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Love Support

Hi guys, short post for now.

I want to work on something kind of in between a short story and a novel.  Something in between writing the Hellawes outline and editing short stories.

This idea was inspired by a dream.  It is kind of like a Nicholas Sparks story in that half the people in the story will die tragically and the goal is to make as many people cry as possible (You are a sick man Nick).

The story will be told from 6 viewpoints, an old man, a young girl, a middle aged woman, a nurse, a middle aged hospital director, and a newly wed.  Each has either experienced something negative or is in the middle of it and they end up connecting to each other and every person has some sort of miracle witnessed.
What I want to know is:
Will 6 people telling a story be too confusing?  Each chapter will have a title and the name of the person.
How many people dying is too many?  Yes the goal is to be sad, but there is a limit to how many people die before it becomes horror.
Does anybody even like Nickolas Sparks???

Let me know if this is a story you would read and if you want more details.  I have a synopsis written down but as of now I don’t think it is ready to be shared.

Thanks and happy writing!

*Note: I really don’t like the name ‘Love Support’.  It is a play on words and concepts, because in a hospital you need life support if you are in critical condition, and because there is little point to being alive without love.  But I feel it would not be a good ending title for a published book.  As I post more about the story I would love more input on the title.

  1. September 7, 2011 at 6:33 PM

    That’s a lot going on in one story, but I believe you could pull it off. As far as people dying, every single one dying is too much. Maybe no more than three tops? And, I like the Nicholas Sparks’ stories up until the end. That’s when I get mad at him and myself for watching it knowing it’ll only end badly.

  2. September 7, 2011 at 6:34 PM

    As a side note, I only watch the movies. I don’t generally waste my time on his books.

  3. Jennifer J Randolph
    September 7, 2011 at 6:42 PM

    Haha I have never watched one movie or read one book by him. I already know the ending so why bother?

    As for the story, I know it is a lot, so once I get to outlining it for real, I will see what fits. Each character plays a role and each is affected by a death but only one main character actually dies. The rest get a surprise twist, tho the way it is planned out, there are about…. 3 real time deaths from supporting roles and one that is from a flashback.

    • September 7, 2011 at 7:15 PM

      That seems like a good plan. 🙂

      So, this was inspired by a dream? That’s got to be an incredibly sad dream.

  4. Jennifer J Randolph
    September 7, 2011 at 7:37 PM

    Pretty much. Not the weirdest or saddest or scariest I have had, but it had the most potential to turn into a written story.

    • September 7, 2011 at 11:42 PM

      I had an incredibly sad dream that I turned into a short story. It still needs to be edited, but it was very haunting. I can understand it. 🙂

  5. September 8, 2011 at 5:44 PM

    I think you can totally pull off six POVs, but you’ll have some heavy work ahead to make sure the transitions are smooth and that the voices are different. You’ll probably have some paring down to do in rewrites to make sure that each POV tells exactly what it needs to, but it sounds like you’re working on a great concept. The idea of each of them being affected by a death is quite interesting. Good luck–and I hope you keep working on this!

    • Jennifer J Randolph
      September 8, 2011 at 6:31 PM

      Hey thanks =) I read your blog, the post about the artist was great, his artwork is really interesting.

      • September 9, 2011 at 6:21 AM

        Thanks, Jennifer! That artist, Stephen O’Donnell, is just amazing. I felt so lucky to get a chance to interview him about his art–and I’ve been thinking about some of his observations ever since.

      • Jennifer J Randolph
        September 9, 2011 at 3:48 PM

        His facial expressions are a hoot, I can imagine it being quite an experience to interview him.

  6. September 8, 2011 at 9:32 PM

    I read a multi-generational book that moved between past and present, and the author saved everyone’s deaths for the end. Then down they went, like dominoes, at the end of the novel, but in their own timelines. It was pretty devastating.

  7. Jennifer J Randolph
    September 8, 2011 at 10:14 PM

    O_o I would say so… I mean my goal is to try and get a story that will have characters worth crying over but still… What book it sounds interesting.

  8. September 10, 2011 at 11:28 PM

    6 POVs is definitely do-able. I’m trying to think of the largest number of POVs I’ve read recently in one book, and I think it was 4 (Franzen’s Freedom used a husband, his wife, their son, and their aging rockstar friend as narrators in different sections, unless I’ve missed someone).

    As for the deaths, I think it really depends on what causes them and how they are handled. Sometimes the death of a character may be welcome, if they’re particularly irritating! Also in Freedom, (SPOILER!) one of the characters dies in a tragic way, yet it’s also not as devastating to the reader because our emotional connection with this person is more limited. I think it’s probably the same as dealing with death in your own life; some are necessarily more heartbreaking, while others (things you only read about in the news, let’s say) have less of an effect on your day-to-day life.

  9. Jennifer J Randolph
    September 12, 2011 at 5:29 PM

    The way I have the stories interlocking, each death is both tragic to one person, but helps connect someone else to that same person, in life changing ways.

    Example, one of my main characters is a white kid, maybe 19 named Anthony. He has a younger sister (Lucy) and a troubled brother (Gregory) who wants to be in a gang. They don’t live in a good neighborhood but the parents are gone. Anthony has to watch out for the 13 yo Greg and 8 yo Lucy. Little bro gets shot (non fatel) by accident and of course social services wants to take the kids, so 19 yo needs help.

    While in the hospital, Lucy meets Kayla, a girl about 10 who has cancer or some other life threatening condition. Henry, the father and another POV, is worried this might be the end since it is been pretty serious and Kayla is getting worse. At a certain point Kayla ends up dying which devistates Henry but he ends up adopting Anthony, Gregory and Lucy at the written request of Kayla. Since it was her last wish he feels it would be good.

    Each death is supposed to serve a purpose and connect my 6 POV’s in some way. However I worry about coming off as an overdone cliche.

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