1. Brayden Potter
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    Brayden Potter Member

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    Feedback For My Idea…?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Brayden Potter, Mar 29, 2014.

    I have an idea for a story that I am just working out how to start. I am still sketching it out in my head, so it’s still a bit patchy. I would like to get some honest feedback on the storyline. Any advice on how to start the story couldn't hurt. I am having a little bit of trouble.



    The story is going to be about a group of people taking a midnight train out of town. The town they’re leaving, and the destination they’re heading to will not be specified. The story will start by jumping from character to character, giving them each their own individual chapters; each of them having awoken from a nightmare that they can’t quite remember. They just remember pain. Throughout the beginning of the story they find a few oddities about the train and realise it is not the same. There aren’t as many passengers as what there used to be and the conductor of the train seems very strange. They end up finding out that the train crashed and they all died. Now they are in limbo on their way through the underworld. Limbo will be a strange world made up of strange and bizarre memories and dreams from each of the passengers. The train will then reach Hell. It will stop of as seven different parts of Hell. Each different section will represent one of the seven deadly sins. Each passenger will be let off at a part of Hell depending on what their most major and lethal sin was in life. The story will then follow each of the passengers journey’s through each different section of Hell.

    The point behind the conductor of the train being strange after they wake up is that he is sort of their guide. Some sort of reaper or something along those lines. I was going to make him the obligatory Mr. Informant character. I was thinking also making one or more of the characters being trapped on the train by mistake; that their souls were lost when they died. I was going to have them escape in limbo and maybe in Hell as well if I decide to make more than one character a ‘lost soul’. That way there were would be a conclusion to lead to, them escaping Hell. That is my main problem at the moment, thinking of a solid conclusion to the story.



    What do you think? Could it work? Any tips?
     
    Poziga and GingerCoffee like this.
  2. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    People are going to say that what matters is the writing, not the story. And I agree. But I think that the seven deadly sins theme is going to take some mighty good writing to succeed. As soon as you have one or two sins people will understand the theme, and then it will feel predictable.
     
  3. Carthonn
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    Carthonn Active Member

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    No semblance of a happy ending....as a warm blooded American, pass.
     
  4. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    It's true the writing matters. But the story idea holds promise. What you need to think about is why should the reader care? What are the stories you are trying to tell? It's not just about plot. Do we care about these people? Do we want to know how their stories end?
     
  5. Glen Snow
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    Glen Snow Member

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    It's pretty interesting though I'm not a big fan of religious fiction. As said above it's all about the way you tell the story rather than the story itself.

    A few questions, I'm a curious person:
    How long are you planning on this story being?
    Is there any chance at all that a character might be redeemed, given a second chance at life?
    The seven deadlies is a pretty grim subject. Is this story going to be a basic walkthrough of Hell?
    How heavily is it going to draw form Dante's Inferno?
     
  6. Brayden Potter
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    Brayden Potter Member

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    Well, to answer your questions, firstly, I'm not quite sure exactly how long to make it, but in order to pull off the story to make it something that somebody would actually want to read, I think I would have to go fairly in depth with things like back story and character development, so I think in the end, it'll be a pretty decent sized pack of pages. Secondly, I think I would have to have the characters be able o redeem themselves. Otherwise, why would people keep reading if the majority of the characters are damned to be in Hell? There would have to be hope of a positive outcome. Thirdly, I was planning on being pretty in depth with the whole walkthrough of Hell as well. I think if I was just to make it a basic walkthrough as you put it, then that would take away from the main aspect of the story. Hell is going to be one of the main pieces of the story. I would want to reader, if there ever was to be a reader, to use their imagination, but I wouldn't want to bore them. Finally, I don't want to really take too much from Dante's Inferno. I may make a reference or two, but in the end I am trying to make my own story.
     
  7. Glen Snow
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    Glen Snow Member

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    I fear I misspoke or rather miss typed. By "Basic walkthrough of hell" I was more trying to ask how much time are you planning on explaining the current level of hell. It would surely suck me out of the story if you spent more time detailing the various punishments and not on the people.
    Also it might be difficult to stray from Inferno when traveling through hell. People pretty much have two views of hell; the fiery pit inhabited by a horned thing with a lizard tail and Inferno by Dante. A new take would be refreshing but challenging.
    In any case I'm intrigued. I hope you post it here...once you've written of course. :)
     
  8. hvb
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    hvb Member

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    I think it is very interesting and you can do a lot with it.
    Yes, there has to be a redeeming...If there is to be a journey through hell, maybe each sinner can get redemption through something they do for one of the other sinners.
    Good luck
    Hetty
     
  9. Echoesian
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    Echoesian Member

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    This idea makes me think about the movie "The Devil's Carnival." It's a dark-ish musical about people who end up in Hell because of the sins they committed. It's a relatively short film, only three characters end up in Hell that day, and it shows the kinds of punishments they endure. That version of hell looks like a circus.

    You say the characters will have to be able to redeem themselves... is that possible in Hell? I thought Hell was an absolute, and all your chances at redemption occur while on Earth. Isn't that what makes Hell so terrifying-- because there is no escape?
     
  10. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think it's a very interesting idea. And I don't mind the "no chance for a happy ending." I like books that don't end happily. However, I agree there has to be some driving force -- something propelling them to the end that keeps the reader hooked and want to find out how it ends.

    A thought I had was maybe include a few people on the train that are very good people -- charitable, friendly, tried to do right by life -- and they are confused about being in Hell. Maybe you could have a "judge" type character that sits at the beginning of the line and talks to everyone who enters. Then he decides where they go, but doesn't tell them of their final destination.. Then those "good" characters you have sit fretting the whole book, waiting to see where they end up.. only to have the train leave Hell after dropping everyone else off and taking them to Heaven?

    Just a thought. Good luck!
     
  11. AndyC
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    I think the plot can really work, it's a interesting idea. But I want to do emphasis on what @GingerCoffee said.
    I think those are crucial points that you need to really work out if you want your story to "succeed".
    That idea of hell that you came up with really resembles to Dante's work on his Divine Comedy.
    Have you read it? Is an epic poem, one of the greatest's works, if not the greatest work, of Italian literature, originally written by Dante Alighieri. I've read it on Spanish and Italian but I'm sure there are English translations.
    It describes Dante's travels through Hell, Purgatory and Paradise, and every circle of hell is linked to every sin. It's an allegory to the journey of every soul towards God.
    Dante's Hell has three main divisions: Upper Hell, for the four sins of indulgence (lust, gluttony, anger and avarice); Circle 7 for the sins of violence; and Circles 8 and 9 for the sins of malice.
    Check it out, I'm sure it'll really inspire you :)
     
  12. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    You asked the exact same question back in September. Did you not like the feedback you got then?
     
  13. TLK
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    TLK Active Member

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    It's an interesting idea, I'll give you that. Other than the quality of writing (which is obviously key), I see the following problems with the story:

    1) Why do we care whether or not these characters go to hell?

    This you could address at the beginning. These people are going to be quite flawed, being on their way to hell, but we have to feel that they're human, and good people at heart, people who deserve to be saved and people who the readers want to be saved. Perhaps show them expressing regret that they couldn't make something more of their lives, or something like that.

    2) Conclusion.

    Not really sure how you're going to make this work. Obviously, the conclusion will be that some (or all, or none) of the character get out of hell. Your job is to make sure it's not anti-climactic, and to decide who escapes. A tricky decision, I know.

    Hope this helps!
     
  14. Brayden Potter
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    Brayden Potter Member

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    That's quite an interesting idea. I like it. I'll have to keep that in mind when I'm writing.
     

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