1. Magnatolia
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    Magnatolia Active Member

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    Ideas for a relationship breakup?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Magnatolia, Jan 14, 2014.

    Hi guys,

    I have a story idea where my male MC is an artist and can't afford the rent. The male landlord is a well-dressed type who offers him a sexual deal. I got stuck on how to get him out of the situation. I'm trying to avoid 'obvious' options like someone magically buys his painting, he finds he's owned money etc. I have this idea in my head that his parents don't agree with him becoming an artist so he doesn't want to live with them.

    He ends up calling his ex-girlfriend to stay with her for a few days. He's got an art showing that I've decided will grant him the money he needs. But I'm stuck as to why they broke up. Any suggestions? I'm thinking possibly he quit his prestigious job and then couldn't afford to support them. As he's staying with her I've set the scene for confrontation.

    It's more of a practice piece as I was playing with the idea of not doing cliques (my original attempt was a female protag, with a typical fat, balding, sleazy old landlord).

    Thanks!
     
  2. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    I'd have to read the story, I guess, but I'm not sure the reason for the breakup matters. If it does, maybe she fell head-over-heels in love with another woman.
     
  3. Magnatolia
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    Magnatolia Active Member

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    Thanks for the reply, the reason I felt it matters is the breakup didn't end well and now he's found himself with no choice but to go to her for somewhere to stay otherwise he's out on the street.
     
  4. SuperVenom
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    SuperVenom Contributing Member

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    She came second to his art, forgetting dates as he paints away and daydreams instead of talking to her. She doesn't hate him, but cant be 2nd place.
     
  5. Cailinfios
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    Cailinfios Member

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    Maybe her parents didn't approve? wanted her to date someone with a career or w/e
     
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  6. Magnatolia
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    Magnatolia Active Member

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    Thanks for the great replies. Incredible food for thought. @SuperVenom, I love that, however the character came to me as bitter towards him. I just started writing, didn't even know who he called until the words started being written. @Cailinfios I like that, but again it doesn't really gel with her being bitter. But I think if I combine both together in a sense it could work. She was raised by her parents to believe that an education is the only way, and she tries to coerce and force him to follow this but he doesn't. So she feels like she failed. With him living with her they might get some resolution. Who knows maybe a painting of her that she's not aware he's done could be the masterpiece that opens the gate to his success as an artist.

    Thanks heaps guys!
     
  7. SuperVenom
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    SuperVenom Contributing Member

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    Awesome, glad i could help, liking the link to a picture of her being his salvation, adds a great question to her about her bitterness. Just a side thought he could be a slight jerk towards her (slight arrogance), nothing that overall effects his character as the hero, but we all need to mature so he might have needed longer.
     
  8. Magnatolia
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    Magnatolia Active Member

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    Yeah I like that idea. Maybe something along the lines of him not understanding why she was so upset about it, and then slowly coming to terms with how she saw things. Ooh, actually, I might toy with the idea of him breaking up with her because she couldn't accept his passion for art. That would definitely explain why she's so bitter about him coming to stay with her for a while. Thanks!
     
  9. SuperVenom
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    SuperVenom Contributing Member

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    Great go for it :D
     
  10. Cailinfios
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    Cailinfios Member

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    Glad we could help! Hope you have success with your story : D
     
  11. Fitzroy Zeph
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    Fitzroy Zeph Contributing Member Contributor

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    Maybe she's an artist too. Maybe a little bit better than him but she never cared to be an artist. Maybe he's resentful. Maybe he grows.
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Have you ever been through a breakup? Have a friend who has gone through one?

    This is the kind of thing writing teachers mean when they say, "Write what you know." The best place to look for this kind of event, and especially the emotional context before, during, and after the breakup, is your own personal experience. Lacking that, the next best source is a close friend who has beenthrough it and can talk to you ay length about it.
     
  13. Morbius
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    Morbius Member

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    He quit his prestigious job and couldn't afford to support them? Since the days of women's liberation in the 1960s, isn't it considered sexist to force her to rely solely on him for support? Isn't she supposed to be empowered to work and earn her own money in the present day?

    If she isn't liberated enough to be independent, why would she allow a "loser" to move in with her, if he can't take care of her?
     
  14. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    The usual reason might be neglect - artists, if they're really into their work, could neglect the people they love because they decide to spend all day everyday in their studios because all they care about is art. If the artist is not successful, that might make him even more obsessed with his work due to the need to make a turnaround, prove himself, and of course, make some money, that baffling desperation as to why it wasn't working, what's missing in his work, the gnawing self-doubt making him utterly intolerable to live with because he'd be defensive about everything, not to mention that art is the only thing he could ever talk about, making it tedious and boring for anyone who spends time with him. Perhaps girlfriend cooks him dinner that he constantly forgets to eat because he's painting, hurting the girlfriend immensely over the course of time, such as when she lies in bed at night waiting for him to come and he never does. Girlfriend cannot understand why it matters so much, artist interprets that as the girlfriend not understanding him or worse, not caring about him, everything's blown out of all proportions because he's hitting rock bottom so every little setback is huge for him. In the end girlfriend simply couldn't stand it anymore and leaves.

