1. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    Trying to get my head around this plot point

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by agentkirb, May 18, 2012.

    I'm trying to create this new story, and I've figured out that the skeleton of the plot for the most part. But part of the plot I'm struggling for it to make sense. Basically it works like this:

    Person A and Person B grew up together and were close friends. At some point (it can be at any age), there is some "event" that ends up with the two of them spending the next 5 or so years in completely different cities, not talking with each other or having any communication with each other during that time... Person B is completely bitter towards Person A about the "event" yet Person A has no guilt about said event and doesn't even suspect Person B would be bitter.

    The only idea I can think of right now is that the two of them had a fight of some kind, and due to some kind of miscommunication Person A thinks that Person B no longer wants to be friends and outside circumstances (new job, college) force him to move away without being able to speak with him again. And perhaps Person A left a voice message or a note trying to explain but it never got to Person B and that only compounds the bitterness of finding out the guy just took off.

    I don't know if this even makes sense or sounds too complicated to work or what.
     
  2. GaleSkies
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    GaleSkies Active Member

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    Will this "event" be in the novel or will you be using it as back story to drive your characters?

    My best advice is try to think of person A and person B as more than just individuals. Characters come from places and have families with very strange circumstances. I would think of some event that is completely out of person A's control, but is also completely person A's fault. Person B tells a secret. Person A reveals it to his mom or dad, and things spiral way out of control (cops get called, B's father gets fired, B's mother's/father's affair gets revealed) with person A completely unaware of it all until his friend, person B, says goodbye one day without another word. I picked the cliches for examples so you can use them or lose them as you please. In fact the whole secret thing is way too cliche for me. But the point is to involve other characters and have trust placed in person A when he/she does not realize that it's something that requires trust.

    You could treat something like that as the plot for a story, but I think it fits the role of back story much better. The only thing that would be complicated would be the way you write it.
     
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  3. BFGuru
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    BFGuru Active Member

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    What if person A simply had an event that took him away quickly? What if it is a mystery type situation and Person A into hiding, unable to tel the friend of what happened. Person B can still be bitter, but it leaves room for reconciliation.
     
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  4. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    Both are good ideas... I never even considered bringing a third person into the mix, and that might be the the reason why Person A doesn't know that Person B is bitter. I'm thinking, maybe there was some kind of secret that Person B tells Person A... Person C happens to overhear it somehow and it gets out. Person B assumes Person A told someone and Person A is none the wiser. And in the middle of all of this something happens that takes Person A to another city (college, job, whatever)... so they don't get to clear up the miscommunication.

    Hmmm, I still need to add the details in to make it better but I'm sure I'll think of something. But yeah Gale... this isn't the main plot of the story, but it's just the back story for why one person seems to have it in for one of the characters (person A) and he doesn't know why this is the case.
     
  5. Northern Phil
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    Northern Phil Active Member

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    The event could be anything.

    Imagine if say A & B both started working at the same company and A became friends with the boss and about a year later the company downsized. B could lose his job while A kept his and maybe B then has to spend several years moving cities to work in rubbish jobs. A could then become a senior figure in the company which B resents him for as he thinks A's friendship with the boss got him into that position. A wouldn't think anything was wrong and it would create the illusion of A being ignorant to the situation.



    Just remember human emotions are tricky and even the tiniest of things can make a person jealous and resentful.
     
  6. Leonardo Pisano
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    Leonardo Pisano Active Member

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    Even the best friends don't share every secret. What about A had a one night stand with a person B has a crush on? This feels like betrayal for B, but may not be if A was unaware of the crush or had the impression that it was not that deep/serious.
    HtH, Leonardo
     
  7. indy5live
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    indy5live Active Member

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    They grew up together, great friends, did everything together. When it came time to go to college, Person A couldn't afford the fancy school Person B got accepted to without joining the military reserves. So, of course, person B has to go to the 6 months of basic training and speciality training while person A is completing his first semester of college. When Person B finishes basic he's instantly called into Active Duty and sent over to the middle east. The last time they talk is over a phone conversation where person B tells person A that he want be making it out to school this semester and must go service his country. 6 years pass and person B completes his service and person A has already graduated from college and is working. Person B can be angry because person A never wrote him a letter while he was away, that he was out servicing his country, putting his life on the line, and all person A cared about was the fact person B ruined their great college plans. Idk what your story is, but the backstory doesn't have to be all that complicated if its just that, a backstory.
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It could be an event that each thought the other was responsible for, when in fact it was neither of them. I am thinking some high school scandal (vandalism incident?), and one family moved away because of the hostility directed toward their son or daughter based on a false belief in their involvement.

    That could also be the basis of the bitterness, if the one forced to move away blamed the other for the incident that uprooted him and his family.

    I pulled that out of my head in under five minutes from reading your entire post. I usually either skim and ignore these "come up with my story" threads (as I did with this one until now), or push the originator to find his or her own answer. So this time, I'll make the point this way. If I can come up with such an "event" this easily with almost no familiarity with the thought processes behind your story, why can't you?

    I believe it has a lot with your willingness to give up easily and toss it to a bunch of strangers. A writer's imagination requires exercise, and you won't get it by giving up and leaning on others.

    I'm sometimes perceived as harsh for telling members to think for themselves, but all I want is to help writers improve. Improvement comes from within. Learn to rely on your own innate abilities. The more you do so, the more you will trust in yourself.
     
  9. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    This event is pretty crucial for your story, so I really think it should come from you. Perhaps you can think of a fight or misunderstanding you had with a schoolfriend which led to your friendship breaking up, feelings of jealousy or rivalry which drove a wedge between you both, parental interference, false accusations of cheating in an exam or over a joint project, the list goes on.
     
  10. Ettina
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    Ettina Active Member

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    What if:

    Person B and Person C had a romantic relationship, then broke up. Person C considers the relationship over for good, and is unaware that Person B still hopes they'll get back together. Taking his/her lead from Person C, Person A decides he/she can move in and start something with Person C. Person B sees this as stealing away Person C, or maybe even begins to suspect that Person A had a part in the break-up.
     

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