1. Shbooblie
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    Shbooblie Contributing Member

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    How would you react? (opinions needed!)

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Shbooblie, Mar 13, 2016.

    Now there are a lot of questions here so feel free to ignore most of them and just comment on the ones you want to comment on:supercute: (if indeed any at all!)

    Imagine a new friend has been stabbed in the back between his shoulder blades right in front of you. He asks you to pull the knife out and insists he is fine, he is barely bleeding and refuses to go to hospital. How would you react? What would you be thinking?

    This new friend has let you stay in his home rent free to avoid homelessness. His only conditions : 1) that you must lock your door at night, he says this is because he sleepwalks and has been prone to violent outbursts in the past and 2) You must never go into the basement. How do you react? Would you be afraid?
    What if he tells you that he is tube fed and he keeps all of his medical supplies down there? He doesn't like people seeing it because he doesn't want people to treat him differently? Is that a reasonable justification?
    Do you believe him?

    Finally, your new friend has another medical condition, you've seen the rashes on his skin caused by exposure to the sun. He says the doctors couldn't give him a diagnosis. Put that together with all of the above are any alarm bells ringing in your head?

    Now I know what I'd be thinking about all that myself, but as it's a choice between a roof over your head or being stuck on the street in the rainy season I know what i'd probably opt for. I'm trying to drop gradual hints to the reader as to what's really going on until it builds up to the climax but it won't work if the reader thinks the secondary character is totally naive, and it won't work if the reader guesses what's going on too soon!

    Any thoughts are much appreciated.
     
  2. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    As a reader, I'd absolutely guess what's going on.

    But that doesn't necessarily mean your character would be naive for not guessing... the character doesn't know she's starring in a novel, after all!

    The weirdest one for me would probably be the pulling the knife out of his back. You'd get a pretty good idea of how far in it went if you were involved in pulling it out, so not seeing any blood or serious injury would be pretty peculiar. Maybe you could have the vampire pull it out himself and and say it probably looked bad but it actually barely scratched him? Or something. I think the less involved the innocent character is in the first aid for that part, the better.

    The rest of it, if you write it well, I could believe would be overlooked.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2016
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  3. Doctore
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    Doctore Member

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    Well first off, if this friend's skin started to sparkle whenever the sun light touched him, I would have questions about that AND unless he's been attacked by his little sister and her glitter kit, or has been to the local strip club I'm not going anywhere with him.

    As for the knife I think my initial reaction would be FUCK!!! There is nothing normal about that situation and if he insists that he his fine and doesn't want to go to the hospital fair enough. I'm not going to try and make him but I will be getting my ass the hell away from him.

    Now for the second question, and this is assuming that the first hadn't happened yet, I just couldn't agree to those terms. Are you kidding? I'm a writer, or at least a wannabe writer and I have a very colorful imagination. I don't have the slightly idea of what is down there and my mind would wonder. Oh how it would wonder!! I just couldn't because I don't trust ANYONE that much.

    As far as that being reasonable well that depends on the person he's trying to fool. As the saying goes, there's a fool born every minute. I think a good wrench to toss in here is emotion because emotions clouds judgement.


    For the third about the medical diagnosis, that is believable because there are a tone of quacks out there and doctors who aren't as well educated as they should be. However, you'd be hard pressed to explain why those burns suddenly disappear by the next night fall without giving it away.

    Just a side note, maybe make it a more serious matter for the reason why the character chose to move in despite having doubts and such.
     
  4. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    Vampires don't sparkle in the sunlight. Stephanie Meyer maybe that up as part of her quest to ruin vampires. They're supposed to be monsters. If they're capable of decency, they should at least be tormented by their predatory side, and not really the nicest person.They'd probably be antisocial. They wouldn't be glittery romantic figures.
     
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  5. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    I'd probably in real life be freaked and confused But more think he was a weirdo with freaky medical conditions.. But as a reader I would be thinking of literary trope and think vampire or zombie or something.
     
  6. yellowrose64
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    yellowrose64 Banned

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    Hello!

    I think I would rather sleep in the Brazilian rain forest with the snakes then move in with that dude!
    My two-cents, take it for what its worth:

    If the hints about who this person is are a slow drip and a bit more vague you could develop some real tension.

    ex. start off with the door locking because he sleepwalks but not discuss what he does when he sleepwalks, etc.

    Get the guest nice and cozy in the house, lower their defenses, maybe even get them more dependent on the host and then slowly reveal things about the character, things that could be interpreted different ways so the guests naivete is credible. Then Gaslight the heck out them!

    I sound like a sociopath, yikes!
     