    Ta-daaaaaaaaa! :D
     
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  15. Mans
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    Mans Contributing Member

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    He should tell the landlord : " Hey, Mr.bear, don't you shame of this dirty desire? I am a hirsute male and have something that is not useful for you , so how you can call me to a sexual propose. Only a blind man can not distinguish a rooster from a hen. " If that passionate and lustful landlord persists on his immoral and obscene demand again, the artist will be compelled to call a policeman to come and capture the shameless landlord. When the lawless landlord is taken to the prison, the artist can stays at home until find another house for rent.
     
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  16. Magnatolia
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    Magnatolia Active Member

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    No there are still women out there who don't feel the need to work.

    @Mckk, that's awesome. Thanks heaps for that, gave me some real food for thought!

    @Mans, haha that's funny. Although it would be his word against that of the protagonist. What if the landlord paid high prices to the police for them to turn a blind eye...
     
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  17. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Yeah, sorry, but propositioning someone for homosexual sex isn't illegal in most of the world that isn't Iran.
     
  18. Mans
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    Mans Contributing Member

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    If the landlords are rightful to call their tenants for having sex with them in most of the world, it is oppose to freedom and is the sign of a poor law. If it is so, the artist will have to leave the house, buy a tent and go to a free camp for a while. The problem is that I worry the manager of the camp think as previous landlord
     
  19. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    My first thought was that he quit his adequate but boring job and expected her to support them. Going to work forty, or sixty, hours a week was good enough for a non-artistic person like her, but he was above that sort of thing. He was also above doing any housework. One evening she came home at eight o'clock after working some overtime, cleared off the stuff that he'd piled on the couch, and settled down to watch TV. He said, "Can't you record that and get started on making dinner? I've been waiting." She changed the locks the next day.
     
  20. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    If you don't want to have him move back in with his girlfriend he could always take a job as a commercial artist.

    Speaking as one, there is a huge divide in the art community between commercial and "fine" artists. This has to do with the fact that a fine artist doesn't actually have to have any real skill. At all. Jackson Pollack is a fine example, but you can wander into any coffee shop and be impressed by the lack of learning that people still are able to sell.

    A commercial artist has to have some real skill because their job is to continually turn out designs that people like, who's perspective and proportion are correct, and anyone can identify. Frank Frazetta is a good example, but Bill Watterson (who drew the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes) railed against the fine art community who dismissed him despite his obvious skill. For crissakes he drew every comic with ink brushes and watercolor.

    So you can have your Artist be a trained commercial artist who is working on a portfolio trying to get accepted at local firms. Or developing a comic book or strip. Or creating t-shirt designs. Or making an animated movie.

    And all of these things work out for him, which is good, because the world is just as murderous to commercial artists as it is to fine artists.
     
  21. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    His girlfriend broke up with him because he paints nudes and she suspects he is doing more than looking at his models?

    He avoids the landlord by showing him paintings of nude women castrating men?
     
  22. David K. Thomasson
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    David K. Thomasson Contributing Member

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    Maybe that would make for a more interesting turn in the story: He finds himself on the street with nowhere to go. Maybe he's sleeping in the park when his (former) girlfriend sees him. How does she react? Perhaps she's furious: "Why didn't you come to me?" What is it about finding him this way that makes here furious? And why didn't he go to her? Maybe pride prevented him from asking her for help.

    Think through some of the possibilities before you foreclose this option. Putting your protagonist in a real mess could make your story more compelling.
     
  23. AlannaHart
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    AlannaHart Contributing Member

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    The artist can't afford his rent. He has no right to stay there if he's not paying. The 'shamelessness' goes both ways. I would much rather read about a desperate man willing to do anything for a roof over his head then a self-righteous, homophobic man that spews rubbish like that.
     
  24. Mans
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    Mans Contributing Member

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    I agree. Nobody isn't rightful to inhabit in a house free, without paying his rent and the landlord is rightful to request his money. If the tenant is not able to pay, he will has to evacuate the house and rent a cheaper house as a rustic cottage. But the problem is that, the landlord of the writer is requesting something shameful instead of his money. He want to stick on back of the writer, while the tenant is a male!! and it is a guilt obviously. I myself love the women very much ( just for legal marriage) but am hateful about homosexuality. There is a prophecy quote that says, " when a male does sodomy, throne of God began to shake and he becomes wrathful." I would even alarm; If this is a common practice in a region ( people are happy with it), may God sends down some destroyer disasters and ruins the area wholly. So we have to be careful about this dangerous deed. What I am alarming is not a tale or imaginary thing but is a certain fact.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2014
  25. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Mans, are you aware that there are many people on this site (edited to add: including me) that will find this post of yours to be deeply, deeply offensive? If you want to express extremely divisive opinions, that's what the Debate Room is for.
     
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