1. nickvsshark
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    nickvsshark New Member

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    Help with beginning the plot in the right direction

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by nickvsshark, Jul 21, 2011.

    I've recently started writing a short-story/possibly novel, and despite having a general plot in mind, I can't find a way to get my characters started on the path, in a way that isn't too obvious. I've got a great hook, and a good style running through what I have so far.

    The general idea is that I have a character who suffers from nightmares, and a bout with paranoia. As his paranoia grows, his nightmares begin to invade his life, eventually leading him to be unsure at any moment as to whether he is sleeping, hallucinating, or is genuinely awake. Currently, the plan is to have him begin breaking down and attempting suicide many times over, only to "wake up." I'm also thinking about throwing a potential love interest into the mix.

    As the story has started though, it's begun only with his ruminations on dreaming and what he feels like, and I have no clue how to move on to the actual plot without it coming out cheesy.

    Sorry for the rant, just wanted to give you guys an idea of where I was going.
     
  2. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    When you describe the dreams, don't do it in a "Last night, I recalled dreaming about___" way. This comes across as vague and infodumpey. Instead, launch us into his nightmares and make them as vivid as you would if they were real-time incidents.

    As far as the nighmares invading his life, this too should be shown rather than told. For example, if he has nightmares about his eyes getting gouged out, he could progressively avoid sharp objects to the point where he no longer uses metal eating utensils. Or if he dreams about shapeless, shadowy figures in the corner, give him some object that sits in the corner that he gets progressively more disturbed by.

    As far as the plot, just launch into it. If it kicks off with someone delivering bad news, have that person call or ring the doorbell. Etc.
     
  3. nickvsshark
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    nickvsshark New Member

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    Thanks for the thoughts. I'm not infodumping at all during the story so far, as it's all narrated by the MC. The entire first passage is like a stream of conciousness on what his dreams feel like after he wakes up.

    And as far as the plot goes, I think you may be right. I just need to kick start it and get it into gear.

    Thanks a lot. Hopefully I can give some good constructive criticism on some of the great pieces floating around the workshop, so I may also post my story!
     
  4. Raging_Ty
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    Raging_Ty Member

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    I very much agree with Mallory, just jump into it. That's the great thing about technology now a days, you could be 40 pages into a story decide you don't like a previous part go back and change it without changing anything else. I think this is a really interesting concept for a story and seems like it would be an enjoyable read.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A story concept means nothing. I can tell you now, it has all been done before. What matters is how you write it, the characterization, the flow, the imagery, all of it.

    There's no benefit in asking what other people think of the concept! They'll either say,"Sounds great," or, "it sounds like a ripoff of..."

    If the idea stirs you, write it. Then ask people what they think of the final story. After they tell you what they don't like about it, revise it, usually several times, until you're happy with it or until you throw up your hands and say the hell with it.

    Please read What is Plot Creation and Development?

    This is your story. You must make the choices and live with the results.
     
  6. nickvsshark
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    nickvsshark New Member

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    Thanks for your input Cogito. My intention wasn't to solicit comments regarding my concept, but more for advice on how to move from the free-flowing narrative into an organized plot, which is why I described the concept and style.
     
  7. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    He does that to everyone don't bother yourself too much.
     
  8. nickvsshark
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    nickvsshark New Member

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    Well, I don't want to overstep any boundaries here.
     
  9. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    ??????

    Dunno what you mean by that but, he does have a point. The forum can help you move the plot along but you still have to write it :D.
     

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