1. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    General plot problems

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by SeverinR, Feb 28, 2011.

    I think I make interesting characters,
    but thinking of what story to put them into is my tough part.

    I have at least a dozen characters, most with sub stories for thier history, but finding a great story to put them in is tough.

    I have:
    a scout falconeer
    a druid with a pet tiger
    a Kentauri Shaman

    just off the top of my head.
    Any good websights that offer suggestions for fantasy plots?

    The sights I have found offer:
    adjective occupation verb adjective occupation and adjective verb.

    for example: silly Queen meets grumpy salesman, and something great happens.

    not great inspiration.
     
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  2. Silver_Dragon
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    Silver_Dragon Senior Member

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    Yeah, most of those I've seen are just for laughs, and I kinda doubt you'll find anything terribly original on a plot generator. Plotting is my weak point, too, and I generally find that the most helpful thing to do is to go out and read a bunch of novels in the genre I'm writing to see how other authors construct their plots.
     
  3. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    Now that you mentioned it,
    the plots I liked were inspired by books I read. Not directly, but spawned reading the other plot.
     
  4. Corbyn
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    Corbyn Lost in my own head Contributor

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    Why don't you stick them on a small quest? Like for a lost relic or something?? or have them meet in a strange way at a tavern that makes them .... so forth and so on? or depending on the back story go with that?

    If you have a monk maybe he starts an adventure and becomes something else because something sacred is stolen? ... Lawheads Bezantium (sp) starts that way...
     
  5. JeffS65
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    JeffS65 Contributing Member

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    I find it odd that you want to write a story due to having come up with characters that have tickled your fancy.

    Keep the characters in your box of tools for whenever they will be appropriate to use.

    If you come up with characters but no stories, you should consider just writing simple stories.

    My suggestion is to take take on the writing contests on this site. It gets you in the mindset of writing a story and not always in your genre. Write something that is not within the bounds of what you wish to write. I'd suggest that it is then that you start writing stories.

    Anyone can tell you a story idea but if you aren't coming up with it, what's the use of making a character?
     
  6. Silver_Dragon
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    Silver_Dragon Senior Member

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    You said that you have most of your characters' histories planned out already. Do they have problems/issues in their lives that would provide a main conflict for the story? That's how I start, a lot of the time. The character has something that needs to be accomplished (finding acceptance, redemption, whatever) and the external storyline acts as a means of doing this.
     
  7. Momo
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    Momo Member

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    It's hard to get a feel for who your characters really are without going into more detail. The scout falconeer, are they a loner? Are they a team player? You could always develop some internal struggles (assuming this group of people will be adventuring about together) by creating tension within the group with conflicting personality traits.

    Perhaps the druid's entire system of beliefs are in jeopardy for he discovers that his greatest foe is not an outsider, but of someone or something that he has always turned to for spiritual support and guidance. This could also work for your shaman.

    I like twists. No, I love twists. I love using Chekhov's gun in fun new ways. Ultimately, though, the onus is on you to develop these difficulties that your characters must overcome. :) I like thinking of worst case scenarios when determining exactly what should happen to the characters I adore. The most dangerous settings (not just physical danger, but sometimes threatening a character's emotions or belief system is much more powerful) bring out the most vibrant colors.

    :-D
     
  8. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just adding to this. Try to keep your characters and their reactions as realistic as possible. I'll use your druid and his pet tiger for example.

    You can't just walk/ride a tiger into a huge city full of humans and expect the tiger to remain calm. Even tamed tigers will not remain calm while surrounded by a crowd. All the excitement will press against their instinct to react.

    I'm not saying there isn't a way to take the tiger safely into the city (some type of blinders or even a cage, perhaps?). I'm just using this as an example that reactions and reasons of characters need to make sense to the reader.
     
  9. Annûniel
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    Annûniel Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's good that you are confident with your characters and creating rich backgrounds and histories for them. Sometimes it feels like authors forget to do this and their characters suffer for it.

    However, if you can't come up with a good plot, your characters can't be used. Nor will anyone here really be able to tell you what to write. For it to be your work, YOU have to come up with the plot. Otherwise, it wouldn't be YOUR story.

    The only thing I can think of that can help your imagination is to do some more reading yourself. Go to your local library and take home a bunch of different books and read them. The more plots you're subjected to, the better off you are.

    No one said it would be easy. Creating a story is a tough job and there isn't any one way to make a plot come to your mind. Even when you force it, it may not be its best as when it comes naturally. Inspiration comes in many ways. Best of luck to you in finding your muse.
     
  10. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    I don't think unusual chars are necessarily equal to interesting characters. A character becomes interesting only when it interacts with other characters, how it reacts to situations, what it says.

    It might help to think of a theme of the story you want to write, say, man versus society. Chances are you will come up with three basic storylines for your three characters, because, simply put, they are different. Within that basic storyline give them different situations and think of how and what they'll do.
     
  11. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well one possibility for the Druid with the tiger could help show how far the Druid has come. The relationship between Druid and companion could waver and break when the Druid is doubtful or worried or whatever. Start him or her off with just being able to control the Tiger and at the end have the tiger completely under his control. So that while at first he couldn't go into a crowded place with the tiger, by the end it would be completely harmless towards the crowd.

    A great and easy way to show how this particular character has grown over the course of the Novel.

    But this also depends on the idea of the Druid being a novice and unsure of himself. That and if my assumptions about your Druids are correct.


    As for an actual plot. The best way to come up with one... sorta... maybe... is to think of the story you would like to read about. If you don't like stories featuring an evil tyrant as the main villian then you probably wouldn't want to write it. So what kind of story would you want to read about and then write it.

    But I also suggest doing lots of reading.
     
  12. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    Thats exactly what I do, I make a char, then write his/her history in detail,
    then set it aside looking for the right story to put them into.

    I did figure out a story for the scout, it evolved from me writing the history.

    In my world scouts tend to be loners, She will lead the group where they need to go then return, or go off to explore an area she hasn't been to before. She has friends and can get a group together if needed.(other characters I have created.)
    She lives in a mountainous area, the druid lives in a jungle area.(more comon area to find tigers) so they probably wouldn't meet.

    The multicultural scout(half elf) will face racism for the first time on a grand scale.

    Like I said earlier, the books I have gotten farthest with, were inspired by books I have read. So I need to get away from the keyboard and open a book for other story ideas.
    I ask for help, but still have at least three books that I have started. Maybe I need to get to the end of a couple of them before I start new ones.
    When I started writing(wanted to improve my typing speed.) six or eight stories burst out, two were quickly finished. They were the ones with the most structured plot. I knew where I started, where the end would generally be, and some highlights of what would happen in the middle. Then suprises popped up along the way, and interesting people were met.

    I think also I should write the story completely, then edit. When I was editing the finished books, I would open the other stories and find myself editing it too, instead of moving forward with the story. Edit or write, not both.
     
  13. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    One exercise is to write a one-page really simple story where they're all stuck in a room with one, simple conflict (like something scary is outside) and see how they react to it and each other and what they do...it can help you flesh out their personalities and how they react in certain situations.
     
  14. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    I wrote some with the scout.

    Chased into the small town by orcs(Orcs hate elves) and she just found out the town is anti-non-human.

    This wouldn't be racism, would it be specisism? Have just called them bigots so far.
     

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