1. Joy
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    Joy New Member

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    Any ideas on where to go from here? Need help with the middle and end.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Joy, Sep 27, 2014.

    Hi everyone,

    The short story begins with a child playing with his ball and the ball rolls into a psychic's tent. He goes inside to retrieve it - and as he's about to pick it up, he spots a glowing crystal ball that is emitting mist inside of it. He picks up his ball to compare both of them, then swaps. (Places his ball on the table and puts the crystal one in his backpack ----not as an intention of stealing; he believes it's a toy. ) The psychic ( who I envision as a 10-ft. tall person with a dark demeanor...could be inhuman? And looks like Coraline's 'other mother' from the movie Coraline) spots him replacing the balls behind the curtains. The boy's somewhere between the ages of 5-7...so his intentions are innocent and obviously... he's not knowledgeable about the world, cannot distinguish between right or wrong, etc... What do you see happening from this point on? How could I incorporate the idea of losing a child's innocence in this?
     
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  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Welcome to the forum.

    It's an interesting opening but that's not how story telling works. You start with the story you want to tell. The beginning is something you craft around that story.
     
  3. PensiveQuill
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    PensiveQuill Contributing Member

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    I think you underestimate the wiles of a 6yr old. My nephew is that age and entirely adept at deception and manipulation. I don't think he's a unique case. One of the biggest furphies is this idea that children are somehow without guile. They may not always understand the way an adult thinks but they are very clear in their understanding of how to get what they want. Personally I think you'll short-change your character by making him an innocent.
     
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  4. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    You do know that Coraline is a book, don't you?
     
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  5. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Hi Joy, welcome to the forum. Whenever I get an idea that's just an image I either start to write and let things flood out, or I brainstorm by putting the main idea on a sheet of paper and jotting down any idea, word, imagery that comes to me.

    Or I think about who this child is, what is his family situation? What are the problems going on in his life. A good way to find a plot is to give the character a problem, a goal, a hindrance to the goal or a failure while trying to achieve the goal. The end can be his reaching the goal or not, or a change in goals.
     
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  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Sometimes an idea takes a while to gel. Set it aside until you have more of a story. Really what you have is only a seedling.
     
  7. Christine Ralston
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    Christine Ralston Active Member

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    I agree. Don't start writing a story when you have only the first spark of an idea. It takes time for a story to flesh itself out. Spend some time working on character profiles, research, and at least a general outline before starting the story. You need at least some idea where you're going before you begin.
     
  8. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Actually, I almost never start with the story I want to tell. :) However, I would say that when an author gets inspiration for the story from a mental image, that image is driven by them, and no one but them is likely to be able to untangle it and turn it into a story.
     
  9. Renee J
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    Renee J Contributing Member

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    I would just daydream and think of what can happen next. What kind of story would this be? We all write different kinds of stories. Myself would probably have the psychic do something tragic trying to get the ball back, then the boy grows up, meets a woman, falls in love, then something, something, ball magic. But, I write love stories. :p
     
  10. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    The most interesting of these two characters is definitely the psychic. What kind of person is he/she? Does this psychic want to use the child in some way? Or help the child? Is the psychic annoyed? Intrigued? It would be easy enough to follow the kid outside the tent and find the parents, and say 'hey, this kid has got my ball?' And what happens then? The parents refuse to give it back? You can go in all sorts of directions if you make the psychic the protagonist here, as well as just following the child.
     
  11. SuperVenom
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    SuperVenom Contributing Member

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    Curse him,
     
  12. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    The psychic doesn't realise the child has switched balls and is humiliated before the grand academy of Wizard Devilry when he attempts to transform a piglet into a horse and can't attach the saddle. He is sent to Wales in disgrace. There with the assistance of his ugly daughter he works out it was the little sod who pinched his spell maker and together they plan vengeance. Meanwhile the little chap has a very successful upbringing. Visuals in my mind, I'm thinking the Smurfs movie or the book.
     
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  13. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You really underestimate children. I teach little kids from the age of 6 through to 15 - trust me, they know about right and wrong. If anything, children actually have a far *stronger* sense of right and wrong than adults. How often have you heard a child cry, "It's not fair!" or when you tell a child off for hitting his friend, get the reply, "He did it first!"

    That's a sense of justice. Children know. It's when you assume they don't that they really walk all over you.
     
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  14. Twist
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    Twist Member

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    Does the psychic actually have special abilities, or is it a smoke and mirrors type thing? What do they have at their disposal to deal with the kid? And where are they? If the tent is somewhere crowded they probably can't do anything particularly big or someone might notice.
     
  15. Joy
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    Joy New Member

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    Thank you everyone. I really appreciate your responses. I sat down and daydreamed about it - as someone from above mentioned doing. I removed the whole idea of innocence and changed things around. The only part I have to think about is how the Fortune Teller tells the boy she wants the ball back, through reading tarot cards. How would the audience get the feeling that she's asking for the ball back.
    Here is my script so far...

    EXT. SECLUDED AREA OF CARNIVAL - - LATE AFTERNOON

    BOY, 5 , wearing a backpack and a flapped hat on his head, is having fun by
    bouncing his orange ball. Ball rolls inside of a purple and hazy tent, with a palm reader sign on it. Boy goes to retrieve the ball.

