Time for acceptance...

Elvendon

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Well, in the book I'm currently writing, one character (Who happens to be a satyr disguised as a human) has to reveal to another (a young New Yorker who is in the UK looking for her family) that she is a mythical creature as well, albeit an unknown one.

My question is this; how long do you think it should take for her to accept 1) the satyr's true identity and 2) her own?

What I've done is used another person (an elf waiter) to corroborate the satyr's story, the satyr turning his leg into a "normal" (non-human one) and the girl knowing that something was different about her to get it done in one chapter, but is this implausible? What else is needed?
 

Brian G Turner

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It really depends on what degree of artistic licence you want to play with - realistically, I'd say it would take months, and possibly turn any such protagonist insane, because their entire structured perception of reality is in the process of being shattered, and isn't usually a healthy thing to experience. :)

In writing terms, though, you're aiming at a reader who probably doesn't care to wait for the protogonist to rebuild their perceptual schema of reality.

So, in other words - whatever seems to work with the story, that remains entertaining.

The fact that if you're including mythical creatures, then the reader is going to have to engage in suspension of belief anyway - so I guess you use your protagonist to reflect both the surprise and the need to suspend disbelief in this way in order to get on with the story. :)

Hope that helps a little. :)
 

Elvendon

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It does, thanks ^^

It's kinda what I had already... she sort of accepts it rather quickly (within a single conversation) because she had always felt different... otherwise the story would be slowed down too much.
 

Teresa Edgerton

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I think it depends to a large extent on the character's personality, her situation in life, past experiences, etc. Without knowing these things, I think the question is pretty much unaswerable.

Rather than looking for general opinions, you should probably be asking the people critiquing your story (which is to say, the people who know all the specifics), "How long do you think it would take this person under these circumstances to come to terms with the situation?" And if they think the person is accepting it too quickly the way you have it written, "What could I tell you about this character, or how could I change her situation, to make her reaction more believable?" (Because sometimes when a reader or a critiquer says, "I don't believe this," what they really mean is, "you haven't convinced me yet.")
 

flynx

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Both questions support each other and the major question is; her own identity. Feeling that you are different from everybody else is extremely common (particularly in youth) and so having corroboration from someone who bolsters your own beliefs means that you also have to accept, ipso facto, that the other person is 'unusual'.

The degree or speed at which you will accept another's claim to individuality will vary wildly but will inevitabely be dependent on how much they can support your own claims.

In more common terms, you are beautiful because other people think (or say or act as though) you are beautiful.
 

Teresa Edgerton

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And that's where you should be asking questions about character motivations, and how fast this particular character should be moving toward acceptance.

Give the critiquers something to do besides line-editing.
 

Elvendon

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Motivations wise:

1) She has no family that she knows, and wants to find the relatives her aunt told her about. Her aunt has just died, who wasn't much of the touchy-feely type anyway. Thus, she is motivated to find people to be close to.
2) She is naturally a rather trusting and kind spirited person, and so is likely to be more likely to buy into someone's story rather than go off on one.
3) She has always felt different, not isolated from friends, just different. Her being Sidhe might explain things.
4) She is new to England, and so will be feeling quite nervous and vulnerable.

Sorry, just thinking aloud there. On balance, I think she would be more likely to accept than most people.

And I'm sorry if I'm doing badly at this, I have never done anything like this, so I plead for a bit of patience ;)
 

Teresa Edgerton

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No apologies necessary. With writing (and critiquing, and being critiqued) you learn as you go.

And sometimes, you just have to write out a scene or scenes in full several different ways, before you can decide which way works.
 

Saeltari

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I read your story and liked what I saw, planning on doing a critique when I get more time. Something that might work for you is to set down and interview your character. It may sound a bit strange, but imagine you are interviewing her for a paper or something and ask the background questions that would help you as a reporter understand why it took her so long to accept what she is or why it only took her a short time.
Hope this is of some use to you. Back to finals, now:D
 

Elvendon

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Saeltari said:
I read your story and liked what I saw, planning on doing a critique when I get more time. Something that might work for you is to set down and interview your character. It may sound a bit strange, but imagine you are interviewing her for a paper or something and ask the background questions that would help you as a reporter understand why it took her so long to accept what she is or why it only took her a short time.
Hope this is of some use to you. Back to finals, now:D

I think I might give that a try, it sounds interesting :)

I await your critique, and good luck with the finals :)
 

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