1. radkovelli

    radkovelli New Member

    Oct 12, 2015
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    Is this too cliche?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by radkovelli, Aug 5, 2016.

    I've been tossing ideas around, so nothing's set in stone, but so far I definitely want bullying to be a theme in my story. My main character suffers from OCD, and has been teased for his compulsions his whole life.

    An idea popped into my head that maybe the person who bullies him also has OCD, however, I'm starting to feel like this is very cliche. I also wouldn't know what the bully's motive would be then, if he also suffered from the same mental disorder.

    I'm just sort of stuck at the moment, because I'd love to write a story that focuses on bullying and OCD, as the topics are very near and dear to my heart, I just lack a plot to carry the themes along.

    Any suggestions or criticism is very much so encouraged, so thank you in advance. :)

    Any tips on how to lessen the cliche-ness behind that idea?

    Thank you!
  2. I.A. By the Barn

    I.A. By the Barn A very lost time traveller Contributor

    Oct 26, 2015
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    I personally don't like bullying stories as they can't have many differences to other bullying stories. Either bully becomes friends with victim, learns his lesson or we have a deep insight into the bully's mind and why he does it.
    Soo, to pull this off well you need to think of some other sort of conclusion for the bully which is really up to you.
    I can't really help here, sorry!
  3. FireWater

    FireWater Senior Member

    May 29, 2016
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    A lot of stories have situations where two characters are inverse/parallels of each other. Think about Jon Snow and Ramsay Bolton in Game of Thrones -- both are "bastards" (which is a big stigma in that story's universe), both have similar physical appearances, both have leadership roles in the North, and there's a lot of other ways where they're deliberately similar. But one is a hero and the other is a villain, and they're like the yin and yang to each other. But, despite all the similarities they have while also being opposites, the author George R. Martin doesn't explicitly bring this up, or have the characters discuss their similarities/differences.

    I think that having the bully have OCD can work if it's handled in a way that allows the reader to observe and conclude this for themselves. But it becomes cheesy and cliche, IMO, if they have some kind of "heartwarming" moment where they discuss how they both have it, or if it's treated as some kind of groundbreaking monumental discovery.
    SethLoki and I.A. By the Barn like this.
  4. Goldenclover179

    Goldenclover179 Banned

    Apr 20, 2016
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    I might be wrong, so don't take my word for it, but I'm pretty sure OCD isn't a thing that people get bullied for. A couple of my friends are OCD (not internet diagnosed, they're actually OCD) and it's not a huge part of their lives. They've never been bullied for it and I've never heard of anyone being bullied for OCD. It's like someone being bullied for ADD, it just doesn't really happen.
    But again, I could be wrong.
  5. KhalieLa

    KhalieLa It's not a lie, it's fiction. Contributor

    Sep 11, 2015
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    United States
    Forget the bullies.

    Ok, don't forget them, but push them a little to the side for a moment. Focus on how the community around them responds and how this feeds the aggressor/victim situation.

    OCD, in it's milder forms, isn't a bad thing and is often rewarded. After all, you certainty want your brain surgeon to be OCD about getting that surgery right! What if one of them has an expression of OCD that is viewed as positive, and thus his/her awful behavior gets ignored by the community at large because it's part of his/her genius, and the other has a negative expression and so is constantly being chided and derided? There's your story.

    Shoot for something that will knock the audience's socks off, like they did with Sixth Sense or A Beautiful Mind. Make the pivot point in the middle of the story cause you to question everything you know about the characters up to that point, so that the reader will always see them differently in the latter part of the book. The diagnosis of mental illness should be the grand revelation. The bully isn't great, the victim isn't awful, society was simply ignorant and making a bad situation worse.

    And if you're really up for following along the lines of all those dark themes Scandinavian books, leave the audience feeling helpless to change anything. The moral of the story: Life sucks and will continue to do so into perpetuity. Or you could go the way of Hermann Hesse in Steppenwolf and just leave us all confused.
    Yoav and I.A. By the Barn like this.
  6. Selbbin

    Selbbin The Moderating Cat Staff Contributor

    Oct 16, 2012
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    I'm not following. What's the story actually about?

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