Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Whoops


At the heart of much speculative fiction (and fiction in general) is a question. What if? On Tuesdays I like to throw one out there and see what you make of it. Do with it as you please. If a for-instance is not specified, feel free to interpret that instance as you wish. And if you find this becomes a novel-length answer, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements.
😉

In the story, a major mentor in the protagonist's life has died. And they left behind a series of letters for the protagonist. These are letters that are meant to invoke happy thoughts, like the mentor is still a part of their life. 

But. . . What if those letters completely missed the mark? Such as: They talk about how wonderful the graduation will be, only the protagonist graduated in 2020. Or: They talk about how wonderful they will look in their wedding dress, only he's trans.

(I happened past this particular trope on some made-for-TV movie, and I was feeling a bit contrary.)

16 comments:

  1. I'll give it a whirl. To simplify, my protag is female:

    After puzzling over the messages left by her mentor, she stumbles over evidence of an alternate universe existing side by side with her own. Another Earth, another "her", another mentor.
    She sets out to find the door to the other existence, partly out of jealousy and curiosity, wondering who rates higher with her once-beloved mentor.

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  2. Well, then they would know she can't predict the future and still meant well. It would seem the video was done out of love so the people should realize that.

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    1. Well, yes, of course. No question. It's just that those things in movies and such always seem to be so prescient. . .

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  3. The mentor of one of my characters died and left a video. Really would've screwed up the story if he'd missed the mark.

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  4. The mentor would have left a trail of other letters and notes to be found. The letters the protagonist reads are a red herring. There is more afoot here.

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    1. Oooh. . . There's a direction I didn't expect.

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  5. Since I'm not an author, I'll take the question at face value. It's an interesting one. It would depend on the situation. Let's say the mentor died 5 years ago and left these letters to be read by the future mentee 5 years hence (which turned out to be 2020). If the mentee was mature he or she would realize that one can't see into the future. But it really could hurt, especially the trans situation.

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    1. Yeah, the premise could be played for comedy or tragedy, depending. (I was thinking comedy, as I like to find things funny when possible.)

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  6. That just went over my head since I just woke from a nap and am still not all the way awake!! haha...

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    1. That's cool. It's a challenge sometimes to come up with these questions.

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  7. I would hope that the person who received the letters would realize, despite all that could have gone wrong in the circumstances, that it was the thought that counted and the mentor wanted to try to share the good time even though they physically weren't there.

    betty

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  8. We all miss mark. But to be safe wouldn't be wiz to cover it truthfully both good and bad.
    Coffee is on and stay safe

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  9. Sounds like a TV series in the making.

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  10. I enjoyed the comments and your responses almost as much as the cool premise. Thank you. It's all very good food for thought and, in Pam's case, giggles.

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    1. Just in case you want to use the trope in your next novel...

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