We have gathered here today to join stories in a Friday Plot Swap.
No, that picture is not an advertisement for some low-budget indie film. It's the quality photography provide by the "professional" at my friend's wedding in 1994.
The guy poked a whole in the bottom of a styrofoam cup then stuck that on the end of his lens and kept bragging about how it was, "Better than a $100 filter."
Yeah...not so much.
Evidently, there is some big to-do wedding happening in England this weekend. I've never followed the royal family so I know nothing about it, but it made me think a Wedding-style plot swap would be fun.
Everyone has a wedding story, even if they've never been married.
Sometimes it's simple annoying stuff like when the ring bearer at my sister-in-laws wedding dropped to the ground and started chewing and licking the groomen's shoes. Or when as a bridesmaid, I had to carry the flower girl out of the church because she laid down in the middle of the aisle as the wedding party was walking out and refused to budge.
*For more fun wedding stories and pictures of me in various bridesmaid dresses, check out my review of Always a Bridesmaid (For Hire).
Sometimes something worse can ruin the moment snow in West Texas in the middle of April (It happened) or a cellphone blaring Ring of Fire as the bride comes down the aisle (true story). Or the bride accidentally saying, "Can't we just get this funeral started!" (Another true story. Oddly, they are no longer married.)
If you google, "Wedding disasters" or "Wedding crimes" or "Wedding murders" literally thousands of stories pop up. On second thought, don't do that last one. I did. It's really depressing how many people are killed on their wedding day.
One of the more interesting—and much less heartwrenching—stories I found was about The Wedding Sting.
How a police department tried to save a failing Rust Belt town by luring all the local drug dealers to one party
I loved everything about this article. If you've got time, you should really sit down and read it. The short version is in 1990 a police department in rural Michigan put together fake wedding between two undercover cops who had been posing as drug-users for months.
They invited all of these dealers (who actually showed up!) At some point during the festivities, the "bride" pulled her service weapon from where her garter should have been and announced. "Let's have some fun. Anyone here who's a cop, stand up!" and then a lot of bad people went to jail.
There is so much here to work with! The characters of these cops are amazing. One of them was called "Moon" because he'd would frequently drop his pants and show his backside to dealers as a way to prove he wasn't a cop. I mean, come on! That guy is screaming for a place in a book!
You could write about the operation itself or about the people who were peripherally involved.
What about the caters who knew this was fake? What if one of them was put in a position to leak information to save someone they loved?
What if your main character's new love interest (who she doesn't realize is a drug dealer with outstanding warrants) took her to this wedding?
The "bride" and the handler that she reported her evidence to ended up getting married for real. Can you imagine that story?
If small town Michigan isn't your ideal setting, the FBI did something similar in a yacht off the coast of Atlantic city in 2005.
I know there are plenty of romcom stories about brides being left at the altar then finding true love because they were determined to show their ex they could live without them. Sometimes it's the bride who leaves the groom heartbroken, and sometimes it's an accident?
So here's a challenge for you, fellow plot swappers: Write this story, make it believable, make the bride likable, and give it a happy ending. Basically, the bride got overwhelmed about everything she had to do that day, didn't seem to have anyone helping her, couldn't get to the church until 90 minutes after she was supposed to be there and the groom dumped her.
What if she was sabotaged, fought bravely through every obstacle, and the guy wasn't a jerk? The article says she called him but he was too frustrated to help her. Welcome to the rest of your life, buddy.
Same challenge, different story.
This adds the layer of an arranged marriage and scam.
and finally, the story you couldn't use in a book because no one would believe it.
Notice it reads "Cheats death"? She walked away from the crash and the wedding went on as planned with the helicopter debris smoldering behind the venue. That's a woman determined to get married!
You could use this for an action thriller or maybe a Mission Impossible fanfic (do those exist?)
So that's what I have for you this week.
What wedding stories do you have to swap?
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