1. FreakierThanThou
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    FreakierThanThou New Member

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    Help with the outlining stage?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by FreakierThanThou, Mar 6, 2009.

    I'm thinking of writing a sort of magical-realism thing for my next project. (It's going to be a script, in case this effects your judgement.) So two characters meet when one of them is doing a classic "run away from her past" thing and the other one is returning from a camping trip that was supposed to help him sort things out in his life, but didn't. She's hitchiking, he picks her up.

    There's my first stumbling block: it's modern times, but she's a "tough" character who has some sort of weapon with her. Do you think this would work, or would the hitchhiking be a distraction for you?

    Second: I'm going to throw in some dreams that may or may not be prophetic. I'm leaving this up to the readers (or viewers) to decide what's going on. I don't want to have outright shared dreams, but do you think it would be okay to have them appear in each other's dreams? There will be no romantic tension between them, although they are two straight people of opposite gender stuck together for an extended amount of time. Could dreaming about each other give people the wrong impression?

    Third: He's a young guy just starting at a high-paying proffessional job. (Think doctor, lawyer, ect.) But to keep his high wages and social status, he has to do some immoral things, which is his main source of conflict in the story. What should he have to do?

    Finally: At the end of story, they each make what would be considered to be the "wrong" decision: he goes for the high-powered job over his morals, and she returns to a life of violence and stuff like that. Any thoughts on that?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. laciemn
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    laciemn Senior Member

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    Well, as far as the question about dreams I think it will depend on how you write it. You can certainly write it in a way that doesn't imply romance.

    I'm not sure why you're unsure about her hitchhiking. It's a dangerous thing to do, sure, but people do it all the time anyway.

    I don't know if I would make the characters return to their old ways, because then what's the point of the story? You expect them to grow. If you do go this way, you have to be careful to show why the character did what he did.
     
  3. sorites
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    sorites Senior Member

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    I would rethink the ending. Most stories have happy endings--because readers, TV watchers, movie-goers, theater patrons (i.e. people) like happy endings. That doesn't mean it can't be bittersweet--good and bad mixed together--but generally, good should conquer bad, the boy should get the girl, and justice wins. If you're really, really good, maybe you can make a tragedy satisfying for the reader, but I would say having an ending that makes you feel good will add to your chances of getting published.

    As for the hitchhiking thing, no it would not put me off in the slightest, unless maybe you're saying, there is a guy who picks up a female hitchhiker who is openly carrying a rifle. That sounds a little far-fetched, but it could still be believable depending on the personalities and the circumstances.

    If you are dealing with a young guy and a woman and they are having dreams about one another and there is no sexual tension between them, you'd better have another good explanation. If magic is at work, then fine, but let me ask you this: is the woman fugly? If not, why isn't the guy attracted to her? He's a guy. She might not be attracted to him, but unless there is a reason why she's unattractive to him, he should be attracted to her by default. In fact, if he *does* pull over and pick her up and she's carrying a weapon openly, my automatic assumption is that she's hot or he's a moron.
     
  4. FreakierThanThou
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    FreakierThanThou New Member

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    Thanks, both of you. I might wind up writing two drafts of the ending and deciding which I like better. And, yes, it was intended to be a little bit tragic.

    Sorites, your comments made me laugh. By "attraction," I meant romance, of course. There may or may not be a sexual relationship thrown in there, and if my characters choose to misbehave, possibly even a romance (that wasn't set in stone), but yes, they are fairly attracted to each other. By this I just meant that this isn't going to be a story where you pick up a random hitchhiker on the side of the road and, oh, guess what? She's your one true love!

    Regarding the weapon thing, I haven't really decided yet what kind, but it would probably be concealed. He may find out partway through the story that she's armed, or it might just never be an issue, in which case I'd probably take that element out if it doesn't come to anything.
     

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