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  1. CariF

    CariF Member

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    how to break bad news to family?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by CariF, Jan 5, 2020.

    hi so my WIP (work in progress right?) i feel out of touch with the ligo since i've gotten back into writing lol

    the MC is a singer who finds out she has heart failure
    her family history in a nutshell is that her parents were arranged to get married cos of a business merger never loved each other and he ended up having an affair with his wife's cousin who grew up with the wife as orphaned.
    wife dies and the cousin husband, they found out about the affair and ended up having one themselves in a twist they both die in boating accident 1 yr after wife has MC.
    at this point father marries wife cousin.

    MC and father never close and she ran away at 16 to be come a singer not go into family business. So relationship very strained
    at the present she wants to go back home as illness getting worse ...

    how should she tell her cold and unfeeling father she is needing a heart transplant (may die)?
    how would i bring in the fact that he is actually not her real father and he has known it all along?
    was thinking maybe she needs blood transfusion or something and through blood test finds out he's not her father but not sure how possible that is with heart failure? how would she need a blood transfusion? i've not found an answer in my research

    x
     
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  2. CariF

    CariF Member

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    also how would you think you would react to finding out your father isn't your father and both your parents cheated on each other?

    i grew up always knowing my dad wasn't my real dad and have recently found my real dad and we get one so its different not sure how over the top i should be.

    MC is very emotional passionate person but kind and hardworking
     
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  3. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum

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    Hi Cari, and welcome to the forum! I just joined pretty recently myself. One thought that occurs to me, maybe she needs a kidney transplant rather than a blood transfusion. A person can give one kidney, so if she believes her dad is her biological father she might ask him or suggest in a roundabout way that he might donate one.

    I don't know, that does sound kind of weird, and I'm not familiar with hospital protocol for it. Maybe they're having a real shortage on kidneys? Possibly she sort of makes it clear that either dad or mom could donate if they want to keep her alive, you know, without just asking directly and putting them on the spot. Maybe mom can't for some reason, maybe she only has one already (is there some kind of genetically transferrable kidney disease?) so it falls on dear old dad, and that puts him on the spot. Does he come right out and tell her that he's not the real dad? Or does he try to cook up some excuse for why he can't be the donor?

    Could make for a real dramatic scene or 2. But you'd have to look into kidney diseases and see if it's feasible.
     
  4. Thundair

    Thundair Contributor Contributor

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    I would change it from a heart to kidney failure. The tension could be brought in because the father wouldn’t want to expose himself when he was asked by the hospital to offer his daughter one of his kidneys. Give her an allotted time left to live and put the father’s feet to the fire where he has to confess his wayward past. It is a lot like the Mexican Teleovelas we watch in San Diego.
    Wow @Xoic I see we're on the same waveength. You posted while I was in spell check.
     
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  5. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum

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    Great minds and all! I only wonder if heart failure has any special significance, relating to love or something though?
     
  6. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    if you wanted to make it more morally ambiguous you could have the kidney failure be a result of drink or drugs from her runaway singer past ?
     
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  7. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 Senior Member

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    Regarding kidney failure:

    When you are looking for a donor, you have two options, a deceased donor or a living donor.

    Now, the plot issue I see with the kidney transplant option is that she would need to ask her father to be a donor. I can't imagine it usually works that way - usually, the relative would be the one to offer it.

    "Dad, I need a new kidney. Can I have one of yours?"

    Plus, kidney failure doesn't automatically lead to death. She can simply have dialysis - UNLESS she can't afford it because her insurance won't cover it (I wouldn't know how this works).

    Speaking from the POV of someone who actually has kidney failure.
     
