1. Dirg
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    Dirg New Member

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    How do you guys work out a solid, engaging, and interesting plot?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Dirg, Aug 22, 2012.

    I can come up with lots of ideas, setting, characters, look and feel of things, complex themes for them to work around, but getting them from A to B in a plot is HELL! It's so hard for me to take all i've made and make a plot as interesting and engaging as everything else I've thought up. I can come up with great backstories and motivations for my characters but when it comes to making the "meat" of the story and putting them on an interesting path to travel i just hit a wall. I don't even know where i should start to get the ball rolling on my plot. How do you guys do it?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I don't. I work out a plot, and then work on writing it in an engaging and interesting way.

    It's not the plot ot the storyline, it's how you execute it.
     
  3. MeganHeld
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    MeganHeld Senior Member

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    Try to write out a little of your story. You have all the information you want, you just need to find out how to write it out. Are the backstories important? If so, have you thought about starting with one, or starting a way to refer back to one? Sometimes the inspiration you need is something you already have.

    I am one for getting an idea and writing it out. Plot comes to me as I write, but I keep ideas of what I want to happen in my head. Not everything needs to be planned out. Just start writing and try to find out where you want to start. If you don't end up liking the beginning there is always the revision part that can fix it.
     
  4. Kaylin
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    Kaylin Member

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    Put all your plot ideas into one place and keep raising the stakes; finding ways things could be worse. See if you can find hidden connections between places, people, and ideas. If there's not enough usable material to work with, you could keep churning out characters and settings until something works. There are endless facets to exhaust. Characters have their motives, settings have their histories, you know.

    I think to get from point A to point B find the main conflict and just expand on that. It helps for me to 'zoom in' and out on the big picture to pinpoint certain things. If you're stuck, you could write a summary of the story including only the important details, and write a longer one with more, and a yet longer one. Write it like it's on the inside flap of a novel. How would you prompt the reader to continue reading?
     
  5. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    I let myself imagine the story every night when I'm asleep, which allows my mind to work on it uninterrupted. However, most of my plots are some sort of thriller/espionage/action so the biggest issue I have is making sure to create a villain who can hold the "screen" with my MC. That's what made Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan the best one in the series. Ricardo Mantalbon provided the only villain who could carry the movie as much as Kirk.

    Novels work the same way: provided balance between your MC and her adversary.
     
  6. Dirg
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    Dirg New Member

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    Thanks everyone, lots of strong info here, Much appreciated!
     
  7. ArtWander
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    ArtWander Contributing Member

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    I usually think of the plot as the skeleton of a fully realized body. The 'meat' is the characterization and how they conduct themselves through the overarching skeleton that influences their movements.
     
  8. marktx
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    marktx Contributing Member

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    Here's what's been working for me on the story I'm writing: Think Small.

    I've got this character that I like a lot, and I'm very clear on how he interacts with the world, how he views himself, etc. I also had a good overall sense of where the larger story was probably going to go. But when I started writing, I didn't focus on the big story. Instead, I put him in a small, immediate situation for him to work his way through, and I focused on making that small situation come alive. As it did, and as he acted on the situation, I got to know him better. And his solution to the small situation created a new set of circumstances he needed to work through.

    Now, obviously, there is some overall plotting going on in terms of the general direction of things, and now that I am in the last quarter of the story, I am pulling the strands together for the climax. But the first part of the writing was really about letting the strands get created with only a broad sense of where it was going to end up. (I knew what the basic conflict was going to be, so I could guide things in that direction, but I was more focused on letting my character do his thing in his own way).

    The funny thing is that by doing this, he took the larger story in a direction I never expected but which makes the character arc much stronger and the stakes much higher than what I had originally planned.

    And obviously there is some planning involved--you don't want aimless wandering. But by focusing on the small situation as if it was the only thing that matters (because, after all, that's all your character is focused on at that moment) it can help get the ball rolling with the larger story.
     

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