1. Emmy
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    Emmy Member

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    Oh, boy...sorry for the long post

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Emmy, Apr 8, 2009.

    Hi everyone, new here -

    I'm working on my first "real" novel. Real as in, the first one I am determined to start and finish.

    There are serious problems with my work. And rather than throw my laptop out the window, I want to work through the issues. I need help.

    First problem is my biggest: I can't decide what angle to write this story from.

    The bottom line is it's a paranormal type love story. Guy dies, Girl grieves, Guy refuses entry to the afterlife (heaven), and comes back to the current plane to ease her grieving, and also because he can't let her go, either. He sends her signs of his presence to help ease some of her suffering and to keep her from going off the deep end, but she is unaware of his spirit's presence.
    Eventually Girl meets another Guy #2, and tries to start a new life. Guy #1 is heartbroken, and causes spooky little problems between the happy couple, until he sees the hurt the tension between said happy couple causes Girl, and then Guy #1 goes through the painful course of letting her go. End of story.

    1st version has Guy #1 committing suicide, and the story is tweaked because he wanted to go, for one, and then also her dealings with his decision to commit suicide. Age, illness, and unhappiness are all major themes with this version, but I can't figure out how to tie it up later. How can he be upset about Guy #2, if he wanted to die?

    2nd version has Guy #1 crashing his car and NOT accepting that he is dead. This version has been interesting on his POV. I don't have a lot of issues with this version other than filler for the middle. The beginning is strong; the ending is strong. I don't know what to do in the middle of the story. There's only so many pages I can fill of Girl moping around, and Guy #1 watching her do it. Factor in Girl's twin psychic siblings who can see Guy #1, but there's a conflict with Girl. I'm not sure what that conflict could be to make the story work. She doesn't believe? She's scared? They don't get along?

    3rd version (the latest) has just the Girl's POV, and her recovering from the death of Guy #1, doing all kinds of crazy things to deal with his loss. This, of course, changes the entire story. Which scares me.


    Also, I want to write from both POV (Guy #1 and Girl) as they are the "point" of the story. Would it work (has it been done before) if I cut my book into two smaller books, overlapping only the end of one and the first of another? What I mean is, write from the girl's POV (1st) until she meets Guy #2, and then write from Guy #1's POV (1st), overlapping slightly so as not to lose the story. I just can't make it work, writing from just one POV, or trying to do a 1st and a 3rd POV; my story deflates.

    I feel like I'm schitzo a lot of time. I can write great for a few days, and then spend three days unhappy and pulling out my hair. I've written 25,000 words of the 2nd version; it seems my strongest. I just feel like the psychic twins aspect is flaky. It seems a little too buttoned up, you know?

    I'm just completely stuck. Any ideas?
     
  2. thegearheart
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    thegearheart Member

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    How about version #3: the horror novel.

    This is written from the perspective of guy #2. Guy #2 meets girl. Finds out how great she is. Wants to marry her. Yay, they marry.

    Misfortune befalls them, and before long, guy #2 finds out about ghost of guy#1, who is causing all of these problems. Perhaps guy #1 has been a problem all along, and girl just decided not to mention him to guy #2 before they were married. At first, they try to combat the other spirit with exorcisms and whatnot, but it doesn't work. Things come to a head when Girl decides that she feels bad for the torment of guy #1 and appeals to him for forgiveness. Guy #1 tells her to kill guy #2 and act 2 ordeal ensues as guy #2's trusted confidante becomes a psycho killer.

    Guy #2 ends up killing girl in self defense. Now she can be with guy #1 forever.

    ...So that's probably not the feedback you wanted, rofl
     
  3. thabear637
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    thabear637 Member

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    well if the guy loved the girl so much why would he want to commit suicide?

    As for the POV...a lot of stories (and i would dare say more then not?) have more than one POV. And I don't think you need to overlap the story at all either. I think that may just dull out the story. Instead just take the story where it needs to go..shifting POV when it fits.

    And with this type of story I think it would definately be best in both POV's..so with just the girls POV, it may be difficult to explain how the guy didn't go into heaven...but your the writer so it may be easier for you :)
     
  4. thegearheart
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    thegearheart Member

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    I think you nailed it with this outline when you said that there was only so much moping you could show. The real start of the story for me comes when Girl tries to get with Guy #2 and paranormal junk happens. That probably happens around the first third of the book (page 100 or so). This means that life with Guy #1 isn't that important, and he makes a poor perspective character. Girl makes a much better perspective character.

    Girl's real conflict in all of this could be the paramount conflict that pervades all doomed relationships: what if she just didn't like Guy #1 that much? People already feel guilty for leaving people, but what if you knew someone didn't go to HEAVEN for you? Sure, you'd try to love them, but in the end, what's doomed is doomed.

    I got a kick out of the twin psychic siblings, by the way. Everything else seemed so normal for a novel, but then you threw them in. I would totally read to see where that went.
     
  5. Emmy
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    Emmy Member

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    thegearheart - thanks for shaking things up even more. Actually, it helps...even though I don't have an interest in writing horror at this point. Seriously, that was a great option. You might consider writing it!

    thabear637 - I know, and these are the problems I'm running into. My thoughts were, it's a situation where he's older (older man, younger woman), tired, worn down by illness, in debt, depressed with older age. Sure, he loves her. But he's also severely depressed, and still offs himself. He regrets it after the fact, when he sees everything clearly, freed from his depression, hence, his tight love for Girl.

    POV advice was VERY helpful. I think you're right - and it's what I've been leaning towards, writing both POVs.
     
  6. Emmy
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    Emmy Member

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    Seriously? You didn't think that was a bit flaky? I've got some great dialogue between Guy #1 and the twins, especially when he comes back, which adds some humor/realness to the story.

    My whole gripe with it is, "Oh great. Here's another perfect little coincidence." Meaning, it (the story) would be predictable. Predictable makes my skin crawl.
     
  7. Miswrite
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    Personally, I think this whole idea is amazing and oh my Lord, if you ever - nay, when you publish this, let me know, I beg of you. I love the idea, and it seems like it would adapt to a movie greatly, mostly because it reminds me of Ghost (which is a good thing!)

    I like option #2 the best, and I think that since you've said it works for you, you should continue on with it. I love the psychic subplot. Yes, it's coincidental - but have you ever read Shakespeare? For goodness' sake, the man threw a completely random Indian boy in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and we don't even get to see him - he exists just to create the Titania/Oberon plot. My point is, you are the writer, and a little coincidence like that won't seem too bad; it'll make the reader think, Oh, that's neat how she did that to make the story more interesting. At least that's how I see it.

    I think the novel would best be written in Guy 1's POV. The part where Guy 1's just died and Girl is grieving is probably best to write in Guy 1's point of view, since from Girl, you can only get endless "Oh no he's gone he's gone he's gone" while she deals with the loss. Then, the part where Guy 1 deals with Girl moving on is also obviously his POV. He seems the MC.
     

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