1. raych
    Offline

    raych New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2009
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0

    Enough interest in this plot?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by raych, Dec 20, 2009.

    I am writing my first novel and am struggling with how to format/develop the plot. The basic premise is this:

    A girl has grown up witnessing abuse, drugs, and disjointed family life, but has had just enough support, love and mental strength to develop into an interesting and strong character. She has a passionate up-and-down relationship with an aspiring rock star and becomes pregnant, but is waiting for the right time to tell the father. Before she can, he dies in car accident while driving drunk. While recovering from this tragedy with the help of an unlikely friend, she miscarries. Reeling from back-to-back tragedies, she flees to a childhood fantasy location to jump off a cliff. The unlikely friend shows up unexpectedly to try to save her and they both go over the edge—but instead of falling to their deaths, they are spared by a jagged ledge, and the friend becomes a double amputee but keeps a surprisingly positive outlook on life. This inspires the young woman to move on and make a new life as an adult, using her past grievances to learn and grow. Happy ending.

    I am experimenting with mixing up the timeline—starting with the cliff, then jumping back in time for some character development and childhood memories, with the book ending back at the cliff and then the happy ending.

    Should the middle of the book read in chronological order from childhood, or should it start with the main events and mix in some important childhood memories?

    Is there enough interest in this plot to carry an entire novel, or do I need a larger hook?

    I am writing from the girl's perspective. Should I add in other perspectives, like the unlikely friend, boyfriend, brother?

    Feedback from fellow writers would be greatly valued, as I always have trouble seeing my work with a clean, unbiased perspective.
     
  2. The-Joker
    Offline

    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    Messages:
    742
    Likes Received:
    35
    Location:
    Africa
    If we're talking interest here. Try thinking in terms of an opening hook for your query.In one line what makes this story different from others. If you can't think of something from what you've given us then maybe you do need something more. This kind of story could still work of course. Its all in the writing, and how you flesh out these plot points.
     
  3. raych
    Offline

    raych New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2009
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Of course it's in the writing, and I understand that I am solely responsible for the effectiveness of my characters.

    But I think you nailed my problem—I can't summarize the interest in one line. I am confident in my writing and characters, but the storyline is making me uncomfortable and I am questioning it. Thanks for the insight, it's apparent that I need a lot more thinking!

    A young woman blossoms out of hardship and is forced to face ultimate tragedy as she loses regard for her own life.
     
  4. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    A story concept means nothing. I can tell you now, it has been done before. What matters is how you write it, the characterization, the flow, the imagery, all of it.

    There's no benefit in asking what other people think of the concept! They'll either say,"Sounds great," or, "it sounds like a ripoff of..."

    If the idea stirs you, write it. Then ask people what they think of the final story. After they tell you what they don't like about it, revise it, usually several times, until you're happy with it or until you throw up your hands and say the hell with it.

    Please read this thread about What is Plot Creation and Development?
     
  5. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    listen to cog!... he's absolutely right...

    no idea can be judged intelligently, till it's developed into a completed work, because the worst idea in the hands of a good writer can be a bestseller and the best idea in the hands of a poor one can go nowhere...
     
  6. raych
    Offline

    raych New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2009
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you for the input. I had previously read your sticky, and it is good information.

    There IS a benefit, to me, in asking people what they think of the idea. It gets me thinking, considering other aspects, and challenging my ideas. That is my whole point in participating in this forum. I am not asking if this will turn into a "good" or "bad" story. That is totally up to my writing. I am curious as to other professionals' reaction to the initial IDEA.

    Maia, you said "the worst idea in the hands of a good writer can be a bestseller and the best idea in the hands of a poor one can go nowhere..."
    That's exactly the point. I am not asking whether or not I am good writer. I am asking if people think is a "worst idea" or "best idea", or somewhere in between.

    I am simply seeking inspiration by talking about my "ideas" with other writers. Leave the execution to me :)
     
  7. writewizard
    Offline

    writewizard Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    840
    Likes Received:
    7
    I love this idea for a story! Can I see it after it's completly done? This looks great!

    Okay, I think that adding in some other perspectives would be a good idea, but you need to be careful. You could do it with two perspectives - the girl and her boyfriend - or three - the girl, boyfriend and her brother - or more. But it's very important to keep in mind that jumping to perspectives randomly will be cofusing, so be sure to add why you're changing perspectives and keep a clean break.

    I think that this is enough interest to generate a novel (you've already got me hooked), but you need to really write the opening chapter really well. Unless you can make everything cinch for the reader there, they will put down the book and get something else. I want to be drawn into the chapter in the first part of the story. I want to know what the story is like. I want to live and breathe the story. (Do you get the idea?)

    Hope this helped
    Writewizard
     
  8. raych
    Offline

    raych New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2009
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Writewizard, this helps a lot, thanks for your input.
    I have the opening cliff scene and a few other scenes written already, I just have to find the right way to flow them together. Once I get a better feel of this site and get in my two reviews, I will post what I have and would love your critiques.
    I think I am going to add in another character's perspective for interest, but probably not until I am a lot further in the writing.
     
  9. Cosmos
    Offline

    Cosmos Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Messages:
    241
    Likes Received:
    5
    To be blunt, I like the concept. I think the main point is how the girl learns that she must be strong in spite of bad happenings, as is evidenced by the guy who helps her and stays strong despite his own misfortune. And since that seems to be the main point, I think a book with that starts with the cliff scene but leaves out what happens at the end of the cliff scene (therefore keeping the reader in suspense of what the real end result is) would be satisfying to read. Once you tie together the various scenes to explain the theme of the story jumping back to the cliff and tying it together would be especially rewarding for the reader.

    It's the best of both worlds--an cliffhanger beginner (pardon the pun!) and a closing by return ending. That's the kind of stuff I find enjoyable.
     

Share This Page