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  1. lzalut70

    lzalut70 New Member

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    Help me think of a plot set at a medieval french convent

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by lzalut70, Apr 21, 2020.

    Hey guys! I need some help thinking of a plot for after a very intelligent young women gets sent to a medieval convent in France, partially against her will. I have the character mostly in mind but need help generating plot ideas. It is based on the historical characters of Heloise and Abelard. My story starts after Heloise is sent to the convent by Abelard after they are secretly married. I want Heloise to learn to cut ties with Abelard, and because of historical events, she cannot leave the convent. So what could happen after she arrives? I want her to end up finding relative freedom in the society of only women and nuns, while still remaining historically believable.
     
  2. Oxymaroon

    Oxymaroon Contributor Contributor

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    Why do you want to cut her off? Just wondering. If I recall, their correspondence is one of the icons of romantic literature, and taking refuge in the convent was her own idea. She might not have wanted to take the veil - but what were her options?
    You might consider Sister Plautilla Nelli for inspiration. She's a famous painter now. Maybe your heroine has a Sister Superior who encourages creative endeavour in her flock, and she becomes a great inventor or writes great poetry anonymously.
    Such unconventional, even disobedient abbesses did exist - still do, I think - and generally came into conflict with the Vatican.
    That could be a plot.
     
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  3. lzalut70

    lzalut70 New Member

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    Last edited: Apr 22, 2020
  4. lzalut70

    lzalut70 New Member

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    Thanks for your response! That's super helpful. Let me clarify what I should have said: instead of actively cutting ties, I want her to let the correspondence die for two reasons. First because of how supremely whiny Abelard becomes, deflecting Heloise's declarations of love and pleas for help. Eventually he does give her direction of how to handle the convent though, which is good of him, and also a helpful resource for me. The other reason is that their correspondence does eventually fall of historically so I might as well use it.
     
  5. Oxymaroon

    Oxymaroon Contributor Contributor

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    Ah, I see. It's an interesting setting for a novel. Not much, except pap has been written about nuns, efaik, since The Devils of Loudon. Except for a very amusing interlude in a Tom Robbins novel. Anyway, here is another rebellion story https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=4090 from the recent past.
    Behind cloister walls, you can do pretty much anything you like, as long as you're true to the period - it's a micro-world apart .
     

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