1. Miswrite
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    Miswrite Member

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    How do you stick with one plot?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Miswrite, Apr 8, 2009.

    I have a Babylon tower of plots in my head, and I'm afraid if I don't pick one and stop building the tower to focus on the small villa of my main plot, the tower will come crashing down and I'll forget all of them.

    I have 4 plot nuggets - a fantasy an alternate universe; a science fiction with parasites; a social commentary masking as a novel; a science fiction with war. These all sound basic, but I have unique elements to them that I don't wish to yet reveal. I like all of them equally. I've though of combining them but am afraid it will all end up to be one big mess.

    1. The fantasy with an alternate universe would reach more of a teen demographic in my mind. It would detail a high school student's brush with alternate reality. I find the idea entertaining, but I feel it's not destined to be the world-changing novel I want to craft. I view it as more of a fluff piece - a quick fantasy read that no one will ever talk about. I know I should write for myself and not fame, but I still want my book to be worth telling someone about, and I feel this one won't be.

    2. The science fiction with parasites would be for the adult demographic, and I have, more or less, worked out the details of the story, but I feel that if I go with this choice, I won't focus on the characters as much as the plot, like most science fiction authors I've read, who get so caught up in their plot that their characters end up machines that make the plot shine.

    3. The social commentary would be a fantasy/sci-fi mix that creates a whole new society separate from Earth and that society undergoes the analyzation of a skeptical Earth citizen. It would be a fictional novel, but the underlying message is that of social problems relating to Earth right now. My problem with this is, I don't feel I, nor anyone, has the insight to write such a novel. Even my favorite writer, Robert A. Heinlein, has tried and, in my opinion, failed with For Us, The Living.

    4. The science fiction with war would be a standard science fiction in which two planets deep into the future are warring. It will have a healthy mix of action and character development, and the main character will be thrown around emotionally quite a few times. My only problem with this is, it seems more like a romance novel when I think about it, only with sci-fi elements. I don't want that. I haven't found how to balance the characters and plot of a science fiction story yet.

    I have all these plot ideas, but I want to work on only one. I like each equally because of the possibilities I see. So how do I choose whichever is the strongest? What process of elimination do I go through? How do I make myself work on one and only one? I want to be able to say, I'm working on a novel, and mean that I actually have more than five pages of this particular one. Any help would be greatly appreciated :)
     
  2. Cheeno
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    Cheeno Contributing Member

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    All I can say to help is, 'make a decision and stick with it'. I'm not trying to be smart here. In my opinion two of the central tenets of writing are discipline and courage. Without these we'd be fluttering around in a self made storm of distraction and half-baked ideas. Create a shortlist and make a decision, and then get down to it. Procrastination won't get you anywhere fast. Good luck with your writing.
     
  3. Kursal
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    Kursal Senior Member

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    Put all of your ideas in a had and pick one. It's that simple. If you find yourself feeling underwhelmed by the concept of writing that book first then repeat the process. Simple. :D
     
  4. OneMoreNameless
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    OneMoreNameless Contributing Member

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    The fantasy alternate universe is actually one of several, and the high school student's traveling through them inadvertently opens the way for two futuristic planets to find a third battleground - our Earth, which manages to survive as an apparent new society, even if old social problems linger - but, inevitably, a darker parasitic force appears across all worlds and threatens to render all their petty conflicts meaningless.

    TADA. :D
     
  5. KP Williams
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    KP Williams Contributing Member

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    It doesn't really matter. If you can't decide, pick one at random. But don't shut yourself down on the other ideas. If you come to a point where you're stuck in the one you pick, you may want to start work on one of the others, if only to keep your writing sharp. I know from experience that writing skills suffer even if you only go one week without practice.
     
  6. Castlesofsand
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    Castlesofsand Banned

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    i'm a big fan of subplots, if they can be worked in well, why not use them all
     
  7. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Which one do you think you will enjoy writing more? Write quick outlines for the others, so you don't forget them.
     
  8. Miswrite
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    Miswrite Member

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    Thank you, everyone! I followed your suggestions and picked one. Now, to start writing!
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    the most vital requisite for a writer aside from talent, is 'discipline'... if you don't have that, forget trying to be one... you have to force yourself to sit down and choose which of the many ideas all writers are bombarded with you think will work best [or the one you like best] and then get to work on developing it into whatever it is you want it to be...

    no one else can make you do that... i'm glad to see you got past the choosing point... now, sit yourself down and WRITE!...

    love and hugs, maia
     
  10. g1ng3rsnap9ed
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    g1ng3rsnap9ed Contributing Member

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    Sticking to one plot can be tough at times, especially when so many others seem to be tugging on the tail of your jacket for your attention. Some authors can juggle multiple novels at the same time, but I am not one of them. What I do to help is write down the synopsises and little nuggets of important information for each of them (which you already have done) and choose which I'd like to do most, then when/if I finish and the others still appease me, I go back to them. Or if I'm already in the midst of writing something, then I'll just jot them down somewhere and have them wait until I finish. My problem when I do this is that I rush through my current project to get to the next, which is sometimes hard to hold off on.

    Whichever plot-line you choose, you should know whether it was the right decision or not within the first however-many pages. And if it isn't, then you can just pick up on the next. :)
     
  11. Kursal
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    Kursal Senior Member

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    Conversely, I am writing three novels at the moment. I manage about a page a week of each one. It keeps it fresh. They're not for publication actually, they are for writers block. Someone told me about this a long time ago. Every time you get stuck writing something, have a break and write something else. It often allows you to subconsciously deal with the first problem whilst keeping your creativity flowing. It works for me at least.
     

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