1. Olivia11
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    Olivia11 New Member

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    How to get more of a plot going

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Olivia11, Nov 29, 2013.

    I'm trying to write a story the main plot line of which involves a girl who goes to a mental hospital after suicide attempt, she is suffering from PTSD following childhood abuse, there she meets a guy who also attempted suicide and they fall in love. I also know there's going to be a "villain" character in another patient on the ward who is a smart psychopath, plus there's the struggle against a confusing healthcare system. However I lack any real plot line. Would anyone have any ideas as to what I could include? Any ideas welcome
     
  2. Fitzroy Zeph
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    Fitzroy Zeph Contributing Member Contributor

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    This won't help, but I have no clue how I would write a story like that. It is teeming with emotion, both subtle and overt, and that would be a toughie. I would just decide roughly how and when I would want this story to end and start developing the interior.
     
  3. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You could start by outlining the characters' goals. That usually helps me to get the hang of the plot. You also need conflicts. So, what do they want? What keeps them from getting that?
     
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  4. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Hi Olivia, welcome to the forum. The way I developed mine was to start writing it. I can't emphasize that enough and you'll hear it over and over on this forum when people ask similar questions about turning an idea into a story.

    Then ideas would come to me like, what a scene needed or if a scene didn't work, what it needed instead. All the while I tried to keep where I was going, what story I wanted to tell in my mind. That's the second thing I can't emphasize enough.

    Stories can follow the usual, good guys, bad guy, gal gets right guy in the end. They end up mediocre at best. What you need is a story to tell. It sounds like you have one in your summary. Is it about wanting to live after a suicide attempt? Is it about the PTSD? Is it about loneliness that leads to suicide and finding love in another lonely person? You need to know where you are going with your story rather than just a plot line.

    I see @KaTrian had the same idea as I was composing. :D
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Read What is Plot Creation and Development?. It will help you understand the dynamics of storyline and p;pt networks, which in urn will help you connect your ideas into a cohesive tale.
     
  6. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    what if Romeo and Juliet plan a dual suicide and Charles Manson tries to save them. I can't see your confusing healthcare system playing a role unless their joint paranoia tells them Obama wants them to die in a cost-cutting exercise.
     
  7. noah
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    noah New Member

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    this sounds like a really good story
     
  8. DeathandGrim
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    DeathandGrim Contributing Member

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    What is the central theme of what you're going for? That's generally a great place to start; you can shape the events and elements of the story to follow that specific theme.
     
  9. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    @Wreybies
    When I'm working out segments or just a random story I haven't thought through and through, writing ALWAYS helps me put it all together.
    As it forces me to deal with what I know and how it all moves naturally.

    @Olivia11
    Your plotline doesn't have to be any more complex than girl and guy being trumped by the psycho at every turn.
    They want to get better, but he keeps pushing them toward nasty habits.
    They want some alone time, he makes sure they end up fighting or the orderlies spot them.

    It could be more dialogue and emotion driven than plot.
     
  10. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Mmmmmm.... Why am I tagged here? I've not participated in this thread. o_O:p
     
  11. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    @Wreybies
    Would you believe that I confuse you with Ginger often?
     
  12. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Yes, you have. See the above quote as proof!

    For the OP: one possible conflict might involve being cured / relapsing, whether it's a psychological relapse back to (insert the character's mental ailment) or an addiction (or perhaps "dependance" would be a more appropriate word) to the pills they are prescribed if their goal is to both, get healthy and stay healthy without a lifetime of popping pills. The antagonist might mess with their psyches, causing those psychological relapses, and s/he could even mess with their meds (slip in stronger / weaker versions of the same pills, steal their meds, tempt them with bigger doses when they're trying to wane, give them illegal drugs / slip some in their morning coffee etc).

    Or the antagonist might be more straightforward: s/he might try to break up the couple by raping / seducing one (or both) of them or by threatening / using (non-sexual) physical violence to gain... whatever it is the villain wants to gain through messing with the gal and the guy.
     
  13. indy5live
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    indy5live Active Member

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    If your characters are living in a mental hospital because they attempted suicide then they are most likely going to be put in a ward that is under constant surveillance with very little alone time and genders are almost always in separate wards. Might be better to put the characters together in a half-way house of some sort instead...but I don't know your story so do unto it as you please.
     
  14. MLM
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    MLM Banned for trolling

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    Write the parts of the story you already know will exist. Storyboard them out. Arrange them in order and work out logically what must have immediately preceded those scenes for them to occur and what the logical outcomes of those things will lead to in subsequent scenes. The parts you started with will will grow outwards and start to meet up in narrative time and at that point the necessary connections will be evident.
     
  15. live2write
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    live2write Contributing Member

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    This totally reminds me of American Horror Story Asylum where there is so much going on and after the story ends you realize the main character is the woman who was wrongfully placed in the mental ward.

    I would say that the plot would be around the MC and her journey in her shoes and how she manages to recover.
     
  16. JayG
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    JayG Banned Contributor

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    Rent the film, It's Kind of a Funny Story. It parallels yours, and shows what can be done with such a situation.
     
  17. Magnatolia
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    Magnatolia Active Member

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    There's a movie, not the same storyline and I haven't actually seen it to vouch for it, but it's called WristCutters A love story. It's about two people in the way station after committing suicide. Then there's Silving Lining, another twist on the story of two 'mentally ill' people meeting.
     
  18. Fitzroy Zeph
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    Fitzroy Zeph Contributing Member Contributor

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    If I had a bend in that particular direction, I would likely find Bradley Cooper attractive, but as an actor, I find him supremely irritating.
     
  19. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I saw that movie. I thought it was an interesting portrayal of personal stories. A little slow in a place or two, not bad. And one needs to ignore disbelief. But it worked for me. :)

    I think a good recommendation for the thread author to take a look at.
     
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  20. novemberjuliet
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    novemberjuliet Member

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    You cant tie in their lives outside the hospital. Also, with the healthcare system, you can use that (i.e. the hospital staff, procedures and regulations, etc.) as a form of mutual struggle between the two but I'm not sure how the seemingly competent psychopath can tie into that...
     
  21. SuperVenom
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    SuperVenom Contributing Member

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    OOh what if the main villain was a Dr. There you get trust abuse, power abuse and a feeling of helplessness from the protagonists.
     
  22. mrieder79
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    mrieder79 Not a ground squirrel

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    You sound like you have enough to start with. You have the start and the end point in mind. Now start working your way from start to finish. Sometimes I have to start writing for inspiration to come.
     

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