1. Echoesian
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    Echoesian Member

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    My character needs a job

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Echoesian, Apr 21, 2014.

    Hello all,

    I'm looking for ideas for a secondary character's job. I normally don't have trouble in the idea department, but I've been thinking on this for some time and haven't come up with anything I really like. I'm hoping maybe someone here might be able to suggest something I haven't considered. Here is the gist of it:

    He is gay, and he goes to great lengths to hide this from his parents. They are the types that would freak out and disown him if they found out. He's even married to his best friend to keep up appearances. He works for his parents in some capacity, and his career is very much tied to them. I'm not opposed to him being college educated, but it needs to be difficult, if not impossible, for him to achieve the same kind of success on his own. Basically, he keeps the secret, or he loses his family and his career in one swoop. Also, the setting is a small town, so big-city-executive jobs are out of the question.

    I've considered making him a lawyer, or maybe a doctor, but it seems like he could easily succeed without his parents in these ventures. I thought maybe they could own a factory, something he would inherit, but I don't know if a person would go to such extremes in order to own a factory... someday. Any thoughts?
     
  2. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Maybe he works at his father's car dealership or real-estate business. Would that work?
     
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  3. Smoke Z
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    Smoke Z Active Member

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    Funeral director seems like a very "pass down" occupation.
     
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  4. Lovegrove
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    Lovegrove New Member

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    Possibly a cliché, but perhaps his father's high-end law firm?
     
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  5. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is tough -- I take it that he needs to stay in this small town -- that is, you're saying he CANNOT move to another city or town. I would think, in that case, it would need to be some sort of craft that's not that easy to just start up, and that the family has made a real name for themselves doing. Maybe some sort of custom construction work -- building houses, specialty painting, furniture-making, carpentry -- something along those lines? Or, I suppose it could be something sold nationally -- that the family has some sort of patent on, and has built it up to be quite successful? I find it hard to think of some business that is so unique that he simply MUST stay within the family to continue in that line of business. If it's in a small town, I assume that somehow the town would remain loyal to the parents if there were some sort of falling out and the son tried to go out on his own? I assume the town is also very anti-gay.
     
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  6. Echoesian
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    Echoesian Member

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    Yes! Thank you. I think I'll have the parents own a marina (I failed to mention that it also takes place in Michigan, near the water.) I thought of it because of the car dealership suggestion, and the specialty business suggestion, and a light bulb turned on. If he's a boat mechanic or something, it really limits his options, and if his parents own a successful business already he will want to remain there. I'll just make him really, really into boats.

    I also liked the funeral director suggestion, but am afraid my character doesn't really fit into that profession. And I've already mentioned the funeral director in the small town elsewhere :D

    Thanks!
     
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  7. Acanthophis
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    Acanthophis ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Contributor

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    Does he really need to fit into a certain profession, though? I mean, he's a man who is so closeted he's literally living a fake life - you have him married to his best friend just to keep up appearances. I feel like that type of person (I can relate to him, I'm not heterosexual) is willing to do almost anything to keep up the facade. The longer you hide yourself from reality, the more distorted your deception becomes, and you find yourself doing things that are actually against your personality; because it feels like what you should be doing.
     
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  8. Echoesian
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    Echoesian Member

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    Yes, that's a good point, and I agree with you. It's really a matter of what I choose for the parents, because that's where he is going to fit in. They are wealthy, closed-minded, judgmental types and I can see them fitting in with the sailboat crowd better than the grief stricken members of their community. They aren't exactly comforting or compassionate toward other people's suffering. (Not that it's a requirement of a funeral director, either, I suppose... but I'd like to think so!)
     
  9. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Running a hardware store?
     
  10. MLM
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    MLM Banned for trolling

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    His parents run a cult and he's next in line for the high priesthood.
     
  11. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    He could manage the marina. In other words, he's in his parents' employ, but not working side by side with them. You could also have his wife be somebody who either must also stay in the community, or somebody who refuses to leave the community. She will divorce him if he leaves? Maybe she has to stay for a job, or to take care of her parents who are disabled, or something like this.
     
  12. Smoke Z
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    Smoke Z Active Member

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    I think the marina idea is a good one. Summers would be busy, winters would be a lot of down-time where he could contemplate just how difficult it would be to go elsewhere.
     
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  13. Renee J
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    Renee J Contributing Member

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    Maybe his father is a politician, like a state senator. If he wants to go I to politics, too, his father would help him get a foot in the door. However, without his father, he would lose all his connections.
     
  14. Katzen
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    Katzen New Member

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  15. Echoesian
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    Echoesian Member

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    Thanks guys!

    The hardware store is out as well... his wife's dad runs it already, and she works for him there. Although I'm keen on the high priesthood thing, unfortunately there isn't a thriving cult scene in eastern Michigan ;)

    Well... as far as I know.

    Jannert... you got it! She's been through a bad relationship (her plan for her life went all wrong) and she can't have children like she'd hoped. She decides to go ahead and marry him because it is mutually beneficial. Her dad owns the hardware store but is bound to a wheelchair, so she is able to help him without worrying about the finances, since the store doesn't make huge profits. In return, he provides for the both of them. It is, of course, a fragile system they have built together... and I'm going to mess with it. ;)

    The politician idea fits, but involves more publicity than I'd like... namely because of other plot points I haven't mentioned. The car dealership works, too, but I figure the marina is more or less the same situation, with a lakeshore vibe. Plus, if he's grown up there, I can see him wanting to keep it, not only because it's a career but because he loves the place itself. Let's face it... nobody loves car dealerships! :)
     
  16. MrMidnight
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    Coming from a small town like this, very many people would hide this because of the "church on every corner" aura that some of these towns (especially mine) could put off (think Foot Lose).

    I think if he is going to inherit a business, then it should be something he is invested in and loves. Something he enjoyed growing up and it was possibly an outlet for him and his struggles, possibly like a gun range. This puts off that manly vibe, yet can be an enjoyable outlet for anyone. Plus, it would be a fitting business for a small town that would be passed down from father to son.

    A successful pawn shop would also work, and your character gets lost in the allure of the history of some of the items that come through the door, maybe he's the treasure hunter type. If he comes from a lower-middle class background this could be suitable.

    Another popular business we have in my town is locally owned barber shops that are the hub of local gossip.

    These are just a few businesses that could develop a bond between a father and son, give your character something to be invested into, and fit the small town gossip style mold.
     
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