1. Far Away
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    Far Away Member

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    Struggling with illicit romance story.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Far Away, Aug 15, 2009.

    I've got some bare bones ideas here:

    A young girl, 16-18, falls in love with an older man, one who is around 30-35.
    The man is not perverse/sick/etc.
    I want it to take place sometime during the 1920/30s.
    The girl will not be innocent or naive, but she will be well adjusted and cooperative.
    The love with be genuine, although misleaded.

    Where can I take this? Keep in mind I want it to be a teen fiction, but "gritty" as my friend puts it. She says I can write a good story with this plot, as long as the characters are real.

    Can someone help me flesh it out?
     
  2. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    The problem w/helping you flesh it out is you need to, in my opinion, either be passionate (no pun intended) about the characters or passionate about the conflict or theme. At this point, you don't seem to have anything developed in your mind regarding either. You've got this skeleton plot, but a lot of bones are missing. I would think you need to take time to develop the characters or the major conflict/theme, and then that will help you begin to see where you want to take the characters (story-wise) or the conflict. Not sure if I'm making sense here.
     
  3. Far Away
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    Far Away Member

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    You are! I'm just about to go to some character-ing atm :) Hopefully I'll have some more ideas about where I'd like to take this story.
     
  4. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    Remember, though, what's most important isn't what their fave color is or fave song, it's what their personality is like, what their personal family history is, past illnesses, whatever...so, in other words, what about who they are would cause them to fall in love with an older man? And then think of the same stuff for the man.
     
  5. Far Away
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    Far Away Member

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    I was thinking about that. What causes people who are two totally different ages to fall in love with each other?

    You're right, I suppose i'll do the personality stuff first and then their favourites will come in time.
     
  6. Tall and Weird
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    Tall and Weird New Member

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    What causes anyone to fall in love? I mean, age is a minor hinderance compared with some obstacles to love - look at Romeo and Juliet; their families were at war!

    Why does someone fall in love with someone else? What is it that tips the scale from liking someone to loving them? I doubt anyone could explain why they fell in love with someone but they could list a hundred things they love about them - their smile, the way they move, their eyes, nose, legs, ear-lobe, the dimple on the left side of their mouth...

    I'd suggest that you find your MCs common ground first and work from there. How did they first meet? How did they keep meeting? What is it that your leading man has that the boys around her lack?
     
  7. Operaghost
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    Operaghost Contributing Member

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    You can't help who you fall in love with , its as simple as that and what other posters have said here is true, the age thing shouldn't amtter, although can cause conflict (and i speak from experience here) buit shouldn't be the main issue, it will help to know exactly what problems are getting in their, way (obviously societies view on the situation especially in the 1920s will be a major factor) but questioning why two people of different ages will fall in love is pointless, it is just something accepted, A previous poster mentioned the fact that romeo and juliet were at war, another fact of this story is that juliet was in all reality around 14 years old (An age when many girls were married in shakespeares day) whereas romeo was in his 20s, so already there was an age gap as well. On a further note i have had personal experience of a relationship with a younger woman as i was engaged to someone ten years younger than myself, so if you ever needed any advice on the male perspective of this kind of thing then feel free to contact me.
     
  8. Far Away
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    Far Away Member

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    Thanks! I've actually switched the time period from the 20s to the 40s, simply because I'd be able to get more information about the time period from people who are still living! I was never able to find a lot of information about things from the twenties.

    But the same plot still stands, and I thank you for all your help!
     
  9. Forkfoot
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    Forkfoot Contributing Member Contributor

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    This would not have been "illicit" back then. Barely even an issue nowadays in a lot of places.

    What keeps them from falling in love? Age has nothing to do with it.

    Maybe I'm biased. My wife is 16 years my senior.
     
  10. bluebell80
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    bluebell80 Contributing Member

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    Sorry to tell you this, but it doesn't sound like you have a whole lot of plot going on as it stands.

    What you have is an idea for a setting (time period) and a couple of characters who will fall in love.

    To have a plot, especially one involving romance, you have to have conflict. This means you have to either put people or situations in the way of the two lovers.

    Is it a comedy or a tragedy? Will the boy get the girl in the end, or will he lose his love in the end (one of them dying.)

    Who will your obstacles be? Her parents perhaps? His employers? The church? What life situations will push them together and then tear them apart? While she mess up or will he?

    If you want to write it you have to read it. Read books in the genre you are aiming for, watch movies too. It gives you an idea of the cookie cutter versions, and from there, you do your own thing.

    Just remember for an interesting story you must have conflict. Internal/External conflict. If you're doing the 40's maybe WWII pulls them apart. I don't know, it's your story.
     
  11. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    Or bump it back a few years and have it during the 'great war'. Move to a distance relationship, then have him come back an amputee and her a changed woman. Tear the love apart and see if it can still survive.
     
  12. Sharajj
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    Sharajj New Member

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    Far and Away, since you don't have much with this story at all why don't you build a bit on something you know.

