1. Accelerator231

    Accelerator231 Active Member

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    Writing about worried parents

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Accelerator231, Jan 6, 2020.

    Or a mother. Protip: She's african-american, having been born after the civil rights movement. She's 35 years old, living with a single daughter who takes after her father. Most people don't realize that they're related.

    Here's the thing. She's in poverty, living in what is called 'The Projects', a hotbed of crime, poverty, and other urban social ills. She works at a grocery store, from 9 to 5, and often overtime. She doesn't really have energy to do much parenting, which is why she's so glad that her daughter (Pacifica) is so mature and so self-sufficient.

    Which is why she got worried when she realized that her daughter was hiding things.

    The first thing was the money. Not just that. Pacifica got them new clothes, saying that she got them on sale. Then she got them good food. Really good food. Actual nourishing food that isn't processed crap. Then came the home repairs. Then the new phone and laptop. Her daughter somehow signed up a plan where she had infinite calls and mobile data. When several months ago they were using food stamps and just barely surviving. Being constantly on the edge (and more than once being homeless) she didn't question their sudden turn of good fortune. Too tired from overwork.

    Then came the rumours. She asked her daughter's friend about a trip to Nepal where her daughter went to for 2 weeks and the friend simply said there was no such trip. Then she asked her, and the friend, uneasy, said that there were rumours of her daughter hanging out with and associating with... adult men. And getting money from them.

    She asks around, more. Pacifica had been seen with squads of men of military bearing, and also disappearing in the more urban and more desolate parts of the city for hours at a time. She contacted the landlord, and he admitted that the reason why he hadn't asked for rent for a year was because her daughter had been paying it to him. And carrying out repairs, to boot.

    She asked around even more, and rumours said that Pacifica had been sighted getting into a car with a stranger, moving out of the city, then coming back several hours later. More and more rumours. That she's wrapped up in drugs. That she's basically being a wh*re.

    The climax comes when her daughter is shot by a mugger as she shields her, 3 bullets hitting her body. A dozen men armed with military grade rifles came rushing in, and basically turned the mugger into swiss cheese, shouting how 'The Boss was down' and 'holy shit, kill him!'. And then disappearing into the night after checking that her daughter wasn't bleeding to death.

    And after that, her daughter got up...... less than 24 hours later. Of course, being exceedingly worried, she missed her job... and got fired. Basically, their income drained down to nothing. No employment? No food stamps.

    Which was why she was surprised when she got several thousand dollars sent to her. In cash.

    So her daughter is... what? In drugs? Whoring? Sex trade? With a criminal organisation? But that doesn't fit in....

    Spoiler alert:
    Her daughter's fine, and not doing anything too illegal. She got superpowers, and has been using it to make money. And invading other dimensions for salvaging operations. It's her mercenaries that rescued her that fateful night, and its her money that was paying for, well, everything.

    But the mother doesn't know that. So what would she do?
     
  2. CariF

    CariF New Member

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    put a tracker on her daughter's phone? i swear I've heard there's apps you can use to track where a person is they just need link it to your phone

    put a listening device somewhere or on something her daughter takes with her everywhere like a handbag?

    look up tips to spy on someone (her daughter)? but just as she's about to find out her daughter manages to slip away to build suspense

    try hack into her daughter's social media or phone? would the mother be clever enough to do that?
     
  3. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Benevolent Ochlocrat Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I understand your question, but I hate to say that you lost me somewhere around the new phone and laptop with infinite data. Mom's tired from overwork, but when her daughter starts bringing home that kind of tech she's going to know straight up that her daughter is into something bad. And a trip to Nepal? People in those kind of economic straits dream about a trip to the movie theater or perhaps the local amusement park.

    What she does depends on if she's willing to spend some of the (presumably) dirty money that's come in. If she's got several grand, she might try and pay a PI, but they're probably pretty expensive. Putting the tracker app in her daughter's phone as mentioned above is another possibility, but how close does her daughter keep the phone? Is it locked? Most smartphones are these days, is mom tech-savvy enough to choose a good tracker, one that the daughter won't notice right off?

    Basically I think you need to scale back your setup, the daughter is way overpowered for the mom to do anything at that point in time.

    My 2yen.
     
  4. Accelerator231

    Accelerator231 Active Member

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    The excuse used was that someone made an anonymous donation to the school in return for 'going to a camp' or 'students to go out to the overseas for a wider viewpoint' and bullshit like that. In other words, a once in a lifetime free trip.

    All bullshit, of course, but the form she had her mother sign looked completely and utterly genuine. And with one single mother and having to work overtime? She's used to having her daughter handle these things on her own.

    Though the laptop thing is, yeah....

    The thing is, its not about the mother somehow 'capturing' or 'stopping' the daughter. Its about how she gradually gets more and more worried and confused on what's happening.

    That could happen. She could try to follow her, or get someone to follow her around. But where on earth would she get a listening device?
     
  5. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 Active Member

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    The supersmart girl can't work out that her mother might be suspicious about her suddenly having large amounts of money and get it to her anonymously, but can figure out she needs to deceive her into letting her go to Nepal?
     
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  6. Accelerator231

    Accelerator231 Active Member

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    Yup.

    She's kinda single minded about that.
     
  7. CariF

    CariF New Member

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    here i can see it from MC point of you as in , her mother has struggled so much gone without and been dirt poor that she believes in her mind that her mother would believe anything she says and would be too grateful or relieves to not worry where the money came from or to question her since mum is undyingly grateful? this could be then turned into an illusion the MC has created to hide the fact deep down she knows its not normal but isn't emotionally ready to tell her mother what's really going on basically bury her head in the sand with unrealistic ideas


    some people tend to zoom in on one aspect and cling to that and ignore all else
    it can show a lack of emotional maturity in handling difficult situations
     
  8. Thundair

    Thundair Contributor Contributor

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    I would say you need to trim back on a lot of the outline. I don’t see how her being born after the civil rights movement would have anything to do with the story. In my mind, if you had a single parent living in the projects, that paints its own picture. And for most of us all we know is what we see on TV. As far as her coming home with things—acquired suspiciously—I would make it essential items first and the phone could be from welfare. The rest could show up as borrowed for the weekend or won in a prize at church. I know my stepbrother did that until one day the cops brought him home and scolded my stepmom for allowing all the stuff to be stored in his closet.
     
  9. Accelerator231

    Accelerator231 Active Member

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    I'm a bit confused, but....

    Phones, internet, and laptops? All essential items. You cannot contact an office or call your loved ones or even get to 911 without a working phone, and payphones have been going out of style for awhile. You want to get to an office, or you want to set up an appointment, or even browse advertisments for jobs in your home city. No internet? You're shit out of luck.

    Yes, a phone is essential.

    Yeah, refusal to budge from a black and white worldview is kinda a thing amongst the young. And the old. Maybe a tendency to not ask for help? Lack of trust?
    I think... yes, basically what you're saying. Or at least, what I think you're trying to say
     
  10. Thundair

    Thundair Contributor Contributor

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    I’m so bad at getting my point across and I apologize. I thought phones and laptops were essential, and I was trying to provide a way to obtain them, or at least an excuse for why she has them. The only thing I was saying to cutback on was the irrelevant description to tighten up the story line.

    https://www.dailysignal.com/2010/01/18/government-welfare-cell-phones-for-the-poor/
     

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