1. WritersBlock
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    WritersBlock New Member

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    A plot concept...would this work?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by WritersBlock, Dec 7, 2009.

    I had this awesome idea today but I'm not all that sure that it would work as a novella or even a short novel...my plot concept is a man on the brink of committing suicide after so many terrible things had happened to him over his lifetime. As he is writing his suicide note, the memories flash back to him and the reader learns what lead him to this pont. I would call it sort of a "reverse plot"...Good idea? Would it work? Would readers be interested? Thanks in advance for any advice.

    RB
     
  2. Writers_Block
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    Writers_Block Member

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    I think that could work, if it wasn't too long I would read it. Nice name by the way!
     
  3. Coldwriter
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    Coldwriter Contributing Member

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    That effect is interesting but I caution becoming cliché here...
    Depends on how you get the character there...does the reader really not want him to off himself or is that just our morality/ethics/pity talking?

    Write some about it and make the reader care more than simply going, oh great, just another poor, depressed guy...

    Sounds harsh but my opinion...

    Write about it!
     
  4. LadyLazarus
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    LadyLazarus Senior Member

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    It could, it all depends on the writing. Plot concepts are best just attempted, and then seeing if they'll work. Not seeing if they'll work, then attempting. But as has already been said, you'll have to be awfully good at avoiding The Depressed Guy effect. Give it a go!
     
  5. Chips
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    Chips Member

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    The series of flashbacks would be a perfectly effective way of delivering the narrative, but the actual narrative will depend entirely on how well the content of those flashbacks is written; that is, its not the suicide itself which is interesting, but the story of his life. The suicide note etc is just a device to get the audience interested in his life.

    So, like everyone else - write it and see if it works!
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A story concept means nothing. I can tell you now, it has been done before. What matters is how you write it, the characterization, the flow, the imagery, all of it.

    There's no benefit in asking what other people think of the concept! They'll either say,"Sounds great," or, "it sounds like a ripoff of..."

    If the idea stirs you, write it. Then ask people what they think of the final story. After they tell you what they don't like about it, revise it, usually several times, until you're happy with it or until you throw up your hands and say the hell with it.

    Please read this thread about What is Plot Creation and Development?
     
  7. Destin
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    Destin Senior Member

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    I think it would be a cool idea if the guy looks back on his life and how bad it was but ends up realizing that through it all someone or some people cared about him a lot. Upon this realization, he crumples up the letter and throws it away.

    Of course, I tire of reading suicide stories. I think they are depressing and melodramatic.
     
  8. Lady Atrox
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    Lady Atrox New Member

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    I agree. I have read stories of 'depressed guys/girls' but I haven't read above idea before...(Offcourse, that doesn't say it isn't done before, but it's just 'les common')
     
  9. hszmv
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    hszmv Member

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    I have to agree with Cogito. When I first read your description, my thought was "Okay, so we see George on the Bridge before Clarance learns about George's life." Now, I have no idea what happens after the flashbacks conclude, but I'm seeing one of three ways it could go down:

    A.) He goes through with it. This is a bit of a downer, but if you showed a third person view of his life (i.e. Not his... he thinks everyone hates him. We know that.) that the people in his life had been given chances to help him, and ignored it, it could be very powerful.

    B.) Some one saves him. Sort of the direct opposite of the above, where at least one person sees the warning signs and correctly sees trouble ahead. A bit fluffier and kinda loses the power of the message of the first, but this is the life of a suicidal man (or woman) we're talking about. The readers are not going to be very down in the dumps when reading this, they deserve a happy ending. To avoid making it too sappy, I would suggest making him suicidal at the conclusion of the book, but note that he can now get the help he needs.

    C.) He comes to the realization himself, that his life is worth it. Deus Ex Machina. And closest to the "Wonderful Life" version of the story. This may cause a collective groan from people who already think that, through premise alone, this isn't unique. I would really caution against this ending, but if you can write it well, go for it.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    no one can possibly tell if it would work, or would be a good read till you write it!

    as i've said so many times i should save it to cut and paste, even the worst idea in the hands of a good writer can become a bestseller, while a poor writer can bomb with the best idea ever...
     
  11. RobT
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    RobT Active Member

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    I know it's not an identical plot but very much reminds me of "It's a Wonderful Life".
     
  12. Never Master
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    Never Master Member

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    The first thing you might've done before posting here would've been to chase that plot bunny down into its hole to see what wondrous creativity he had stashed down there.

    Whenever I get what feels like a really awesome idea I immediately start following that thread of thought about my labyrinth of a mind. If I'm able, I start jotting things down. If I'm not, I curse and swear, for it will all too soon be forgotten. The BEST time to get something beginning on its written journey is to attack it when your mind is still excited about it. Telling other people about it or thinking on it too long tends to stymie the creative flow a bit.

    I don't want to sound mean, and I hope I don't come off as such. It is merely an observation and a personal preference. Some people are capable of mulling plot points and story ideas for weeks before committing anything to written word, that just isn;t me.

    Good luck!
     
  13. jayroebuck
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    jayroebuck Member

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    I agree with the fact that you would have to put some effort into making this idea original. Careful not to parallel Slum Dog Millionaire. The success of that movie has a big shadow over this idea at face value. Twist it up, maybe he is already dead (M. Night), maybe he is an android and the suicide note is just a program that is corrupt (Matrix), oooor maybe he works at a suicide helpline during the day and, being very religious, knows that the people that call him saying that they are going commit suicide are doomed to an eternity in fires of hell, so he decides to visit each one and take their lives, thus saving their souls and damning his, what does he care...he was going to kill his self anyways. Don't forget about the alcoholic homicide detective trying solve the murders. :eek: Just a thought. Copyright Me 2009. Just kidding, run with it. WRITE, WRITE, WRITE!

    Good luck!
     
  14. Phantasmal Reality
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    Phantasmal Reality Contributing Member

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    Yeah, I'm going to have to agree with everyone else who's said, "Who knows?" Such a bare-bones plot summary doesn't tell us nearly enough to make a judgment call on it. There's no limit to the various ways you could craft a story around that premise, some great, some cliche, and some downright terrible. Until you write a portion of it, we can't tell you anything. :)
     
  15. writewizard
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    writewizard Contributing Member

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    Yes, it could defenetly work. You could even have the man in the end decide whether to save his life or take his life. You could have each chapter start off with a sentance or a paragraph. For example, the first chapter could start off with the sentance, "Dear Ella, today I write you this letter..." And then take off from there. You could go through how he meets this woman and how she helps, or, doesn't help. And the chapters could take off like that. However you want to work it - it's your story. In the end, it wilil work because you decide to let it work, or it will not work because you cannot make it work. The result is tottally up to you.
     
  16. raych
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    raych New Member

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    I am struggling with a similar plot idea. What I am having the most trouble with is making the life story interesting enough to warrant the almost-cliche beginning and end. My plot has changed dramatically since the initial suicide idea, and the suicide aspect has been downgraded to a twist in a much broader plot.

    I think you need to decide what effect you want the story to have on the reader, and develop your plot accordingly.
     
  17. writewizard
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    writewizard Contributing Member

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    Look at the Harry Potter and Twilight series. Neither of them are realistic but they are sweping our nation into debate about which one is better. Don't think that your idea isn't good. Start writing it! Even if you never publish it you will gain character development study and interesting insight. Plus you can always save your characters for later. ;)

    My advice to you is to try. You can always ditch the writing. Don't loose the idea. ;)
     

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