1. ♥Underground Author♥
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    ♥Underground Author♥ New Member

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    Little Help with Plot

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by ♥Underground Author♥, May 9, 2010.

    Hello,

    I'm writing a novel about a man and woman friendship. The main character is a widowed single father of three young daughters (7,5,&1). In the story, the man's in-laws (the deceased wife's parents) constantly remind him and blame for his wife's death, since the car accident which took her life was his responsiblity. As a result the in-laws try their hardest to bring the man down to his lowest point. The question, I don't know how they can do this. I currently have them trying to get custody of the little girls, but I don't know how that will work out because other than being responsible for the car accident which killed his wife, he has nothing wrong with him. What are some other ideas I could use in place of the custodial battle and if not how can I pull this off, without it sounding unrealistic.

    Thanks :)
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    You could always make something wrong with him. Make him an alcoholic or something like that. You are the writer, so you have full control over a character's traits and attributes.

    Also, if he was responsible for the car accident, then that could potentially be seen as murder by the in-laws.
     
  3. ♥Underground Author♥
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    ♥Underground Author♥ New Member

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    Yeah, I was thinking about making the man formally get into alcohol or maybe tried it after his wife's death. The man didn't have a father growing up so maybe that could play an additional role of the grandparents wanting to get custody of their grandchildren, as the man might end up like his father and leaving.
     
  4. SilverWolf0101
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    SilverWolf0101 Active Member

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    Custody battles, as they are often called, can be a real mess. I've had personal experience with them. Most often a judge will only consider a custody battle if they see probable cause in it, i.e the child's life is in danger in their current residence.

    Here are just a few things that a judge will look at when considering custody of a child: Does the current parent have a steady income, do they have a record with the police, can they provide for the kids, neighbor complaints, has Child Services been involved (if so how many times), etc.

    Also, when it comes to custody battles the child has a lot of control on how the court chooses. If I child says something like "Daddy gets drunk and beats on us" then there is a very strong chance that the children will be taken away from their father.

    Believe it or not though, even though the children's voice is the loudest heard, they are forbidden to enter the court room when the trail is in session. So keep that in mind.

    If you need anymore help/personal experience on custody battles I'd be more than willing to give you more information on what I know about them. Just send me a pm.
     
  5. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    First of all, the storyline has been done before like a zillion times, so you have to be careful about felling into the cliché-trap. You have to try to find your own unique way of presenting the story..... like they do in good romance novels despite the almost identical storyline.

    Let's talk about the characters now:

    The children (specially the 10 year old) have to play a big role in the story whether or not there is a custody trail. Some questions you should ask:

    How was their relationship with their grandparents and their father before and after their mother's death?

    How do they react to their father's new girlfriend/friend?(you said friendship so I am not sure her relationship with the MC is romantic or not).

    What kind of a child you want the 10 years old to be (serious type etc...)? Because, her reactions to the situation will depend on her personality. In short, the child's character should be well-developed.

    About the MC:

    Alcoholic seems too convenient to me. But if you want him to be alcoholic, that's fine too.... but you have to add layers to his character then just being alcoholic. Why he became an alcoholic? Was his wife in anyway responsible for his alcoholism (may be she was having an affair.... or nagging him to earn more money wanting a lifestyle he could not afford etc....)? Or, it can be the other way round...... he wanting to become rich quickly but each time failing because ........

    So, whatever you want to make him, you have to make the MC a complex character.

    The in-laws:

    Are they rich? Do they approved of their daughter's marriage to the MC in the first place? If the answer to the above questions is Yes(the 1st question) and No(2nd question) then there should certainly be a custody battle.

    I think there should be a near-death incident of one of the children under the care of the MC after his wife's death..... you know, it is very possible with him having to look after three kids...

    I'll come back again if I think of something else (yes, I like creating characters :) )
     
  6. ♥Underground Author♥
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    ♥Underground Author♥ New Member

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    Hello,
    First off I just want to thank you for your input on my topic post. I really appreciate it. I was looking over your post and it was one part that you said the children should have a near-death incident in the hands of the MC. Well I was actually thinking that, but I haven't really gotten the incident down yet.

    1) I was thinking that he could take the children to the zoo on the day that was supposed to be his him and his wife's wedding anniversary to try to distract himself, but on the way back their wedding song plays on the radio and whilst he is listening to the song and reminising the times they've had he crashes head on into another car, injuring one of the daughters. The in-laws could think that he not only killed his wife, but injured his daughter in a car accident.

    2) The 5 year old daughter has diabetes, so should the near-death incident come from him not paying full attention to her illness thus falling extremely ill?

    3) Please state any idea that you might have

    Thanks
     

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