1. LemonOfTheAsylum
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    LemonOfTheAsylum New Member

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    Is this offensive, funny, good, bad?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by LemonOfTheAsylum, Dec 14, 2010.

    Just a really breif thing. People go missing in a city. They keep on finding their bodies, with crosses slitted on to their chest, covered in holy water. The murderer turns out to be the local preist. Title: "Close your Windows, God is watching.' It will explore the borderlines on Religion. So... Offensive, Funny, Good, Bad??? Anything.
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Doesn't offend me. I don't see it as humorous, either. Whether it is good or bad will depend on your writing of it.
     
  3. Pook
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    Pook Member

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    Controversy can be found in most things a person chooses.

    Go with what you want and develop it.
     
  4. FrankABlissett
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    FrankABlissett Active Member

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    Your tagline is amusing, but only as a parody.

    A few will find just the premise offensive. Most will pass that judgement based on how you treat religion in the story (or on how others tell them you treated religion).

    Good or bad? Can't say without something there to call good or bad. Write out a chapter and post in the review section.

    -Frank
     
  5. AnonyMouse
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    AnonyMouse Contributing Member Contributor

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    How do they know it's holy water? Chemical analysis to measure its holiness? :rolleyes:

    But, seriously, no, I don't find it offensive... don't find it humorous, either... and, not to be a jerk, but I don't find it particularly interesting. People kill people. Priests are people, too. I think it needs something to make it feel more... I don't know... "special," or something.

    Then again, we can't discern how unique or special it is from the premise alone... nor can we discern how offensive it will be... I guess I'm just talking writing for the heck of it now.

    Pardon me while I wander back to my 2,000 word essay due in three hours. :(
     
  6. LemonOfTheAsylum
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    LemonOfTheAsylum New Member

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    Okay I rewrote the synopsis for better understanding. And thanks for all of the replies!

    "Riley Berkley is a forensic anthropologist. That is to say, she studies dead bodies for a living. When a very odd case appears, in which the victim had a cross slashed into her chest, a bible verse on her back and she was covered in what they think to be holy water, Blake and her partner are forced to look into it. Soon, identical cases show up and it is considered the work of a serial killer. Will they be able to decode the mystery?"
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A story concept means nothing. I can tell you now, it has all been done before. What matters is how you write it, the characterization, the flow, the imagery, all of it.

    There's no benefit in asking what other people think of the concept! They'll either say,"Sounds great," or, "it sounds like a ripoff of..."

    If the idea stirs you, write it. Then ask people what they think of the final story. After they tell you what they don't like about it, revise it, usually several times, until you're happy with it or until you throw up your hands and say the hell with it.

    Please read What is Plot Creation and Development?

    Whether it is good or bad, offensive or benign, depends ultimately on how it is written.
     
  8. FrankABlissett
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    FrankABlissett Active Member

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    Okay - that's a good first step there. Being a synopsis, it's still hard to tell much about the final work or your writing style, but it is well written.

    What you have there is, basically, a synopsis that would be seen on the back cover of a paperback. Now, when you open a paperback, there is often a snippet of actual prose from the book - just a half page worth or so, usually with lots of white space to make it easier to read.

    So, give us that. Your back-cover synopsis was 85 words. Let's shoot for, say, about triple that. Around 250 words - or more, if you feel into the groove. chose some bit of suspense, or compelling dialog, or just pretty words for that matter. 250+ words that might fit into the story itself.

    Good luck,
    Frank

    ps: The "holy water" thing should be in the back of your brain too. How does she suspect it's holy water? No need to answer now. You may even drop the holy water till after the murder's MO is revealed.
     
  9. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Actually maybe I am just lacking information but there are massive holes in this synopsis that no matter how you write it may well destroy the story

    Forensic anthropology is the study of skeletons/bones in the context of their enviroment not bodies. It would have to be a very deep cut cross to work that out. And skin required for the bible verse. How would they identify the holy water ? if the body is that decomposed the forensic anthropologist is called it probably would have evaporated.

    Is she a pathologist?
     
  10. BonnieDouglas
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    BonnieDouglas New Member

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    Personally, I find it strange when people take offense at things like this.

    You are not saying that all priests or religious people are murdering psychopaths; it is the story of one person who, for whatever reason, is doing these horrible things.

    Go for it!!! Don't be afraid of what people think, otherwise you'll dumb it down to nothing!

    :cool:
     
  11. cmcpress
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    cmcpress Senior Member

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    Nah, not offensive - sounds more like angels and demons vs Patricia Cornwell.
     
  12. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Kathy Reichs = Forensic Anthropologist
    Patricia Cornwell = Forensic Pathologist :) Important distinction if you are writing the book.
     
  13. R-e-n-n-a-t
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    R-e-n-n-a-t Contributing Member

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    It is very offensive. Not to me though; I think it's a great idea. The funny part would be watching the local priest explode with indignation.
     
  14. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    It all depends on how you write it.
    Offensive - if you write things that that particular religion finds offensive then it will offend, some religions are more tolerant than others.
    Funny - Black comedy is funny, but it depends again on how well it is done. Comedy is not easy.
    Good or bad - I don't see the subject as being either good or bad.
    Start writing and see how you get on.
     
  15. Newfable
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    Newfable Senior Member

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    Agreed.
    Agreed again. From what you've given us, I could care less that a crazy priest may be running around the city killing people. The skin with bible verses sounds very Saw-esque though.
    This whole post screams out to the OP: do your research. Elgaisma's right, a wrong job description will immediately let your readers know that you don't know what you're talking about, and they'll promptly put the book back on the shelf.
     
  16. Jonalexher
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    Jonalexher Contributing Member

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    This.
     
  17. Evelyanin
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    Evelyanin Senior Member

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    About the offensive part, this would really depend on how you portray Christianity in general. Not everybody may know this, but not everyone who says they are a Christian is a Christian. Likewise, not every Catholic priest is going to be a Christian.

    There is also a big difference between Christianity and Religion. So if you are going to offend anyone, it will be someone religious. (Yes, there is such a thing as religious Christians).

    Next, it all depends on how you write it. If in your story other Catholics (I'm just assuming, but cross+holy water+ priest = usually Catholic) support this murderer, then you are definitely going to offend a lot of people. However, if they condemn his actions, then you might be able to get away with it.

    As for funny, I don't think you can make this story humorous without making it look like a cheap shot at Catholics.

    Just my two cents. :)
     
  18. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    It'll depend how you present everything. Is the priest rogue or church sanctioned? If you're going to make it a religious slander, you're inviting people to be offended. If the priest is just some rogue nut taking things into his own hands, you can probably get away with it.
     
  19. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    What you're missing so far is why the priest is doing this. If it's "because that's the sort of thing that priests do" then it's going to be offensive and you're going to hit a huge credibility gap. What you're describing would be exceptionally unlikely behaviour for a priest. Even if a priest is a murderer, why would they do all that religious stuff with the corpse? The glib answer would be something about him seeing them as "sinners", but again that isn't really credible because that sort of view of sin is unlikely to get somebody very far in a highly disciplined and institutionalised organisation like the RC Church. Religious people with views so far from the mainstream are more likely to end up in minority groups. So why is the priest doing it?
     

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