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  1. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    What device would you use to tell this?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Elgaisma, Jul 19, 2010.

    I have a story I would love to write but I have never managed to find the right vehicle for it. Maybe I am not the person to write it lol but I would like to see how you would handle it. And if my idea is a bit cliched, I'm inclined to think it is. Yes I could make it work but I think these ladies deserve much more than making it work.

    I live near a large ruined medieval Cathedral. Two ladies who have lives entwined with it fascinate me.

    One lady was the custodian until the 1920s, she is still fondly remembered by some of the older people in town. She was a tiny lady, and wore a robe with a key round her waist. She would walk around talking to the people buried in the cathedral and knew all about the tales. She was the step-daughter of the previous custodian and her Grandfather was one of the UK's most famous and respected Gold/Silversmith of his time.

    The second has a more tragic story, she was born into comfort in the late 1700s about the time of the Jacobite Revolution. Then she married a soldier against her familiy's wishes, they disowned her. She moved away from the town with her husband. Three years later she returned without her husband and with a small child. She had nowhere to go and found herself a home in the Chapter House in the Cathedral. She did travel around at times always took her spinning wheel with her. She is described as kind hearted, vulnerable and that whatever she had seen whilst away had broken her mind. She managed to bring her son up in the chapter house of the cathedral, his bed as a baby was the old baptismal font. Her son gained an education and joined the army. He went away and became an incredibly wealthy man, he left money in his will to leave a huge building which is dedicated to the education of the young and care of the elderly. The plot its built on is perfectly lined up with the chapter house he grew up in

    MY IDEA: Is for second lady's ghost to be in the Cathedral and to sit and have a natter in the custodian cottage at the fireside with the first lady. They feel linked and certainly the first lady experienced pangs of pity for the second one
     
  2. AdamWriting
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    AdamWriting Member

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    Reading this, the first thing that came to mind was a story where the second woman is the main character. Perhaps a bitter, Scrooge type. There is some noble agenda taking place in the town and she is standing in the way of it, perhaps because she is clinging to old memories. (See "UP", last year animation released from Pixar).

    She is visited by (or she visits) the first women each day and the two exchange stories and engage in confrontations based on their differing values and perspectives (Plenty of confrontations is a must). Through the course of these exchanges, the first woman experiences a revelation that leads her to change her way and she helps to complete the noble agenda. Towards the end, you discover that the second woman passed away years ago, and the reader is never quite sure if she was a ghost or a product of the first woman's imagination.
     
  3. BlueWolf
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    BlueWolf Banned

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    We get ideas all the time, some of them quite good ones, but we can't use them all - if it is out of your comfort zone, you take the best bits and incorporate them into stories you know you can do, or, change the ideas into something you can use.

    It is a nice idea you have had, but I am unsure where it would go.
     
  4. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    me neither lol but I am only going to be living near the Cathedral for a few months I am moving to a different but nearby town:) I have felt someone should write the stories of these ladies, since 2000. I was an archaeology/history student, and I think its what is hampering me. I am being too analytical over a story that needs warmth and love. I did the genealogy of the 1920s lady, Jessie for the local museum as part of a bigger project and I unearthed a family secret I wish i hadn't lol I feel a need to make it up to her.

    I am now feeling an urgency to get at least a draft written, because I will only be living this close to the Cathedral for a few more weeks, I am then moving closer to a ruined medieval abbey. Right now I walk past the Cathedral on a regular basis thinking I must work on that story:) I won't be doing that soon.

    I am hoping to be able to write a series of short stories on a number of our local historical characters. Think MacBeth has been overdone, and much better and more inaccurate than I could manage;) but the others should have some sort of recognition.

