1. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    How to avoid the abusive tavern owner plot...

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Link the Writer, Apr 21, 2012.

    Okay, need help.

    Lately, I've been thinking about the man who had been raising Amos (protag of my Colonial mysteries) since the boy was three: Mister Charles Wilkins, owner of the Colonial Eagle Tavern.

    I know who he is. He's a man racked with disappointment and regret; he's bitter and angry at the world, etc. The issue is...how can I get Amos to get out of the tavern and do detective-y stuff without Wilkins (who, deep down, actually cares about the boy) getting involved? Plus, the story demands Amos to eventually end up living with a plantation-owning family who admires his skills and takes him in.

    I have thought of removing Mister Wilkins from Amos' story, and giving him his own story (ie, he's a diner owner in 1940s Georgia, or something), but that still leaves me with the problem of the tavern owner.

    I want to avoid the bland, abusive tavern owner who is just there to treat Amos like crap, yet I want to give Amos a desire to defy this guy, and want to live with this new family instead. If this tavern owner doesn't care about Amos, then I wouldn't have to worry about the guy berating Amos for almost getting himself killed over something that should be none of his concern.

    For some reason, the story somehow flows a bit better if the tavern owner is not a nice person to Amos. It makes Amos want to escape, and lets me come up with a way to have him escape.

    Thoughts???
     
  2. superpsycho
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    superpsycho Contributing Member

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    He's a wise old tavern owner who knows the kid hasn't got a chance if he's babied, so he worked to toughen him up. The more the kid learns to take, the more the kindly old tavern owner dishes out, until the day the kid spits in his eye. As the wise old tavern owner kicks him out into the street. he says "about time. I'm proud of you boy" and slams the door. Consider sort of Rutger Hauer figure as opposed to Mickey Rourke. Just because he raises the kid the only way he may know how, doesn't mean he doesn't care.
     
  3. killbill
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    killbill Contributing Member

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    If you are worried that the tavern owner is not "rounded" enough, I don't agree. He has his issues, he treats Amos like crap but, as you said, he actually cares about the boy. If you can "show" everything that you said about him than he is a very rounded, and hence interesting, character than say, someone who just treat Amos nicely without any particular reason.

    And if you are worried that the tavern owner doesn't change/evolve in the course of the story, I think it is okay for minor characters to be that way. I mean that is why he is not the main character.
     

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