  8. CariF

    CariF Member

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    thank you for replying
    the mom is her stepmum as her real mum died in an accident with her lover

    through out her life her father has always been so cold and distant to her, he has always given her food and a roof but not love
    she assumed it was because he was forced to marry her mum when he was in love with her cousin (who is not the 2nd wife)

    she has heart disease that was caused when she contracted a virus on a tour outside the uk.
    so not sure how to bring up the fact he is not her real dad as he has always hidden this
     
  9. CariF

    CariF Member

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    you could be right as i want this to be a dramatic scene in the book
    i think this would be more believable
     
  10. CariF

    CariF Member

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    lol yes its a sick twist as she got her heartbroken by her stepbrother (the stepbrother turns out to be her father's real son and is older so proves he had the affair first)
    and her mother too got heart crushed when she found out her husband was cheating with her own cousin who is more of a sister than cousin so double betrayal

    if i called up my doctor and asked him how i could make the heart failure work would that be too weird?
     
  11. CariF

    CariF Member

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    in my research when dealing with a transplant the closest match would more likely be a relative even distance

    and are you ok? :friend:
     
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  12. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 Senior Member

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    More or less. I just got back from dialysis.

    Although, if she did have to go on dialysis, it would kill her career - she'd have to be hooked up to a dialysis machine 3 times a week for 4 hours. Touring would be difficult.
     
  13. CariF

    CariF Member

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    at the min the MC is clingy to her career as that's the only thing she has control over
     
  14. CariF

    CariF Member

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    another question is ... how would someone react finding out about this?

    i picture her not so devastated as they weren't close, more of a light switch moment explaining all his cold behavior to her but hurt as well and angry for not telling her sooner
     
  15. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    The thing is, people can live with only one (healthy) kidney. (That's what donors do.) So she would have had to have both kidneys diseased, or have lost one earlier. Otherwise they'd just take it out. She wouldn't need dialysis.

    As to the dilemma of how to broach the subject to her father. That will depend on where you are taking this story. Do you plan to build their relationship? Or will she just need to move on, or what? She can't force him to donate a kidney, so his personality and connection with her will need to be explored. This is probably something you, the author, need to figure out ...and I know I certainly can't offer suggestions because I don't know your characters or where you plan to take this story. Try out several options in your head and see which one strikes you as 'right.'

    The great thing about being an author is you can do whatever you want, as long as it ultimately makes sense to the reader. So ...put yourself in her shoes and in the shoes of her father as well. How do you see this developing?
     
  16. CariF

    CariF Member

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    1st.
    yes that's why i thought heart failure as she will eventually need a heart transplant and it can reach a point either she gets too sick and passes before she gets a match or she gets it in the end and lives not sure at the moment which ending i want
    but i want to reach in the story where she has fought and through that the father see's her strength and brings them closer building their relationship - i want there to be literally a life or death situation so the father can break down and realise how much he actually does love her even though not his blood child, in many cases a lot of people realise that when they lose someone or is about to

    2nd.
    i've thought about how to reveal she's sick, after a hospital appointment she realises her situation is much more serious and starts to want to die knowing she did all she could to 'fix' her relationship with her dad so comes up with a reason to go back home. instead of telling them straight away about her illness she hides it, not wanting them to feel sorry for her and to try get close to her father without thinking he's only allowing it cos she's sick. i'm thinking to get to the point in the story where they are opening up to each other but father still resisting a little and that's when
    1. she finds out she is not his real daughter or
    2. he caused her mother's death and is partially to blame for her death or
    3. something more dramatic depending where i take it
    leads to a massive fight between them and she has a heart attack causing her to be rushed to hospital where they (her family) find out she's sick.

    3rd.
    father's character, at the start he's portrayed as a cold unfeeling person very stern and strict thats how MC see's him towards her but he is different with her younger siblings who he had with his 2nd wife the love of his life so i want to build his character in a way that MC finds why he is the way he is effectively bringing that wall around him down piece by piece - will it be too late, will the MC die before? this is the feeling i want the reader to have till the end and not everything it what it seems there's real reasons for how he is so i want there to be revelations through out the book for each character.
     
  17. CariF

    CariF Member

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    thank you to all the responses its given me more things to think of to make the story have more depth
     

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