1. AlexaRobyns
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    AlexaRobyns New Member

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    Why is a character ageless?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by AlexaRobyns, Jul 9, 2012.

    So, I have this one character. Technically, at the start of the story she is 21. BUT about five years before the story started, when she was 16, something happened to her that caused her to stop ageing. And I have no idea how this happens. I kind of need this so my timeline works out.
    Now, she lives in a world with fairies, magic, vampires, werewolves, and such. She doesn't want to talk about it, so it's probably something bad. She could have been cursed, hexed, tricked, I have no idea. If anyone could give some input that would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Mmm this is a pretty important part in your story. And it's up to you to decide how you're going to take it - you've come up with some ideas - her becoming tricked , cursed or put under a spell.
    I think what's most important though, is how does this link into your story?
    If a witch put a curse on her - is she looking to become uncursed? What are the characters' goals? If a fairy put a spell on her, why? Does someone have a grudge against her , did someone admire her and want her to become part of their world? Does she want to escape this world?
     
  3. Complex
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    Complex Senior Member

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    I have this limited to a matter of bloodline in my story. Physical traits give it away as well. Though a bloodbond is a way in which a mortal character can be sent 'outside of time's flow' in which they stop aging entirely. The effects aren't pretty, but it can affect anyone, even children. Some are born with the blood and when it activates or is activated they are 'set' to that age. Though I've previously used pure magic or crystals as ways in which a character can trade themselves for power; usually at very heavy expenses because the power is so desired. You could go the whole 'Potion of Youth thing' as well, but it might have a setting effect in which they simply don't age after drinking it.

    I'm a bit dark about such things, the offer being extended is really a curse or means to a certain end. A certain individual wanted a child spy; ruining his life in the process. The whole 'Mommy's little girl' thing is common enough that someone locked at the age of 4 or 5 (mentally stops growing as well) to serve as a pet/doll. Though it is occasionally given as a 'gift' for assisting the immortal characters, making sure that their desirable mortal friends and servants stick around in servitude.

    Though let's just stop there before we delve into some of the sickening things about having an age-locked partner that's usefulness is purely sexual or in a preferable state. *cough*Edward/Bella*cough* Would Edward like a 60 year old Bella? Not if he can have the eternal youth Bella instead. Or in the Atelier series with Astrid's Potion of Youth which age-locks a character at 8 by overshooting the potency, makes jokes about sending the MC back to diapers with it and eventually making everyone 'the ideal age'. Oh yeah, mentality and memory goes with the potion in this case, so 8 year old = airhead and selfish for that affected character.

    Sounds like you just want the 'no more aging' affect. Which legendary tales once told that 'age' could be put into a box to prevent the subject from aging, but the tale said opening the box gave back all those years as a puff of white smoke. Perhaps that could be useful with fairy, mystical types.
     
  4. AlexaRobyns
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    AlexaRobyns New Member

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    In the story, she knew the MC's older sister and his father, which could only work out if she was older than the MC (since the MC's mother ran away from that world and her husband and daughter). In my mind it worked out if she somehow just didn't age. That way she could be in the story and be the age of the rest of the major characters but she would have her back story of knowing them.

    Also, during the course of the story she doesn't really care that she can't age. Even when she begins to care about it she knows that nothing can help her. It's more or less just a plot thing so I can keep my timeline that way it is and not make a lot of drastic changes.
     
  5. Complex
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    Complex Senior Member

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    Sounds like a crutch then. Unless the flow of time in the world is different, but if you want 5 years of memories and such, then I don't see it happening without having the character age 5 years mentally, possibly more if the situation is rough, so much so that she may not be like her old self by the end of it.
     
  6. AlexaRobyns
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    AlexaRobyns New Member

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    It's more or less that she looks like she's sixteen and she's looked like that for the past five years. Her body just stopped growing and just stayed put at that age. I feel mentally she is 21 since she does act more mature then her friends, who are all teenagers.
     
  7. noodlepower
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    noodlepower Member

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    Based off that, my advice is alter your timeline. In writing, we may have everything worked out just like we want it and then realize - hmm, that's not going to work. So writers edit their work. I've re-written entire histories for characters just because I wanted something to happen earlier or later in the story. It's work, yeah, but it's satisfying when I have things the way I want them.

    Instead of making her ageless, why not just make it so looks younger than what she really is? People thought I looked 12 when I was 21. I even had an officer demand to see my license because he said I didn't look old enough to drive once. Since you don't want to alter your timeline and you don't seem to really care why she's ageless, just write her as appearing younger than what she really is.
     
  8. AlexaRobyns
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    AlexaRobyns New Member

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    The only thing with making her appear younger than she really is, she doesn't really have any family so she lives with one of her dad's friends. If she became eighteen there is no reason for her to live there. Since she lives there she knows all of her friends (who are all about four/five years younger then her), but if she still 'grew up' then there would be no reason for them to be her friends and she could be friends with people her age. I feel like if she still 'grew up' then she would have no place in the story, she go from being a much more main character to a side character, like someone who knew about the MC's sister and the MC went to go and see. Since she would have moved out and gone on with her life instead of being there with the rest of the characters.

    I might just have my heart set on this whole 'not ageing' concept since I have always seen her with it. XD
     
  9. Ettina
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    Ettina Active Member

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    Making her unaging wouldn't solve that. She'd still be over 18 mentally, and looking 16 is close enough to adult that she could pass as a regular adult if she had the right ID (which she would, given that she's actually that age).

    However, there's no problem with a young adult living with a parent's friend. Maybe she's a roommate or can't afford the rent for her own place. Maybe she's somewhat immature emotionally, which would both give her a reason to have younger friends and a reason not to be on her own. Maybe she dropped out of school and now she's trying to get her high school diploma, so she's going to school with them even though she's older. Or maybe she's at school as a job instead of a student - too young to be a teacher, but she could be a teacher aide or a janitor or something. Or she has a job at the local teen hangout.

    Seriously, all the problems you raise are both surmountable without making her unaging and not really helped by making her unaging. Unless she's been in stasis or something, she will have aged mentally either way. And there is no reason why people can't have differently-aged friends.

    One last possibility: is it possible when she was younger she preferred friends around 5 years older? Many kids prefer older friends, because of poor social skills (older kids can be more forgiving because they'll attribute it to the kid being younger), being more used to spending time with adults (eg homeschooled), entering puberty earlier, being intellectually gifted, etc. That way, she could be the same age as the others and yet still have known the MC's sister and father when she was 10-11 or so.
     
  10. AlexaRobyns
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    AlexaRobyns New Member

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    Well... it could work. It might take some writing magic but maybe that could work.

    Also, thank you guys for all of your suggestions so far.
     

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