1. Banoffee
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    Banoffee New Member

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    Help me fill this gaping hole!

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Banoffee, Oct 23, 2008.

    Well I'll get right to it. The plot of my novela currently has a gaping hole in it, why? I'll explain.

    Having written my plot and started the writing of the book I realized how incredibly cliched one part of it was. I realized I had resorted to the evil in the land-needs to destroy/find mystical item (in my case a Sacred Helmet)-peace restored kind of plot, which as I'm sure you all know is very over used. So now I must think of another quest for the MC to embark on whilst also including the plot points I've planed. I'm in the process of thinking of an alternative, but I'd be really grateful to hear any suggestions you guys have.

    • It is set in Anceint Greece.
    • The state of Thebes is in a civil war and one of the leaders sends the MP on this 'quest' that will insure that he will win the war.
    • He has to travel through the rest of Greece.
    • On the way he needs to meet new people.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    First off, lose the word cliche from your vocabulary unless you are talking about a phrase or metaphor. It will lead you astray. Ideas are recyclable, and it's a darned good thing, because there really are almost no new ones.

    It comes down to how well you write it, how well you sell it to the reader.

    So keep your original plan, and focus on writing good characters, interesting complications, vivid scenes.

    Just tell a good story, even if it has a familiar feel to it.
     
  3. AnonyMouse
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    AnonyMouse Contributing Member Contributor

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    From the points you listed there, it sounds like you're starting from scratch. Did you throw out the whole story? It certainly looks like it.

    Sticking with what you have (had) is probably your best bet. Consider shifting your MC's focus. Just because his quest seems "cliche" doesn't mean he has to go about it in the typical manner. Ask yourself why he (and all the millions of characters before him) would choose to undertake such a journey. Then try to come up with the most original answer to that question possible. That answer will reshape your MC and thereby reshape his journey, or at least his reactions to it.
     
  4. Helmut_II
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    Helmut_II Member

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    Oh my. First, I have to say that is the greatest text-based "That's What She Said" joke I have been able to make in a long, long time.

    Onto more serious things, you could rip off the plot of "Journey To The West".

    Or steal from "Jason and the Argonauts". Maybe even sprinkle on some "Wizard of OZ".

     
  5. Palimpsest
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    Palimpsest Senior Member

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    But, the very skeleton of it...
    ... sounds just as much a plot coupon. So, either re-think all of those points, or re-evaluate what might have been so contrived about the evil-in-the-land's execution-- and keep it. Like Cogito said, it's all in the execution.
     
  6. Banoffee
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    Banoffee New Member

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    No I didn't start again from scratch. I'm aware that I'm allowed to use that storyline if I want but the fact is, I don't want to. So I'm asking if you have any ideas for a replacement.
     
  7. sailor_venus
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    sailor_venus Member

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    It's quite hard for anyone to say really based on the little information you have given. I could make outlandish suggestions that would not help you at all.
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Sorry, but really, the story idea must come from you. Look to books, TV shows, news items, bad dreams, everywhere for inspiration.
     
  9. Emerald
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    Emerald Contributing Member

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    And don't be afraid to twist it around a bit.

    Maybe you start it off as a kind of cliche "find the mythical object of deus ex machina" and then a third of the way through your character discovers that it really is just a myth, and that there really isn't any hope. So he has to come up with an entirely different plan.

    I always wish that would happen in those kind of books/films/TV shows...


    My way of plotting things out usually involves taking a scenario, figuring out exactly what people will expect to happen, and then maintaining that sense until the very last second where you suddenly do the exact opposite... (but in a way that's still satisfying and doesn't damage their trust in me as a narrator)
     
  10. Banoffee
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    Banoffee New Member

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    Thanks Emerald.
     

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