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Sarah Daffy

How do you make your characters flawed?

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Just now, Sarah Daffy said:

1840s. I keep forgetting to mention it.

She did drop by the orphanage right? It's possible she saw Heidi without the girl knowing.

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Just now, RockyMtn Gal said:

She did drop by the orphanage right? It's possible she saw Heidi without the girl knowing.

No, actually her lawyer came.

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1 minute ago, Sarah Daffy said:

1840s. I keep forgetting to mention it.

She could theoretically have a photo; photography began in the 1820s. 

 

Though @RockyMtn Gal's idea is easier to contrive. 

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1 minute ago, Sarah Daffy said:

No, actually her lawyer came.

Ah. Perhaps they had her sit for a photo; maybe the aunt is eccentric and demands to know what she looks like. 

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1 minute ago, PenName said:

She could theoretically have a photo; photography began in the 1820s. 

 

Though @RockyMtn Gal's idea is easier to contrive. 

Would she really make the journey all the way to the orphanage a state or two away?

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Just now, PenName said:

Ah. Perhaps they had her sit for a photo; maybe the aunt is eccentric and demands to know what she looks like. 

That explains her well. (she's a little like Aunt March from Little Women)

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1 minute ago, PenName said:

Ah. Perhaps they had her sit for a photo; maybe the aunt is eccentric and demands to know what she looks like. 

Another thought, would they tell her about her inheritance or wait until she arrived at the aunt's?

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Assuming she didn't know until she arrived in Boston, would the aunt tell her once she came to the aunt's house?

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Just now, Sarah Daffy said:

Assuming she didn't know until she arrived in Boston, would the aunt tell her once she came to the aunt's house?

 

That really depends on you, the author. Who do you want the aunt to be? It seems her defining feature at present is making Heidi work for the inheritance Raven stole. If that is her main role in the story, then all of her prior and later decisions have to fit within the personality of that sort of vengeful person. 

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Just now, Sarah Daffy said:

No, actually her lawyer came.

Well, then there's still word of mouth. The lawyer could have described Heidi.

 

There were photographs as PenName mentioned.

 

If the aunt is a menacing character, her force of will might cow Heidi into revealing who she is while simultaneously telling readers about the aunt's character. I.e.:

 

 

Aunt grabbed Heidi's arm. Her fingers pressed into her wrist hard enough to make her squeal.

 

"Little urchins!" Aunt growled. "How many times have I told you not to trespass on my property? Who are you? Who are your parents?"

 

Heidi writhed in her grip, pushing at her aunts hand, anything to relive her vice-like grip.

 

"Stop! You're hurting me!"

 

"Who are you?!"

 

Heidi tried to squirm away. Her knees buckled when her aunt squeezed tighter.

 

"Fine," Aunt said. "I'm calling the police!"

 

Heidi's eyes grew wide.

 

"I'm Heidi..."

 

 

Even if the aunt is not menacing, mentioning the police would probably be enough to scare any little girl. 

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1 minute ago, PenName said:

 

 

That really depends on you, the author. Who do you want the aunt to be? It seems her defining feature at present is making Heidi work for the inheritance Raven stole. If that is her main role in the story, then all of her prior and later decisions have to fit within the personality of that sort of vengeful person. 

The inheritance isn't stolen until a few months after they've moved in.  The aunt is rather gruff and stern. She believed Heidi got impatient for her inheritance, not thinking of the possibility of maid thieves, and blamed her for the money being stolen.

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1 minute ago, Sarah Daffy said:

The inheritance isn't stolen until a few months after they've moved in.  The aunt is rather gruff and stern. She believed Heidi got impatient for her inheritance, not thinking of the possibility of maid thieves, and blamed her for the money being stolen.

This is good stuff. Use her gruff nature to determine how and when she tells Heidi anything about the money, or anything else for that matter. 

 

I do wonder how she explains to herself that Raven is gone, at the same time as the money?

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Just now, RockyMtn Gal said:

Well, then there's still word of mouth. The lawyer could have described Heidi.

 

There were photographs as PenName mentioned.

 

If the aunt is a menacing character, her force of will might cow Heidi into revealing who she is while simultaneously telling readers about the aunt's character. I.e.:

 

 

Aunt grabbed Heidi's arm. Her fingers pressed into her wrist hard enough to make her squeal.

 

"Little urchins!" Aunt growled. "How many times have I told you not to trespass on my property? Who are you? Who are your parents?"

