Origins: The Cursed Hearts?

From Scenic Reflections

I should mention that this idea is evolving as I type.  It popped into my head this morning as I read more poems and stories about love.  Pandora with its songs about women, love, broken hearts, and whatnot didn’t help.  My mind turned its hamster wheel, which reminds me that I need to feed the thing.  The result is the following idea that might be put into Project Phoenix:

A man and woman are cursed lovers.  Both are adventurers, heroes, or something like that.  Their quests is, of course, to break the curse and live happily ever after.  I have to figure out the curse and one unique idea I have is plain strange.  They can only hear each other. To each other they are invisible and they pass through each other if they try to touch with the body.  They can still accidentally hit each other with a blunt object, a weapon, or a spell.  To everyone else, they are both visible and touchable, so it makes for some awkward situations.  This makes fighting alongside each other rather difficult because how do you swing a sword with confidence if your lover could be standing in front of you.  I would need to carefully pick their powers too because Project Phoenix means they’re Mylrixians (superheroes of Windemere) They would need a system to locate each other.

Reason for curse could be a coven of ex-lovers or jealous people or maybe someone that believes their child will be a powerful agent of good.  That does lead into to a great hero to join Serum in his series.  I’m making this up as I go along.  I don’t even know where to begin with the cure.  I do know that I don’t want to go tragedy because it feels like everyone goes for the tragic ending these days.  Not to get into this rant, but when did everyone want to be the edgy author that gave their protagonists an unhappy ending?  I’m at the point where a happy ending is more surprising than an unhappy one.

I’ve wanted to try a cursed lover idea before, but it always got swallowed up by a bigger story.  The Project Phoenix system of stand-alone stories instead of a big, on-going storyline could help this one blossom.  I’d have to learn more about romance writing, minus the erotica part.  It would depend a lot on dialogue, but that’s one of my specialties.

So, that’s a new idea that’s brewing while I haven’t touched any of the other 40 ideas.  I have issues.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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33 Responses to Origins: The Cursed Hearts?

  1. prayingforoneday says:

    Interesting, I have a MILLION ideas for stories for a book, but am not brave enough to share 🙂
    I think your love curse is interesting. How far you think you can take it? or was it just a thought..

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  2. MishaBurnett says:

    Sounds a lot like “Ladyhawke”, actually. It’s been a long time since I saw that one–I need to see if it’s on Netflix.

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    • My mind went to that as I was looking for the photo. That’s why I avoided the animal curse. I haven’t seen that movie since I was a kid.

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      • MishaBurnett says:

        Okay, I’ve got a really weird idea that I want to share with you.

        What if the reason that they can’t see each other is that they share the same body? That is, when one goes to sleep his body changes into her body and she wakes up with no memory of what he did. At the start of the story they wouldn’t even know that, they would just be looking for each other and always show up at a place where the other just left.

        Only when a third party happens to witness the transformation is the nature of the curse revealed.

        Granted, it would take some finagling to explain details like their belongings (if it’s a magical curse they could change, too, I suppose) and things like going to sleep in one place and waking up somewhere else, but I think it could be a fun concept to play with.

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      • Interesting. Like a Jekyll/Hyde type of thing, but with lovers. It would definitely be a fun way to play with it. I was going to start with them being separated and having to find each other before setting out on the quest. Sounds hard to find a person that you can only hear the voice of.

        That would definitely make for a great fighter/spellcaster combo. I’ll have to play around with that.

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    • That’s exactly what I was thinking! Quite Ladyhawke-esque indeed — but definitely sufficiently unique to warrant its own story 🙂 I find it interesting that objects they’re holding can affect each other — does that apply to their clothing as well? Because it would be kind of cool if they could feel cloth brush against their skin, but not the person inside the clothes.

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      • I was thinking about that and thought I would make it that it works like an aura. The coating would include their clothes, but anything weapon-based is exempt. The person that cursed is going to be a cruel villain, so putting that clause in would make some sense. The weapon would have to be drawn of course.

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  3. Ooo, I love this idea! How very, well, romantic! Project Phoenix sounds like it’s going to be a hit!

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  4. Bastet says:

    Yeah! sounds like a really interesting idea! I like the touch of them losing one another only to find they’re looking for one another…

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    • I’m still torn between having them start out searching for each other or have a few chapters where they’re hunting for each other.

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      • Bastet says:

        In a way it sounds like the same thing…why not start out with when they first separate?

