1. B. Olson West
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    B. Olson West New Member

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    Delayed-Action Plot - Problem?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by B. Olson West, Oct 2, 2012.

    Hello, everyone! I hope you're doing well. :3 At the risk of getting straight to the point, I'd like to say I'm not confident in how my story is set up.

    In this particular problem-piece, there are four characters - two parters (part-humans), an altered-human, and the "perfect" human specimen, all aboard an interstellar government-built space station orbiting Jupiter, which serves as a hub between the Sol System and the rest of the galaxy and was tasked with keeping an eye on the star system.

    My main character is a cross-breed born from the union of a keratan (a once-aquatic species of carnivorous mammals able to rearrange their chromosomes to match those of their mates) and a human. He's an apathetic, sarcastic, introverted, manipulative liar, and a very determined user, who is dedicated to his family, his friends, and his goals. There's nothing he wants more than to be a Designation in Blue Outfit, the Grand-Emperor's hand, like his father. In truth, behind his fabricated mystery man persona, he's scared - scared to fail, scared to lose, scared to disappoint, scared of success.

    His wealthy cousin, the interstellar government's first sanctioned "perfect" human being, creature, maybe the first the Milky Way's ever seen, is, in turn, conceited, vain, egotstical, overconfident, and prone to fits of melodrama, even referring to himself as the "light" God brought forth when He said, "Let there be light." Because of his "perfection, absolute", he has become a mildly cruel young man when facing down something which offends him, yet he is still kind and effeminate, possessing a soft spot for romance, his cousin, and his family. (Warning: There may or may not be an incestuous relationship between the cousins - haven't decided yet.)

    The cousin's slave, an altered-human, is the third character. Given to the two male leads' family as payment for a debt owed, she was stripped of her innocence and made to protect the cousins (mainly the wealthy boy), made to take lives, and experimented on. She is completely and utterly obsessed with and, ironically enough, loathes her master, and is destined to kill his parents - I think. Due to her moral code, she is stern and taciturn, but isn't opposed to jokingly-insulting those she feels deserve it. (Note: She's got a cruel, sadistic streak longer than the "perfect" human character.)

    Lastly, we have the female parter, a grand-princess of the Starry-Eyed Kinfolk, one of the thirteen ruling names of Lilin, her home planet. She is a hybrid araedic--a violent, patriarchal people whose women do the battle, and whose men do the leading--human, and has been trained for war-artistry since her childhood, tortured for conditioning, and, as a result, has developed a propensity towards erratic, silly and dreamy behavior. Like her fellow parter, she is obsessed with science and their up-and-coming military careers.

    Basically, this first act is about them, how they function with each other and on the Station's Academy, and sets up for the second act, which will have them toiling away to become parts of Blue Outfit, instead of regular marines. In these first two parts, there isn't much action. I'm worried that that's a problem. On occasion, a pair of the group will help a Station-dweller with a task or two.They've got tons of little quirks and things to discover, yet the only things dangling in front of them is the test for Blue Outfit.

    I'm at a loss as to how to make this "pop" outside of menial tasks, training, and exploring. I'm considering adding a few characters stationed on different worlds to help add a sense of . . . epicness. What do you think? Any advice would be helpful advice.

    Thank you for reading, and sorry for writing so much,
    B.

    :)
     
  2. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    Are you righting a novel? If so, you don't need the three action set-up to work with because that's a script writing tool. While you want to show some of those menial activities, too much of it will bore a reader, and you only get 2-3 paragraphs, to a page max, to catch their attention, so you don't want it slow.

    There's nothing wrong with starting slow, however, interaction needs to drive the story along more so then activities. Dialogue, when done correctly, between the characters can allow for the reader to understand their interaction and move your plot along. What will really drive it along, if you're not putting much physical action into the first half is a good character arc, and tension between the characters. Without that, you run the risk of meandering along.
     
  3. B. Olson West
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    B. Olson West New Member

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    Yeah, I'm writing a novel. :3 I'm aware I don't need the three act set-up, but I use acts (parts) and scenes in my work. It helps me out a bit, doing it like that. I have dialogue down to a letter - I think -, and, yeah, you're right about the attention-catching thing. The activities are sparse and varied, so that's not a problem. I'll work on the beginning because I don't think what I have now even knows what "interesting" means.

    Thanks for the advice. :)
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Your characters should be dealing with problems throughout, even if it's small matters. There can be random obstacles life throws at them, interpersonal conflicts, even internal conflicts. How they deal with problems helps reveal the character to the reader.
     
  5. DefinitelyMaybe
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    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

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    Perhaps the characters could be in danger, and be saved by The Blue Outfit. That could provide the opportunity for you to introduce them in a dramatic setting, and also perhaps explain why they've decided to join The Blue Outfit themselves. It might also show the reader the high status of The Blue Outfit.
     
  6. B. Olson West
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    B. Olson West New Member

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    I was considering introducing a member of Blue Outfit and have her meet the group, but your idea is better... Thanks. :3
     

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