1. Tomb1302

    Tomb1302 Senior Member

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    Need Help Brainstorming [Sentimental, but useless household objects]

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Tomb1302, Jan 17, 2018.

    Looking for a REALLY sentimental object that one could find in an abandoned house in the post-apocalypse that's useless as far as survival goes, but would be a nice find to stir emotion. I was thinking a family photo or portrait of the family that used to live there. I'm sure there are plenty others, but I just can't seem to find one I'm satisfied with, and I'm sure there's a PERFECT item. Anyone else have any ideas?
     
  2. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Has the Vocabulary of a Well-Educated Sailor. Contributor

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    A child's well-loved doll...So much so that it's used by news journalists as a "go-to" shot to illustrate the fragility of life during natural disasters.

    Baby booties or baby shoes could also work, or a baby hat that was crocheted by the great-great grandmother or someone.

    A special cooking implement could be one as well. In our family it would have been one of my mom's vintage cookbooks I used to learn how to cook, a cookie press we only used at Christmas, or my grandmother's rolling pin.

    Another thing that can be really haunting is a makeup compact or a tube of lipstick...especially if the cosmetic has a fragrance to it. It doesn't get any more personal than that.
     
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  3. izzybot

    izzybot (unspecified) Contributor

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    A stuffed animal or doll?

    Anything related to babies - people tend to get real sentimental over those, I hear.

    Clearly homemade things, like a child's drawing or a poorly-formed clay mug or wonky knit/crochet item.

    Things relating to pets, too.
     
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  4. GlitterRain7

    GlitterRain7 Galaxy Girl Contributor

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    -A dirty, ripped stuffed animal
    -A diary
    -A painting of somewhere in the world pre-apocalypse
    -A newspaper from the day the apocalypse happened or started to happen (major events)
    -A VHS tape or DVD with a working TV in the room (only would work if there's still electricity in the house) The character could put it in and watch it. Same concept if you wanted to do CDs with a CD player
     
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  5. Tomb1302

    Tomb1302 Senior Member

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    How the heavens did I not think of a doll or baby item?!? Thanks guys - These are fantastic!

    However, not too cliche?
     
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  6. Tomb1302

    Tomb1302 Senior Member

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    @GlitterRain7

    Really like the newspaper and diary ideas, but the plot doesn't permit them;)
     
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  7. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin I don't feel tardy.... Staff Supporter Contributor

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    That's as cliche as cliche gets... not to mention cloying. But if that's what you're going for, then by all means proceed.
     
  8. Tomb1302

    Tomb1302 Senior Member

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    No one seems to have mentioned this yet, but considering the MC is a female, could a piece of jewelry be a good shout?
     
  9. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    Where cushions are comfy, and straps hold firm.
    Perhaps an old tea pot?
    Lovers carving in a tree?
    Some small trinket that was a personal gift?
    The lone sock from the dryer?
    IDK...
    Jewelry seems like an old go to for women, so it
    would be a common article to go with. Just because
    it has been done before, it is a tried and true plot
    device in fiction.
     
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  10. Tomb1302

    Tomb1302 Senior Member

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    Very creative :)

    Thank you!
     
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  11. izzybot

    izzybot (unspecified) Contributor

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    Sure, if jewelry means anything to her. Could work for a male character who doesn't wear jewelry, too, if it reminded him of his mother or wife or something. Really I think just about anything could work, as long as it has some way of tying into the mc.
     
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  12. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    Welcome, I try. :D

    I have an MC that might just shed a few tears after another MC gives him
    an old GF's personal console. It is the only thing left of her since well she
    is dead and kinda a frozen puddle with the base after they blew up a freighters
    plasma tanks on Pluto. Though she shot herself before that so...
     
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  13. raine_d

    raine_d Active Member

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    Pretty much anything can evoke sentiment and nostalgia (watch a couple of episodes of Antiques Roadshow on youtube and you'll have several ideas by the end!) but looking at things that a stranger might feel it...

    - one stray page from a letter between lovers or family members

    - a broken locket with a tiny note or picture inside

    - a postcard from a long abandoned theme park or resort, with a faint, hard to read scribbled message

    - old school reports from a long-gone family

    - an old wedding or anniversary invitation

    - a nearly empty perfume bottle with its faint, stale fragrance

    - a half-finished embroidery or piece of knitting (baby clothes might be too obvious, but a scarf, a half-finished toy, a tea cosy...)

    - a very old, obviously loved toy (if you want to add a note of creeeepy, make it an old doll)

    - a handwritten book of family recipe ("Nan's Shortbread", "That Good Old Meatlof") - of course if the book was from now and the finding of it in the future, it might be "Nan's Velveeta and Baked bean Casserole", and "that good fake sushi" but you get the idea)

    - a dirty, homemade mothers' day/birthday card obviously by a very young child

    - a crayon and colored pencil 'superhero' comic by a very young child

    - if the apocalypse happens now and the finding's in the future - a pretty, worn and obviously loved mobile phone case (maybe one with the initials)

    - this is a bit esoteric, but an old video tape or DVD with a label saying "XX's birthday/wedding/last day".... because the finder would probably have no way of actually watching it.

    Don't mind me, I'm appallingly sentimental by nature...

    -
     
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  14. Tomb1302

    Tomb1302 Senior Member

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    Haha these are fantastic! Thank you!
     

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