Plotting Difficult Topics: Wickedness, action

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This is part of a series of posts on Plotting Difficult Topics

In Inviting the Wolf In: Thinking About Difficult Stories by Loren Niemi and Elizabeth Ellis, the authors recognize that how you approach a difficult subject can make huge differences in voice, POV, plot and resolution. They suggest 32 different approaches and this series of posts works out those approaches for the following scenario.

The Scenario: A girl watches her mother place a box of candy on the highest book shelf; the candy is meant as a birthday gift for the girl’s grandmother. The girl decides to sneak up and steal/eat some of the candy.

Wickedness, Action

  • Wickedness, Action, Testimony

    The girl looked into the box of chocolates and then at the gold frame of her grandmother and remembered grandmother’s voice. “Only for the boys. Not the girl.”
    How many times had she heard something similar?
    It was a small way to show her contempt, to take revenge. But it was at least something to do about how unfair it all was.

  • Wickedness, Action, Confession

    “Wrap Grandma’s gift, why don’t you?”
    She sighed. Might was well own up to it now. “I can’t.”
    Mom’s eyebrow went up.
    “Half the chocolates are gone,” she said, trying to maintain some dignity.
    Now, Mom’s whole face contorted, half in anger, half in confusion. “Wha– ”
    “I ate them. But don’t worry. I’ll get enough to buy a new box.”
    “And just how do you plan to do that?”

  • Wickedness, Action, Therapy

    Tears were always the girl’s weapon of choice. If she cried enough, Dad would take her part against Mom. As long as Dad was home when things were discovered, it worked. So the girl always made sure that’s exactly when her sins were discovered.


  • Wickedness, Action, Transformation

    More than anything , she fought the tears. Tears were weakness, and she wasn’t weak.
    But when Grandma opened the box–her shocked expression, her small grunt of surprise, the light fading from her pale eyes–it did her in. She confessed and when the old woman put a gentle hand on her cheek, she wept. And this time, the tears weren’t weakness, but they were cleansing tears.

This is part of a series of posts on Plotting Difficult Topics

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