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      • Not really the same thing. In one scenario, they start the book looking for each other and then go on the quest to remove the curse. In the other scenario, they are on the quest and one of the obstacles is that they lose each other. A mid-point act of suspense if you will.

        A third option could be that they aren’t even with each other until the end. They could be on the same quest and pass each other at various points in the story. Then they reunite during the final battle when they realize they’re in the same room for the first time in years.

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      • Bastet says:

        Ah…now I understand what you mean…hard joice you’ve got there!

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      • I haven’t even designed them yet, so that might be a deciding factor. All of the characters of the Project Phoenix series are altered mortals like the superheroes of comic books. So, that will probably play a role. I’m thinking no to either of them being a telepath since that would be cheating.

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      • Bastet says:

        Oh yes…that wouldn’t be fair at all! I don’t think I’ve ever read anything of the Project Phoenix, sounds interesting.

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      • It’s a category if you want to read the few characters and ideas that have come up. The basics are that it was my superhero series, but it ballooned into 16-19 books. I merged everything into Windemere, so I’ve been trying to figure out how to adapt my superheroes. Slow going, but I think I’m getting it.

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      • Bastet says:

        Great…I’ll try to have a go, sound like fun.

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  5. You’ve been reading poems about love? Where, oh where, did you find them? J/K!

    You know, if anyone ever says, “That poem was so beautiful,” they obviously weren’t paying attention. 🙂

    Your post reminds me about that song (w/ Miley Cirus?) about playing a country song backwards. Maybe you can get your happy ending that way. 🙂

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    • I say that when I mean it and can’t think of anything else to say. I find it very hard to compliment poetry because I fear that I mistranslated it. Poetry can be so rough. I’m surprised I made it out of those college courses in one piece.

      Good idea. Going from the ending to the beginning might be a good way to figure this one out.

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      • I can absolutely agree with lack of confidence in translating poetry. It doesn’t stop me from reading it every week, though. I enjoyed Sylvia Plath’s poetry, but the only one I’m confident I understand is the short one called Metaphors (and let me admit I didn’t get it on the first try… or the second…).

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      • Oddly enough, I never read any of the big poets. The classes were all writing instead of reading. So we battled over translating each other.

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  6. howanxious says:

    That appears to be an interesting idea.. Two cursed lovers trying to find an end to their agony.. coming forth to work together. Hmm.. that is indeed interesting. If you want to enter more of a romantic side to their story, you might create scenes of desolation they both find themselves in even when they are together.. still supporting each other to the best of their capabilities. A lot many emotional twists can be added… certain scenarios coming across my mind.
    But yes, it seems like a pretty good idea. I hope you would be able to bring it to life..

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  7. They can’t hear each other but SEE things that they write to each other…. like, in the sand, dirt, paper, etc. Footprints are also seen, also slight movement of things in the wind as they pass. This would make for the touching moment when the spell is broken when they finally hear each other’s voice after a long silence, kind of like in Ladyhawke when Isabeau speaks Navarre’s name. This would also make it easier in the battles scenes if you could have them find special footwear (boots or the like) or have someone enchant their own so their footprints are always visible.

    Heighten the tension when one of the couple’s footwear is lost or stolen…..

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    • I’m just worried that the ‘hear their voice again’ thing has been done a lot. That was why I was leaning toward making the voice the only thing they have. I’m not really sure what you’re suggesting though. Remove sight, touch, smell, and hearing from the scenario, except for passage indicators?

      There is a flaw in the battle issue. If the visible footwear or footprints are the indicators then they will be spending the entire fight staring at the ground. That would greatly decrease their aim and defense. It would have to be something that allows them to look ahead and around, so incoming attacks can be noticed.

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      • Nope, not smell…. and you could be right about the not hearing the voice being done a lot. Removing sight and touch would be good though, leaving them with only smell and hearing.

        You have a point with the flaw – I had not considered that aspect. You COULD have one sing during battle to ensure that their position was heard…. there’s dozens of situations where one could have better talent at hearing awareness (so to speak) than the other (hunter, race, special martial training).

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      • Their abilities and roles will definitely factor into everything. I was playing with the idea that one or both of them had bells on their weapons. There’s also the blind-fighting method, which was always explained to me as depending on your ears instead of your eyes.

        Truthfully, I never considered smell, so one of them could have a heightened sense of smell. So many choices.

        One thing I need to figure out is what happens if one tries to unknowingly retract their arm through the other and has a sword. Thinking it stops since it would be hilt first.

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