1. Princetarbos

    Princetarbos New Member

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    Writing a romance that came from an initially toxic place.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Princetarbos, Apr 27, 2021.

    If you’d like a long explanation of the concept, click on this lovely like right here! (link deleted by mod)

    if you’d like a short explanation. There’s these two characters, Andrew Brown (15M when they first meet) and Amanda Chepiga (15F when they first meet). They’re 2 manor characters in a YA teen drama series I’m doing for fun.

    when they first meet. Amanda bullies Andrew because she can and likes it. This happens until Andrew stands up and says enough, she gets into bad scenario. Andrew doesn’t like seeing people suffer and tries to help out. Two start talking, two become friends, two begin to get close and intimate, two develop feelings, and two start dating.

    also, Amanda he’s to redeem herself with everyone else (pretty long arc there).

    this is heavily abridged.

    but I’m worried that having the past might give off the wrong idea about bullying and the perpetrators and victims. I’m in no way trying to say bullying is anything but horrendous and awful. But I do feel it makes the plot more coherent and gives everyone more to do!

    So that’s about it. Tell me what you think, and if you have a better idea, feel free to share!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 27, 2021
  2. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    What do you mean by manor characters? Minor maybe?

    It's fairly common for somebody who likes somebody else to tease them or even go a bit farther, because making yourself vulnerable by showing you like them is scary. Look at how often a romance starts with the main characters seeming to hate each other but it turns out it was part of the courtship ritual, which often begins with apparent fighting. Once you've fought with somebody you're on a deeper level of communication and honesty that you don't reach by being polite. I've seen a lot of good friendships start with a fight and sometimes with bullying. Often once they've become friends the bully then becomes a protector of the former victim.
    How serious is the bullying?

    Also, I think if it's made clear that the girl bullies him in the beginning because she's not a person who's comfortable showing affection, or maybe if she ever opened up and showed any soft emotions at home she'd get bullied for it, then it puts her character in a completely different light. But again, it comes down to how serious is the bullying?

    Like so many other things, bullying has been oversimplified in today's strange atmosphere. Every time somebody is disrespectful or mean to somebody else it isn't necessarily bullying. It's often just normal life stuff, it's how some people relate because people have issues and don't know how to express feelings. Or sometimes the 'victim' is somebody who's overly sensitive.

    Of course, sometimes it is bullying. But these days many people have no nuance for such things.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2021
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  3. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Funky like your grandpa's drawers.... Staff Contributor

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    I wouldn't sweat it. Bullying is a part of life and will never go away. If it makes the story interesting, use it.
     
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  4. Princetarbos

    Princetarbos New Member

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    I meant Major. Sorry about they typo

    The concept is that she usually harassed him, attempting to irk him for a response. She’s usually say things to piss him off, like insult his friends, insult him, his interests, etc.. And if he doesn’t respond, she’ll usually pin him against a pillar, locker, or whatever else she can find. Once hear, she’ll do anything to get a reaction or embarrass him. One thing about Andrew is that he’s very sensitive to touch and similar stimuli. So she’d grab his cheeks or pull on his hair, and one one occasion, pushing her body up against his, restraining his movement. This caused Andrew to freak out and bite her ear. After she got free, she kicked him in the groin.

    (I should also mention that Andrew is Autistic, and has a history with physical restriction. So it doesn’t sit well with him)

    This occurred until the fight mentioned in the doc, I go into greater detail there!
     
  5. Princetarbos

    Princetarbos New Member

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    Since I left it out, I’ll also talk about Amanda’s backstory.