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  7. doggiedude
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    doggiedude Contributing Member

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    If I read a character say "Never go into my basement." I would think, wow that's cheesy. Then I'd go find another book. Maybe just have the MC notice the basement door is locked. Try to envision a more realistic situation ... You have a friend coming to your home and is going to stay there for a week or so. They walk in the door and you say "You're welcome to stay here just don't open the top dresser drawer next to my bed! " Sounds silly in that context. However, in reality maybe you do something to prevent your house guest from finding things you don't want them to find without coming out and saying it.
     
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  8. Shbooblie
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    Shbooblie Contributing Member

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    Everyone's responses are soooo helpful so thanks a lot to everyone who has replied.

    Yeah he's a vampire, not a big surprise there. In this story though it's more like a medical condition, so no instant healing or anything like that. He also can't die unless his brain stem is severed and if he gets injured he often needs to stitch himself up.

    I like what people have said about not explaining all the detail at once. I will probably try to do that.

    Perhaps I could just have him think "shit did I lock the basement" instead of telling the SC not to go down there. That may work better and get her more on his side.

    I think he will be pulling the knife out of his own back too and brush it off saying something like "you were in shock, you didn't see it really didn't go far in at all" (but obviously some better words than those! )
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2016
  9. Shbooblie
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    Shbooblie Contributing Member

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    Might be worth mentioning creepy guy is the MC and it's written from his POV so that might mean I can convince the readers that despite his creepiness he does actually care about his friend.

    Imagine now then that you are a 23 year old female. You are legally missing, running away from an abusive ex. You've been getting harassed by a guy for a while and one night he takes it a step further, physically forcing himself on you. You run to the nearest building with a light on and it just so happens it's creepy guys home - creepy guy doesn't look particularly creepy, he's quite a normal looking 26 year old apart from his bad skin - does that make you more likely to stay despite the stuff that goes on in that house or is it just too creepy?
     
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  10. doggiedude
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    doggiedude Contributing Member

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    Creepy because of a skin condition? No, that's fine. But I'm not sure why she would stay with a random person so close to where she was running away from. It would depend on the interaction between the two. Is this a suburb and she just rings the door to a random house and the guy invites her in? In that situation I would expect the home owner to want to just call the police for her and then let her see the door. From her POV would she really trust a random person who says "Sure you can just stay with me." Sounds like a lonely creepy guy...wonder what bodies he has in the basement.
    I'm sure with the right dialogue it could be done. She, might not want police involved for some reason and assuming your world doesn't have vampires out in the open to the public he probably doesn't want it either.
    Legally missing really isn't a thing for adults who take off from their life and unless there is "suspicious" circumstances police don't actively look for them.
     
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  11. Shbooblie
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    Shbooblie Contributing Member

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    @doggiedude I'm glad you made that post because pretty much everything you've said I've managed to cover in my first draft.

    Shes actually spent all her money getting to a different State to get away from where she used to live. She rings the door in a state and just barges in the house saying shes been attacked. My guy offers to take her to the police but she refuses on the grounds she might be recognised. My guys done his fair share of law avoidance so he doesn't ask questions. After a talk he lets her stay one night. Then after a few more meetings and conversations he lets her stay every so often and eventually lets her move in so it's fair to say by then they are pretty friendly with each other.

    I hear what you're saying about the issue of her being missing. I'm just going off a few instances I've seen in the newspapers where people have left of their own accord. I can't decide whether people knew about the abuse and suspected the boyfriend of murdet or whether nobody knew and it is being treat as abduction im still thinking on the details of that point.
     
  12. doggiedude
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    doggiedude Contributing Member

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    Speaking as someone who actually spent a few months as a "missing person" I can tell you that I felt like people were looking for me for maybe the first couple of days. After that... meh. I was still getting texts from people which I was ignoring. After about two weeks my sister sent me a text telling her that she knew where my debit card had been used so I guess the police gave her that information. I got the impression they had only wanted to make sure the person using the card on the stores security camera was me and not some evildoer who had killed me and took my wallet.
     
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  13. Shbooblie
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    Shbooblie Contributing Member

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    Thanks for sharing your experience @doggiedude, you've definitely gave me some food for thought there. I appreciate your input :)
     
  14. KokoN
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    KokoN Active Member

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    I think the problem you're going to run into here is the "hero doesn't realize his/her friend is turning into a [insert mythical creature here] even though it is glaringly obvious" cliche. The reason that this cliche exists is that in real life, it would take a LOT for someone to convince me that they were a vampire, since obviously vampires don't exist (until someone proves to me that they do :p). However, as a reader, I know I'm reading a piece of fiction, so literally anything can happen. So inevitably, the reader is going to figure out that the hero's friend is a vampire before the hero realizes it. You have to figure out how to do this in a way that is different than every other writer who has written a similar plot line (which I'm assuming you've already done). In my opinion, there's nothing wrong with using things that have been done before and may be a bit cliche, as long as you realize they are somewhat cliche and write accordingly.

