1. duckydotcom
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    duckydotcom New Member

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    Formlating a good plot

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by duckydotcom, Sep 9, 2012.

    Hi,

    I am new here, so forgive me if there is a thread similar to this somewhere else. I have been working on a story (series) for some time and keep getting held up somewhere in the middle. I have a lot of really great scenes and scenarios, my characters have good chemistry and I'm happy with the way everything has fallen into place thus far; however, after much deliberating over the last few weeks I think I've finally discovered my problem: I have no major plotline. I have several subplots throughout, and ones that I intend to carry on through the course of the series, but no major thread for this book.

    Any suggestions on how to develop that? I guess what I'm really looking for is a way to create that golden thread that carries the series. Does this make sense? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think that the general advice is going to be, "It's your story; we can't write it for you." Which is true.

    But I do want to advise against insisting in a perfect, twist-filled, very clever plot line. Look at your characters and your world, look at the natural conflicts and tensions and character goals, and pick a plot line. It may look obvious and naked once you start, but once it's clothed with events, it'll look better. To reassure yourself, you might want to analyze the core plot line of some of your favorite books; you may find that they're very simple.
     
  3. duckydotcom
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    duckydotcom New Member

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    Thanks, that's actually very helpful advice. I think I just need to take a step back and try to sort out all the pieces. It helps to hear how others organize though. Thanks again!
     
  4. B93
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    B93 Active Member

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    Outlining your story can help you establish the major plot.

    I got myself in trouble on my novel because when I finished writing to the outline I didn't have enough words to make a novel, and it seemed too simple. I tried to change the plot to give me room to add scenes and subplots, but didn't do a careful enough job of planning the changes and had a hard time smoothing it out. So I relearned what I already knew. Planning is important.
     
  5. amyh
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    amyh New Member

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    Write from the heart. Take personal emotions and experiences and turn that into something powerful- use a bit of imagination and combine the two. I find that sometimes the most powerful books aren't necessarily the ones which have the most amazing plot line, but are written in a moving way, which the reader can connect to, empathize with, understand and left to ponder on.

    But yes, have a basic plan, outlining where you want to go. Sometimes work backwards- come up with an initial idea and outcome, then formulate the rest :)

    Amy
     
  6. mclanier235
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    mclanier235 Member

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    I normally come up with an ending and write backwards... It's easier for me. Find what works for you. You're going to hear that a lot, unfortunately. Wish I could be more helpful. =)
     
  7. JPGriffin
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    JPGriffin Senior Member

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    Planning should have been first, but I'm not here to scold (lest I be a hypocrite). So, here's what I'd suggest- Map out where these subplots bring your character. Point A to Point C is a start- you now have a line. Now, find where the subplots bring them- do they drag them away? Have the main plot pull them back forward. Do they push them towards the goal? Great, keep it in there. The idea, though, is to have an end point in mind. Your characters don't have to know that, but for all tense and purposes, YOU have to know where it's going to end. Point B (Where you are) needs to be on the main plotline; if you keep getting distracted in the subplots, then it'll become a series of short stories instead of a major novel. If Point C is goal-oriented (i.e., Quest for the Holy Grail), then keep the subplots somewhat related. If it's a major revelation (Value of Friendship or some other sappy morale), hint at them through the subplots. Here's the thing- what you have isn't bad, but it's irrelevant. Find a plot to tie them in together, and you'll be golden.

    Let me know how it turns out; I've run into the problem a bit myself.
     

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