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Author Topic: Some concerns about a story idea I've got  (Read 346 times)
Chicken Ghost
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Posts: 270



« on: June 26, 2017, 04:36:16 PM »

I want to write a story, an amalgamation of two probably-true stories (that is, people died, but those who know how are now dead or otherwise would never talk about it) in my own extended family, plus some artistic license. 

Now, the actual incidents are horrifying enough.  Either one could be presented as the people who relayed them to me suspect they happened, and they'd still be horrifying.  But I think for the sake of timing and emotional impact, they'd be better combined, and told as a flashback by a witness. 

The premise is there was a woman who disposed of unwanted children for people.  In one of the real-life incidents, there definitely was such a person.  This incident happened in rural China, though.  Things are a little different there in terms of authorities giving a shit.  I wanted to make the setting closer to that of the OTHER incident, the rural US plains.  But for that to make sense there would have to be some plausible excuse for authorities to look the other way.  The idea I've got is that the woman also provided illegal abortions, that powerful people relied on her services, and that meant people would look the other way if there was any plausible explanation for what happened to children in her "care." 

Now you probably see the problem.  That could easily be seen as a completely tone-deaf anti-abortion story (I mean you'd have to be an idiot to write something like that if you're trying to say ABORTION BAD, but there are a lot of idiots out there); but I intend nothing of the sort. 

Is that just a bad idea for this character?  Is there some other plausible explanation for authorities allowing someone to get away with literal child-murder?  Should I just set the story in China instead and avoid the issue entirely?  (But I'd run a higher risk of sounding inauthentic; and the more insane of the two causes of death would be implausible.)  Should I just run with it and damn what people think?
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Sgarre1
Editor
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Posts: 1161


"Let There Be Fright!"


« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2017, 04:55:39 PM »

You could change it from "Abortion provider to the wealthy gets special treatment" to "Orphan/Adoption Provider to the wealthy gets special treatment." There were a number of rural orphanages in the US during the 40s and possibly into the 50s who would occasionally go out into the countryside and steal young children from yards and such, for the financial benefits they could gain from matching the children to potential parents who were not "finding what they wanted" out of their stock of orphans. I wish I could remember more details but some research should turn something up. If an underhanded orphanage kept "blackmail proof" on a local family who were heavily involved in law-enforcement (Chief of Police, etc.(), well, then...
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Anthony Creamer (Poisonwaters)
Matross
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Posts: 211


« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2017, 07:00:45 PM »

Money
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Anthony Creamer (Poisonwaters)
Matross
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Posts: 211


« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2017, 02:24:18 PM »

What did you end up doing with this? Can we get a peek in the writers group?
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EvanDicken
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Posts: 2


« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2017, 09:10:36 AM »

"There were a number of rural orphanages in the US during the 40s and possibly into the 50s who would occasionally go out into the countryside and steal young children from yards and such, for the financial benefits they could gain from matching the children to potential parents who were not "finding what they wanted" out of their stock of orphans."

Wasn't there a movie back in 2012 or 2013 starring Jessica Biel with an update of this premise? I think it was called "The Tall Man" or something.

The idea sounds like a creepy premise. It'd be interesting to inject a supernatural element to both highlight the horror and put a little narrative distance between the "ABORTION BAD!" theme. Alternately, it would make for an interesting SF or Fantasy piece if you juxtapose the authorities turning a blind eye to child murder/abduction with the whatever genre element you're privileging. Like, for instance, if the kids are providing stem cells and replacement therapy for the authorities (or their children).

Still, it's a touchy subject, but I think you're going approaching it the right way by giving the themes a lot of thought. Please keep us posted about how it turns out.
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