1. effy
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    effy New Member

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    How can I tell if my plot is weak?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by effy, Jul 11, 2010.

    I've been thinking about a story I've planned (and just begun writing), and I'm worried the plot might be weak.

    In the most basic terms, this is my general outline:

    The story mostly deals with internal conflict; after going through a terrible ordeal, the main character tries to change herself because she believes that this situation was her fault. Due to this attempt to change who she is, she encounters a number of problems. At the end of the story, she begins to realise (with a little help) that she does not have to change who she is. This realisation is interrupted by the climactic event - the ordeal she suffered repeating itself - but this is quickly resolved, and the main character resolves the other problems she encountered in the story.

    I know that might sound awfully cliché, but try to bear in mind that I've stripped it to it's bare minimum.

    Now, I'm used to writing stories with mostly external conflict, and a more obvious plot, ie. the character has a set goal which they set out to achieve, but many external issues make this difficult for them.

    So, I'm finding it hard to tell if my plot is weak or not, because it's something I'm not used to writing about. And it appears to lack specific focus.




    So, if you could answer the following, I'd really appreciate it:

    1. What are some ways of telling if your plot is weak?

    2. From what I've said, would you say that it is weak?

    3. What are some ways of improving on a weak plot?

    4. Would the following be any sort of improvement on my plot - having the main character receive clues of some sort alerting her to the fact that the ordeal she suffered was not over and the person who did it to her was out to seek do it again (if that makes sense)?



    :)
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    First off, 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?

    You can increase the intensity of a plot by strengthening the motivation and/or the opposition.

    Make sure you understand the difference between plot and storyline.
     
  3. Jane Beryl
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    Jane Beryl Member

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    There are only seven different types of plot in the universe. So, just as Cogito said, it depends on how you write it. Write it well effy!
     
  4. effy
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    effy New Member

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    I'm not worried so much that it's overdone, I'm more worried that it doesn't sustain itself, if that makes sense(?)
     
  5. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Some of the most famous novels written have very simple plots when you boil them down. As Cogito said above, it's all going to come down to the writing of it. You can produce an outstanding work with a simple plot that easily sustains itself if well-written. Conversely, you can produce a terrible book with an extremely complex plot.

    What you've provided above is plenty to sustain a novel, in my opinion.
     
  6. effy
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    effy New Member

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    That's reassuring, thanks :)
     
  7. AdamWriting
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    AdamWriting Member

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    Now THAT is great advice! :)
     
  8. BlueWolf
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    BlueWolf Banned

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    Plot is only one element of a story.

    Then of course, you have character development, and their own characteristics, which is equally as important (at least to me). Cog is right, in that a basic plot really doesn't say anything, other than what it is essentially about. It could sound great, it could sound terrible, but it is the actual story wrapped around that plot that matters.

    You might be the greatest writer in the World, but if your central theme is boring, then it won't work. Same is true for the other way around - great plot, awful writer.

    Just write it and see what happens.
     
  9. MissBelle
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    MissBelle Member

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    (So I am the wrong person to answer this question, because I tend to like writing where the descriptions and details stand out and not the plot. But )

    You mentioned a character trying to change. I think when character evolve the plot will be interesting to people. (as long as they care about the character and her developments.
     

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