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Thread: Plot Hole (India, Early Kushan)

  1. #1
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    Plot Hole (India, Early Kushan)

    I feel guilty for starting another thread... but I'm stuck and I've been trying to solve this plot hole for months.

    The original source story from the Samguk Yusa says that the princess traveled from Ayodhya (Ayuta in the text) from India and came to what is now Southern Korean. (South tip) She also came with two courtiers, her brother and their wives. (Which strikes me as strange... but I figured out a good reason for it which has to do with trade...)

    The part of the story I'm trying to solve is that she leaves one time, but is thrown back by the violent seas, and then gets a pagoda of sorts which blesses her to have a safe journey. In this version, she has permission from her parents.

    However, I found a second version where she had the dream, not her parents and then was thrown back.

    I decided to combine the versions, so the first time she has the vision in a dream, she leaves without permission of her parents and then gets thrown back and leaves the second time with her parents permission, gaining much wisdom from it. This would fit the Indian/East Asian ideals so she knows why she was thrown back wasn't *just* because of the pagoda, but because she should respect her elders, etc.

    But I need a better reason than "She saw it in a dream" for the final reason she up and leaves. I need her to be angry enough for her to leave without permission. (She has a bit of a short temper and is kind of impatient to start--she's only 15 or so anyway.)

    Originally, I was going to have her find out her mother is secretly a widow which was scandalous back then, but that's not likely. Zoroastrians (The king) and Hindus back then didn't remarry after being widowed. (I thought there might be flexibility, but there isn't) This would have solved the courtier problem because then, I could make them her step brothers. It was a serious no go, though.

    Then I thought that she could find out that her father kidnapped her mother (Her mother is Sakas/Scythian, not Kushana), which WAS common and is even written about when she's in the Brahmin class, but the caste system wasn't strong back then, so the level of outrage wouldn't be there... but then, that kinda messes things up, since she should also be mad at her mother.

    I also thought she could find out she is half Sakas, since there is a war about the break out between the king and the Sakas people. But that seems like a weak motivation and I would think tht would make her want to stay rather than leave.

    She's already being treated fairly badly for a princess and she feels fairly choked and restricted already, but I need something to make her snap and want to leave, taking the big risk in trying to force her prophecy to become true. Yet not be so strong that she can't admit she's wrong for leaving--she has to reconcile with her parents. It's better if plot happens because of character, right?

    I ran out of cultural reasons. And I can't think of personal or political reasons she'd suddenly up and leave... I need an inciting incident which will force her to mature and rethink her world.

    This wouldn't be so much of an issue if this was just pure fiction... but I have history shooting down my plot ideas. I did the research, but I can't get the legend to fit it. Help?

    Once I get this princess to Korea and turn her into a Queen, it should be easy pickings since I have that plot all mapped and historically accurate.

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    Swan in Process Siri Kirpal's Avatar
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    Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

    This is confusing and unclear. I assumed marriages were arranged, right? So, she's running off to get married to someone she presumably hasn't yet met in order to marry him?

    So what if, she has met him, and they've come to an understanding, and then she has her dream and leaves. That's maybe a tad bit romantic for your story, but it solves a big conundrum. And works, since she's been wanting to get away anyway.

    Blessings,

    Siri Kirpal
    "The only freedom any of us ever has is the freedom to choose how we will not be free."

  3. #3
    Shy Betula alleghaniensis Goldbirch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rachel Udin View Post
    But I need a better reason than "She saw it in a dream" for the final reason she up and leaves. I need her to be angry enough for her to leave without permission. (She has a bit of a short temper and is kind of impatient to start--she's only 15 or so anyway.)
    Given what you've described of your character, I'm imagining a young adult who might be actively looking for an excuse to be angry with her parents. The final "reason" she settles on doesn't necessarily have to be epic or logical, if it's part of a long series of reasons that have been building up for years. So could she get upset if her parents dismiss her dream? Could having this big serious dream treated like a child's fantasy be a final straw for this character? Or is there some other issue in her relationship with her parents/parents' court that could get blown out of proportion as a final straw?

    I don't have a good understanding of the cultural background, so am kind of shooting in the dark and trusting your knowledge, but I also thought your kidnapping idea still sounded possible. You say the "level of outrage" wouldn't be there, but could there still be some plausible outrage? And if Mom is not showing any of that outrage, but instead seems totally OK with being kidnapped? Your short-tempered princess could be really pissed at Mom. Also, thinking about her parents' relationship could potentially fuel her anger with some serious squick, depending on your character. And since Mom is actually OK, then reconciliation wouldn't be hard later. "Parents' marital backstory" also struck me as the most plausible Big Reveal response to "dream about future destined marriage".

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    Heckuva good sport frimble3's Avatar
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    Have I got the sequence right? She's promised in an arranged marriage to a King in Korea. She runs away to Korea, is thrown back by a storm, gets her parents' blessing, and heads off to Korea again? And you need a reason for her to run off in the first place?

