1. slab_ellows
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    slab_ellows New Member

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    Do I have a Plot or just a topic?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by slab_ellows, Jul 28, 2016.

    Hey y'all, I'm new to the forums and I've been scratching my head about an idea for a while now but I'm having a tough time getting it to form into something substantial.

    The jist:

    A young man and a woman meet on an airplane. They hit it off and chat the entire flight to their connecting city. During the connection they have lunch together and exchange numbers before going their separate ways. I'd like to follow their respective journey apart for an extended period of time... say six months (I'm not sure yet) until they eventually see each other again.

    So here's my problem. I don't want to write a strictly romance novel but I obviously want this idea to flow and follow a romantic plot. Ideally, my characters would change and grow along the road to their second meeting in the end. That being said, I'm having a hard time writing conflict into the story. I don't want them to be flat and wooden. And the conflict my brain seems to want to concoct is pretty heavy and I can't figure out how to seamlessly sew it into the overall plotline.

    Any tips or words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Midnight_Adventurer
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    Midnight_Adventurer Active Member

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    Hello there!

    My advice is simple. Do some research. Obviously this type of story intrigues you so read books of a similar style and watch some movies. If I'm not mistaken the movie Serendipity has a similar premise; two people meet & fall in love before going their separate ways and then finally reuniting again. I also think that getting to know your characters and what their lives are like (their goals, dreams, fears, desires etc) will help you flesh them out as well as the conflicts they'll face. You'll need to know every little detail about them if you want to bring them alive.

    I hope that's helpful :-D
     
  3. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    Put the conflict in their professional worlds. Maybe even have their professional worlds at loggerheads with each other so they have to overcome professional differences in order to find romance with each other.
     
  4. FireWater
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    FireWater Active Member

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    You don't have to have a romance novel in order to have a romantic element. One word, Subplot!

    Figure out the main "spine" plot first, and then find ways to connect it to ways that they could come into contact again.
     
  5. slab_ellows
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    slab_ellows New Member

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    Yes! That is actually really helpful! I was afraid my conflict idea was actually turning out to be another book and I don't want to let my flight idea go (probably because it actually happened to me). I definitely need to spend some more time fleshing out my characters and their goals. I do not want my MCs whole goal and desire to be to fall in love.
     
  6. FireWater
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    FireWater Active Member

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    The vast majority of novels have some type of romance (or sexual tension) as an element, even if the main plot has nothing to do with romance. This is the case whether the MC is a man or a woman.
     
  7. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    It may be helpful to think of the plot as being a problem followed by the problem's solution.

    In your summary, I don't really see a problem. So - make things tougher for them!
     
  8. Laurin Kelly
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    Laurin Kelly Active Member

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    If the exchange numbers, are they talking or texting between their time apart? Or do they exchange numbers but neither one of them reaches out to the other, and when they meet again it's their first contact in six months? For me, the conflict would be very different depending on situation.
     
  9. slab_ellows
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    slab_ellows New Member

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    That is a good point, there is no real problem. I'm dangerously close to to Mary Sue tipping point and I definitely want to RUN in the other direction. I think I need some serious brainstorming. I keep thinking of problems/conflict but then telling myself it makes my MCs unlikeable. But I need to realize that its okay for them to have flaws and issues. I HATED Richard from Alex Garland's "The Beach" but the conflict and plot was so riveting that I went with it.

    Yes, they are communicating throughout their time apart. Getting to know each other/bit of flirting. I even have them planning a trip to see each other again but one of them backs out at the last minute.
     
  10. Temmy Sabrina Oyinloye
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    Temmy Sabrina Oyinloye New Member

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    Hmmm... this is actually cool. You can also create some kind of a sexual tension between them at the beginning; an intense attraction that they could not afford to explore due to personal commitments. They could each be successful, with a somewhat perfect life, and later meets some time later with a totally interesting life issues ( could be life threatening, financial problems, relationship disillusionment} remember to infuse a little action ;)
     

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