    Amanda is an orphan that’s had to bounce between 2 families in her lifetime, the first lasted from when she was 8 to the time she was 13. This family didn’t really care too much about her, favoring the money over the child. During this time, she didn’t really have too much of anyone in her life, even her parents weren’t really there, only really feeding her and occasionally giving her attention. She had to learn to fight and care for herself. This time period ended when her neighbors at her home (some of the few people there for her) found out what was happening and compiled enough evidence to get the state involved.

    the second home (her current home) genuinely cares for her, and is trying to set her up for therapy, and help take care of her. But the damage has been done. So there’s another part of her arc (accepting this family)
     
  6. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    OK, so it doesn't sound like it's very serious bullying for the most part*, more like just some harassment as you said, except for the complication that he's autistic and very sensitive. But this makes for a very interesting combination I think. Because of her very direct and very physical approach, she doubtless gets his attention and holds it, even forces him to pay attention when he otherwise probably wouldn't.

    The autism does complicate things. On one hand it will make most people immediately feel protective for him, and see her as a monster. But as I said, it might just get her into his world in a way nobody else is capable of doing. Like I said, treating people politely is a form of distancing and prevents things from getting real. So as it turns out, if the school would have interfered and prevented the 'bullying', the connection would never have happened, and the boy would probably remain alone.

    * Except for the groin kick, depending on how it was intended. It could be meant to hurt or it could actually be a rather direct and brutal sexual move. Again, many people would be shocked and see it only as bullying, but reality often works in mysterious ways, it can't be codified and categorized according to simplified rules of polite behavior.
     
  7. marshipan

    marshipan Contributor Contributor

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    Sounds about on par for most enemies to lovers romance. Bully romance is a huge thing within the enemies to lovers trope. Sounds like you already have a redemption arc planned for Amanda (which is definitely necessary in bully romance stuff) so I don't see any issues. With the redemption arc I don't think anyone will think you are promoting bullying, especially since it sounds like the characters don't get together until after the bullying takes place.
     
  8. SlayerC79

    SlayerC79 Active Member

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    Not to denigrate, but you do want an honest opinion:

    It sounds like a strange story. (Yes, I read the google doc) It's kinda like a mish-mash of "A walk to remember", "The Breakfast Club", "Romeo and Juliet" and "Twilight".

    People are fine when it's Werewolves and Vampires fighting and beating the cheddar out of each other, but when it's children? Human children? I don't think many people would get on board. If anything, they'd think you were glorifying violence.

    But hey, go for it, if it's just for fun then it's all good. In writing, all experience is invaluable. :)
     
  9. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    This occurred to me last night after switching off my computer—how bad the bullying is depends largely on the boy's reaction to it. If he freaks out and cries or screams but she persists, then it's pretty serious and will be hard to make people accept her change of heart later.
     
  10. Princetarbos

    Princetarbos New Member

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    Good point! I’ll just have her react in a “what the hell” manner.
     
  11. Princetarbos

    Princetarbos New Member

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    he usually responds by trying to deescalate the situation or trying to reason with her. Though she wants a more volatile interaction.

    the only time he really freaks out is when she restricts his movement that one time. (Instead of biting her ear, he head-buts her)

    he gets aggressive and assertive his words once free.
     
  12. Princetarbos

    Princetarbos New Member

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    Yeah, my main inspiration before this was stuff like shounen and seinin anime and manga (largely JoJo part 4 and Golden Age Berserk), the DCAU, King Of The Hill, Scott Pilgrim VS The World, etc. (mostly in terms hot how the characters interact and how crazy it can get).

    I should probably tone it down a bit, any recommendations for moods I should fallow?
     
  13. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    That sounds like it should work. And it really does seem like she might be the one person able to break through to him, they seem to be a good match.
     
  14. SlayerC79

    SlayerC79 Active Member

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    Yikes! I need to consult my Nephew for all those Anime references. ;)

    If this was in anime form you could get away with it, especially if the characters were adults.

    Honestly, I don't know. It's not really my genre. Mine is more psychological horror and romance (not at the same time).

    Maybe you could incorporate "spirit bodies" and make it a little more supernatural. And maybe turn the cult into a supernatural cult. Like Pokemon for ghosts. ;)
     

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