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Therapy by the Clueless:
Indecisive GoldfishI'm stuck on my perpetually re-written in-progress novel. Orsino is a depressed guy who starves himself and resorts of self-harm if under more stress than usual and the usual is not really very much stress at all. He's never gotten help for it. His uncle thinks he'll "grow out it" and just forces him to eat whenever he manages to catch Orsino sneaking around their mansion which had secret passages built in, but only Orsino fits through them because his uncle has gained weight since the time the building was built. It was probably only a matter of time before Orsino croaked in the walls like a rat and that might be his sort of plan since he doesn't quite agree with actual suicide, but isn't particularly interested in living. Then the protagonist Epifan accidentally turns him into a vampire. She likes Orsino, or more, has a crush on him and shades of "I can fix him!" and as such, wishes to make him feel better. But as a person who has been a bedridden shut-in for her entire life (only striking out on her own in undeath), Epifan is not really equipped to help him beyond being there for him. Except Orsino is more than a little angry with her now that he's harder to kill (she didn't explicitly explain vampire weaknesses to him) and suffering from Horror Hunger and guilt over up eating his uncle. The setting is a 1850s-esque fantasy-land so Epifan probably doesn't even have a therapist to drag him kicking and screaming to. I'm not sure if there's a way for Epifan to make Orsino feel better or if its better to drag a third person to stop them from recirculating the bad ideas their socially inept brains come up with. Now that I think about it, Epifan comes off a little abusive since she resorts to tying up Orsino and locking him somewhere when she can't keep an eye on him to stop him from doing something dangerous for either of them. She ends up doing that at least three times a week because she eats people very often and Orsino would complain, ruin the element of surprise, and possibly orchestrate suicide by cop. So I guess if Orsino gets any less depressed or reconciles even slightly with Epifan, it might just look like Stockholm Syndrome. Thoughts?
Terracotta Soldier ManAt some point in this story, you must have Orsino run into a very confused vampire hunter who proceeds to get himself killed as a result of Orsino trying to orchestrate one of the aforementioned attempts at Suicide by Cop.
Responsible adultI think the first thing to do is ask yourself, "What do I want readers getting out of these character's relationship?" What sort of feelings and emotions do you want to drum up with the way the characters react? Are we supposed to sympathize with Epifan in some way? Or not? Do you want your readers to be rooting for these two characters to get along and become besties, or is it going to be a hard road filled with begrudging respect? Will there be big fights in store before reconcillation can happen? I think that's an important start. If you want the road to be a bit harder and not as fluffy, then it might not be worth having your protagonist be this guy's "therapist, " as it were. Let him suffer under her a little, let them get into arguments, and let her character development (if that's what you have planned) help her learn the error of her ways before they can reconcile. But if WAFF is what you're going for, you might want to tone down her controllingness a little bit. It would probably feel very Stockholm. Unless you make her feel Very Disturbed deep down, but she feels she has to for his own good. If her intentions are good but her methods are questionable, the audience will be more likely to sympathize with her. ....Hmmm, I'm not sure that helps any.
"Proto-Indo-European makes the damnedest words related. It's great. It's the Kevin Bacon of etymology." ~Madrugada
Short HairYou say Epifan has a crush on Orsino. Maybe that's all he needs, someone who treats him like a human being (well, former human being) and looks for the positive traits in him. Maybe he's not such a bad person once he climbs out of his shell ... whereas Epifan is not going to change, so he winds up with someone else.
Under World. It rocks!
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