Home Forums Fiction Writing Plotting What's Wrong with Her?

This topic contains 14 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  jenwriter17 1 week ago.

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  • #59563

    Rochellaine
    @rochellaine
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    Hi everyone, I have a story I am working on – it’s about 2000 words long, but I have a major problem…

    There’s something wrong with the main character which makes people not want to associate with her.  I just don’t know what it is!  Here is what I have written so far.  Does anyone have ideas?

    I don’t want it to be something she has done personally, because I want it to not be her fault that she is cut out of the social circle.  I don’t mind, however, if it is something which society thinks is wrong, but which is actually right. (Keep in mind that this is set in the 1940s.)  What I’d really like is if it were not anything she does at all, but something she thinks she did, or that someone else did.  I also don’t want it to be a Cinderella story, so she is actually the sister of the bride.

    I love all the other characters, and have big plans for them, but she has to be figured out before I can continue the story.

    @dekreel @skredder @itisastarrynight @jenwriter17

     

    “Sylvester – Sylvester!”

    #59564

    Rochellaine
    @rochellaine
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    Oh, and this was originally just supposed to be a 300-500 word scene based on the picture, but I liked it, and kept writing.  So it’s basically a draft, and I might add more onto the beginning or rewrite it or something. 🙂

    “Sylvester – Sylvester!”

    #59571

    itisastarrynight
    @itisastarrynight
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    @rochellaine Hmm..
    If it isn’t something she did or something wrong.. It could have something to do with her family in general or a choice she made for her life that people think was stupid (like investing in a farm, or turning down a courtship, etc) If it had something to do with her family it could be shaming her exclusively because they think it was her fault, or that her sister and relatives didn’t deserve it or were innocent in the incident.

    I can't believe it's not butter!

    #59572

    itisastarrynight
    @itisastarrynight
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    @rochellaine I really enjoyed reading what you had written!

    I can't believe it's not butter!

    #59573

    itisastarrynight
    @itisastarrynight
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    or you could look into the moral or temporal standards people had in the 1940s
    She could have been sewing a dress and it didn’t turn out right and people think her work is immoral for it, like it isn’t that big of a deal but people gossip about it and think shes a terrible person.
    Just something she was doing didn’t go the way it was supposed to and they’ve gossiped and think shes a terrible person.

    I can't believe it's not butter!

    #59574

    Radically-Surrendered
    @radically-surrendered
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    @rochellaine I like the idea @itisastarrynight had, about turning down a courtship. Although simply turning it down wouldn’t warrant her being a total outcast, maybe you could have her break an engagement to some very well-respected guy. I’m not 100% sure how things were back then, but I imagine breaking off an engagement would be a pretty big deal. For someone like Aunt Maude (was that her name? I don’t quite remember…) it would have been a personal insult and a blow to her sense of dignity, and others would avoid her because nobody would ever break off an engagement to such a handsome, rich, well-bred gentleman… Sorry, I’m kinda thinking out loud here, but these are my thoughts.

    https://radicallysurrendered.wordpress.com
    ISTJ

    #59579

    Kylie
    @kballen
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    @rochellaine I really like @radically-surrendered and @itisastarrynight idea, Maybe she rejected aunt maude’s nephew, or said something socially unacceptable, like she believes in women’s rights or something. I hope this helps!!

    Harry Potter forever!!!!

    #59605

    Skredder
    @skredder
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    @rochellaine A couple of possibilities considering it is the 1940s is what if Lillian was friends with a socialist or an african-american? That could certainly hurt her social status and cause her to be ostracized from her family.

    #59608

    Rochellaine
    @rochellaine
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    @itisastarrynight @radically-surrendered @kylie @skredder Thanks so much for your help!  I actually used all your ideas to piece together something that might work:

    First of all, turning down someone or breaking off an engagement would offend Aunt Maude, yes, but that wouldn’t really explain why Alice or the other girls wouldn’t like her.  That just leaves another man open in the field, right? 🙂 Well.  Women got voting rights in 1919, so it’s a little late for feminism problems.  Having it be because she has lower-class or politically incorrect friends is something I thought of, but it would be hard to write it so that everyone disliked her because of that.  What about Alice Gordon?  Even she was shocked that Blake would consider liking Lillian, but she is supposed to be a nice girl, since she is Blake’s sister.  And racism has been done so much already, it really wouldn’t be that interesting.

