1. Draensham
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    Draensham New Member

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    How would I tie several stories together?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Draensham, Apr 7, 2012.

    OK, so I am new to creative writing, but I have written a large portion of a novel set during WWII. It follows the story of six different soldiers (one German, one Japanese, one Italian, one Russian, one British and one American) and how their fates are entangled. I'm writing the story in six acts, each one following the tale of a different soldier. Throughtout the novel I explain how the Axis soldiers are just men fighting for their country like the allies, and how they are just as valiant and righteous. However, I also want to write a satisfying conclusion to the book, but I am unsure of how to tie up all of the endings. Any ideas?

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  2. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Member Supporter Contributor

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    This sounds extremely ambitious for a beginner. That doesn't mean you shouldn't try writing it, though.

    I've read a great many interviews with writers, and it's kind of amazing how many of them say they have to rewrite the endings of their stories many times to get them right. When you're doing something ambitious, don't think you're going to get it perfect the first time. It takes a lot of work, a lot of thinking, a lot of creating, a lot of writing. And did I say a lot of work?

    Do the work. If you're lucky, you'll find the ending you want. If you're not lucky, keep working until you are.

    Good luck!
     
  3. Draensham
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    Draensham New Member

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    Thank you, I have a few endings in mind I guess I'll try them all out. :)
     
  4. Dan Kirkalnd
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    Dan Kirkalnd New Member

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    Maybe try writing the ending first to show how they're all intertwined and then write out the details?
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It would have been better if you had planned all the storylines toward a common conclusion, or a common theme, in the first place.

    What is the common feature of all these individual tales? Of the individual characters? Will they all arrive at the same place, either geographically or ideologically? What makes this all one story rather than a bunch of separate ones?

    We can't answer these questions for you. At best, we can help you ask them of yourself. Because this is your story, not ours.
     
  6. miss sunhine
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    miss sunhine New Member

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    Well, instead of writing something into the plot you could maybe link the characters maybe they all have something in common which brings the story to it's conclusion. No body knows this story better than you do and you didn't describe it in great detail.

    But good luck all the same.
     
  7. John Cleary
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    John Cleary New Member

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    It still needs an arc in my view, with 3 acts

    Those six acts need to be reduced to 3 acts following Plato's method. No matter what we try the elements of drama and story are the same.
    You can combine acts I believe.

    The first act is used to establish the main characters, their relationships and the normal world they live in.
    The second act, is the "rising action", where the protagonist attempts to resolve the problem, (an opposing issue or force)
    Finally, the third act features the resolution of the story and its subplots.

    There are two or more turning points for the hero and the character arc of all your heros should go from fear to courage, from uncertainty to determination, from losing to winning (if not literally, then on a deeper level)

    I agree with Cogito, that you should find what ties all your characters together.

    Good luck.

    It sounds like you've got lots of material already to work with.

    Cheers,

    John.
     
  8. Protar
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    Protar Member

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    Not to be rude, but I think it's wrong to constrain oneself to narrative archetypes like that. Also those 6 aren't acts anyway, they're POV characters, so the archetype doesn't really apply.
     
  9. WithPipeAndBook
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    WithPipeAndBook New Member

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    I think John's "archetype" works as a natural progression of writing. He's suggesting (as I see it) that the story should be written from the POV of the six characters at once, Song of Ice and Fire style, but in 3 narrative chunks (rounded out by wibbly-wobbly plotty-wotty stuff). This allows the characters to have their own narratives, but the story as a whole is now aimed at an overarching end. Six semi-independent stories might be either too difficult to connect or seem too independent to work together. For instance, say German main and his platoon comes to a fork in the road. They go right. Had they gone left, they would have stumbled upon the Russian main and his men, exhausted after a retreat. The Russian soldiers would have been killed and so German main inadvertently saved the life of Russian main. If the narratives were separated by mostly-independent stories, the connection might be lost on the reader. If they are only separated by something like chapters, the events are fresh enough to be significant. Not sure that's the clearest example, but oh well.

    To answer the original question, though, I wonder if there was any event where all six countries would have been represented. I think the most problematic would be connecting Japan since, so far as I know, they never really left the Pacific front. Research could prove me wrong, though.

    Best of luck!
     
  10. infernal
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    infernal New Member

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    This sounds like a fun task. An ending I can think of is a common goal where these soldiers are. It's rare for them to all meet up without their groups, but what if for one instant in time they looked at each other as just people part of the war. A paradox can then be made later on in sort of a prologue where they mistakenly meet up again, as old men...perhaps still unable to speak a common language, but have a common look. This idea sounds fun :p Good luck!
     
  11. John Cleary
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    John Cleary New Member

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    Good.

    All good. Not rude at all.

    I think the next post after yours said allot. I think as we try and discuss what Draensham is saying and consider the text he writes below:

    Draensham may not want to spread his story too thin, with too many subplots, in this early stage of writing.
    If he finds the common themes, arcs, and drama, that pulls us all in, as we read it, then this will be a good story.
    It does not matter to me, whether Draensham calls it "6 acts" or "6 POV characters" as long as he connects with the reader.
    :)
    Very Best,

    John
     
  12. superpsycho
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    superpsycho Member

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    Usually you tie things together with common character, theme or specific event. The men themselves aren't going to meet. The could have a common theme like what they find when they get home but that wouldn't tie them together in the last chapter. You could have descendants meet but that would be contrived and hard to make believable. What you could do is list their obituaries in the last chapter. Have them dying within days of each other, listing the families they left behind and their accomplishments or something like that.
     
  13. Mckk
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    Mckk Contributing Member Contributor

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    I seem to recall an incident, think it may have been WWI when the Germans were fighting the Brits across No Man's Land. And there was one night when the German troops and British troops came out of their trenches, and played football together.

    How about a conclusion like that?

    Or you could use the British poppies ideal. How each red flower symbolises the blood that was spilt from each soldier. That all 6 of these men bled, and no death was less or more tragic than another. I can imagine it ending on a melancholy note of musing over nature by some ignorant stranger who might trample on these flowers, or else a family member who pays honour to each one, perhaps.
     
  14. Pythonforger
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    Pythonforger Carrier of Insanity

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    Meh.

    I would just have them meet again at the end, with the theme playing its last, resounding note, as the men leave and walk their separate paths.

    Or something.
     
  15. shangrila
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    shangrila New Member

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    I'd tie the themes together. Personally, with something like this, I'd add the horror of war to your "everyones not evil" theme you described. So, throughout all the stories, the men do both good and bad things. The point being that, hey, they're all just men trying to survive the slaughterhouse that was WW2.

    As far as endings, you could have them impact each other. For example, Russians invaded Germany so you could have those two fighting. The Italian would likely have to leave early because, if I remember correctly, they kind of bowed out of the war after they switched sides (again). But you could have the American flying one of the planes that dropped the atomic bomb on Japan, and the Japanese man back home on leave when it all happens, perhaps.
     

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