1. skuld
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    skuld Member

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    How would a friend betray a friend?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by skuld, Jun 18, 2015.

    How does a friend betray a friend?

    The general idea is this:

    17-year-old schoolgirls Jasie and Mia have been best friends since first grade. Tomboyish Jasie has always been a little in awe of artistic, creative Mia. Despite their differences they've grown up together sharing secrets, having sleepovers at each other's homes, all the things best friends do.
    But Mia goes to Europe for the summer before their last year of high school, and when she comes back everything changes, and Jasie observes how her friend's newly acquired glamour turns Mia into one of the most sought-after girls in their school. Worst of all, Mia's new friends don't seem to have anything in common with Jasie and Jasie gradually starts feeling as if Mia's left her behind.

    Jasie's feelings go from bewildered to hurt to resentful, and leads her to commit an impulsive act of betrayal that changes things forever, and by the time she realizes the consequences it is too late to undo.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. izzybot
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    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

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    She could share something embarrassing that happened to Mia when they were younger / something that Mia told her in confidence? Something that would tarnish her ~glamorous~ image. Could be a real thing or she could make something up that sounds feasible, but it'd be more of a betrayal if it was real.

    You also need to take into consideration whether it's something their friendship could recover from, if that's your end goal. So nothing incredibly serious - no "one time I saw Mia murder a man" and Mia goes to jail for the next fifteen years :p
     
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  3. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with @izzybot that you're walking a fine line if you want the betrayal to be something that can be recovered from - both for the betrayed character AND for the readers.

    If you're going for full-on horrible betrayal, figure out what Mia values most and have Jasie destroy it. Physical or emotional or both.

    But if you want a betrayal that the readers and Mia will eventually forgive? You're going to have to dial it back. What does Mia care about, but not too much? Or what does she care about that she shouldn't really care about? (like a crush on a bad boy, or something).
     
  4. ladybird
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    ladybird Contributing Member

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    A shared secret. Betrayal of confidential information...

    When someone confides in me the information will remain confidential. So the biggest betrayal for me is if someone I shared personal details with betrays that trust.
     
  5. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    Making up lies/breaking trust is always a good route. Maybe Jasie forces herself to get along with Mia's friends, then tells them a bunch of lies or secrets. about Mia. "She used to do this when she was a kid..." "She talks bad about you behind your back all the time..." Then all of Mia's friends turn against her and become friends with Jasie instead.

    Dating a guy she likes is another biggie. Girl code, man. You don't break the girl code.
     
  6. ToeKneeBlack
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    ToeKneeBlack Contributing Member Contributor

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    Jasie could have access to photographs of when they were both younger - perhaps having a face covered in ice-cream or something equally silly.

    This results in the other kids calling Mia "vanilla face". It depends on how juvenile they'll be portrayed.
     
  7. Viridian
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    Viridian Contributing Member Supporter

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    What if Jasie shakes off her tomboy image and steals away Mia's boyfriend - only to find that Mia wasn't comfortable with her new popular image and inside has been longing for her lost friendship with Jasie? Then maybe the boyfriend turns out to be a complete arsehole and Jasie has to seek Mia's help and try to fix their friendship.
     
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  8. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Yes, I like this one. Why? Because it's complicated. It would make a really good story. The other stuff (show a bad photo, etc) is a little bit too easy. This idea already has turns and twists built in, including that of competition. (AND it would possibly work at building Jasie's confidence in her ability to attract men—which at this stage of her life, might be beneficial?)
     
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  9. drifter265
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    drifter265 Banned

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    I feel what you're describing is the motion between idea and concept. You have the idea and now you just need to make a story out of it. What you just described is basically everything that happens in act one all the way up until the "event" or "inciting incident" happens. Betrayal is easy. Just have one character do what the other doesn't want most. In this case, is that just popularity? Then just make the character that you want betraying the other more popular or successful.
     
  10. Cry Wolf
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    Cry Wolf New Member

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    Taking the age into consideration, gossip is a big thing in high school teenagers, especially females. Pending on whether you want recoverable betrayal or full on vengeance for being left behind, that is a definite you will need to consider where the girls are concerned. If you want it to be dramatic, I'd go with a recoverable betrayal; if you want severity then vengeance would be key, in my opinion. a recoverable betrayal to me would be more along the lines of just a flat out lie that sounds believable. vengeance would be something told in confidence, but again it would have to be serious based on which route you want to take.
     
  11. Elena Schmetterling
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    Elena Schmetterling Member

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    If both are still at school, Mia could run for a very sought-after student position, and Jasie sees herself envying all the immediate support she's getting. Jasie could then run for the position too, making sure to use some of the things Mia has privately admitted to Jasie against her, which ruins Mia's career but also ruins Jasie's as she is then seen as a bully of sorts.
     
