1. Inquisitor Ehrenstein
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    Inquisitor Ehrenstein Member

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    Working on the plot for a story about Kevin's difficulties and his friend

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Inquisitor Ehrenstein, Apr 27, 2013.

    I had the idea of writing a story about my characters Kevin and Alex, and their relationship and his difficulties. Kevin is an extremely awkward boy who has a lot of social problems. His friend Alex also has problems, but since she has a boyfriend while he has never had a girlfriend, he views her as a social genius. He has a variety of social problems, and Alex tries to help him through the. However, sometimes he just doesn't get it, or thinks she isn't doing enough to help him. She tries to point out in such circumstances that she can only help him, not do stuff for him. When they get to college, she invites him to parties and helps him make friends. She eventually finds him girlfriend, but they do not have a long or meaningful relationship together. Kevin's attitude rapidly increases as Alex helps him become socially successful, but starts to plateau toward the middle of college. Kevin only has two girlfriends during sophomore year. During his last year, he makes far fewer friends, and the time since his last relationship with a girl begins to take its toll. Alex tries to help him, but he doesn't respond well to her invitations and attempts to engage him with other people. He begins to backslide into the terrible days before college when he was constantly lonely and when he had all sorts of crazy ideas to "protect" Alex, and he used white knighting as a way to try to make himself appealing to girls. Alex always trusts him because of how well she knows him. The winter after they graduate, his actions cause her to think that he took advantage of her, even though he did not. This is extremely devastating for her, and devastating for him because he cared a lot about her as a friend and relied on her, and also because he does not want to see her suffer.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A story concept means nothing. What matters is how you write it: the characterization, the flow, the imagery, all of it.

    There's absolutely no benefit in asking what other people think of the concept! They'll either say,"Sounds great," or, "it sounds like a ripoff of..."

    If the idea stirs you, write it. Then ask people what they think of the final story. After they tell you what they don't like about it, revise it, usually several times, until you're happy with it or until you throw up your hands and say the hell with it.

    Please read What is Plot Creation and Development?
     
  3. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    By your title here and other posts I was convinced your story was a bout 2 guys and it threw me to find out Alex is a girl - just throwing that out there...
     
  4. Xatron
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    Xatron Contributing Member

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    Did I miss a question inside all that?
     
  5. AuroraJenkins
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    AuroraJenkins Member

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    I think it's a pretty decent plot, though it gets a little muddled near the end. I think I get what you're saying, about Alex having a few social problems but still being better off than Kevin. That's kind of how I am, actually... I'm a bit of a loner at school, but I have my own group to hang out with. The only issue is, only the weirdest guys in the school are attracted to me :p Like, the ones who have Asperger's syndrome or have creepy stalker-ish tendencies or just aren't very attractive so the more popular girls turn them down. So I can sympathize with Alex because she has Kevin hanging onto her all the time and trying to get her to help him make friends/girlfriends.

    I think you should start writing this and just see what happens. If you like where it's going, go farther with it. If not, maybe take a break and re-think a few aspects of your idea.

    Good luck!
     
  6. Inquisitor Ehrenstein
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    Inquisitor Ehrenstein Member

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    Thanks

    Heinrich and Alex are both based on me and one or two of my friends. I'd also summarize them as Heinrich being like me in the phyisical world and Alex being like me on the internet. They're both rational and they both have problems either way.

    I can understand what it's like to attract the really weird kids, especially the ones with Asperger's Syndrome. Plus the school tends to want to put you irrationally with other Asperger's kids. There was a kid with very unacceptable behavior who was always following me, and extremely puzzled why his friends didn't have girlfriends because they were "great guys." One of them... not getting into it here. Heinrich is going to have experiences like that, around the time that he meets Alex.

    Alex wants to help Kevin, but she doesn't like the way she has to repeat herself and how he has the same problems with being weird, or how he seems to refuse to accept for follow her advice. There's one scene I wrote in German where Alex tries to get him to talk to a girl at a baseball game who is next to him, and he refuses saying that she's 17 when he's 18, and so they wouldn't be able to have sex. He also says it's a "bad time" and Alex tries to tell him that he should just talk to her. She eventually gets so exaspirated that she yells at him and he starts trying to hide his face because he's afraid the girl will think he's a pervert.
     