 

Heidi writhed in her grip, pushing at her aunts hand, anything to relive her vice-like grip.

 

"Stop! You're hurting me!"

 

"Who are you?!"

 

Heidi tried to squirm away. Her knees buckled when her aunt squeezed tighter.

 

"Fine," Aunt said. "I'm calling the police!"

 

Heidi's eyes grew wide.

 

"I'm Heidi..."

 

 

Even if the aunt is not menacing, mentioning the police would probably be enough to scare any little girl. 

Good thought! I guess they'd have to be passing by her mansion. . .

 

Another problem I have is when Heidi runs away five years later when she is 17. She gets caught by either a bad guy or a policeman (I have no earthly reason why, unless she got blamed for a crime she didn't commit) and gets thrown in a cell where Raven is after resorting to a life of crime. (Maybe) Somehow the punishment her friend is going to get has to be connected with stealing the inheritance and Heidi takes the punishment. Not sure how the police would let her do that. (She also found out they were sisters. When Raven was three yrs old and before Heidi was born she was by the river with the maid and the maid fell asleep and she wandered near the water and was later found by a hermit who raised her in the woods and then gave her to the same orphanage where Heidi's mother took her)

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Just now, PenName said:

This is good stuff. Use her gruff nature to determine how and when she tells Heidi anything about the money, or anything else for that matter. 

 

I do wonder how she explains to herself that Raven is gone, at the same time as the money?

The aunt or Heidi?
 

 

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Also, how would Heidi know her friend was writing out a check?

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2 minutes ago, Sarah Daffy said:

Another problem I have is when Heidi runs away five years later when she is 17. She gets caught by either a bad guy or a policeman (I have no earthly reason why, unless she got blamed for a crime she didn't commit

Hm, does she have to run away?

 

Auntie dearest thinks that Heidi stole a lot of money already. What if other things turn up missing? There doesn't have to be a culprit. Maybe aunt has early onset dementia and sells an item, forgets about it, then blames Heidi.

 

Heidi could run away then. Or not.

 

The police could pick her up either way.

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Just now, RockyMtn Gal said:

Hm, does she have to run away?

 

Yes, because she can't stand being made a servant/slave and she has to meet up with her old pal Raven.

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2 minutes ago, RockyMtn Gal said:

Auntie dearest

Auntie Eunice Selwyn. ;)

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2 minutes ago, Sarah Daffy said:

Yes, because she can't stand being made a servant/slave and she has to meet up with her old pal Raven.

Well, the scenario could still work. Perhaps she has already been contemplating making a run for it, but Aunt Eunice 😉  gives her a figurative "push" out the door when she calls the police.

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Just now, RockyMtn Gal said:

Well, the scenario could still work. Perhaps she has already been contemplating making a run for it, but Aunt Eunice 😉  gives her a figurative "push" out the door when she calls the police.

Five years later or right after the theft?

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Just now, RockyMtn Gal said:

gives her a figurative "push" out the door when she calls the police.

This is good. 

 

You're right that it would be hard for Heidi to know it was Raven who wrote the check. (Did they have checks in 1840?). That's why I was assuming Heidi walked in on her doing it. 

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Just now, Sarah Daffy said:

Five years later or right after the theft?

I think she meant five years later, if Aunt Eunice was getting dementia and blamed her.

 

Also, my question earlier was about how Aunt Eunice blames Heidi for stealing the money, if Raven and the money both disappeared at the same time. 

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1 minute ago, PenName said:

I think she meant five years later, if Aunt Eunice was getting dementia and blamed her.

 

Also, my question earlier was about how Aunt Eunice blames Heidi for stealing the money, if Raven and the money both disappeared at the same time. 

The aunt doesn't keep track of her maids and probably forgot about Raven.

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The timeline I visualize is as follows:

 

1. Raven forges the check and bolts

2. Heidi is made a house servant to pay for the debt.

3. Aunt Eunice starts to have memory issues over the next few years. She misplaces things, then berates Heidi for it.

4. Something rather expensive goes missing. Aunt Eunice's mind is really suffering by now (and dementia patients often have angry outbursts). She accuses Heidi of stealing that, and the money, then phones the police.

5. Heidi, already itching to get out of there, has enough fear drive to make the leap now. The police could find her on the run.

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2 minutes ago, Sarah Daffy said:

The aunt doesn't keep track of her maids and probably forgot about Raven.

See, you already have the set up for dementia here.

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