Information a character needs to know...that nobody could tell him:

Total posts: [6]
1 deathjavu30th Sep 2010 04:21:12 PM from The internet, obviously
This foreboding is fa...
So, here's the dilemma:

I'm at a point in my story where the main character has just found a magic doodad that his mother inadvertently created. As of right now, this only contains her memories up until she made it. He uses it and we, the reader, get to hear her story along with him.

But there are some things about her character and her life that are extremely necessary to know, both for us and for the main character. Problem is, she doesn't/couldn't remember these events.

More specifically, her adoptive parents found out a prophecy about her soon after they took her in. She was far too young to have overheard it or remembered (2-3 years old), and it shapes their entire treatment of her (which goes on to shape her entire life). The parents would never tell her. And she goes on to fulfill the prophecy, but I can't think of a non-contrived way of including it in the magic doodad's story.

So yeah, this is a necessary scene that just doesn't seem to "fit" anywhere in my story. Keep in mind that the main character needs to know this as well, not just the reader.

Any suggestions?

edited 30th Sep '10 4:23:39 PM by deathjavu

Look, you can't make me speak in a logical, coherent, intelligent bananna.
2 FeoTakahari30th Sep 2010 04:28:26 PM from Looking out at the city
Fuzzy Orange Doomsayer
Not sure if this is a stupid question, but how does the story change if the protagonist doesn't know the prophecy? Does he get killed by something, or does he just miss an opportunity?
That's Feo . . . He's a disgusting, mysoginistic, paedophilic asshat who moonlights as a shitty writer—Something Awful
3 deathjavu30th Sep 2010 04:35:16 PM from The internet, obviously
This foreboding is fa...
Well that's sort of hard to explain without being way, way, way more specific, but basically, I wanted him to understand his mom's life, and that's impossible without him knowing it.

I...I suppose it could work without him knowing it? But since the reader still needs to know it, then I'd have to slot it in as third person narration (which is most of the book, actually, but it's always very close narration, i.e. following the characters actions), and then I'd have to think of a way to separate or distinguish it from the rest of the story about his mother that he's hearing with us...

Yeah, that's probably not going to work.

Edit: Just remembered, he could and probably will learn his name a different way. So scratch that.

edited 30th Sep '10 4:37:43 PM by deathjavu

Look, you can't make me speak in a logical, coherent, intelligent bananna.
4 Tnophelia30th Sep 2010 04:54:42 PM from from from from from from
The character could meet someone who knows about said event or could find it out for him (shaman guy, wizard, spiritualisticismitterman) and the hero goes to them for advice on the item.

The spiritualisticismitterman could then do the OPEN YER MIND thing and the knowledge is gained there.
5 deathjavu30th Sep 2010 06:29:17 PM from The internet, obviously
This foreboding is fa...
That gives me a brilliant idea: his mom could have gone to see that same prophet after somehow finding out that her parents did. GENIUS. Her finding out when she's much older doesn't wreck the story, either-indeed it enhances her motivations for a number of decisions. Thank you Tnophelia!

I know that seems totally unrelated to what you said, but you saying that helped me think of this. So again, seriously, thank you.
Look, you can't make me speak in a logical, coherent, intelligent bananna.
Is the boy having this prophet use the magic doodad for him? If not, does he have some other reason to end up going to prophet, or does he think the prophet will know something about his mom that he's actively looking for? Throwing in this kind of coincidence could come across a little contrived if it's not explained anywhere along the line.

Still, it shouldn't be too hard an issue to justify in context. Sounds like you're on the right track.
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Total posts: 6