kind, who seems charming and whatever but in reality... SO you can have all sorts of tense moments where he might do something innocuous but if seen through paranoid eyes, it might seem like something else. And then repeatedly show him as not being dishonest, but you know, she takes a long, long time to fully convince herself, maybe only as they catch the killer together, can she finally lay her suspicions to rest. And sleep with him or marry him or move in with him, at the end of the book, perhaps.
     
  8. 1000screams
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    1000screams Member

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    You could also do a touch of rewriting to the part you already have... so that they haven't met yet. Bring them together at the first place of investigation. Have them interact in somewhat tense ways and not agree to work together yet, but they exchange cards to keep in touch if either of them come across any new clues or leads. One of your character's gets a lead, but decides not to call the other and investigates on their own... Meanwhile the other MC is also following the same lead, found through either the same source or a different one. The first MC, when they get to the next scene is faced with a problem. I don't really care what kind of problem, just something that the MC can't get out of, or needs help. So that when the other MC gets there, there is a reason for the MCs to work together. The other MC will have to help the first MC out of a jam, and from there some emotional bond will be formed...as always any type of threatening situation can be useful in throwing two people who wouldn't normally get together into a place of gratitude and then sexual tension. (The character's don't have to hook up for the sexual tension to work. It actually better if they don't at least not until near the end, because I think sexual tension builds the conflict of the other situations nicely.)

    But this is just one option of how it could be done, especially with obstinate characters.
     
  9. picklzzz
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    picklzzz Senior Member

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    Why didn't I think of this??? I guess since I know what's going on (there's no killer, per se - at least directly), there's no one murderer. In my mind, it's not a murder mystery or crime story, although it definitely has elements of that. But, that doesn't mean she can't think there is! Maybe I need to paint it in a different light. Thanks, Jazzabel! That could change everything if I decide to go that route...
     
  10. picklzzz
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    picklzzz Senior Member

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    Great thoughts, 1000screams. I have them meeting for the first time briefly at the funeral of the male MC's friend, who has died a second time, which no one can figure out. The ME's report in inconclusive, so they're waiting on the tox reports. Anyway, as soon as they start to converse, he notices the police are there and then the subplot of his little brother being arrested happens, so they don't meet again until they both end up at the female MC's sister's house for different reasons. The sister is their common link. The sister's nephew is missing, and they go together to help out and end up finding him. This is my second subplot. So, they have three things going on that concern both of them. She has a reason to want to work with him, but I need him to have a reason to want to work with her. He doesn't know her well and does know she's the new reporter in town, so he's untrusting. She's been burned by a man recently, so she's against all men. But, I feel I need more than that...

    I will think more about what you and Jazzabel said... My story is getting more complicated by the second, and I'm not sure if it's a good thing or not. However, I am staying within the same main four characters most of the time - the MC's and the sister and husband. So, hopefully it makes sense to others. I'm going to have a few read it before I decide to proceed because I don't want it so confusing that the reader gives up!

    I'm trying to set it all up and then narrow it down mainly to the main two characters trying to figure out what the heck is going on. (By the way, the whole thing has to do with mind control. That's the theme, and I'm finding it tricky to work with without making it so obvious. Maybe Jazzabel's slant will really throw the reader for a loop! Is that a good thing though?)
     
  11. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    The most important thing is what you as the writer decides. There are so many different ways to tell a story, there is no right and wrong way to plot, just decisions and then sticking with them.
    But as a reader, I can tell you, if you can pull it off writing wise, there is no such thing as a plot that is "too complicated". If it makes sense to you, then if you write it well enough it will thrill and surprise and interest the reader and they won't be confused by the end. But while they are reading, the readers love to have to work things out and guess, that's what makes the book a page turner (and that's a good thing) :)
     
  12. beanbengo
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    beanbengo Member

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    if she is a reporter and he is directly linked two the two tragedies, cant you make her investigate these tragedies and therefore meet him? i dunno maybe i understood wrongly ...
    EDIT:sorry, kinda already been said.
     
  13. riggbren
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    riggbren Member

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    Can you clarify the story a little bit? I find it kind of confusing.
     

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