1. Victorialie
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    Victorialie New Member

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    Faith in the plot

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Victorialie, May 29, 2011.

    I have difficulty figuring out plot stories. I always play with my imagination and make up stories in my head about people and places but I have a really hard time having faith in a plot. Whatever my mind construct I end up believing its an overused story that honestly doesn't deserve to be written.

    I can also feel like I get a really good idea but as soon as a page or two is written I think "this is a ****ty plot" and I will leave the story.
    This has been a problem for a long time and deprives me of writing anything rewarding.

    Do any of you recognize the problem? Ever been there, and what did you do to move it along?
     
  2. Killer300
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    Killer300 Active Member

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    I'm having it in huge amounts right now, but that's more because I feel as if my lack of writing skill is what's holding me back.
     
  3. Laura Mae.
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    Laura Mae. Member

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    OMG I get this constantly! I'll go as far as writing at several chapters then deciding I don't want that particular plot and I'm back to square 1. As you will know it is really frustrating. As a way of solving the problem I basically figured out what I really wanted in the story and got rid of everything else, literally deleted everything from my computer, threw away any written pieces. When you've abandoned all the confusing and conflicting ideas, go back and slowly incorporate ideas and concepts into the plot. For example, I had a lot of different premises for a story I wanted to write. At first it was going to be adventure and romance, then fantasy and romance, then a contemporary romance, etc. until I finally settled on a mix of all three. When I get a good idea I write it down in my idea bank and from there I consult my plot and see if it will fit in - if not it's out of my mind.

    Basically just strip your main elements down to the basics, say for example you have a really well developed character, and work up and outwards. It's worked so far for me, good luck!
     
  4. cretinhop
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    cretinhop Member

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    Of course! I become incredibly frustrated with the things I write now because I think I should be doing better than I am, and I'm not! Unbelievable. It really stilts the self-confidence, you know? I guess I'd say that you have to start somewhere, accept that maybe your story will seem or be cliche, but you can still write it because it's fun to write, and it is healthy practice! If it really is so bad, hide it away. Just write it for the fun of it, review it and laugh at yourself later, and get what you can out of it. Maybe the characters you develop, the scenery, etc. can be recycled and put to use in better, more original stories while you grow as a writer.
     
  5. CH878
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    CH878 Active Member

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    The first couple of books I wrote I got that exact feeling, as though I was wasting my time writing them. What I did was just treat them as a learning experience, a way of getting better at writing. Unless I think I've made a really big mistake I always try and finish a story because you never know, some idea from the plot might come in useful later.

    The important thing in my view is to always try and write when you think of a plot line, and then you won't miss it when you come up with something really good.

    If you feel that the plot or the way you're writing it isn't good enough then you could try finding a good book of a similar style and then dissecting the plot, breaking it down and working out exactly what makes that book work well.
     
  6. darkhaloangel
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    darkhaloangel Active Member

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    What might help is planning the whole thing out to start with (something called the snowflake approach). It's basically where you write the beginning middle and end, inplan form and then keep breaking up the plot inside the boundaries, in to smaller and smaller chucks - until you've planned out the scenes.(If you write scenes are 500 words long then you'll need about 200 to 150 scenes - which isn't so much to plan really). Then you write the book.

    This appraoch seems verys stilted, but actually when you start writing you end up changing things around and putting personality in to the plot. You can also write what ever scenes in whatever order you want. It means that you are in control of the plot, the characters and perhaps the 'clues'. You have a real tight grip on what is happening, and it means you can really 'plot' in the good old fashioned sense of the word.

    Also you can find out pretty early on if the story is going to work on not. When I first attempted to write a novel, I though - start at the beginning and go from there, without much though at all. It was very Virginna Wolfe in a way, because it appeared as a stream of consciouness. Of course, as all things written first it was terrible, confusing, boring, full of details no one needed, and it didn't go anywhere. It literally imploded under the weight of all the contradictions and flimsy excuses for actions. So the planning thing I'm working on - really helping.

