1. darklingwater
    Offline

    darklingwater New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2015
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    1

    Newbie to the forums and could use a bit of plot help

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by darklingwater, Aug 24, 2015.

    Hello all! I'm new to the forums and this is my first post. I was looking for a good area to reach out and discuss plot/character development/etc with other writers as all my critics (aka friends) just read, not write.

    Anyways, on to my question. I'm writing a modern fantasy novel. However I'm having some difficulty getting the main character to believe the angel that is in her dreams is real when he shows up at her door.

    If you were the main character, what would it take for you to believe the angel on your doorstep is real and you aren't hallucinating or crazy? I can give more detail if needed but wanted to keep the explanation fairly general.

    Thanks!
     
  2. aguywhotypes
    Offline

    aguywhotypes Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    77
    Location:
    Millersburg, Ohio, United States
    My first response was to slap me. Now I'm thinking, maybe telling me about something about myself that no one else knows.
     
    Sack-a-Doo! likes this.
  3. Shbooblie
    Offline

    Shbooblie Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2015
    Messages:
    334
    Likes Received:
    181
    Location:
    North East England
    Hi welcome to the forum @darklingwater :). I would say that I would need to have some form of physical contact with them for me to believe they were a real tangible being stood in front of me. Even better if it could leave a mark somehow that way I would know I didn't just dream it up.
     
  4. darklingwater
    Offline

    darklingwater New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2015
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    1
    Oh I like the idea of the mark. Thanks for the replies!
     
  5. ToeKneeBlack
    Offline

    ToeKneeBlack Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2014
    Messages:
    592
    Likes Received:
    207
    Depending on the personality of the character and the tone of the story, they might pinch themselves, slap themselves, or even check to see if a knife hurts.

    They might even think it's a lucid dream, and try something only possible in a dream, such as flight; "You're not real - you can't be! I'll throw myself out of this window to prove this is a dream!"
     
  6. Lea`Brooks
    Offline

    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 11, 2013
    Messages:
    2,610
    Likes Received:
    1,714
    Location:
    Virginia, United States
    Does the angel announce himself as such? Or is she just dreaming about him then he shows up (no wings or defining characteristics) at her door?

    If the first, I'd probably believe it right away because I'm gullible like that. :p If the second, I'd just assume it was a very strange coincidence and would need proof otherwise.

    I do like the idea of him leaving a mark on her though. Or maybe giving her something, like a piece of jewelry, that she still has later. Obviously dream presents can't come into the real world, so it would be a good reminder that she was awake.
     
  7. darklingwater
    Offline

    darklingwater New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2015
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    1
    He's already announced himself as such in her dream/vision. She convinced herself it was just a vivid dream. Then he shows up in the flesh, looking like himself just without the wings. She passes out from the shock. I'm just having difficulty writing a believable scenario after in which he explains a few things to her in a way that she will not think she herself is nuts.

    These are great suggestions. Thank you all!
     
  8. Lea`Brooks
    Offline

    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 11, 2013
    Messages:
    2,610
    Likes Received:
    1,714
    Location:
    Virginia, United States
    To be honest, I feel that passing out is an unrealistic reaction.

    Putting myself in this girl's shoes.. If I was dreaming of a man who said he was an angel and he just randomly showed up at my door, I don't think I'd pass out. I'd be a little freaked, because, wow, this guy is who I've been dreaming of. But passing out seems extreme. I may pass out once I actually find out that he really is an angel and has been coming to me in my dreams. But before? I feel like just seeing him would make me feel crazy. Once my dreams are validated by him, I'd feel less crazy, if that makes sense.

    So I wonder if you just need to flip your reactions -- have her feel crazy when she first sees him, then have her pass out once she figures out he's real and has been invading her dreams.

    That's just my opinion though. :) Good luck!
     
  9. Aaron DC
    Offline

    Aaron DC Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2015
    Messages:
    2,554
    Likes Received:
    1,251
    Location:
    At my keyboard
    How quickly does she need to believe he is real?

    I can think of something that would prove he was real about 9 months later?
     
    KaTrian and Tenderiser like this.
  10. Aaron DC
    Offline

    Aaron DC Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2015
    Messages:
    2,554
    Likes Received:
    1,251
    Location:
    At my keyboard
    What are you trying to achieve:
    ? prove he is there
    ? prove it's the same person from the dream
    ? prove he is an angel

    Have you considered his smell? I don't ever remember dreaming a smell before, and it could be something about his smell which is unusual.

    The other thing is his voice. Angels talk to God (?) so he could potentially speak in a way that manifests itself like no other person.
     
  11. Tenderiser
    Offline

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    4,281
    Likes Received:
    5,150
    Location:
    London, UK
    I don't think you should worry too much. We all suspend belief a little when we read fantasy. Your readers will know immediately that the angel is real so it would be more annoying for them if your character spends ages going through an "oh my god have I gone mad?" monologue than if she accepts it quickly.