    What if she's pleased with the marriage offer, and is anticipating becoming a queen, and then she hears rumours that her parents are contemplating a better offer? Changing politics might make a different match more advantageous. This doesn't even have to be a real offer, just a bit of gossip, backed up by the prescence of a new ambassador or whatever. But she's young and impulsive, and, in her eyes, she's getting older, and this new guy is undesirable (compared to her promised King). She figures that she's going to lose out on the Korean marriage.
    So she then she has her dream, and that's the final push to for her to make a run for it, towards her destiny in Korea.
    When the storm pushes her back, that gives her a chance to actually talk with her parents, and they explain that, no, they weren't looking for a different marriage for her.

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    Quote Originally Posted by frimble3 View Post
    Have I got the sequence right? She's promised in an arranged marriage to a King in Korea. She runs away to Korea, is thrown back by a storm, gets her parents' blessing, and heads off to Korea again? And you need a reason for her to run off in the first place?

    What if she's pleased with the marriage offer, and is anticipating becoming a queen, and then she hears rumours that her parents are contemplating a better offer? Changing politics might make a different match more advantageous. This doesn't even have to be a real offer, just a bit of gossip, backed up by the prescence of a new ambassador or whatever. But she's young and impulsive, and, in her eyes, she's getting older, and this new guy is undesirable (compared to her promised King). She figures that she's going to lose out on the Korean marriage.
    So she then she has her dream, and that's the final push to for her to make a run for it, towards her destiny in Korea.
    When the storm pushes her back, that gives her a chance to actually talk with her parents, and they explain that, no, they weren't looking for a different marriage for her.
    Sorry, my fault.

    The gods, sent her a dream of her future husband, but they don't physically meet (just dream of each other). She attempts to leave without her parent's permission and then is thrown back by a storm. She has to make up with her parents since she has no financial resources after that point, then they get the dream and then she goes off with their blessing this time and a cut deal to make a trade route happen (with her brother and two courtiers).

    I need the reason she decides to try the first time without her parents' permission, which back then would have been a huge deal.

    She's impatient and short-tempered and already feels choked where she is. She's trapped in the palace, forbidden to leave until the day she gets married. Her mom has decided to ignore her prophetic dream and interpret it differently and set her up with possible suitors (Who all end up in bad ways). She has an offer of a boat on the table if she greases palms just so from someone she doesn't trust. But it's not quite enough to get her to leave. She needs a final straw.

    The widow thing seems far fetched at this point... I *could* try to slide it, but in order to overturn the widow part I'd need a love match which would be really difficult given that the princess's mother is not a favorite wife right now (The queen is the third wife and has very little power) and it would make people balk at the historical and religious inaccuracy. I really wanted to do this one, but seeing that history and religion is stacked against me, I had to quit it.

    Maybe the kidnapping if I tweak her reaction and cut the Brahmin bit? She's already pissed at her mom for withstanding the bad treatment of the other wives, so finding out that her mom had been kidnapped and her father is attacking her mother's former people and her mom isn't willing to do anything might make her go over the deep end and want to give up on everybody and everything. She's not quite mature yet... ^^;; She is only 14-15, so impulsive behavior wouldn't be out of the question.

    Are there better plot possibilities?
    Last edited by Rachel Udin; 01-13-2013 at 06:43 AM.

  6. #6
    Heckuva good sport frimble3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rachel Udin View Post
    She's impatient and short-tempered and already feels choked where she is. She's trapped in the palace, forbidden to leave until the day she gets married. Her mom has decided to ignore her prophetic dream and interpret it differently and set her up with possible suitors (Who all end up in bad ways). She has an offer of a boat on the table if she greases palms just so from someone she doesn't trust. But it's not quite enough to get her to leave. She needs a final straw.

    Maybe the kidnapping if I tweak her reaction and cut the Brahmin bit? She's already pissed at her mom for withstanding the bad treatment of the other wives, so finding out that her mom had been kidnapped and her father is attacking her mother's former people and her mom isn't willing to do anything might make her go over the deep end and want to give up on everybody and everything. She's not quite mature yet... ^^;; She is only 14-15, so impulsive behavior wouldn't be out of the question.
    I like the bolded bit. Perhaps it's not that the mom isn't willing to do anything, but can't do anything: she has no position, no authority, nothing. All she can do is it by and watch while her husband attacks her own people.
    I could understand your princess thinking that she could be in a similar position and wanting to get out of there. Put some miles between her new life and her old one, so that no matter what, she won't have to watch her old home and her new, at each other's throats. Which sounds like a reasonable risk, if she marries into the kingdom next door.

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    Thank you a lot everyone.

    I'll try the kidnapping idea then and see if it flies with the person checking my draft...

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