  7. Xatron
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    Xatron Contributing Member

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    Quick question: Who the heck is Heinrich? I thought your story was about Kevin and Alex.
     
  8. Inquisitor Ehrenstein
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    Inquisitor Ehrenstein Member

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    Heinrich is Alex's boyfriend. Kevin isn't Alex's boyfriend. He tries to though. He eventually starts trying to convince Alex that she should leave Heinrich because he's "dangerous" and instead should be with him. Kevin actually believes that Heinrich is dangerous. Heinrich and his friends made fun of Kevin's creepy stories about the severity of rape, and Kevin comes to the conclusion that they're at risk for becoming rapists because they're making light of his stories. The stories were also initially suggested by Heinrich as a way of introducing drama, but Kevin just made them really creepy. One scene is interpreted as Kevin as a girl and Alex as a guy, which causes a lot of concern. Kevin is genuinely horrified by the severity of rape, but comes across as creepy when writing stories about how bad it is.

    One thing I'm considering is whether Kevin should go to Alex's parents and tell them that he's concerned about Heinrich, and feels that Alex is in a potentially very abusive relationship.

    When Alex tells Kevin she wants to help him socially, he interprets it as her handing him social interaction on a silver plate.
     
  9. AuroraJenkins
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    AuroraJenkins Member

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    I like the idea of Kevin going to Alex's parents and being concerned about Heinrich, but actually being mistaken about something. However, the whole "rape stories" thing is actually creeping me out just a little. Idk why. It might work as long as it stays for the most part politically correct... But you might want to make up a different reason for Kevin to be concerned about Heinrich.
     
  10. suddenly BANSHEES
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    suddenly BANSHEES Contributing Member

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    I have to ask, what do you mean by "rape stories"? Is Kevin trying to raise awareness by writing about it, and Heinrich is taking it as a joke or something?

    Like Cog said, a concept is just a concept, and it's impossible to say whether a concept is "good" or "bad" on it's own. It sounds like this story and Kevin's character can be either interesting or just plain uncomfortable, depending on how it's handled. Socially awkward characters are tricky, because you run the risk of them just causing secondhand embarrassment for some of the readers, so be careful.

    Are you familiar with the film Submarine? It was based on a novel of the same name, but I haven't read it yet so I'm not sure how similar they are. But the protagonist is an awkward teenage boy who often misunderstands the people around him, and has strange ways of dealing with his problems. Sometimes it's frustrating to watch, other times it's (in my opinion) kind of cute and charming, and all around he's an interesting character. I'd definitely recommend watching it to see how his character was handled.
     
  11. Inquisitor Ehrenstein
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    Inquisitor Ehrenstein Member

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    I'll change the story if it weirds people out, because I'm very much concerned about that. A story about a character who writes stories that weird people out; plenty of potential to make it seem weird. The intent of Kevin's stories is to try to spread awareness about the effects of rape, but it comes across as creepy. I was thinking that Heinrich could initially suggest writing a story about a girl who is raped as a way of creating serious conflict and tension in the story, but then Kevin goes and writes a story that weirds everyone out. I was thinking that part of it would be that people interpret the story him and Alex. She also points out that people get uncomfortable when someone like him who is desperate to get laid talks about rape, because it seems like he's getting off to it. Because Kevin takes the story incredibly seriously, he tells everyone else that their behavior is disturbing. He also doesn't really see why other people consider his stories disturbing.
     
  12. Inquisitor Ehrenstein
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    Inquisitor Ehrenstein Member

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    I'm going to work on the situation between Kevin and Alex when he tells her parents about how he thinks Heinrich is dangrous. I think it would be a really great moment for the story. I think the way that Alex would react would be very good. I think her reaction would be to conclude that Kevin is just doing it as a way to break them up so that he can then go out with Alex and eventually have sex with her, and he would have to then try to convince her that he really had been caring for her, while she would be unsure whether it's really accurate.
     

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