1. mg357
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    mg357 Active Member

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    I am in need of some help for a romance story i am writing.

    Discussion in 'Research' started by mg357, Dec 29, 2013.

    I am in need of some help for a romance story that i am writing. Its a historical story that takes place in the early 1900s and it ends with the leading man's Army Service in ww1 and his return from the war.

    Anyway the leading lady gives a special gift to the leading man before he leaves for Army Basic training but i can't decide which specific item that she will give to him.

    I have gotten so stressed out about this that i have developed an ulcer from the stress.

    I have made a list of the objects that i want to chose from.

    Any help in choosing the special gift would be appreciated.

    1. Pocket knife

    2. her favorite scarf

    3. S&W .38 Caliber revolver
     
  2. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    If she was giving it to him to remember her by, I would say the scarf. It seems reasonable she would want to give him a little piece of herself in that instance.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013
  3. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    If he's leaving for the army he can't bring his own gun, they frown on that kind of thing.
     
  4. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    What do you plan to have happen to this 'item.' Is he going to lose it, or will he still have it at the end of the war, or what? If you think of this aspect, something new might come to you.

    As @Jack Asher said, certain items would not have been allowed ...I think. Mind you, WWI was a lot different than today's war. Maybe do some research on this sort of thing. What personal items were soldiers allowed to take to the Front with them? I would say the smaller and more inobtrusive the better. And as @Alesia suggested, something that reminds him of her might also be a good thing.

    You will need to use your imagination, though. If your characters aren't developed enough yet for you to 'know' instinctively what items would suit, probably best to just leave this little detail for later, and continue writing your story. For heaven's sake, don't become obsessive about it. It's the kind of detail that will fall into place (and maybe even change) as the story progresses. It's also the kind of detail that can derail your writing, if you allow yourself to focus on it for too long, at this stage.

    I'd say work at the end game. What is this object going to 'do' in this story? Save his life? Provide him with emotional comfort during the horrors of war? Become an item that other people envy? Maybe even try to steal? Where will it end up?
     
  5. mg357
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    mg357 Active Member

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    jannert the special gift is just a good luck item, since the leading lady can't go with him to the war zone. She does the next best thing that she can do.

    she gives him a special gift and he carries and treasures this item and it provides him with a great deal of comfort and a special connection.

    To the woman that he loves who is back home waiting for his safe return from the battlefield.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    an initialled handkerchief was a common 'gift' of this kind... as was a photograph to be tucked into a cigarette case [which might be engraved with a loving bit of sentiment], or kept on its own, in a pocket... they were often contained in a leather folder, as well...
     
  7. Duchess-Yukine-Suoh
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    Duchess-Yukine-Suoh Girl #21 Contributor

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    A miniature portrait was also common.
     
  8. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    If this is serious and not hyperbole, stress is not the typical cause of ulcers, H-Pylori infection is. But I digress...

    These don't make sense, maybe the scarf does a little. Lovers give lockets with their pictures, half of a jeweled heart with the woman keeping the other half, a love letter, stuff like that.

    So I'm curious what you were thinking about your 3 specific choices. They must have some meaning you are imparting in which case, we can't choose one.

    I would suggest write the story and the object will make itself clear to you as the story progresses.
     
  9. dawn-mayer
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    dawn-mayer New Member

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    Well I read somewhere that victorian women only gave things that they made by themselves, but since thi is more towards ww1, I'm not sure ...
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    a locket holding a small lock of hair may still have been common then, too...
     
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  11. mg357
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    mg357 Active Member

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    Gingercoffee: The reason i picked those 3 items is because the revolver could be used by the leading man as a weapon of self defense on the front lines in case an enemy soldier or several enemy soldiers got into the trenches were my American Soldier character was fighting and he could not use his rifle.

    i picked the pocket knife because he could use the blade to cut open letters from his fiancee or from his family members he could also use it to cut open care packages or as a last resort self defense weapon.

    I picked the scarf because he could wear it around his neck to keep warm or just as a comfort item because he gets home sick for his fiancee who is back in the United States and he misses her very much.
     
  12. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Yes, this. When I was in the antiques trade, I remember this particular kind of favor (to invoke a very old use of that word) as something I occasionally saw.
     
  13. Renee J
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    Renee J Contributing Member

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    I think it should be something personal that doesn't have much of a utilitarian use. Like a lock of hair, portrait, or scarf. The use would be for him to remember her. Also, I'm not sure if she'd want him to associate killing someone with her.
     
  14. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Also, and I really can't stress this enough, you can't take your own gun to the army.
     
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  15. mg357
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    mg357 Active Member

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    Jack Asher: I did a lot of research and i found this out that until very recently military personnel would write home to there families and ask them to purchase them a handgun and send it to them.
    That practice started around the time of the American Civil War and it was banned by the military around the end of desert storm maybe even before that conflict.
    So in WW1 it is possible that my leading man could have been given a handgun that his fiancee purchased for him sense he is only an army private he would not be issued a handgun just a rifle.
     
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  16. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    "My darling, take this pistol as a keepsake, and think of me whenever you have it in your hand."

    Really?

    Whether of not the Army allows it, is this really the token of love you want the character to gaze fondly upon?
     
  17. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    cog...

    if she were a pragmatist and wanted to maximize her lover's chances of returning to her, she might well say, 'Darling, take this pistol as a keepsake, and think of me whenever you have this in your hand...do what you must with it, to ensure that we may be together again."
     
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  18. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Would you buy into that? :D
     
  19. joanna
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    joanna Active Member

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    Have her give him a gun or a knife only if she is the sort of character who really would give him that sort of thing. What she gives him might tell us something about who she is.

    I think whatever she gives him should cause him as much duress as it's apparently causing you.

    In The Things We Carried, Tim O'Brien's character obsesses about a pebble his lady friend sent him in the mail that she'd picked up at the beach. He often takes the pebble out and feels it and stares at it and daydreams and it distracts him from his duties and when one of his men dies on his watch, he blames the soldier's death on his preoccupation with Martha and the pebble.

    It works well because it's small (small enough that he can easily carry it with him along with the pounds and pounds of weapons and supplies he has to carry) and becomes big (because it becomes tragically significant).
     
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  20. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    They can mail you a gun. They can mail you a lot of things. But you're not getting a firearm through the system. If nothing else they don't want boots handling guns they aren't trained to.
     
  21. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you know i wouldn't, being an anti-violence/war activist! :eek:
     
  22. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    That's the tipping point for you? Other than that, you would find it credible? :rolleyes:
     
  23. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    sure... why not?

    are you not able to conceive of a woman as being so practical-minded and hell-bent on giving her lover every possible chance to return to her unscathed, or at least alive, that she'd give him such an ace to keep up his sleeve?
     
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  24. Renee J
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    Renee J Contributing Member

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    I can see that. I also can see him getting PTSD and associating it with her even with her best intentions.
     
  25. mg357
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    mg357 Active Member

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    mammamaia: I can definitly wrap my head around the idea of the leading lady giving her fiancee a revolver for him to carry in combat.
    I can even see her giving him all 3 items.
    The revolver for protection in the trenches of France.
    The pocket knife so he can cut open care packages and letters from her.
    The scarf as a comfort item with some of her perfume on it and when he is lonely for his love he can smell the perfume and think of her before he goes into battle.
     
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