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  1. citric acid
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    citric acid New Member

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    Help with plot?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by citric acid, Mar 9, 2010.

    Okay, so here’s the problem; the main character Richard has a girlfriend called Joey that he is in love with blah blah blah, but his jealous best friend splits the two of them up, she leaves and he cannot find her. (It turns out that her family was evicted from their home and moved to Scotland, she in her rage at him did not tell him and does not want to be found by him). When it becomes apparent to him that he is not going to find her, he goes to France to join his own family where his father is starting a new business. Twelve years pass, he is still in France living with a woman he does not love, he is still in love with Joey. One day he happens to see in a gossip magazine a photograph of a woman who to all intents and purposes appears to be Joey, although after digging into the matter it turns out it’s a quasi-famous artist who bears a resemblance to Joey and has a similar name. However he decides he wants to find out what became of Joey. At the same time he develops a slight obsession over the artist and follows her progress through the media. Here’s where the problem is. I want him to meet up with the artist lady but I’m not sure how. By the end of the book they end up living together, so he can’t be a stalker because if he was she wouldn’t entertain even the idea of speaking to him. But it would be just too much of a coincidence if he’s sat in a café/bar/restaurant in London and she just happens to walk on in. Similarly I’m not sure how he finds Joey (because he does sort of find her- he speaks to her mother but Joey doesn’t live in the country any more). I thought maybe a private detective, but wouldn’t they be able to just tell him that she’s not in the country and so he wouldn’t have a reason to visit her mother, and that’s a scene that is important to the book. Then I thought maybe he could contact the people who now live in the house that she was evicted from but this might be a bit unlikely because would people readily give up information, even if they had it, to complete strangers, and couldn’t you say, well, why didn’t he do that 12 years earlier?
    I don’t know if I’ve explained that well enough but I didn’t want to give too much of the plot away but if you have any suggestions they would be very much appreciated.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Somewhere in all that, I'm sure there is a question. I'm equally sure that the question is something about how to make a motivation believable.

    If you, the writer, can't convince yourself it is plausible, you don't stand much sense of convincing the reader.
     
  3. Tigress
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    Tigress Member

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    Ask Richard why he didn't do it earlier. Seriously. Let him tell you, either by engaging yourself in a conversation with him in your head or by having him write his thoughts down in a journal or blog.

    It may sound crazy but it's worked for me.

    Just wait until your characters start asking *you* questions like that. Just the other day one of my characters, in the course of a dialog, asked another character what was to stop the bad guy from coming back and doing the same evil thing again. It took me all day to find an answer for her, but I did. LOL
     
  4. citric acid
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    citric acid New Member

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    Yeah, this is the sticking point, Why didn't he do it earlier. Thing is this is where I am up to in the writing, I can't write any more til I figure things out.

    Sorry, i know it sounds a bit of a crappy plot but I don't want to give too much away.
     
  5. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    The artist who resembles Joey, resembles Joey because she's related to her. Her side of the family, and Joey's side, broke connection with one another around the time of their childhood, perhaps due to a series of events that last several years and culminate in the eviction.

    For that matter, perhaps those events are the real reason why Joey disappears so thoroughly; do people disappear that thoroughly just over a breakup?

    The artist would like to see that side of the family again, too - maybe she misses Joey, maybe she misses another relative, maybe she wants revenge on someone in the family, who knows? So when he contacts her about finding Joey, she agrees to see him.

    His puzzle pieces and her puzzle pieces are enough pieces of knowledge to find Joey. Now, if I were writing this plot, someone would get murdered at this point. But that's me.

    ChickenFreak
     
  6. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Trust me, if there were a credible way for an ordinary guy to hook up with a celeb who is also his fantasy of his ideal woman, we'd all be doing it in real life. Too much of a coincidence? Well, it depends which way you look at it. Out of the thousands of guys who want to hook up with this girl, you happen to be telling the story of the one that fate does bring into contact with her. If you'd chosen a random guy to tell the story about, there'd be an issue, but you didn't. Of course, the more he helps fate along the better :)

    As a quasi-famous artist, does she do workshops or classes that he could attend? Heck, I met the graphic artist Siku and the novelist Jasper Fforde by venue managing the literature tent at an arts festival. He can put himself slightly more likely than a random cafe!
     
  7. Strawberry Kitten
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    Strawberry Kitten New Member

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    Artist normal travel to different art gallerys around the world, why not have her go to France and he goes along to see?
     
  8. Rechar
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    Rechar Member

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    As an artist, have her hold an exhibition somewhere locally.

    Now you have your characters in the same location, you just need to introduce them. You mention his family has just moved to a foreign country to start a business. Clearly they are financially secure...he could ask for a commisson peice which would allow more than adequate time to establish a bond between them both.

    To get the mother into the story, why not have a future art exhibition in Scotland which the artist invites him to join her on, this time allowing a chance encounter with the mother (who has a passing interest in art).
     
  9. fantasy girl
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    fantasy girl Contributing Member

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    what has been said already are all really good ideas, having the artist related to Joey is my favorite.

    Maybe you could have Joeys mother gets in contact with the artist to do a commission piece after getting a large sum of inheretance money. The artist remembers the stories Richard told her and gets in contact with him, and takes him along with her.
     

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