Cron Origin Scene Ah hah–I think I have an OS. The one where his parents said “Take care of Us. Let the rest hang.” But, although I knew that he had to change his world view, I haven’t exploited it as much as I could throughout the novel. It’s mushy. I think, especially when he first meets someone, he specifically needs to judge people based on this misbelief…how they’re going to affect him and his survival. But will that make him too self-centered and unlikeable?? Maybe if I also work with the idea that he’s betraying his parents if he changes his misbelief…
That’s definitely an OS moment. Anything (or most anything) adults tell a child becomes gospel (unless that adult has already been proven untrustworthy, but even then, if that were total fact, child molesters wouldn’t be able to get away with doing what they do…) So it needs to be (and this is more part of his internal GMC than anything else, at the start) that the Take Care Of Us, Everyone Else Hang theme was obviously said more than once to him, acted out more than once, shown to be The Way more than once. And he has to have seen that it worked just fine (in his childish opinion) for the adults he cared about and who (he assumes) cared about him.
I can also see where that was probably, given the world, a workable thing to tell a child at that point, from an adult’s perspective. Kids are all over the lot, easily swayed. His parents wanted him to focus because they knew survival depended on it. It’s not unlike the ubiquitous “Well, if everyone ELSE jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge, does that mean you would too?” (You all have heard variations of that, yes?) There’s nothing inherently wrong with “pay attention first to your family–don’t follow or be concerned with what others are doing.”
It’s also very possible, since your MC is still a kid and his parents are dead, that he totally misconstrued their meaning with that advice.
I know someone who, when she was a little girl–ahem, I won’t mention names–was told by her mother, “You know, if you’d just smile more people might think you’re pretty”… and for years lived under the belief she was horribly ugly unless she smiled. And even then, believed that wouldn’t be enough to hide that she was ugly.
Now did my…oops, HER mother intend that meaning? I don’t think so. I think it was more that the little girl in question was actually a very shy and serious child. Terrified of people. So that when her parents’ friends came over, it was probably embarrassing that the little girl cringed and stared at the floor. So, yeah. Getting back to your MC–he may not only be working under a misbelief, he may have interpreted that misbelief incorrectly. A possible Ah-ha scene near the end of the book could include his correction or more adult-like understanding of that bit of wisdom, which would be a resolution of INTERNAL conflict along with whatever external issues are in the plot.
Rasley Plotting Problems-Hmm, maybe I need to remove the bit about his parents being dead and their mantra about taking care of Us. Maybe it “kills the suspense by telling right away how we got here to this opening situation.”
My gut feeling is keep it. I see or sense it as a big part of his Internal GMC. I don’t think it kills suspense at all but rather makes him relatable. He’s honoring his parents, even after death. It shows, in spite of his physical circumstances, a lot of internal fortitude. He’s trustworthy–even if perhaps he’s placed his trust in the wrong persons or thing.
//Interstellar Adventure Infused with Romance//