1. potters_pimp
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    potters_pimp Member

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    Help with Plotting

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by potters_pimp, Nov 7, 2007.

    I'm currently plotting/outlining a new fantasy novel, but I've alway had trouble trying to come up with stuff. My last book that I wrote (and my first one) was stuffed with chapters upon chapters of action and I'm just not sure what else I can put other than fights.

    Any suggestions.
     
  2. assassin
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    assassin Member

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    Firstly, I'd suggest not trying to force ideas. In my opinion, they look forced.
    I assume that by saying 'action' you mean fighting. Correct?

    I'm now gonna ask many annoying questions. :D
    What sort of story, apart from fantasy, is it? In a story where they're questing for something that the villian doesn't want them to have, I would expect a lot of fighting. Same for battling against a hostile country. Maybe not so much in a different type.
    How many MC's are there? Are they all the same gender? Does anyone have any romantic interests (maybe to someone who doesn't know/feels the same)? Is anyone close to the MC's actually working for the villian?

    Have I given you any ideas yet? :D
     
  3. PaulChernoch
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    PaulChernoch New Member

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    You need to understand conflict. Good stories have lots of conflict, but not all of it is physical. So add different types of conflict:
    * physical
    * verbal
    * legal
    * many parties or few
    * plans, how to spend money

    Also, you can use the possibility of conflict that never materializes to add suspense. Having a character fear a certain confrontation that never occurs, only to fall into one that they did not see coming is a good technique.

    How does conflict arise?

    1) Goals. Characters have opposing goals. Know what your characters are after. Jealousy and greed factor in here.
    2) Prejudice. One character may have a bad view of another for false reasons.
    3) Lies, deception, scheming. Villains can foment dissension.
    4) Morality. Good and evil hate each other.
    5) Honor and allegiance. Two good men may fight because they are allied with opposite sides in a conflict.
    6) Accident. Mistaken identity, reflex.

    Many factions. One great technique is to have more than two sides involved in a conflict. This allows for reversals and surprises. I once had a weak scene where a character had to sneak into a printing plant to steal an item. The structure was simple: sneak in, grab item, be discovered by security, find a clever way to get out. Boring. Later on, I discovered a need for a reporter. She wanted to start an underground press and needed to steal parts from the plant. So I changed the scene to have them show up at the plant at the same time. She pretends to help my hero, but at the end turns him in to the guards, and adopts the story that she is an undercover agent working for the company. This allows her better access, and enables her to pilfer the plant for the equipment she needs.


    Hope this gives you some ideas.

    - Paul
     
  4. Suzanne
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    Suzanne New Member

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    Paul gave a lot of good advice. I think I'll just be simple in mine. Give your character a goal, make something stop your character. How does he react? Think of the plot as a long chain of acting and reacting, then reacting to the reaction, and so on. It's rather simple and... probably not entirely helpful to be told that you should look at in that way, but I've found that my novels (though, I'm very focused on internal conflict, and conflict between people and how their actions affect others, rather than events. Usually.) tends to run in an act-and-react sort of way.
     
  5. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    I always start stories with characters. I think up a main character who i can really get into a story with. Once the character is in its most basic form I create a basic linear straight forward conflict and a villan. THis is the simplest form of a story.

    Once you've got that you think of things you can do the make the plot juicier. Like steak... rare... not super rare but you know a good chunk of pink. The way i do it is to add twists into the story by adding new characters and groups who will bring their own conflicts and personalities to bare ont eh main character and the story.

    After awhile I feel I've got enough characters and ideas to get to work on the story. If I think of something good as I'm going along then I make a note, finish my draft and then addd the new idea in when i do another draft. Eventually I run out of ideas and after finishign the last draft I declare it complete.
     
  6. Anthony James Barnett
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    Anthony James Barnett Contributing Member

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    I agree with you, Paul. You sum it up very well.

    There HAS to be something that the main characer DESPERATELY needs to resolve. There HAS to be something to stop this happening.

    Conflict come down to struggles between man and man, between man and nature, and the internal struggle of man with himself. Of all these, the internal struggle of consciensce is the one that stirs the most powerful emotion.

    Hope this helps - Anthony
     

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