    To answer your original question, as I said, it would take "real life me" quite a lot to convince me he was a vampire. More likely, being me, I would assume he was some kind of demon and run like the wind. Which answers your other question, which is there is no way I would be sleeping in his house. However, that's just me.
     
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  15. Shbooblie
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    Shbooblie Contributing Member

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    I should have mentioned in my original post that my story is told from creepy guy's perspective (not sure he'd appreciate me calling him that, but the nickname has stuck!), and he's not turning into one but has been this way for a considerable number of years - he's by no means ancient though. And yeah vampires pretty much are greater than or equal to cliche at this point in time, but that's part of the reason I wanted to write about one, to treat it in the way that I personally enjoy reading about the most, with zero magic powers or psychic abilities or whatever else (bats, garlic et cetera).

    "You have to figure out how to do this in a way that is different than every other writer who has written a similar plot line (which I'm assuming you've already done)"

    I'm toying with the idea (at least in my first draft) that this is a "true story", but he's got some sort of gagging order by some government hotshots that mean he can't market it as an autobiography, so he's gotten around it being the little rascal that he is by saying it is fiction. This takes away a little bit of the 'anything can happen' element as it's grounded in some sort of reality and it takes it away from the horror tropes into more of a drama setting - if Indeed I can pull it off :bigconfused:.

    I just don't want the scenario you get when you are watching a horror film and you're like "noo girl get out of there" where you just wanna climb in the screen and escape for them, lol.
     
  16. Fernando.C
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    Fernando.C Active Member

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    Ok let's go through each of you're questions one by one:

    1. The knife thin alone is enough to convince me the dude is not normal. I don't know If I'd be scared but I would definitely be concerned.

    2. The conditions he sets for me to be able to stay with him, make it blazingly obvious that something's wrong and he's hiding something. His explanations are also not gonna convince me.

    3. the skin condition combined with the above would scream vampire for me.

    Despite all of the above though, I'd still move in with him. For one thing it beat sleeping in the streets. Also I'm a bit crazy so if I discover the dude is a vampire that'd just make me want to stay with him even more. I'd probably badger him with all kinds of questions about vampires and end up annoying the fuck out of him :D

    I do definitely agree with the others that you need to make the situation with the creep guy more vague so as to prevent the readers from guessing his true nature too soon.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2016
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  17. Fernando.C
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    Fernando.C Active Member

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    I like the idea of this being an autobiography in disguise. Definitely addes a layer of realism and intrigue to the story.

    I gotta say, I really love the way you're going about writing a vampire story. No magic and superhuman abilities, vampirism as a medical condition, it's a breath of fresh air for the vampire genre. And me being a total vampire not - and despite the fact that I do in fact like my vampires super strong and with supernatural abilities - I really like to read you story once its published.
     
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  18. Shbooblie
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    Shbooblie Contributing Member

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    Thanks @Fernando.C! You've given me a heck load of optimism and your post answering my questions makes loads of sense. With some reworking as everyone has suggested I think it will work out a lot better.I gotta say I'm a bit of a vampire nut but I'm just tired of reading the same stories with different names banded about, I guess I'm trying to write vampires for people who don't like vampires!

    I liked what you mentioned about annoying him with questions, as I've got a few lighter scenes where just that sort of thing happens, also I thought the girl had gone through so much that as scared as she is of her new friend she is still curious and perhaps even sort of likes the idea that she's got someone around her who is almost indestructable, so nobody else can hurt her any more - whoa that sounds extremely cheesy, but at the end of the day as strained as their relationship is going to be in the end they both rely on each other for different things and I want them form a genuine connection, despite the strains.
     
  19. Fernando.C
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    Fernando.C Active Member

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    Glad I could help @Shbooblie. I definitely get your motivation for wanting to do something different with vampires. There are too many repetitive stories and books in the genre. It's not even limited to literature, you've got your vampire tv shows and your movies. And while some are good, there are a lot of garbage ones as well.

    Ugh! you know what I hate the most about all these cliched vampire stories? vampires that are too human, in terms of how they act and behave. I mean for God's sake we're talking about creatures that drinking blood human blood to survive- having them act like humans and being all moral and ethical literally destroys everything that is so cool and great about them. I believe that even the good vampires need to have a bit of darkness and edge about them. The way they act, their attitude should at the very least make it clear - even to those who are unaware of the supernatural - that there's something not quite so normal and ordinary about them.