    But ripping it up, mashing it down, and shaking everything together I got something that I might use.  I would have to move my story forward a few years though.

    What if this was during the Red Scare era and she was engaged to a man who turned out to be a communist?  She would have broken the engagement off, but before she could do that, he was arrested by the FBI or something, and she has no way to prove to her friends and family that she wasn’t in with him.  She could have even been investigated by the FBI too, and that would further make her ostracized.

    The only problem with that is that If I did that I wouldn’t be able to use my inspiration picture because the clothing in the picture is 1941-44 clothing.  While I could have stretched it to be in 1946 or 47,  can’t take it all the way to the early 50s.  So I would have to leave out the picture.  🙁

    Anyway, does anyone think it is a good idea, or that it will work?

    “Sylvester – Sylvester!”

    #59615

    Radically-Surrendered
    @radically-surrendered
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    @rochellaine I think that would work pretty well. Too bad you can’t use the picture though 🙁

    https://radicallysurrendered.wordpress.com
    ISTJ

    #59634

    Skredder
    @skredder
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    @rochellaine Considering that it is in the 1940s at the height of WWII, socialists were definitely not liked, especially if someone thought they were fascist. To my knowledge, the only place that socialists were “safe” was in Hollywood.

    Being engaged to a later discovered communist during the Red Scare could definitely work. But it would mean leaving out the picture. Unless, the wedding had a 1940s theme. Could that work?

    #59641

    itisastarrynight
    @itisastarrynight
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    @rochellaine That sounds good!
    As for the picture, Lillian could just be really outdated in the fashion world? XD
    In all seriousness, if you’re merely planning on posting the finished story online I don’t many world notice. If this was a published book I feel like you would get your own illustration for it anyway, as the other one probably belongs to someone.
    Either way, you can at least appreciate it knowing it’s where it all started 🙂

    I can't believe it's not butter!

    #59649

    Rochellaine
    @rochellaine
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    @skredder Thanks for the ideas.  I just researched a bit of what you were suggesting, and found that in the 1930s, the Hollywood industry was secretly very pro-Nazism, but by 1941 they had completely flipped and supported the American end of the war very much.

    In the 1950s there was the “Hollywood Blacklist” a figurative list which an actor, directer, or anyone in the industry was put on when they said or did something that could possibly be construed as Communist.  I think that would be even things such as “I think there shouldn’t be so much difference between the poor and the rich.”  Many of the big film stars openly supported the republican party, such as Ronald Reagan, James Cagney, John Wayne, and Mary Pickford.

    I think that though there was an anti-socialist wave during WWII, the entirety of America was so outwardly conservative that it wasn’t well known when anyone was not.  So the best chance to have it historically realistic would be to set it in the 50s.

    “Sylvester – Sylvester!”

    #59655

    Rochellaine
    @rochellaine
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    Oh, and @skredder The themed wedding is a cool idea, but I think themes weren’t as popular back then as they are now, and it would only be 5-7 years after the era in the picture, so it would be more likely to seem out of style than themed, if they did such a thing. 🙂

    @itisastarrynight Yessss, you’re right.  Not many people would notice.  But I would! 🙂 I am a stickler for historical accuracy in everything.  When I watch movies or tv shows that are set in a historical period, it ruins the movie for me if their hairstyles, clothing, or shoes are not quite right.  When I am reading a book and it is set in 1943, but the author mentions an actress whose first film was made in 1951, I think the author did a horrible job at research. (Actually happened.)

    So, even if most people wouldn’t care if there were 1940s clothes at a 1950s wedding, I would care, so I really can’t use the picture.  (I would care if there were 1947 clothes at a 1945 wedding!)

    And actually, I’m pretty sure that picture is in public domain, so I could have used it on my book cover or something… 🙂

    “Sylvester – Sylvester!”

    #59832

    jenwriter17
    @jenwriter17
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    @rochellaine I really enjoyed what you wrote! 😉 Basically, I agree with what @itisastarrynight said; I think those are good suggestions.

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