1. Patrick94
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    Patrick94 Active Member

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    Is this realistic?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Patrick94, May 16, 2011.

    A young man living in the city who doesn't drink or smoke, who meets a young woman who doesn't drink or smoke?
     
  2. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Erm very realistic and possible I'd say.
     
  3. StrangerWithNoName
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    StrangerWithNoName Longobard duke

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    Too realistic for my taste, I don't write about uninteresting people.
     
  4. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    In a city of sin is not the teetotaler the interesting one?
     
  5. StrangerWithNoName
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    StrangerWithNoName Longobard duke

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    Ehm no, unusual, perhaps, but still uninteresting.

    I'll go to get a shot of Talisker, it helps me when I'm writing about unspeakable horrors.
     
  6. Laura Mae.
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    Laura Mae. Member

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    Depends what city it is. If they're living in a Harlem slum, its unlikely. If their living in a quiet little town where the houses are quaint and people meet for coffee in the local church, its likely that most people will take care of themselves more. The environment you live in will always affect your lifestyle.
     
  7. Vintage
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    Vintage Member

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    I am a young person who sometimes goes to parties where people smoke, drink and do... Well, more than that. I could drink and smoke if I wanted to, but I choose not to do it - I don't berate others for doing it, I just choose not to myself. I've grown up in a perfectly normal family where my parents drink sometimes and have been pretty open about it. None of them smoke. but whatevs.

    So yeah, I'd definitely say it's possible.
     
  8. lostinwebspace
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    lostinwebspace Active Member

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    Possible, but as it's been said, maybe uninteresting. It might be more interesting if he's a recovering alcoholic and she's been abused by an alcoholic father. Both don't drink, but this gives them both demons and maybe a little bit of conflict between each other.
     
  9. KillianRussell
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    KillianRussell Contributing Member

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    Without making a 12 step saga you could make it realistic and engaging probably more engaging than a cliched homage to Hunter S Thompson. For the record there are people in Harlem, Chicago's Cabrini Greens, North Philadelphia and the New Orleans ninth ward that do not drink or get high
     
  10. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    Anything can be realistic when written as fiction.
     
  11. Sang Hee
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    Sang Hee Contributing Member

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    Yes realistic and not unusual at all, I'd say. Neither me or my gf drink or smoke and I know other people who are the same. Although I'd say there are less and less of such people.
    But I understand you feel the way you do if you live in a place where it doesn't happen.
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Of course it's realistic, even if you don't set it in PS 183 (i.e. a public school).

    Is this a serious writing question, or are you just posting to get a reaction?
     
  13. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, it's really not that unusual for people to not drink or smoke...I know lots of people who do neither. And some of them have met each other.
     
  14. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    Of cause it's realistic - it happens all the time.

    And it doesn't follow that a teetotal, none smoker is a bore.
     
  15. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    If it's a serious plot point then you might want to make them at least comment on it. So much realistic fiction mentions one or the other... Not that people will notice the absence if you don't hang a lampshade on it, but alcohol is a great plot device, and smoking is something for the writer's hands to do as much as the characters'. Having people lighting up and deciding if and when they do can be crucial to development. I personally don't drink or smoke and know a lot of people who don't or don't in a noticeable way (eg: there's a guy I know who smokes a pipe on the rare occasion, but never smokes cigarettes in an addicted fashion). Point is, these two vices are plot and characterisation lubricant, and pointing out you're not using it can have a positive reaction from the readers because if you portray characters going through a hard time without it it'll be pretty bold. :p The drunken bender is the well-used shortcut to a broken heart montage.

    So yeah, in answer to the question, you can totally do it and it's realistic and probable, but in terms of writing this, don't suffer it silently... if you care enough to ask about it I hope you can care enough to make it matter in the story. :)
     
  16. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't see why not. I'm living in a city and I either drink or smoke... :rolleyes: I think it's more common that you think...
     
  17. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I prefer Laphroaig.

    But I don't think the idea has to necessarily be uninteresting. I mean, if it takes drinking or smoking to make an interesting character, that would be pretty sad. The characters could be very interesting (or very dull) for reasons that have nothing to do with this.
     
  18. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's the spirit! I know a few committed drinkers who refuse to light up in the middle of a session. Very difficult to have a fag and glass in your mouth at the same time. Nice job!;)
     
  19. Jessica_312
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    Jessica_312 Contributing Member

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    I'd say yes, it's realistic (I've known people like this), though I agree that it depends on where they live and what their backgrounds are. Is it because of religion? Or perhaps because one of them used to be an alcoholic or because they're afraid of becoming an alcoholic like their [insert family member here]? Or do they just not like it?

    I agree, I think there just has to be an interesting reason for why they don't, something about their personality and/or background that causes them to have an aversion to substances like alcohol.
     
  20. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    Of course! Look-up "straight edge" - not only are your characters realistic but many people choose to live this way. Two of the girls I used to live with didn't drink or smoke and neither does one of the guys I'm hitting the bar with tomorrow night.

    I feel bad replying to this thread with a can of pear cider in hand. :rolleyes:
     
  21. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    ooPS, iT seems i got myself misunderstood. What I meant was I don't drink and I don't smoke either. I see the error now, hihi. :rolleyes: is that still the right spirit ( ;) )? because I liked that. :D

    Ps what is the correct way of saying it, by the way?
     
  22. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    The 'either' was meaning you do only one of those at a time, but not both. Easiest to just say 'I don't drink or smoke,' though you could also say 'I neither drink nor smoke' as well. :p
     
  23. StrangerWithNoName
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    StrangerWithNoName Longobard duke

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    Another thing that makes my characters interesting is...irony. ;)
     
  24. Primequis
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    Primequis New Member

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    As previously stated, it's really not. If you have an idea, no reason not to go for it. If it wasn't realistic, all you'd have to really do is justify it.
     
  25. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm wondering, do _most_ people smoke where most people live? Because it's been years since I was acquainted with a person who smokes, and while of course I see smokers here and there on the street, it's pretty rare. (Geographically, the area that I'm talking about is Northern California and a few cities in the Pacific Northwest.) So I'd be more likely to ask if it's realistic for two smokers to meet, not for two non-smokers to meet.

    I suppose that most adults do drink, but it's not an overwhelming "most" - I don't see anything unusual about two people who don't.

    ChickenFreak
     

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