1. RLJ
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    RLJ Member

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    Can't think of a decent plot?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by RLJ, Oct 12, 2012.

    Hi, so as of late, I've really gotten serious about writing and trying to eventually get a book out there. I've developed my characters, and even written a few random scenes that I don't plan on using so that I can get a feel for my characters. Thing is I cannot think of a plot! I don't know what it is, I have these characters but I can't think of an actual plot, the writers block is ridiculous. I'm anxious to begin writing but I cannot do that if I don't have a plot to start with. Help!

    My story will revolve around four adult siblings (maybe three if I choose to leave one out) in the late 1880s to early 1890s. I have specifics, like when they were born, their spouses, etc. etc. but I cannot, for the life of me, think of a good plot. I need help! What should I do?
     
  2. Pheonix
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    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

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    Think about what your characters would be, given what you know about them already. What kind off situations would they be likely to encounter, where would they go, and why? What would they do, and with who? Stuff like that. It might help you come up with idea's at least, and then the story is truly built around your characters. That's helped me before.
     
  3. RLJ
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    RLJ Member

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    That's an interesting standpoint. I've tried that but I end up writing a few chapters and then hitting dead ends. I don't necessarily need a huge CENTRAL plot because I'm not telling some epic tale, but I do need a 'main idea' although I'm just describing the lives, and what these people go through. I did need a few plots that can tie together though which is something that I need to develop, and that is my problem. I'm not asking the people of these forums to give me my plots either, but I do need some help in finding a technique to create them...
     
  4. Pheonix
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    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

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    Have you researched what was happening historically in the 1880-90's? Maybe you could work the story around a real world historical event and show how it affected the characters.
     
  5. robertpri007
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    robertpri007 Member

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    A dozen writers will probably have a dozen different methods to develop a plot. Personally, I have the general framework of the ms in my head from beginning to end before typing a word.
    But that's me.

    If you have characters that you love, remember, drama is all about conflict.

    So, in that time period. What will your characters do if:

    ...the railroad want to lay track through property--
    ...a neighbor decides to take over the place with money, then force--
    ...one of the women gets PG--who's the daddy? Does it cause war between friend--?
    --one accidentally kills a neighbor, and they react--?
    --locusts or some other critter wipe out the crops
    --one learn his female friend is really his sister--

    There is quite literally no end to the conflicts you can create, and then let your characters act and react.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Read What is Plot Creation and Development?. There, you will learn the difference between a plot and a storyline, but understanding the dynamics of a plot may also help you solve your dilemma.
     
  7. littleshoe
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    littleshoe Member

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    Do you need a decent plot?
    Before you answer my question, try to read "The Pit" by Onetti. ("I would like to write a story about a soul, the soul alone, without the events it had to deal with, willingly or not").

    If you still believe you want a decent plot, THE WRITER'S JOURNEY by Vogler is a good guide.
     
  8. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    Also come up with a conflict that will happen to those characters. I can't think of a plot right now. It is your story man.
     
  9. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    Best thing to do, is look at your character arc in what you're trying to do. What are they trying to accomplish? What conflict is going to enter their life to make them have to fundamentally change? What kind of struggles, either internal or external, that they need to face to reach the end goal?

    All of that plays into a plot, in fact some plots are centered just on what happens to the character's themselves. There doesn't have to be slam-bang action to make a good plot either.
     
  10. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    I agree, study the time in history and find out what life was like, then start building a story.

    Or maybe the siblings are immortal and they have a feud in 1890 and separate, only to settle their differences 100 years later. :)
     
  11. nomadpenguin
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    nomadpenguin Member

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    Although a great plot is nice, you don't have to have one. Ulysses is considered one of the greatest works of literature, and it follows one man's mundane life.
     
  12. RLJ
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    RLJ Member

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    Well guys, I've spent the majority of my day writing. I have two chapters at about 4000 words total, and they go absolutely nowhere. Ugh! this is so frustrating, getting the plot in your head is supposed to be the easy part!
     
  13. robertpri007
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    robertpri007 Member

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    Heh, who said getting a plot is easy? I've only been on this site a short time, and based on comments so far, I would appear to be in the minority. But I cannot imagine just "writing for hours" and see where it goes. I've read that many here like to "let their characters go", and I'm sure that works for some.

    Not me. That seems like being dropped in a deep forest and then trekking off in some direction to see where it goes. I can't write like that.

    I begin with a cast of characters that I know will sustain the story, and I have some vision of how it will end. Bill dies, Mary goes to jail, Charley disappears, etc.

    So I have characters, [A] and the somewhat cloudy but discernible ending [Z]. Then I introduce conflict, barriers, constraints and solutions to get from A to Z.

    I cannot type away to see what happens. But that's just me.
     

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