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Isolation in Fiction

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Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:57 am
Rosendorn says...

I was going over what makes my favourite books, well, my favourites, and I've noticed that they tend to establish a social safe group very quickly and that social safe group stays safe. If there's a threat to part of it, then there's usually another group to retreat to.

And I've noticed I tend to put down books where a social group is loose, or there isn't a certain amount of relaxed-ness to it. There's a certain sense the character is going to end up absolutely alone and abandoned because nobody's there through thick and thin.

But obviously there's a market for these stories, since so many of them exist. Most synopses I read have, somewhere along the line, the social group completely thrown apart, betrayal, or a dark reveal.

Do you like these types of stories? Or do you prefer a safe social group that's a constant, and they face the plot together?
A writer is a world trapped in a person— Victor Hugo

Ink is blood. Paper is bandages. The wounded press books to their heart to know they're not alone.

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Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:35 am
PrincessInk says...

I usually don't mind social groups being split apart as long as they come back together. I won't like it if they permanently split. But if there's somebody I particularly despise in the group, I don't mind that person to be a traitor.

I think it's more realistic for social groups to sometimes squabble and split up but reconcile. I guess we humans all have our occasional spats with people, including relatives.

But I do like to read about tight-knit groups. It somehow feels like family, and somehow "cozy".
Hummingbirds, ink, and princesses


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Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:26 pm
Heir says...

I like the idea of a social group being torn apart. They can get back together, but that's usually how it goes. Usually, the divide happens to create tension and drama, but ultimately in the end, things go back to how they were, but stronger than ever. I like that, but things don't always play out that way.

Sometimes, you have an argument with someone that is just the first of many fractures in that relationship. Sometimes there is someone who is obstructive and has to be removed for the group to continue. The group may be okay after that, but that person probably won't be. And in fact, such an action may sow distrust among the group. If one person was left behind, maybe others can be too.

I love the loneliness and sense of abandonment that it can create when you tear the social group away from your characters. That safety net that both they and the reader felt comfortable with is gone, and now there's constant tension.

Personally, I think this works best when you've built up that social aspect, and made the audience really care for it. If you remove it from the very start, then it's always been gone, so it's not as impacting.
People can say that you can't write, but don't let them say you don't.

Monster is a relative term. To a canary, a cat is a monster. We're just used to being the cat.
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