1. JPauline
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    JPauline New Member

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    Advice on improving needed

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by JPauline, Feb 12, 2011.

    Reading some of my old writing, I've found that I like the characters, and I like most of the stories as well. The problem I'm having is after reading them a couple of times, I find there is no plot. It's just a bunch of things happening to a few characters

    I wanted to rewrite and finish a story I started years ago. I started an outline, so this time I would at least know where I wanted to story to go, instead of just writing what ever came to me at the time.

    All of my past stories seem to follow that same line of logic, a storyline with no or a very weak plot, and a fairy-tale type ending, (If I even got that far)

    I can not seem to get past the ending being to perfect, also in many of the stories I have written, the characters aren't doing anything that challenges them. At most they have a friend they can call to come help them.
     
  2. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    I try to make my stories unpredictable. Sometimes, that means a major character has to die. Or plan A doesn't work, and the characters have to find an alternative. Take a look at one of your stories and find a point where your characters had it too easy, then throw a wrench in there and see how they deal with it.

    Every story doesn't need a fairy tale ending. Why not try a mixed ending: a little good and a little bad?
     
  3. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Take the idea of whatever conflicts you have and amp them way up. If there's a part where someone scrapes his knee, have him break his leg, figuratively speaking. Hope that makes sense lol.
     
  4. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    The first thing you need to do is think of the main challenge or conflict the MC goes through. Once you have that, go from there: who or what is his/her opposition or obstacles in their path, how can (s)he combat against them etc.

    So there's some planning involved, even if just in your head. There needs to be some direction, a goal the MC is working towards.

    Then you can tie in sub-plots as needed.
     
  5. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes, it's easier if you give each of your characters a motivating force or goal. The end of the story is either the goal being reached, surmounting physical or mental obstacles (fairytale ending) or the same process, but the goal being unattainable (tragedy?). In either case, generally epic lessons are learnt along the way which change the character.
     
  6. JPauline
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    JPauline New Member

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    How do you deal with stories that take a massive turn in direction then planned?

    Two example I can think of is one was going to be a group of students lost in the woods on a trip turned into a romantic story in which the secondary character helped the main character leave an abusive parent.

    The other was going to be a time travel story between two teenagers that turned into another romantic story about a girl (15) that was covering the fact she was raising her 10 siblings by herself after her mother took off.

    I do know one thing that gets me is enjoy doing word wars, and that can make a story take a strange and unexpected direction.
     
  7. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    This advice sounds very good. I usually find that when my stories are not going anywhere it helps to have a second look at their desires/yearnings/goals, and give them as many obstacles I can think of. A fairytale ending isn't bad if you let your chars and readers went through hell of an obstacle(s) to achieve their goal.
     

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