    Good luck with your writing! x
     
  7. darkhaloangel
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    darkhaloangel Active Member

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    What might help is planning the whole thing out to start with (something called the snowflake approach). It's basically where you write the beginning middle and end, inplan form and then keep breaking up the plot inside the boundaries, in to smaller and smaller chucks - until you've planned out the scenes.(If you write scenes are 500 words long then you'll need about 200 to 150 scenes - which isn't so much to plan really). Then you write the book.

    This appraoch seems verys stilted, but actually when you start writing you end up changing things around and putting personality in to the plot. You can also write what ever scenes in whatever order you want. It means that you are in control of the plot, the characters and perhaps the 'clues'. You have a real tight grip on what is happening, and it means you can really 'plot' in the good old fashioned sense of the word.

    Also you can find out pretty early on if the story is going to work on not. When I first attempted to write a novel, I though - start at the beginning and go from there, without much though at all. It was very Virginna Wolfe in a way, because it appeared as a stream of consciouness. Of course, as all things written first it was terrible, confusing, boring, full of details no one needed, and it didn't go anywhere. It literally imploded under the weight of all the contradictions and flimsy excuses for actions. So the planning thing I'm working on - really helping.

    Good luck with your writing! x
     
  8. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's almost impossible to come up with an original plot. Writers just create the illusion of one by having great backgrounds and characters, and telling the story well. Most plots sound dumb when you boil them down to their basics.

    Harry Potter? A story about a boy who finds out his real parents were magical, and is prophesied to defeat the evil overlord.

    The Lord of The Rings? A story about a group of adventurers who need to destroy a magical object to defeat the evil overlord.

    The Matrix? A story about intelligent machines who have enslaved humanity, and the chosen hero who is prophesied to defeat them by finding his inner powers.

    Star Wars (eps. IV to VI)? A story about a chosen young hero who has to defeat the evil overlord by finding his inner powers, and has to deal with discovering that the evil overlord's right hand is his father.

    The Odyssey? A story about a hero who has to find his way home after a war, and gets lost for twenty years.

    Hamlet? A story about a young prince whose father is murdered by his uncle, and who tries to get revenge by acting mad.

    Sixth Sense?
    A story about a psychologist who tries to help a little boy who sees dead people, and in the end it turns out the psychologist was dead all along.
     
  9. Killer300
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    Killer300 Active Member

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    Actually Islander, those are popular, but I would argue not necessarily the greatest. These aren't the greatest either, but I want to demonstrate that a great concept AND great execution in combination can do some amazing things. A lot of these perhaps aren't the most popular ever, although I'll throw in a few cult favorites.
    Welcome to the N.H.K.: A guy locks himself in his room in order to avoid dealing with the outside world.
    Revolutioniary Girl Utena: A girl becomes a Prince and attempts to help out those around her against a villain who used to be a sort of god.
    Yu Yu Hakusho: A kid dies, then to come back becomes the Spirit Detective, who fights demons for the Spirit World.
    Pretty Face: A boy has his crush's face literally plastic surgeried on, and must pretend to be her sister until he can find her real sister.
    Serial Experiments Lain: (This one is very debatable so this is actually just my best attempt to summerize it because of how weird this show is.) A girl, who is possibly god, overtime goes from being a shy girl to an expert computer hacker.
    Gundam 00: An organization wants to end all war by brute force using Gundams.
    The Great Dictator: A comedy that satirizes Hitler and Mussoloni, ending on what is possibly one of the greatest movie speeches ever made.

    That's just a millimeter on the tip of the iceberg with unique concepts getting incredible results. The truly great works I would argue combine a great concept with great execution. Now, for how unique these are, it isn't just that the original concept is unique, it's also how the concept is executed. So, remember, originality is still immensely important, and not every concept has been done before, there are still weird combinations that haven't been tried before. Example? Is there a science fiction fantasy story involving an alien race that worships a teenage girl? I think not.
     

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