1. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Let's brainstorm the motives of a psychotic elder...

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Link the Writer, Mar 5, 2011.

    Last night I had a dream that I think I'll form into a story. The dream was that I was a young boy named Otto Wilfhem in 1915 Berlin, Germany. I was standing in the parlor of an old woman named Helga Traudl. Her mouth moved, but I couldn't hear her. Suddenly, she puts a hand in her dress pocket and pulls out...a German Mauser! Heart racing, I take off away from her, towards the stairs (as the doors were behind her, far away in other rooms). I wake up just as a bullet strikes the wall mere inches from me.

    I want to write this story from her perspective, but I don't have a plot, only that scene of Helga shooting at little Otto. Why would she try to kill him? I got the sense that she knew him somehow, but they weren't related. Her sons and husband were off fighting the Great War.

    So why would she want to kill Otto? In fact, why is Otto even there?

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Natbutterflyblue
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    Natbutterflyblue Member

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    Ok then Ill take a shot.

    Otto is the son of a high ranking official in the army maybe a general or something. Helga is almost destitute as her sons have gone to war, she is desperate for money. So when a British or American man comes and offers her an insane amount of money to kill Otto she accepts. They hope that by killing Otto his father will be unable to carry out a mission that would cripple the opposing armies.

    Helga is in fact a member of a secret underground organization. The organization has discovered that a mad scientists has created the ultimate chemical weapon. His son Otto. So Otto is in fact a weapon, when he reaches the age of 13 his body will release a virus that will kill hundreds of thousands of people. Helga is the one commissioned to take out the threat before he comes of age.

    Helga is a cyborg from the future...... just kidding

    I dont know if my ideas are too strange for you but thats what I got off the top of my head.
    Cool dream by the way, it could make an interesting story. :)
     
  3. Speedy
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    Speedy Contributing Member Contributor

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    Maybe he caught her red handed doing something un ethical and she'd been searching for him, and she finally found him. (Cause he ran away last time. Blast those young legs)

    She could have been in hiding, not knowing if he'd leaked the information or not.

    She needs to kick his arse to find out. Than maybe, either way put a bullet in his head.
     
  4. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I like how you mentioned a secret underground organization, Nat. Maybe Otto's family is a member of a secret organization that wants to overthrow the Kaiser because he's only destroying Europe with the war. Helga and her family is fiercly loyal to the man and perhaps Otto was spying on them and now Helga must kill him to keep that message a secret.

    I'm not sure if an American man would have been involved, because we didn't enter the war until 1918.
     
  5. Natbutterflyblue
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    Natbutterflyblue Member

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    Glad to see you know your history, Im only vauge on the details so my idea was a shot in the dark. But underground organisations and spys are a lot of fun to write, and read too. Id be interested to read what you come up with :)
     
  6. RobT
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    RobT Active Member

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    Helga Traudl is jewish, she has had a vision of the atrocities to come in the concentration camps. She see's her children and grand children being rounded up and sent to the camps, and they are either betrayed by Otto initially to get them sent there, or maybe killed by Otto in the camps as he is now in the SS.

    Otto can be present with Helga as just a good friend of her grand children or the family.
     
  7. Aeschylus
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    Aeschylus Contributing Member

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    I like RobT's idea--she has visions of the future Holocaust and, for some reason, decides that they're more than visions and decides to act on them. Expanding on that, maybe the innocent boy Otto is going to grow up to be a major player in the Nazi Party/military. And she realizes this and tries to shoot him, either a) to stop future events from taking place or b) as a sort of revenge for something that hasn't happened yet.

    The idea of an old lady who just carries around a gun is kind of ridiculous though--you'll need to think it out. It would be more moving if she knows the boy personally and likes him. Maybe Otto likes to stop by her house on weekends for some pastries or hot chocolate or something, and listens to her tell stories. Maybe Otto is friends with her grandson. And she likes this kid, so she's horrified of her own visions that show him causing such tremendous suffering for her descendants and kin. Something happens to make her believe that these visions are real, and, after weeks, months of battling her own mind, takes her husband's pistol and shoots the boy. It could be a very emotional and eerie story, maybe even bordering on surreal.
     
  8. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I'm loving that plot already. I think if she began to love him like her grandsons, it'd be even more tragic when she decides she has to shoot him.

    Maybe Otto's parents are anti-semetic and Otto (in an effort to understand the Jews) visits her and slowly begins to realize that what his parents say isn't the truth. Wow, this story just got a whole lot sadder...Especially if Otto wasn't going to be what the visions said he'd be...

    So, by visions you mean she has suspicions of future anti-Jewish actions or she, through some supernatural means, actually gets visions of Hitler, the Nazis, and Otto in an SS uniform?

    EDIT: Would this make for a gripping beginning if I start the book in this form: She shoots the boy, he falls to the ground dead and she simply stands over him, with tears filling her eyes. The next chapter takes us back a few months as we explore the events leading up to this murder. It's all told from her perspective.

    As for Otto's murder, should he see it coming or should Helga ensure he never knows who killed him?
     
  9. Aeschylus
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    Aeschylus Contributing Member

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    You know when I made my suggestion I was thinking of it more as a short story. I mean if you want to expand it that's fine, but if I was the one writing this I'd make it center around this one meeting and the emotional effects of it, all as one self-contained story.
     
