1. Renee J
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    Renee J Contributing Member

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    Would this bother you if you dated a widow?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Renee J, Oct 24, 2013.

    I'm writing a bitter sweet love story between a woman newly widowed and a man who feels compelled to help her. Eventually, in the book they fall for each other and sleep together. I wrote a scene where she didn't feel right sleeping with him in her bed that she shared with her husband. Her new love is hurt by this. (This is complicated by the fact he believes she is clinging to him to avoid grief.) After I wrote this, however, I thought that he would also feel weird about being in her bed. Would it make sense that he doesn't mind? Or would it be more realistic that he wants to avoid that room?
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Neither one makes more or less sense than the other. You can write it either way and it would be plausible.
     
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  3. Tara
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    Tara Contributing Member

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    Like most things this depends on what your character is like; some people would feel one way, others would feel another way.
     
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  4. Komposten
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    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I ditto that! It depends fully on the personality of the character. Some people would not give a damn about it while others would never do such a thing. Either should work, so just keep to whatever fits the story best in your opinion.
     
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  5. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    If he has a soul, yes he would care.
     
  6. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I agree with this completely because it's true and because it speaks to a deeper question. Either way is perfectly plausible. Either choice is very "makable". Both choices can speak to who he is as a person from a number of different angles, not just two. What choice would he make, given the kind of person he is, and why?
     
  7. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    You could really explore this issue if he talks with someone and they discuss this very subject -- like his best friend or brother or someone, and the other guy says he couldn't do that, he'd feel weird, etc..
     
  8. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Me personally, I would always feel like I was trying to fill someone else's shoes, because there was no closure in their relationship. Of course that's just my opinion.
     
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  9. DeathandGrim
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    DeathandGrim Contributing Member

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    Depends on if I feel the ghost of her Husband staring down at my Johnson

    But more importantly I'd feel like I was the rebound guy and that she may just be using me for comfort
     
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  10. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    @Renee J It shouldn't really matter to your story and characters whether there is some sort of general concensus on what they do or feel in a situation. The reactions of your character can be whatever you feel would progress your story in the direction you choose. Not "what your characters want", because no matter how much we love our characters they are not actually entities of their own...

    Your characters may exist, in a way, extra-textually - in your notes and thoughts, and (eventually) as creations of your readers' imaginations. But I think you should always keep in mind that only what is in the text actually communicates with the reader. The reader is almost certainly going to have a moral opinion on you characters' actions - (s)he may even fail to understand the issue completely (Why is Raskolnikov so upset about killing the old lady?) or will find moral problems where writer had none (Why is Robinson such a racist?).

    I believe you should worry about concistency - the character needs to be represented as a whole potential, with flows, doubts, ambiguities etc. Even if you choose to be inconsistent in your representation (with anachronisms, fake turns and seemingly irrelevant details) a sense of "consistent" (deliberate, artistic) inconsistency is what the reader is going to need in your story...

    That said -I'd make the widow sell the house and move in with me :D
     
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  11. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    This!

    One aspect of consistency you may want to consider is how quickly she wants to sleep with him, given her squeamishness about where. Such squeamishness could suggest that there should be a longer time period before she allows herself a sexual liaison. But it doesn't have to. The squeamishness could be the way that she rationalizes the act of sleeping with another man ("I'm not being disloyal since we didn't do it in our bed"). As @Wreybies, @GingerCoffee and @Burlbird have said, it's all in how you write it.

    This, btw, is why I never create characters outside the realm of the story. The best characters are the ones who are complex, reacting at times in ways we might not expect them to act. I find that allowing the flow of the story's events to shape them allows me to make them more nuanced and, in the end, more believable. If I get too locked in that a character is of a certain type, that won't happen.

    One final comment, @Renee J - my own father died when my mother was 40. His best friend had been divorced three years earlier. Shortly after the funeral, he came by to see how my mom was doing. She'd never learned to drive, so he taught her, and when she passed her driver's test, he helped her pick out a used car. A few months later, we moved into my grandmother's house, and he helped with the move. The following autumn, he asked her to some social event. They started dating. Two years and two months after my father died, they got married. For some, that might be way too soon. It's an individual thing. In our family, it felt just right.

    BTW, my stepfather just passed away a few weeks ago. He and my mom had 42 great years together.
     
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  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you're the writer, they're your characters... and they'll do whatever you want them to do in order to make your story work... no one else knows what your story is, so can't really give you a valid opinion re what your characters should do/feel...

    as noted by posters above, the answer depends totally on the character of your characters... and that's in your hands alone...
     
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