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Old 11-22-2012, 05:23 AM   #1
mickeyDs4
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Romantic or Stalker?

In this day and age with so many young girls looking for their white knights in letterman jackets, would it be offsetting to have a boy pursuing the girl. My NaNo project and I have been having a disagreement over the amount of devotion Huck can bestow on Darcy Jane before it reaches stalker point.

Examples: When they first meet, Darcy Jane is hard up for an escort to cotillion. Her aunt, the wife of a state senator runs into another senator's wife and her son, the DLI Huck. Huck agrees, rather reluctantly to escort Darcy Jane to the event but doesn't tell her that he's been admiring her from afar until a brunch the next afternoon. From there he starts paying her all sorts of compliments, and buys her flowers and candy. Is there a point where romantic chivalry goes too far? Or is this even an avenue teenage girls are traveling down? A DLI that's romantic without acting like a possessive jerk or feeling like a stalker.

Any thoughts?
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Old 11-22-2012, 06:04 AM   #2
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I think it largely depends on her reaction. Also, (don't know the time period here) the flowers and candy thing is pretty old-fashioned and cliche so it might feel stalkerish unless the MC has shown a special interest in flowers and candy. Generic romantic gestures tend to feel creepy because they don't always consider the actual object of the affection.

So if you want to make sure it's romantic, it should be personalized and she should be very clearly receptive. Any sign that she's uncomfortable is going to make him look like a douche. And if he hasn't clearly considered her personality and taken an interest in her as a person, he'll seem like he's objectifying her.
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Old 11-22-2012, 06:52 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeyDs4 View Post
My NaNo project and I have been having a disagreement over the amount of devotion Huck can bestow on Darcy Jane before it reaches stalker point.
Entirely depends on the reception of it. If she's totally not interested then him even watching her from across a room all the time can come across as weird and stalkery. If she accepts his flowers with a blush and a thanks, nothing creepy about him then buying her candy or whatever.

And watch for things that are done without her consent. That whole 'admiring her from afar' thing in and of itself could be problematic, depending on where he's been watching her and if she had any expectation of privacy.

I've got to say, that stalking-as-love trope is one that I can't WAIT to be rid of, especially in YA fiction. It's so incredibly harmful.
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Old 11-22-2012, 07:23 AM   #4
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I think for me it would depend on the time period this is in. With the names, a cotillion, etc (and your sig, I admit), I wonder if this is set in a previous age? If so, then there were different conventions for wooing and this behavior might be within the social norms, and would therefore work. Modern day, I agree with missesdash that the flowers and candy would be old-fashioned enough that it might seem off. Bear in mind, though, that I'm a danged Yankee, and this strikes me as more of a southern piece (we didn't have a lot of cotillions or brunches up north). I'm not up on southern etiquette among the debutant crowd, so in that setting, again, it might be perfectly normal.
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Old 11-22-2012, 08:30 AM   #5
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It all depends on how she responds to his confession at brunch. The compliments are probably no big deal, unless he really overdoes it or she tells him to stop. But buying her things, no matter what they are, without having gotten some sign of interest from her has a good chance of coming off as creepy. It's not stalkery unless he keeps it up in the face of her refusal or if he does it a lot without giving her a chance to express her opinion.
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Old 11-22-2012, 09:46 AM   #6
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If you're aiming for things to work out romantically, I'd suggest not going too heavy on the gifts. Buying lots of gifts often comes from the attitude that throwing gifts at a relationship will solve everything. It's as though the gift-giver is trying to bribe the other person into liking them. This tends to end badly.

The romantic end is more like one gift that really means something to her.
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:14 AM   #7
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Thanks guys! Really good advice. I just didn't want their relationship to turn out like so many others in YA lately. I think what I've got going right now is going to work.
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:31 AM   #8
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Bless you for just giving the matter so much thought. I've never thrown so many books against walls as I have in the last year, reading all these obsessive, scary 'heroes' that are taking over YA fiction.
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