    Maybe in the dream the angel can predict a few things that come true before he appears on the doorstep? I like @Aaron DC's idea of using smell as well.
     
  12. Aaron DC
    Offline

    Aaron DC Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2015
    Messages:
    2,554
    Likes Received:
    1,251
    Location:
    At my keyboard
    Yes. In fact we don't need to wait 9 months at all. He could predict the gender of a friend of her's baby before it's born, as an example.

    Or tell her a password in the dream and repeat it at the doorway.
     
  13. jannert
    Online

    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    7,774
    Likes Received:
    7,283
    Location:
    Scotland
    Funny. I've just read a completed story written by a good friend where this exact same thing happens—a guardian angel appears in the flesh. I won't tell you how she's handled the problem, because it's her idea. But I'll give you a hint: it involves other characters.

    I think you need to focus on a few things about your character and your story, which should help you to decide what will work.

    1) How much does your character actually believe in angels?
    2) How much time has your character spent trying to conjure one up?
    3) How gullible/skeptical is your character ...not just about this, but about everything?
    4) Why has the angel appeared?

    And then the most important thing of all ...what would it take to convince YOU that there is an angel on your doorstep? That's what you go with, in the end, isn't it?

    These are the kinds of story problems you should have fun solving by yourself. If you ask the forum for our story ideas, you're cheating yourself of what makes writing magic for most people. It's the chance for YOU to try out YOUR ideas. If you rely too heavily on brainstorming from other people, you'll deprive yourself of the fun of creation, as well as keeping yourself from learning the process and becoming self-reliant. This is fun stuff, so don't be afraid to strike out on your own. There is no risk.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2015
    Aaron DC likes this.
  14. ToeKneeBlack
    Offline

    ToeKneeBlack Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2014
    Messages:
    592
    Likes Received:
    207
    This sort of reminds me of the movie "Dogma", particularly the scene where an angel (played by Alan Rickman) appears in a blaze of fire before the main character, who is human. Upon seeing what appears to be talking flames she dowses him with a fire extinguisher, causing him to be quite grumpy. He explains who and what he is, why he has been sent, and what she needs to do, but she is understandably sceptical.

    It isn't until the events the angel predicted begin to happen that she accepts his explanation, but by then he's nowhere to be seen.
     
    KaTrian likes this.
  15. KaTrian
    Offline

    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Messages:
    5,564
    Likes Received:
    3,561
    Location:
    The Great Swamp
    Plus, he has a Ken doll crotch, so that kind of rules him out as being human (ok, there might be some genetic mutations that 'cause the ken doll effect, but that's kind of far fetched... not that angels have to be genital-free).

    Things that would help me believe him:
    -he can do supernatural stuff
    -he can poof away (teleport)
    -he can give a plausible explanation to God's absence/absent-mindedness
    -he's friends with Doreen Virtue

    If I were religious, I'd probably be more inclined to believe him right off the bat. I think I'd also have to be less rational, in general. If an angel appeared to me right now, my personal little world order would pretty much be shot to shit and I'd need a moment to gather my bearings. In the meanwhile, I guess I'd call the cops and tell them there's some crazy person on the porch, harassing me. Then when he teleports out of custody and re-appears, I'd call the cops again. If he escapes the third time, I think I'd start to believe him, plus I would've had enough time to digest the possibility that angels exist.
     
    Lea`Brooks likes this.
  16. darklingwater
    Offline

    darklingwater New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2015
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    1
    Minor issue with this is the fact that I'm fairly gullible while my character is much more of a skeptic. I have written and been playing with four rough versions of the scene however am just stuck, hence asking for some random ideas from the forum. Bouncing around and writing other scenes has been a good distraction but I keep going back to this part thinking "something just doesn't jive here". o_O Could be the writing perfectionist in me though since the few people I've let read what I have so far have enjoyed it and haven't mentioned anything with the flow of this particular point.

    It's one of the first big plot turns in the story and needs to be believable or the plot can't progress. Though with some of the suggestions you have all given, I've gotten some good inspiration for how to fix it as well as add an element to the rest of the story. Maybe if I get up the nerve someday I'll post it in the workshop here for critiques.
     
    jannert likes this.
  17. jannert
    Online

    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    7,774
    Likes Received:
    7,283
    Location:
    Scotland
    Well, unless you're the sort of person who automatically assumes everybody is always what they say they are (! - god help you on the internet, then!) you can plumb your own skepticism for this character. Surely, if somebody appeared on your doorstep and said 'hi, I'm an angel,' you wouldn't just say 'oh, cool.' Surely you would need some kind of proof before you totally believed this entity. What would that proof be?

    In order to write fiction, you need to be able to put yourself in the shoes of your characters. All of them. Whether they are just like you or not. Use what you know about people already to inform your view, then play with it. What if I were a skeptic? What would make me be a skeptic? What would it take to overcome this skepticism?
     
    Tesoro likes this.

Share This Page