1. x_raichelle_x
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    x_raichelle_x Contributing Member

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    What if...? Help!

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by x_raichelle_x, Nov 21, 2009.

    Disclaimer: I am very very happy with my life, and wouldnt change anything.

    Righteo...so once upon a time in my life, I was faced with a BIG choice. I made a decision & this has had a huge impact on my life. I completely believe I made the right choice.
    However, I have thought about what life would have been like if I had gone down another route, & am contemplating writing a novel length piece based loosely on what would have happened.

    The problem I am having is this - If I had chosen the other option, my life wouldn't be at all the same way it is now. I wouldn't be married to my husband, or have my little girl. I don't want my husband to read this piece & think I have written it because I am unhappy with my life and am fantasising about life without them! Should I change my character so that she doesn't resemble me, which may have a negative impact, or should I write it & hope he doesn't read too much into the storyline?

    I don't even know if this makes sense, don't know how else to explain the situation though.

    Any ideas / help would be much appreciated :)

    xxx
     
  2. Saigo
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    Saigo Member

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    You married him for a reason, right? Tell him exactly what you just told us. Just go to him and tell him that you feel like the big decision you made is great inspiration for a novel. Let him know you love him and you're happy you made the decision that you did, but that it would be wrong of you, as a writer, to not explore what could have happened if you find it interesting and you want to write about it. If he doesn't understand... he'll get upset with you, then be fine a couple of days later. Or if he's very accepting then he may just smile and say ok. Who knows? Your best bet is to just write it how you feel it should be written, and tell him first so it doesn't sound like an excuse or anything.
     
  3. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    What is the motivation for writing this story? I suspect that issue will be the key to your husband's reaction, and if you leave that part to chance then he is forced to speculate. If you were my wife, these questions would come to mind:

    By writing this story, do you hope to inspire other young girls who may be faced with a similar situation?

    or

    Are you trying to resolve some personal conflict about your choices and behavior? Have I failed to provide you with some needed emotional support...what can I do to help you resolve those old conflicts?

    or

    Is your story a compelling event that you hope will earn some money for the family? (I'm willing to work overtime if we need more money.)

    and

    Will telling your story hurt others...family members, friends, supporters? Could we get sued by anyone who might recognize their role/character in your story? How will your story effect our daughter some day when she reads it?

    Perhaps these kinds of questions need to be answered in your own mind before you approach your husband. Then, when you tell your husband the truth, he should feel secure with your writing. If he doesn't like your answers to those questions, then you have a potential marriage threatening conflict if you write the book. The big question then becomes -- Is my current happiness worth the risk of writing the tale?
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    a good rundown of the potential consequences, salty!

    you should consider them carefully/seriously, raichelle... and deal with them before you start writing...
     
  5. Saigo
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    Saigo Member

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    I agree, the conflicts should be tackled before the writing begins. However, if it turns into a "marriage threatening conflict" then I don't know why you married him, if he knows you're a writer. There's nothing wrong with wanting to experience another route of life not taken. We all think about it, if not openly. It's like going back and playing a videogame a different way, or reading a "choose your own adventure" book and doing a different route. Why do we do these things? because we're curious. And when we have the ability to create our own path not taken, through our writing, there's nothing wrong with it whatsoever. There's nothing wrong with writing your curiosity down on paper, although this is all assuming that that is your intent. If there is a hidden motivation, then you may want to consider not writing it at all.
     
  6. x_raichelle_x
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    x_raichelle_x Contributing Member

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    Thanks guys =]
    I think I'm going to try & write it, see how far I get. If it doesn't work, then it doesn't work but at least I've tried. My husbands only read about 3 books in his entire life so I doubt he'll be sneaking looks when I'm not around.
    No doubt I'll be asking for more help once I've got started haha.
    xxxxx
     
  7. bluebell80
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    bluebell80 Contributing Member

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    :) I've tried the exact same scenario. Writing what my life could have been like if such and such hadn't happened. I never thought twice about what my husband would say, since he wouldn't be reading it anyway...lol He doesn't do dramas, only war/military based novels. Even if I had every gotten it published I doubt he would have read it, or had time to read it!

    The real reason I didn't end up getting much past chapter two, was because I realized my story really wasn't as interesting as I had originally thought. When I realized using my own life as a basis for a fiction world was just plain boring, I gave up on that story. I was too close to it to really write it well. Maybe you'll have a much easier time than I did. Maybe your story is something that isn't boring like mine turned out to be. Maybe you'll get published, but don't be discouraged if you start it and don't finish, because it could be that you are just too connected to the character in the story.

    I base many of my female leads on myself, how I might interact with a situation, but I have founding using my life as a foundation for the situations was just too difficult and uninteresting for me to complete.

    Good luck.
     
  8. JeffS65
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    JeffS65 Contributing Member

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    Depends on your view of the outcome...If it's all happiness and roses, I would suggest your husband would be a little off put and I would suggest that you are actually questioning if your decision was right.

    I would suggest that you write as a juxtaposition of what you are asking now; that you made the decision not to be married, go through those scenarios with a point wherein you start looking at the decision you made (in the novel) not to get married and the regret for that.

    I would think this would be more natural to you now since you noted that you are happy with your life. I think also that kind of reflection back to the decision is a good arc within the story.
     
  9. Operaghost
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    Operaghost Contributing Member

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    This is a difficult one, as everything in your life appears to have gone the way you would have wanted it, where as most stories of this type are the other way around.. (I myself am writing a novel which has similar what if moments, but as a way of maybe things would have been better) However this doesn’t necessarily mean it could be a bad thing, I can’t think of any examples in novels of the top of my head, but take a look at something like It’s a Wonderful Life which shows a dystopian existence caused by the what if situation, , just because you are imaging what life may have been like if you hadn’t taken the same decisions doesn’t mean that everything would have been smelling like roses, maybe not taking a choice could have made things a lot worse for yourself, or even others and this is something you could explore as it will emphasise how good your life is now.
     

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