    INT. DIM AND EXOTIC FORTUNE TELLER TENT - - LATE
    AFTERNOON
    … that appears much larger from the inside, than outside. It mainly contains
    fabrics, candles, wall
    hangings. Several objects with eyes actually stare at boy when passing by, as if something bad is about to happen.

    (Puzzled)
    Boy looks at surrounding as he seeks his ball.
    On a round corner table, a green crystal ball, that is glowing and emitting
    mist inside of it, catches the attention of the boy.
    (Dazzled)
    Boy tiptoes in order to carefully grab the green ball from its mantelpiece. He
    gazes at it with enthusiasm and awe. Then, with a single hand, he takes hold of his orange ball from underneath table shawl and compares them to whichever suits his preferences. (Not
    verbally, but by looking back and forth at both spherical objects).

    The boy chooses the green ball, for its vibrancy and aesthetic. He places
    the orange ball on the mantle and the crystal inside of his backpack, without zipping it entirely. (The ball causes his backpack to bulge)

    FORTUNE TELLER, emerges from behind draperies.


    *Introduces herself, lures the boy to sit on the chair in order to read his future through tarot cards.
    - Still have to ponder about whether she knows that he put the crystal in his backpack or not.
    If not, then the script continues like this:
    Fortune Teller does whatever with cards, boy eventually gets bored because non of this is relevant to him. When he turns around to leave, the woman spots the crystal
    bulging out of his backpack. She kindly asks him where does he think he's going with it and to return it to her.

    (Glumly)
    The boy resists against her requests by slowly nodding his head (his face is
    downward but his eyes are on Fortune Teller).

    (Furious and demonic)
    Fortune Teller grows considerably taller, neck lengthens and back slightly
    hunches. Turns into a 10 - foot tall, scraggly and terrifying looking inhuman with
    clenched fingers and teeth grinding. Roars with anger.
    Fortune Teller points over at the mantel, where she expects boy to return
    the crystal ball.

    (Terrified)
    The boy jitters as he removes ball from backpack. He walks over to the
    table and drops the ball.
    Crystal ball shatters.

    (Frightened)
    Boy tugs on his backpack and slowly covers portion of his face with it as…

    (Flabbergasted, yet displaying a calm demeanor)
    Fortune Teller slowly walks over to the boy’s orange ball, which is on the
    floor. She picks it up, walks towards boy, pulls out sharp object, and deflates the ball with a single poke. Ball deflates in Fortune Teller’s hand. Fortune Teller raises and wags it. (She has one raised eyebrow and is staring into the boy’s eyes.)

    Boy sniffles as he gazes at the deflated ball. Then, he bursts into tears
    (loudly).

    (P.O.V. - Downward angle to boy, with Fortune Teller’s back towards
    camera.
    Then, the camera p.o.v becomes a side orthographic view.)

    SCENE CUTS TO CREDITS
     
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  16. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Psychic: That is not very nice of you, little boy, taking my ball.

    Boy: Oh, I'm sorry!

    Psychic: I'm afraid empty words will not appease my ire, little boy. No, I will not be satisfied until I now possess both your balls.

    Boy hands over both plastic and crystal balls. The Psychic is suddenly standing right behind him.

    Psychic: No, no, little boy. I was not talking about those balls.
     
  17. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I quite like the ideas in here, although this is not a short story, as written. It's kind of a screenplay? But what I like is the fact that the psychic actually tells the boy his future, but the boy pays no attention. The boy drops the crystal ball, which breaks. The psychic then sticks a pin in HIS ball, and sends him away.

    I think the monster element actually detracts from the story a bit. I'd like it to be less obvious. I like the notion that the boy is a bit of a shit, actually. Steals somebody else's belonging and doesn't give a rip. And when the psychic tells his future, it shows him turning into ...a bit of a shit—and the consequences of that. I think it's probably a good idea for us to know the psychic sees him stealing the ball. Either with malicious intent, or just to teach a lesson, the psychic decides to give him a bit of a fright about his future. This doesn't really work, because the boy is already on the path to perdition and doesn't really care or believe anything he's told, or heed any warnings. He's only upset when he breaks the crystal and then the psychic ruins HIS ball as well. We are left to wonder ...is the boy's future real? Maybe it would be interesting to show that the psychic has had success with other people's futures?
     
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  18. Anthonydavid11
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    Anthonydavid11 Member

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    There is not a great conflict for the main character which I perceive is the boy, right? He got the crystal ball innocently which is fine and you say the psychic witnesses him do it. Is it more about the boy or the psychic? If it's about the boy, I would have something dramatic happen as soon as he gets that ball. We have conflict with his ball rolling away from him and now that he has the crystal ball, it needs amping up.

    I would say have the ball show him something that causes his innocence to be challenged. Maybe hi future where he does something he feels is wrong right now but won't later on. Maybe he is a real jerk to a girl who in turn loves him. He feels it's wrong now but later on, we see that he has changed. That is if the crystal ball is really showing him the future or if it is the 10 feet tall character manipulating him. Lots of ways to go with it.

    Good luck and happy writing!
     
  19. SuperVenom
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    SuperVenom Contributing Member

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    Would a 10 year old be able to grasp the ideas of the future...in story he is quite happy to have an orange ball. Children are about the now seeing his future wouldnt really bother him. Who at yhat age cared about adult issues? it would be more feezable that it shows something he desires or in his mind could be.the orange ball. A bit of deseption.
     

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