  10. RobT
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    RobT Active Member

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    As you were initially talking psychotic I was thinking along the lines of supernatural.

    I suppose there are various ways to cut it, Otto doesn't necessarily have to die to alter the future. He can be shot, but not killed as the old lady has another vision just as she's about to finish him off, and the act of being reprieved changes him. Later in life things the old lady said to him come to pass, he remembers these and they make him shape his future acts. Going down this route you wouldn't necessarily have to tell the story as a flashback.

    Or he can simply be shot and killed, thus changing the future also. If you start this way then the story does lend itself to being told as a flashback.

    You'll have to let us know which way you decide to write it, as I'm mildly interested to see where you take it.
     
  11. KillianRussell
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    KillianRussell Contributing Member

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  12. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Well, I just imagined she just shoots and kills him dead on the spot, but the things she hoped to avoid happens anyway. It'd leave a question of "What would've happened had she not killed him?"

    Another question, she's obviously going to have to be arrested for this murder, no? How will I have her get out of this mess?

    However, I probably don't want her to be a Jew because then the story would risk reading as "lol, crazy Jew shoots German boy!"

    Maybe the boy's Jewish instead...hmmm....
     
  13. KillianRussell
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    KillianRussell Contributing Member

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    She crys rape ?....self defense ? Had she not killed dude would he have been "the man" to thwart Hitler ?....If he lived would there have been a second world war ?
     
  14. RobT
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    RobT Active Member

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    You could have the family cover it up, and build a guilty secret into it.

    Does she have to get away with it, she could be locked up with the criminaly insane where she tells anyone who'll listen what's coming, although that's going along the lines of Sarah Conner in the Terminator movies here.

    I like locking her up with Hitler whilst he's writing Mein Kampf, you could twist it so she's to blame for all the atrocities of the Jews in WWII in the end, a complete opposite of what she thought she was averting by killing Otto.
     
  15. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Wait, she's locked up with Hitler himself? Where are you going with this? I am not clear on this.
     
  16. KillianRussell
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    KillianRussell Contributing Member

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    Pre hitler germany is fertile ground for a story
     
  17. KillianRussell
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    KillianRussell Contributing Member

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    The boycott was claimed to be in reaction to unflattering newspaper stories appearing in Britain and America concerning Hitler's new regime. The Nazis assumed most journalists were either Jewish or sympathetic to Jews and thus they labeled the bad publicity as "atrocity propaganda" spread by "international Jewry."


    A temple in Düsseldorf defaced in 1933 with a swastika and message saying "Jew perish." Below: Munich lawyer Dr. Michael Siegel who had sought police help in March 1933 is instead forced by Nazis to walk through the streets barefooted and with a shaved head - carrying a sign saying "I will not complain to the police anymore."

    Below: April 1, 1933 - The Nazi boycott is underway as a dress shop in Berlin now has a sign on its window saying "Germans! Defend Yourselves! - Don't buy from Jews!"

    Below: Beyond the boycott - Berlin police and their Nazi auxiliaries comb through a Jewish neighborhood - on the lookout for communists and "annoying" foreigners in April 1933.


    The boycott began at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 1st, 1933, and lasted only a day. Nazi Brownshirts, the SA storm troopers, stood at entrances to Jewish shops, department stores, professional offices and various places of business. They held poster signs saying: "Germans, defend yourselves against the Jewish atrocity propaganda, buy only at German shops!"
     
  18. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I agree. I think I probably want the boy to be a Jew (it could add grounds for a tragedy, like maybe the rest of her family is anti-semetic and she has to kill him for some reason, maybe to protect him?)

    Instead of shooting him, I'm now thinking she should poison him. Lot less bloody.
     
  19. RobT
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    RobT Active Member

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    I may be wandering off on a grander scale . . .

    She's jewish, kills Otto to avoid atrocities she has a vision of, gets banged up, later in prison meets Hitler, she does something to make him really anti-semitic, and so brings on the holocaust inadvertently.
     
  20. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    nononono...

    I don't think I want to do that.

    Maybe she and the boy (who is Jewish) develops some sort of bond together and she has these visions of the Holocaust and suspects the boy will end up enduring it in the future. She implores him to run, get out of Germany, but his parents have no money to pay for such a voyage. Beside, where would he go?

    Her family (who is anti-semetic) realizes that she's making deals with a Jewish boy and confronts her...

    The story explains why she has to kill him.
     
  21. KillianRussell
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    KillianRussell Contributing Member

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    she rebuffs hitler's sexually advance ?
     
  22. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Okay, guys come on. I'm not a Jew and I'm getting somewhat offended at this. Let's show proper respect, yes?

    She does not meet Adolf Hitler. In fact, she's dead before he seizes power.

    Why? I don't want to spoil it for you, but I'll say this:

    She won't see the end of WWI.
     
  23. KillianRussell
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    KillianRussell Contributing Member

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    why would you be offended ?
    would be hard to write early 1900's germany omitting the brewing of an impending holocaust
     
  24. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Not that, mate. The fact that you said Helga would be in jail and Hitler would be attracted to her.

    I mean, she just killed what she considered to be her grandson! Let's not further traumatize her by having the future madman of the 20th-century hit on her, k?
     
  25. RobT
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    RobT Active Member

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    I don't see what I've contributed to this thread that would cause offense. I thought this was brainstorming?
     

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