1. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    A glaring plot problem...

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Link the Writer, Jan 31, 2015.

    OK, so the plot of my mystery (set in modern times) revolves around an old WWI sword that is claimed to have been a gift from Kaiser Wilhelm II himself to one of his closest staff members (who is the ancestor of one of my main characters). The sword is stolen and while I can easily get the motive of the main characters, I don't really understand two things:

    (1) From a historical perspective, is it accurate to say that the Kaiser himself would actually give one of his own men a sword? And for that man to say, "This is the Kaiser's sword!" Wouldn't a medal be more in like with what the Kaiser would have given in a ceremony? Wouldn't it be easier just to have the sword simply belong to the soldier initially?

    (2) Why would the antagonist steal the sword? What exactly would they do with it? The whole plot basically hangs on the descendant of the guy who got the sword from the Kaiser going, "I've got to get my family sword back before something bad happens to it!" I suppose motivation is enough, but I wonder why the antagonists would want the sword. Sell it? If so, for what? Why would they steal what's basically, to them, garbage and not something useful?

    I'm just not sure if a plot about a guy trying to get his family's historical sword back is enough to last an entire story.
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Stolen for a profit always works. And if you grow the story to one about redemption and not just getting a family item back, I think it could make an interesting story.

    In addition you could bring a lot of the Kaiser's history in, is your character like him or does he reject that as criticism? There are many aspects I can think of looking at the history of Kaiser Wilhelm II on the Net.

    Kaiser Wilhelm II sounds like a wealth of novel material.

    As for the sword, you can make it up, it's credible. Or, do some research on swords that have some provenance to the man.
    Try this site for a starting place.
     
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  3. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Ah, I hadn't considered the redemption angle. That could play well with his personal beliefs about the Kaiser. Maybe he's trying to redeem his family name? Prove himself? Both?

    I'll do some research on the Kaiser and the swords; sounds like there is a lot of potential there. Thanks for the links and advice! This might actually have some meat after all.
     
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  4. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    First. I don't see this as plot problems. These are things you haven't answered. Plot problems to me are when you have a story detail that conflicts with the main plot. Since your plot is only an idea here it not exactly possible for it to conflict yet.

    As for stolen sword being enough plot for a book. Well in the movie zombieland(I think it was) there was a guy whose entire arcing goal was to eat a twinkie. That plot point never got tired for an entire movie. It isn't what the plot point is. It is how you present it. Personally since the plot is to retreieve the sword my mind both poke 2 things at me.

    1. Moby dick. He is obsessed with recovering it. Why? Dunno.

    2. National treasure. The sword was never important just the clue that was left on it.

    Probably more that just were my mind goes. Know what I mean?
    Hope it helps.
     
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  5. domenic.p
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    domenic.p Banned

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    Link,
    I posted this on a different thread:
    There are three keys to the plot: The want, opposition to the want, and a conflict that interest the reader.

    A good plot draws the reader in. The reader may have had the same problem a character has in the story. If so, the reader would want to know how the character solved the problem. Is the story a mystery? If it is maybe there is something on the sword that is part of a key to finding something. I would suggest you first build a good plot…if it gets you excited, think about other ways the plot can be built. If the plot does not excite you, why would it excite a reader?
     
  6. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    The gift of a sword from the Kaiser would most likely be a personal gift rather than an award, unless the sword was part of some established society (e.g. knighthood, Order of the Garter etc.)

    If the family has (or had) high social standing ( but not necessarily wealth), the sword could be an important symbol of that standing and proof that a personal association with the Kaiser, as opposed to a simply official one, existed.

    Such a sword is likely to be worth a lot to collectors, so it would indeed have monetary value.
     
  7. domenic.p
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    domenic.p Banned

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    So where is the story? Why would a reader want to read about a sword?
     
  8. qp83
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    qp83 Member

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    The sword's handle is actually a key/map to a treasure room full with spoils from WWI. And the antagonist has a diary were one of the soldiers expresses his guilt from all the looting, and also reveals that the sword is the key/map. Maybe? :D
     
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  9. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I'm curious - how on earth did they manage to make that interesting for an entire movie?
     
  10. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    You'd really have to watch the movie to understand. It's post-apocalyptica, so there are no twinkies to be had, anywhere. They are constantly going into zombie infested convenience stores, concession stands, risking their lives, so that Talahasee (Woody Harrelson) can have a twinkie.
     
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  11. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    That sounds hilarious lol. But no, I don't think I'll watch it. I scare far too easy that I don't particularly want to watch any zombie films, even a spoof one.
     
  12. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    The spoof part means it is a comedy not a horror. I mean I guess there are moments it is mildly scary but not really I think only one part had tension like that and it was more like a action movie tension than a horror.

    Yeah this character goal in life really seemed to be just to eat a twinkie and you see him finding them no where to be found. You seem him constantly getting angry as he finds things that are almost like twinkies. You really feel for him. Which is awesome not because his goal is good but because it isn't Obviously in a zombie world the last thing you should care about is a desert. The way I see it, we feel for him or I felt for him because they show him so well that you understand why it is important to him even if it wouldn't be important to me or you. There is even a scene where he accidently shoots a twinkie after the bullet went through a zombie(I think. Something close to that.) After searching for so long and then to have accidently destroyed one. He looks like he is going to cry or kill. Beautiful!
     
  13. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Hahaha him accidentally destroying the twinkie made me smile. That does sound funny. :D

    Visuals scare me enough as it is without any need for music or other horror techniques, which is why I think it'd still scare me.
     

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