Plotting Difficult Topics: Wickedness, grief

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, Grief

  • Wickedness, Grief, Testimony

    That day when she chose to steal a piece of candy, she didn’t realize it was the beginning of something much larger. It was a loss of innocence, an attitude that she deserved what was denied her. And she would always find a way to take what was her own. It was a small thrill that day, but it led to such grief.

  • Wickedness, Grief, Confession

    When she chose to steal that candy, it was thoughtless, almost a casual thing. But the wails of grief that resulted shocked both her and her Mom. How could she have been so stupid?
    A simple choice–to eat a piece of candy–led to mother’s lack of trust. And it spread from there to everything else.
    How can I trust anything you say? Mom cried.
    And the girl’s heart ached. If only she could put things back how they had been.

  • Wickedness, Grief, Therapy

    It all went back to that one thing: I stole my grandmother’s birthday candy, so Mom could never trust me.
    I know the source of the problem, but how do we move forward from here. She won’t forgive, she won’t forget.

  • Wickedness, Grief, Transformation
    Mom got her way. I was totally broken, humiliated. Never again would I do anything that would bring such shame upon me. I guess I should’ve been stronger, fought back against her harsh punishment, told her to shove it.
    Instead, I took it and it make a lasting impre3ssion. I’ll never let her see my budget gook again. I’ll stop keeping one, in fact. I’ll never walk through the library–never again. And I’ll never confess again.

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

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