    Take your life and add some "what ifs"
    What if you didn't have a strong father figure? (these are all assumptions of course)
    What if the only person who had faith in you was your father's friend?
    What if an older man was some how your hero? Perhaps he saved your life?
    What if your father came back in your life and decided to forbid you to see your boyfriend. What if he blackmailed him?
    What if.....

    I'm sure we could tell you how we would build a story on the ideas that you have given but this is your story and only you can write it. Start with something you know and add to it. Put it on paper.

    When you have a better idea summarize it in 15 words of less. One short sentence. And put it in the header of your document. Keep it there for reference. Modify it if you need to but keep it there so you don't lose your way when you are writing your story.

    Just some thoughts. You can throw them to the wind if you want.
     
  13. Far Away
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    Far Away Member

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    As I progress with the character development, the plot is becoming clearer. There is more to it than I wrote here, that is just the gist.

    Florence's parents don't approve, her father is Charlie's business partner. Her relationship with her father is tense. She keeps her relationship a secret from her parents for quite some time. Her friends don't approve either, they feel that the union is dangerous. Charlie isn't dangerous, but they question why he is interested in her and not women his own age.

    A rival, a friend of her mother's named Madeline, is interested in Charlie and seeks to pursue a relationship with him. She threatens to reveal the relationship to Florence's mother, but she knows if she does this she will never be with Charlie.

    Florence's uncle is a source of help, he accepts that she and Charlie are in love, but lets her know that it may not be in her best interests.

    The whole story basically explores the questions that revolve in such a relationship. Why are they attracted to each other? Why don't others approve? What is so bad about it?

    I feel it's a good sign that this could go on for several books. I don't even know if it'll be a book yet, it is truly an experiment.
     
  14. Far Away
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    Far Away Member

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    I thought of that idea, but I decided it was better to just concentrate of the age aspect of their relationship. Charlie did not go to war, for the reason that he has flat feet. Same reason my Grandpa didn't go!
     
  15. bluebell80
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    bluebell80 Contributing Member

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    Far Away,

    It's sounding like you are on the road to developing your story. good luck.
     
  16. Far Away
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    Far Away Member

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    Thanks :)
     
  17. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    When I was a teen I feel for an older lady and she for me. She was around thirty. I don't think you need to have a certain kind of past to fall for an older person when you're a teen. From the people I've known that have experienced this, we've all lived very different lives. One thing that was true for us all, though, is that we were all mature for our age. We were just as intelligent as adults twice our age, but not as experienced, thus naive.

    So I recommended making her intelligent for her age. Perhaps sort of nerdy even.

    Here is how it was with me. I found it hard to have meaniful dialog with kids my age, so I always had older friends, friend I could relate to on an intellectual level. That is how it started with her. We had the best conversations. We were also physically attracted to each other.

    I think the movie Ghost World is a great example of a young girl falling for a much older guy. It focuses on the intellectual connection, which is how it happened in my experience. Another movie like this is Juno.
     
  18. Evelyanin
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    Evelyanin Senior Member

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    The age difference reminds me of Jane Eyre. I think it would be ok, but realistically, forward it a few years, and a 30 year old woman with a 50 year old husband doesn't sound so appealing. I think the main reason I didn't like the ending of the book, Jane Eyre, is because the guy was someone who had a child with a random star, then married a mentally unstable girl, who he proceeds to lock up. While she is locked up he goes out and looks for someone else to marry. He choices to marry Jane while he is still married to the other girl, and when someone stops the marriage, he throws a temper tantrum. I was cheering for Jane when she left him to start a new life, but was completely shocked when she went back. All because he had some pretty excuses to make up for what he had done wrong. In the end all I saw was a 35/36 year old guy who had done some pretty creepy things, marrying the innocent 18/19 year old.
    It is possible to make the age difference that big, but in the end, my opinion (it's just an opinion, you don't need to follow it) is that it would be the sweetest if the older guy decides to stay away from the young girl, for her benefit. I think that would be the most loving thing he could do. However, it is your story, and doing something completely different could really have the potential to make the reader think.
     
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  19. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would say "If you want to write it you have to live it."

    Copying others is just kinda pointless. All great stories are written by people who know what they're talking about. To know what you're talking about, you have to have felt it on your own skin.

    Surely you have experienced being in love? Write yourself into the role and your book will be much more credible and unique.
     
  20. glennmid101
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    glennmid101 Member

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    Relationship

    The young woman could be a servant, and the guy, the man who has employed her.

    He might be a priest or minister, or even married, something that blocks a relationship from developing naturally.

    The guy might be a person who lost everything in the Wall Street crash of1929 and drifts from place to place.

    Setting the location, like a fishing village or a mining community may help.

    Good luck
     
  21. shawsend
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    shawsend Active Member

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    Why don't you write it in a contemporary setting clearly illustrating why it does NOT work so anytime a young girl has the foolish, naive, and immature thought of "seeing" a much older guy, your book could serve as a stark wake-up call for them? You could interview actual people that were in such a liaison (that failed), and use their stories to support your case. Yeah right, got a few that may work out -- not even sure about any -- but in general I think it doesn't work. Maybe if girls were made more aware of that by a well-written, accurate, and insightful book describing the pitfalls of such a relationship, they might more successfully avoid it.
     

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