1. Presto
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    Presto New Member

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    Character Fueled Plot...?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Presto, May 30, 2011.

    I've always been one that thinks characters make the story and so when I had an idea for something I wanted to write most of the plot was fueled by the thoughts and actions of the main character.

    Well the project I'm planning out is actually a comic that will be a joint effort between me and my sister. She's doing illustration and I'm doing writing. It's about the transformation of a man into an insane murderer. He lives with his best friend in an apartment.

    Here are the main plot points that happen in the story:

    Before the kill
    • The MC ponders what it would be like to kill
    • He starts planning a kill for fun, nothing very serious
    • He gains an obsession with blood
    • He forces himself into a mental preparation state
    • He realized the power feeling he gets from thinking about it
    • He sees everyone as a potential victim
    • He thinks he's the only murderer who knows what he's doing
    • He realizes what religion means to him
    • He harbors a deep hatred for all other criminals
    • He starts having bouts of hatred towards himself
    • He has one last sane glimpse at the world and decides to redeem himself
    • The feeling of redemption is overpowered by his need to kill
    • He becomes very angry all the time
    • His days are filled with constant images and thoughts of violence and death

    The actual killing
    • He sets his mind on his victim
    • All of his energy and thoughts go toward blindly following his plan
    • Just before he is shaky and worries about his strength
    • An incredible rage overtakes him
    • When he does kill the girl it is a flash and he doesn't even notice
    • He becomes very frantic and runs away

    After the kill
    • It seems strange to him that no one knows
    • He tries to act casual
    • He really wants to tell someone but can't
    • He obsesses over it afterwards
    • He becomes mad and paranoid with everyone which eventually leads to him attacking his best friend
    • He is caught by the police

    Well I actually wrote the rough draft and gave it to my sister but she said the storyline went too fast and that the plot seemed limited considering it was basically all in his head. So I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for how to flesh out the plot while keeping in the basic plot points.
     
  2. SteamWolf
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    SteamWolf Senior Member

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    Sounds reasonably thought out to me. Perhaps a bit linear.
    Don't worry too much about the pace moving too fast, as you and your sister will quickly discover even a simple story can easily blow out to a 300 page comic. The skill is in minimising the text and letting the art tell the story.
     
  3. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Perhaps at first, he's a likeable guy, and his issues come across as satirical and lighthearted. For instance, give him some type of motive to dislike the person - ex-girlfriend, mean boss, whatever the case is -- and make the first chapter about the kind of drama and problems this person causes. Make it bad enough that we can emphasize with the MC's annoyance, but nowhere near bad enough to deserve getting killed. Then, the killing stuff is a joke. Have you ever had a rude person you don't really like, and you imagine completely one-upping them or picture them having a comedic cartoon-style death, but you'd never actually want to harm them for real? At first it can be like that, but as his mental stage deteriorates, his wishes grow more and more serious.

    Adding this motive/issue will also give you sources of conflict and storyline aside from the guy's mental state.
     
  4. daven85
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    daven85 Member

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    If you need help with how writing a story by Character Fueled plot I would say have a read of some of Dean Knootz, most of his books follow one character and tell the story through they eyes. Might help you with that, his way of discribing thoughts and feelings.

    I know it is a book and not a comic but thought it may help.
     
  5. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    (Please don't use the smallest size for your posts. Focusing on small text is annoying, and zooming should be unnecessary. Just for other people's sake, please)

    First, to answer your questions:
    She has a point. That whole "before the kill" part may, from a design point of view, be very tricky to illustrate. It's harder to be the artist for a plot than it is to be the writer; the writer has the benefit of making anything be possible, whereas the artist has the setback of having to make a set idea possible.

    Really, "the actual killing" part is probably, first, the best place to start, and also very likely the easiest to illustrate. Also, the ending of "He is caught by the police" makes it seem like he's just going to get slapped with an assault charge (which could potentially lead to something interesting, like him getting a lawyer who convinces him to plea insanity; he could be placed into an asylum and he might get confused as to who he killed. Was it the victim, or was it his best friend? This would further confuse the truth of his sanity, and so on so forth).

    As for fleshing it out, I've got no suggestions for the "before the kill" part. Really, there's no way I can think of that in terms of design, other than just being voiceovers/thoughts, and that'd be a very VERY tacky way to begin. It also wouldn't be able to take too long, which would mean you'd fly through that part.

    Your character is also a psycho. I know that's probably the intention, but he's a psycho from the very start. I mean, thinking about the prospect of murder is sane. A lot of people do it because the insanity of that kind of violence is kind of mystifying. You think, "What drives people to that?" I've thought about it, and I've come to the conclusion that there's not much that could drive me to that point.

    However, it takes someone really and truly insane and probably very socially awkward (as in the "wouldn't have a best friend" kind of socially awkward) to jump from those thoughts to having an obsession with blood and all that.

    Hope anything I've said helps (if you like that asylum idea, go for it. It's yours).
     
  6. Unsavory
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    Unsavory Active Member

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    Giving the character an obsession with violence isn't that big of a stretch, since a lot of young people go through that kind of morbid phase in life. You could have him perusing the internet for violent images of mutilated corpses or execution videos.

    Also, give the character an interest in hunting and/or guns, but have him approach the hunt in a twisted way, perhaps looking to dispatch his prey in a way that is more torturous than efficient, if you get my drift. Just develop the character slowly.

    All that said, none of those suggestions will help you write a good story. My biggest problem with your idea is that it seems to actually lack conflict, despite its violent nature. Just having a dude slowly turn into a killer isn't really that interesting because there aren't any inherent obstacles forcing the character to change and grow. I think you'd be better served by introducing something that threatens the character's intent, whether it be an inner struggle with his own morality or an outside force, like his parents trying to stop his violent behavior through intervention.
     
  7. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Speaking from personal experience with these sorts of people (having come close to BECOMING one also) and being at the tender young age of 18, it's very VERY rare for any of those sorts of people to have enough confidence to actually do any of that. They look at it because they're either trying to figure it out, or because they aspire to it, et cetera.

    It's like the saying, "It's never someone you expect." People who have "clinical" predilections to murder and "obsessions" (I refuse to believe that you could call what "young people" have an OBSESSION. That is ridiculous) with violence are often the least likely to actually commit violent acts because they lack confidence in confrontational situations.
     
  8. Presto
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    Presto New Member

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    Thank you for all the suggestions guys. I think I may go into the part after the MC is arrested like you said crucifiction, and adding a person who initially stresses him into the murderer he becomes, maybe even going back into his childhood.
     

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