1. Lea`Brooks
    Offline

    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 11, 2013
    Messages:
    2,708
    Likes Received:
    1,795
    Location:
    Virginia, United States

    How do you handle complex conflict?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Lea`Brooks, May 26, 2014.

    Hello all!

    My current WIP is a first-person NA fantasy. It's told from the perspective of a 20-something girl who has just become queen of her country. She struggles through relationship issues, family issues, and attacks on her life.

    But the problem I'm having is that the conflict in my story is very complex. There are people who are trying to use my MC to benefit themselves, and those who are trying to kill her. I have one character trying to use her, but his friend doesn't believe it will work and thinks MC should be killed instead. So friend goes to another character and explains the problem, thus convincing this character that MC should be killed. So then that character goes to MC's new mentor and instructs her to kill MC. So the mentor throws up a lot of roadblocks in MC's path and sets people on her to kill her and blah blah blah.

    So! I'm not really sure how to handle this. Would the story be more suspenseful if I didn't give details on who was trying to kill her? Then my MC would be completely in the dark, trying to figure out who's trying to hurt her, but failing to put the pieces together until the end (but actually the MC blames the wrong person, something the reader won't know). I plan to reveal all the fine details later, in a sequel. Or would the story benefit from being written in third-person and switching from character to character? Then I could write from the several perspectives and inform the reader of the deceit as it's happening in the story.

    What do you think? :)
     
  2. Bryan Romer
    Offline

    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Messages:
    891
    Likes Received:
    381
    That is exactly why I write in third person. Other than that, obviously I can't comment on what I don't do.
     
  3. jannert
    Online

    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    7,972
    Likes Received:
    7,525
    Location:
    Scotland
    Obviously it's your story and your decision, BUT this is where I got interested.
    That is certainly story material, and would suit first person. You'd be able to exploit the mystery, the suspense, and the final twist at the end when she discovers how wrong she's been.

    However, if you want to show us all the players in motion, you could certainly do that, too.

    I think you need to decide what you want this story to accomplish. Do you want your readers to be guessing what will happen next, or analyzing what is happening now and comparing characters? Both have really good story potential, but it's up to you which one is the most important. I'd say if it's the latter of these two choices, the multiple-viewpoint third person POV is probably the one to pick.
     
  4. Flynn C.
    Offline

    Flynn C. New Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2014
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    2
    If you're writing from the first-person, by definition, you can only realize and imply things that your character can, as well. Unless you give sudden clues, like you heard something or saw something, but pretending that you didn't make anything out of it while allowing the reader to actually get it. Though, this is a bit hard to do without making the character seem innocent or aloof.
     
    jannert likes this.
  5. jannert
    Online

    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    7,972
    Likes Received:
    7,525
    Location:
    Scotland
    Yes, that is the trap with first person. If you alert the reader to a potential problem by having your character mention it—and since first person is the only POV you've got, that's the only WAY you can mention it—then you do run the risk of making the character appear foolish if the reader gets the connection and the character doesn't.

    Of course that can work to great effect if your character IS foolish, or maybe has a blind spot. But that's one of the problems with first person.

    One way to get around this is to have your POV character CLEARLY relating something that happened to them in the past. In other words, something like an old man telling his grandchildren what happened to him in the past. Then, because HE now knows things he didn't know at the time, these kinds of problematic developments can be brought in earlier without risking us losing faith in our main character.

    He can say something like: "I didn't understand that Jody was trying to help me. I thought she was just giving me a hard time. So I told her to leave me alone."
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2014
    Flynn C. likes this.
  6. Flynn C.
    Offline

    Flynn C. New Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2014
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    2
    Ohh I like the idea of the character telling the past. Very nice!
     

Share This Page