Pregnancy in Stories

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Pregnancy in Stories

Post by Call Me Nefret on Thu Mar 31, 2016 2:15 am

The one thing I've realized over the course of plotting out my story is that there are going to be a lot of pregnancies. It makes a certain sort of sense, I have a lot of young, married and/or sexually active characters that want children for one reason or another. Women that want to ensnare men, a king that needs an heir, that sort of thing. But it's giving me one giant issue: time. Since I decided against the "women have super fast pregnancies for reason x" I have to plot out weeks before the woman even knows she's pregnant and the pregnancy can affect the plot.

Fortunately, I have a lot of subplots going on, so I have other things to focus on while waiting for the pregnancy to show. But thinking it over, time skips will probably be necessary sometimes. So I ask you guys: how do you write in time passing? Do you have a character mention it? Do you have a standard "In the following weeks, Character spent their time doing stuff" type of time skip?

And what are your thoughts on pregnancies in stories? Do you think there are right and wrong ways to write them?
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Re: Pregnancy in Stories

Post by Poetic-Jessie on Thu Mar 31, 2016 3:06 pm

Call Me Nefret wrote:The one thing I've realized over the course of plotting out my story is that there are going to be a lot of pregnancies. It makes a certain sort of sense, I have a lot of young, married and/or sexually active characters that want children for one reason or another. Women that want to ensnare men, a king that needs an heir, that sort of thing. But it's giving me one giant issue: time. Since I decided against the "women have super fast pregnancies for reason x" I have to plot out weeks before the woman even knows she's pregnant and the pregnancy can affect the plot.

Fortunately, I have a lot of subplots going on, so I have other things to focus on while waiting for the pregnancy to show. But thinking it over, time skips will probably be necessary sometimes. So I ask you guys: how do you write in time passing? Do you have a character mention it? Do you have a standard "In the following weeks, Character spent their time doing stuff" type of time skip?

And what are your thoughts on pregnancies in stories? Do you think there are right and wrong ways to write them?

I guess I show time passing by writing, "Over the next month, Character changed their focus from x to y." Or "Over the next 6 weeks, Character made progress on her master plan of taking over the world." I did hear from a published author that you are supposed to say definite times, (like instead of "later that night" it's "at 9 o'clock that night"... So, I guess you could extend this out to the passage of weeks or months and say precisely how many days/weeks/months passed...) but I think she wrote contemporary fiction instead of fantasy, so I'm not sure if this applies... Maybe it's just something to keep in mind. I don't think you need to include a calendar date... that's too much effort in fantasy, but then again, some authors (I think Tamora Pierce does this in her later books) do include a calendar date, so there are a couple schools of thought on this...

I also kind of summarise, "Character did this and that and all of these other things," and in the next scene, state how much time has passed since the last scene.

That's generally what I do, but I'm open to looking at other ways.

Also, in regards to pregnancy, I think you can have fun with them if the character who is pregnant is generally unreasonable (like, imagine if Milorth got pregnant (say his gender flipped or this is some special dragon trait that males can get pregnant). He's reasonable when it comes to other dragons and some other immortals, but to everyone else, he's unreasonable and over the top).

But as to whether there is a right way or a wrong way, I can't say as I have never been pregnant. Maybe one of the Mums or soon-to-be Mums can shed some light on this one Smile
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Re: Pregnancy in Stories

Post by Waterfall17 on Tue Apr 12, 2016 12:49 am

I think it depends on what you want from the plot/particular character.

I knew I was pregnant right away, but of course that's because we were trying and I was temping/knew when to test/knew symptoms. Perhaps your character is more of the clueless sort. In such a case, I think it'd be kind of necessary to indicate some potential symptoms she'd have during the waiting period to tip off the reader (but nothing overly obvious to make the character look dumb, if that makes sense)...and then maybe an aha moment.

I agree in general with the passage of time method mentioned previously. You could use subtext via seasons...

Another case scenario that could be interesting: a relatively symptom-less pregnancy. That way it wouldn't be obvious to the person and there could be a whole lotta angst involved if you wanted and it'd be a surprise/twist for everyone.

Or, again, you could take the approach with someone more like me who knew right away, and focus on what she intends to do with the information (wait it out and see if it lasts, tell a close friend, tell no one, brag to someone who isn't...and it'd be kind of interesting if they really were, like above person).

I'm not sure about the dynamics of your story, but if you're looking for deets on pregnancy and issues of it I've got your back LOL
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Re: Pregnancy in Stories

Post by Poetic-Jessie on Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:31 am

I agree with Waterfall17, I think it depends on what you want from the plot/character.

In regards to the symptomless pregnancies, I have heard real life stories of women who didn't know they were pregnant (just thought they were putting on weight and that excess weight was the reason they didn't get their periods (sorry if that's tmi)) until they actually gave birth/went into labour. I guess you could use these symptomless pregnancies as plot devices if you wanted.

I've written the clueless character who got sick and had this mysterious illness for about two months. Everyone around her was really worried about her, because she just wasn't getting better. Then she found out she was actually pregnant. How she found out, I don't know... I think someone must have said, "Are you sure you're not pregnant?" and it clicked for my character.

But if Artimisia wants to use pregnancy to manipulte Thorsten, I imagine she'd have researched the symptoms of pregnancy and know immediatey/as soon as possible (or not.)

Or you could use a combination of these.

I'm just trying to think of a story where many women get pregnant and I can only think of Fire by Kristen Cashore... but I don't think that the book details the symptoms of the women or how they find out.

Anyway, all of these are just suggestions, I recognise they're your characters and it's your story Smile
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