    I am thinking Jessie comes upon Marjory's ghost in the chapter house. Marjory is wailing, spinning wool at her wheel and looking for her baby. I wanted it to be obvious they were friends, but Jessie is tired. Jessie takes her back to the small house where she lives, and helps herself to something like Stovies and Tea. They talk about Jessie's Grandfather, Joseph Pozzi (Silver/Gold Smith his stuff is worth a fortune now museum has only just managed to get a jug and sugar bowl), who Marjory will have known. Marjory then remembers her baby is missing, and Jessie takes her out to see the Institute and his massive gravestone.

    Something happens so that the tortured Marjory can move on, wondered if maybe her son General Anderson should come to take her home or something. I really want life to end happilly for Marjory
     
  5. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    some of these ideas are helpful I do think they should exchange stories. And I want Marjory (second lady) to move on.

    I think both ladies were so intensely kind hearted in everything they did there was no real need for them to change, beyond Marjory having some sort of mental disorder possibly PTSD/Shell Shock brought on by something that had occured whilst she was away. Part of me wonders if she had been in America it fits with the timeline. Its part of the difficulty with the story Majory's mental health and the fact she is a ghost are the only tensions.
     
  6. write2breathe
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    write2breathe Member

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    I'm a little confused as to which lady is named what..so I'll go with 1st lady (1920s) & 2nd lady (1700s)

    My creativity pulled me into having the 2nd lady unable to "move on" because of something she saw or something that happened...whatever it was that "broke her mind" as you put it. The first lady can be the only one who can help her with that. Maybe she's the only one who can help because she is the only one who holds the secret to whatever happened due to the stories she knows surrounding those buried in the cemetery. So the dead are the the ones who hold the answers. The key she wears can be an integral part somehow.

    I could keep going, but I won't. I personally think it's an intriguing idea. Let me know how you decide to go with it.

    & by the way...I am majorly jealous that you live by such a place. One day I hope to get to visit Scotland and Ireland. Heritage thing.

    Best of luck with it.

    ~Bree
     
  7. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks Bree, I love where I live, I get very excited about where I live and its history but so much of it has been forgotten or buried. There is a 700 year old document kept in a shoe box in a cold damp room for example. I just feel they are both stories that shouldn't be lost. And if I don't do them now they will never get done.

    We don't know where she was during the time she was away or what happened to her husband, some sources say he deserted her, some he died.

    I am thinking she is looking for her son, he left when he was quite young, he ran away from his apprenticeship. Then a chance errand job for a tailor in London got him taken with someone to India. He never came back.

    Its not the most gripping tale though, I just feel I am missing something with the story. Maybe I just need to write, and hope the characters make it work.
     
  8. Donal
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    Donal Contributing Member

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    Elgaisma, dont simply tell the story. Add to it, expand it, exaggerate it and turn a nice anecdote into a great tale. It has the bones of a great story.
     
  9. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I know lol this is one where my training is getting the way of my imagination. But lets face it we would not have remembered Macbeth so well if Shakespeare had stuck to the facts instead of needing to please Banquo's descendant:)
     
  10. write2breathe
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    write2breathe Member

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    Exactly!!!! What Donal said.

    Use a creative license. Start writing and see where the characters lead you.
     
  11. Peregrin
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    Peregrin Member

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    I don't know why, but I'm imagining the cathedral as a southern baptist church instead. It's a good stage for a whole host of stories to take place on.
     
  12. MissBelle
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    MissBelle Member

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    I like your idea of having it be a ghost story, I was thinking that even before I got to the end of your post.

    It is funny, when I think of Ghost stories, I think of scary stories, but I guess they don't have to be. I did not get the idea that this story would be horror.

    I think it sounds like it would be a good story, with an interesting setting. If I were you I would start writing, maybe start with writing the whole story into a very short story, then go back in and add details and enrich the story.
     
  13. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thank you everyone I have started it and its going better than I expected, I now have an idea that Jessie invites Marjory's ghost back to her small cottage, and she gets to see the changes in the cathedral (3000 cart loads of rubble were removed from the cathedral between Marjory's and Jessie's time), she can also see the building her son had built. I just need to find out which houses were there at the time.
     

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