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Thread: OK, I'm torn.

  1. #11
    Belinda T.
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    I prefer the second because there's more room for changing which way the woman will decide what happens to her future. Will she become more than a friend to the old man? Or, will she keep their relationship platonic?



  2. #12
    Belinda T.
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    I don't think credibility is the issue. I'd prefer not knowing every detail re the young woman's past. If you do that, you're going to bore your readers.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julie Harris View Post
    Well, I have to be honest here, so brace yourself, I'm about to rain on the parade.

    Plot 1: It seemed fairly predictible, no interesting twists and nothing new. The MC's main problem appears to be that she has some issues getting over her dead patient and misgivings about marrying the English professor - who wouldn't have reservations about a man 20 years her senior? Nothing fresh there. The more interesting plot might be one about the man with the Huntingtons' disease and the wrenching emotions he goes through. Or maybe the English professor has some secret that spices up the plot.

    Plot 2: This one seemed very far-fetched. I can't imagine an MD who probably has loans to pay back and years of grueling training deciding to toss it all and become a chef. She would go into something like research or teaching or may do the chef stuff on the side. And the part about the parents of the dead kid conditioning their donation on her return is, frankly, not credible.
    Grrr!! Not mad at you, Julie. Mad 'cuz I hit a wrong button and erased my reply to this. And I worked hard on it!!! Let's see if I can conjure it back up again.

    In regards to plot 1: Maybe I mistyped, so I will try again. Prior to the story's beginning, my MC's (whose name is Evelyn, or Evie for short) husband commits suicide after discovering he has Huntington's Disease. Being a physician himself, he knows what the prognosis and eventual outcome is. Plus, he and Evelyn had wanted to have kids together, so now he knows that any kids born to them would have the disease. But he doesn't feel like it's fair to her to deprive her of the thing she's wanted more than a career as a neonatologist. And he didn't want her to feel forced to choose, so he chose FOR her. So, as the story opens what would have been their eighth wedding anniversary approaches. She feels like in a vacuum of grief, anger, despair, and fear, for a multitude of reasons that all can be traced back to the suicide. She is on a Leave of Absence from her job because, when she tried to go back a few weeks after the event, a patient died on her and she just couldn't deal with it. She decided to take more time off because, even in the fog that's she's in, she doesn't want to short change her patients who are helpless and innocent and deserve her 110% effort. And she can do this because, even though her husband's life insurance didn't pay out since he committed suicide, she comes from blue blood stock. And, of course that probably begs the question that, if she is blue blood stock why does she have to work? Well, she doesn't have to necessarily. But she and her sibs were raised with the mentality that doing work you enjoy can lead to a better sense of self worth. That money can be here one day and gone the next (just ask a Madoff client, or an Enron stockholder). That just because you are born with a silver spoon in your mouth doesn't mean you don't have an obligation to serve the less fortunate. Plus, there's always the chance that she and the ex prudently saved what they could for their future. Which is obviously not going to happen now.

    So, as the anniversary approaches, her friend out-of-town calls her up and invites her to come. Just to get out of town at that difficult time, to get a change of scene. That's when she meets the English professor (who I'm leaning toward making an Irishman) who is her friend's neighbor. There are misgivings on the part of both when it comes to getting involved with each other romantically, but they can't deny an attraction to each other. And despite some paltry efforts to thrust their affections in other directions, they can't shake the feeling that they belong together. Which means they have to really examine themselves and see what they are willing to give up as far as their plans, their lives to make a relationship work. Would she be willing to go without being a mother -- something she's always wanted -- if it meant being with somone she loves? Would he be willing to become a parent at this stage in his life, when most of his male peers are sending kids off to college? And given the age difference and what statistics say, chances are that he will die first -- will she be okay with being left alone AGAIN??

    I've got more possibilities that I am tossing around in the cobweb collection. But I'm supposed to be working so I better sign off for now.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ******* T. View Post
    I don't think credibility is the issue. I'd prefer not knowing every detail re the young woman's past. If you do that, you're going to bore your readers.
    And I soooo don't want to do that!

  5. #15
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    Keep it coming, peeps, PLEASE!! This is all giving me bunches to think about!!

  6. #16
    Belinda T.
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    Why limit our creative sides is my thinking; I actually prefer some intrigue. If a character is interesting, I'll continue reading, with a few exceptions...I simply refuse to read stories about blood-sucking vampires or zombies. My reading tastes are more focused on creative nonfiction, so that's why I'm drawn to others' struggles and the inner strength some use to overcome them.

    Keep on writing.

  7. #17
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    Thanks for the encouragement, *******.

    Oh, I don't like books about vampires or zombies either.

  8. #18
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    I don't want to give you the impression that I'm poo-pooing the whole thing. It's clear that you've given this a lot of thought. But don't stop now. You've got a basic plot. But why be satisfied with that? Dig deeper. Do the hard work of imagination to make it unique. This can be a really interesting story. Why not give her money problems? Why not make her question her own abilities, maybe she actually caused the patient death and feels guilt over it? What if she finds out that the husband really didn't have Huntington's because the lab made a mistake or she made the mistake and is haunted by that? What if the professor has just lost his job or already has a kid with some disability? What if he's married/separated/whatever? What if he's not a professor but just an average guy with a heart of gold but he did time in prison many years ago and wants her to meet some friends? There are lots of twists that can spice this up and make it stand out.

  9. #19
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    I see what you mean, Julie. I should allow my imagination to do its thing instead of trying to lead it by the hand. Perhaps it comes from the fact that I have been the "I-don't-like-surprises-rut" in life for awhile. You know, now that I look over your response again, I have already thought of something else deeper. But I need to chew on it for a day or two. It's my process.

    Thanks! Don't hesitate to post or message with any other recommendations. I'm getting back into writing after a long absence. It was my first love and always will be, I guess!!

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