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  12. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    I like this too. Although I think you could expand on it and play games with the different forms of popularity and how they can leveraged in different ways. Mia is your creative, artsy type - so the way she becomes popular is via the glamour/fashion/culture route - those girls, by the way, might be more popular than either Jasie or Mia was before, but maybe not the most popular bracket in school. If Jasie as your tomboy archetype is looking to one-up Mia on the popularity front, she's not going to be able to do it playing on Mia's turf (which is "girly-girl" stuff) unless you want to turn her totally into a twisted sort of Pygmalion story (see: "Mean Girls"). More likely, I can see Jasie using her own skill set (let's assume it's athletics) to...say...get on the cheerleading squad, which in most schools would catapult her slightly above the "pretty girls" and probably get her a new set of friends that are even more cliqueish than Mia's. Or you could make her the school's new sports hero. Or she could decide she's too cool for school and start hanging out with the rocker/stoner kids (although I'm not sure that's aggressive enough). Personally I like the cheerleader idea just because it playing on a classic archetype, but I think your key is to exploit the differences in the two girls and have Jasie realize that if she plays her cards right, she can actually get into the group that's so high in the hierarchy that they pick on Mia's group.
     
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  13. Cry Wolf
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    Cry Wolf New Member

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    I think the mean girl approach would be perfect for this situation, to an extent.
     
  14. A J Phillips
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    A J Phillips Active Member

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    Maybe while overseas Mia met a new circle of people that introduced her to a new side of life that she had previously been ignorant to. she adopts it and it changes her, so when she gets back to the states, she simply makes the adjustment with a new circle of friends that she can relate to. Jasie is stuck in their old ways, and thus feels left behind when she sees Mia's new outlook and demeanor.
     
  15. skuld
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    skuld Member

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    This is the general idea. I liked the suggestion that Jasie impulsively leaks out something that Mia told her in confidence and immediate regrets it but by then it's too late to undo. Haven't decided yet whether the friendship will be salvageable or not. Was thinking of having Mia's family move away at the end.
     
  16. everett
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    everett Member

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  17. No-Name Slob
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    When it comes to teenage girls, "betrayal" usually has something to do with a boy.
     
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  18. everett
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    everett Member

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    or another girl... just as likely. perhaps her betrayel elevates her own social status while at the same time demeaning her former friend.
     
  19. tasjess
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    tasjess Active Member

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    It depends on how large you want the consequence to be. Spreading rumors of a sexual nature (saying she slept with her boyfriend, had a threesome in Europe, slept with a teacher) really takes at that age (speaking as an ex-highschool teacher). Teens are sadly obsessed with each other's sex lives and surprisingly prudish and judgmental. Spreading rumors about her taking drugs or anonymously reporting to the principal that she has drugs in her locker so her locker is searched in font of everyone. Telling her parents that she is failing at school, is experimenting with drugs and/or sex is less public but still has the potential for big consequences. 17 year olds are unlikely to be too be too shaken by an embarrassing childhood photo, but reputation and freedom is everything.
     
  20. everett
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    everett Member

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    I think its important to recognize the glamour of 17 year olds is feigned. The harshest betrayal a friend could do in this situation, and the one that makes the most sense, is to exposes this. And she would be privy to it. So exposing it gives her a dark sense of retribution. And perhaps she thinks it would elevate her as well, but then it doesn't of course.
     
  21. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    During Chemistry she substitutes dangerous nitric acid for water, chucks it in her stupid friend's face, and the pretty girl with pig tails wails all over the desks, screams, gurgles...whilst Dappy in her combat dungarees just laughs.

    Now on a surface level you might see this as a victory, but for our heroine things only turn much worse. In fact the entire school sides with creepo. So, she turns religious, and after a long while her old friend feels sympathetic once more, agrees to attend a ceremony. However it is all a trick and Ponygirl is exposed to terrifying satanist ritual, buried in chains inside a box in a swamp with alligators.

    Then you write the sequel.
     
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  22. skuld
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    skuld Member

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    I'm not sure what you mean by this. Can you explain that further?
     
  23. everett
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    everett Member

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    well, no matter the seeming glamour of a 17 year old, it is only in appearance, and the harshest thing that can be done, as far as betrayal, is to expose her now "glamorous" friend for being not as glamorous as people think. how she does that is up to you to figure out.

    And generally, among teenagers, backbiting and undercutting another, especially a "friend" can give you a boost in popularity. but it is short lived. So she feels she is being honest (but this is only a justification, it is her veiled jealousy that drives her) in exposing her friend, and it also gives her the exhilarating boost of attention for a time that she never had. but then she has to reconcile this with her conscience. so is this the true her? is she a backbiter and a betrayer? or does she eat her proverbial foot and make it right? thats the question.
     
  24. skuld
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    skuld Member

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    Back when I was in HS the jocks were pretty much their own clique (very close knit group, not really a part of the popular crowd). The way I'm envisioning it, Mia's in with the popular kids (the girls all want to start dressing like her, etc.). I don't want to turn Mia into the villain of the story (like she's not going to suddenly develop a stuck up attitude or anything like that) .
     
  25. everett
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    everett Member

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    Right, but she can be tested by this though. The allure of social standing as it were, and the pressures involved. A protagonist should be flawed but sincere, right? Major mistakes, and how they are dealt with, are a key component. As I've said before too, its not what you do its how you do it. Consider not how it would be done, but how does she convince herself to perpetrate this betrayal? What is the whispering voice? What is the justification she gives herself? And people will convince themselves to do the most absurd things, especially teenagers. And then the moment of growth is her overcoming this self delusion and improving as a human by having been tried in it.
     

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