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You Know You've Been Unemployed a Long Time When... - Mo's Journal
August 13th, 2010
01:19 pm

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You Know You've Been Unemployed a Long Time When...

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From:wneleh
Date:August 15th, 2010 06:07 pm (UTC)
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I think MC has to be a women - the central premise is, here's this brilliant 50-something-er who has become invisible to people who don't already know her; or she's immediately grokked as scary!Mommy or the fifth grade teacher they hated.

Similarly, I don't think she's partnered; I don't think someone with a competent other in her life would put the energy into this that it requires. First, she's driven in part by $-based desperation, and I don't see that in the partnered out-of-work or underemployed women I know (and the more I think about it, the more I realize that an awful lot of women I know who were working FT or happily PT a few years ago aren't working, or working much, right now, for a lot of reasons but the economy is at the root of most of them).

Also (remember, I'm not thinking a straight Mary Sue, or Mo insertion, here) she's motivated by, I guess I'd call it a drop in status. In partnered people, there's a bit of borrowing (I know a lot of people who will say "my parents were professors" when they mean "my dad was a prof") but the MC doesn't have that. If she can pull this off, she's proven she's smarter than an awful lot of people; and along the way she ends up figuring out several other murder cases that she ultimately decides she can't frame herself for, which brings some satisfaction (with added plot complications of, how do you tell the police who done it w/o bringing attention to oneself?)

Or maybe I'm just showing my standard lack in interest in writing romantic relationships!
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From:wneleh
Date:August 15th, 2010 06:09 pm (UTC)
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BTW, a lot of the invisibility thing is what I've been experiencing the past year or two. It's very strange, and I don't like it one bit. But no more about that on LJ!
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From:mofic
Date:August 15th, 2010 11:07 pm (UTC)
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If you want to talk about it elsewhere I'm all ears (or, I guess, eyes).
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From:mofic
Date:August 15th, 2010 10:11 pm (UTC)
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Hmmm. I don't want it to be a Mary Sue but I think whether male or female the character has to be the breadwinner for the family. I think s/he has to be motivated by financial desperation. I don't think loss of status will do it, because Convicted Murderer is lower status than SAHM. So I think it's either:

- a married man in a traditional family
- a woman in a lesbian couple where she's always been the breadwinner; or
- a single parent.

But with the single parent I have the problem you mentioned of not wanting to leave her kids (although if she's desperate enough and confident enough this will work I can see it) and also the problem of she needs someone she's confiding in to try to talk her out of this. Still, I guess it doesn't have to be a partner.

FWIW being I've been out of work when partnered and when unpartnered and I was not less desperate when partnered. It depends who the partner is, among other things.
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