    Sorry for blabbering and veering away from the topic at hand but I just needed to vent some of my frustration about the treatment of my favorite fantasy beings. I'm passionate about vampires, absolutely passionate , so it irks me how they're being treated in mainstream media.
    Back to the topic now :D. I do really think you're way can and will attract non-vampire lovers to the genre. From what little you've shared so far from you'r story, it seems to me that you're still capturing all that is cool about vampires - the edginess, the darkness, and you'r guy seems able to pose a lot of danger to enemies even without powers, especially since you mentioned he is indestructible and very hard to kill - while by getting rid of the more cliched elements and making it more realistic and grounded with real-world stakes you are making it appeal to those who usually don't care too much about vampires.

    Also it doesn't sound cheesy to me at all that the girl would find solace in having a powerful friend like him, given her situation. I know I would've been glad to have someone like him have my back if I were in her shoes.
     
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  20. Shbooblie
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    Shbooblie Contributing Member

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    Ahaha, I totally agree with everything you've said. Vampires have been staked by the mainstream:dead:

    Can't wait to get this dissertation finished so I can get back to what's really important! Academic writing sucks (too many vampire puns, I do apologize:p)
    I need to do more critiquing before I can post an excerpt but if I ever get to I'd love it if you'd give it a read for me, it makes the process so much nicer if someone is reading it who is actually interested in it and up until now my eyes are the only ones who've seen it. I'm kind of writing it blind as I've no idea how it would come across to another person.
     
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  21. Fernando.C
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    Fernando.C Active Member

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    I would love to read an excerpt of your story and I'd do my best to offer a critique that is helpful and useful to you. I'm actually looking forward to reading it since it'll give me a much better insight into your story and your characters, allowing me to form a much more educated opinion about it. Also I'm always happy to read anything with vampires in it:D

    Oh and there is no such thing as too many vampire puns!:bigwink::-D:p
     
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  22. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have actually been fairly close to this many of these situations. lol.

    1. Knife in shoulder blade. I have actually ben in that exact situation and it is very unnerving. Not because my friend was a vampire, but because there is almost a dream-like feel to it. I can't imagine not wanting to go to the hospital myself. So it is hard to understand why they don't want to go. It is almost like you don't hear them, because it doesn't make any sense. Or at least that is how it was for me. There also is a sensation of wonder. Like, if this isn't a hospital injury, what is?

    2. Okay, I haven't been in this situation, but here is the thing. It all about the details. If it is a new friend, weird things are going to be red flags. In the situation, I would ignore it and try and fix my life s I could leave. But that might not be the best character reaction for a book. But it also goes about how he goes about it. If he says for example.
    "I keep medical supplies in the basement. So it is very important you don't do down there. If you accidently contaminated one of them, I could die." Anyone might respond. "Oh, what is wrong?" but if he replied. "I am very self conscious about it and would prefer not to talk about it." Yeah that is fine for me. But if he is like. "Basement is fucking off limits! GOT THAT!!!?" Yeah, the park is sounding like a nicer option. Get what I mean?

    3. VAMPIRE! Actually I have been in this situation. I knew a girl that had an alergic reaction to the sun. Not sure what the condition is called but she had to take an umbrella with her everywhere. So, this is a real condition he/she could pretend to have.
     
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  23. Shbooblie
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    Shbooblie Contributing Member

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    @GuardianWynn, that post man, it made me snort-laugh out loud at my computer, and that's not attractive haha.
    I actually read a book called 'Girl In The Dark' about someone with an allergy to light and it's really helped get into the zone with my guy. The poor woman has been to numerous doctors for help but so far nobody knows what she has. Her condition means she can't even be exposed to unnatural light or computer screens, poor woman.

    I guess moderation is key here then. If I introduce iffy elements gradually and don't draw too much attention to them it might be more believable that the girl wouldn't notice them and there would be no red flags going off in her head meaning she'd be less likely to do a runner.

    "Basement is fucking off limits! GOT THAT!!!?" - love it haha:supergrin:
     
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  24. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh your too harsh on yourself. I find people are the most attractive in that little moment in which they can't control themselves. It is cute in a way nothing else is. ;)
    Oh, I didn't know the condition can be hard to label. In your case I still be up front with the condition. In all cases the condition is a clue, so giving the condition a name is a red herring.

    Actually, there is no wrong way to do it. It really depends on your goal. If you want a slow build up with understandig, you need to present that. If you want high shock value instantly, the shouting off limits would probably help. But t sounds like you want the slow build up. Basically the devil is in he details. There is no situation that can't be understood if given in the right context.

    I am glad I could help.
     
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  25. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    I agree with this.
     
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