1. Dark
    Offline

    Dark New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2010
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0

    Have everything except the story

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Dark, Oct 3, 2010.

    This is a little strange to me. Maybe even weird.

    For the past few weeks I have had the idea of a story in my head. I know the setting, time period and even the characters personalities. But I have NO story. No plot ...nothing.

    This is really starting to get to me. I can even visulize the characters faces!

    I have even told myself there is no story here but the characters won't go away. They don't "talk" to me but they are like old friends.

    What can I do to find out what these characters story is? I am no stranger to writing but this is a first for me.
     
  2. Kolten
    Offline

    Kolten New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2010
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Texas
    What I do is I just start writing whats on my mind (no matter how bad it is) and eventually something just 'pops' into my head.
     
  3. Mallory
    Offline

    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Messages:
    4,274
    Likes Received:
    191
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    What is the setting? Start with that. Certain settings are best for certain types of plots. Same with character personalities -- what would your characters do and not do?

    You need a conflict as your first major step in coming up with a plot.

    With this in mind...

    What's your MC like? What type of issue would threaten/bother/motivate her the most? Use this to come up with a basic conflict, obstacle and antagonist.

    Then think what steps she'd take to resolve the conflict, achieve her goal, or get revenge, or whatever the case may be. Work from there.

    I hope that helped any.
     
  4. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,724
    Likes Received:
    4,821
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    Dark, what you have described is exactly how almost everything I write starts out! I get setting and character in detail, with no plot. So I just start writing scenes involving my characters in their setting, just doing whatever. Having dinner. Building something. Traveling somewhere. Anything. The act of writing forces me to think deeply about these people, and eventually SOMETHING comes along that's the seed of a plot.

    Remember that you don't have a story unless your main character wants or needs something he/she doesn't have. If your character is perfectly happy with the status quo, you don't have a story. Either the character is NOT happy with the status quo, and so acts to change it and that's your plot, or he/she IS happy with the status quo but the status quo is threatened by some outside force, so the character wants to stop that force, and that's your plot. There needs to be instability in the character's situation.
     
  5. Melzaar the Almighty
    Offline

    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1,792
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    UK
    It's true, that. I had the most amazing story setting in my mind for ages - I wrote one tiny scene and it was rubbish so I gave up, and just waited and waited, and finally I decided it was never going to happen if I didn't write *something* there, so I just went for it, in a character-based situation, with the vaguest of hints that there might be a plot - my main dude was sent somewhere nearby, easy to access, and totally safe to go to :p By the time he'd walked there I'd had some more ideas for where he should go next, and so on and so forth for about 30 pages until I FINALLY managed to have enough together that I could write a plot.

    Best thing about plotting like that is that you're relying so heavily on what you already wrote you don't have to change much in your opening when you do twig what's going on. I went back and fiddled with some facts and stuff, but overall I didn't need to change much at all, because that was where I drew my plot from, and changing it would mean changing the plot :p
     
  6. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    Like the others say just start writing and maybe accept you will restart it many times before you get the story it is meant to be.
     
  7. arron89
    Offline

    arron89 Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    2,460
    Likes Received:
    91
    Location:
    Auckland
    The easiest way to come up with a story is to have a character want something. Once you have that simple idea, everything else will hopefully start to come together.
     
  8. Trilby
    Offline

    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,098
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    NE England
    You say you know you characters personalities, then why not start with dialogue between them and see how it goes.
    Give them something to argue/fight over:- lover, family heirloom, the last piece of toast, anything.
    Place them in a situation- Have them witness a criminal act- do they get involved, slink away or phone the police?
    You don't have to use any of this, but once you start writing about your character who knows what you may come up with.
     
  9. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Set the characters aside. Completely. Develop your story concept first, and determine what characters the story demands. If one or more of the characters you've already come up with fits well in to the story, great, but don't try to pound your story to fit the characters.

    Maybe you'll use the unused characters in later stories, maybe not. In my experience, you are better off creating your characters after you know the basics of your story. Granted, pert of that is because I favor science fiction, so my settings vary so greatly that the characters are very much a product of their settings, but I even find it true when I write general fiction. I don't know what kinds of characters I want until I have a story idea to populate.
     

Share This Page