1. keats81
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    keats81 Member

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    I need a lot of plot help...

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by keats81, Feb 14, 2012.

    I just don't know what to do anymore. I have all these drawings of characters and places but my story is nothing. I don't know how to get myself organized. What can I do to get started?

    I'm sorry if this post seems useless. Thats kind of how I feel right now because all of my ideas just don't flow.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You need a story idea, or at least a situation.

    Watch the news, or your favorite TV show or movie, or a book. Play "What if?" What if you were at the counter of the convenience store that was held up this afternoon? What if the flash mob in the city plaza were a distraction to keep police busy while a robbery was taking place? What if the crime drama you were watching happened in your city, but the culprit didn't fall for the police bait?

    Get into the habit of turning situations around and playing them out differently. Think of it as an aerobic exercise for your imagination.
     
  3. jg22
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    jg22 Member

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    So you have lots of drawings of characters and places for your story, but there is no story, yet. Who are your characters? What are the places? Sit with your drawings, study them, imagine in your mind how the characters are connected to the places. Who are your characters, why are they the way they are and how did they come to be in the places you have drawn? Think through these things. Ask yourself, 'If my character is in this place, why is he/she there, who does he meet, and where does he go next?' Let your imagination absorb the images and create a narrative linking the characters and the places you have created. Your imagination will fill in the gaps if you relax and allow it to. How are these characters connected? Where are these places located, and in what time? Let your imagination come up with the answers- don't worry if it sounds silly or amateurish, just have fun with conjuring, mentally, a narrative which connects your characters with the locations you've made. Start small, and relax, have fun with creating. Personally, I wouldn't write anything down yet. Just play about in your mind with the imagery you're creating, think of events and ideas which connect each image, each scene, each character. Enjoy it! Then, when your mind is pregnant with ideas, start writing them down in a notepad. Small steps.
     
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  4. keats81
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    keats81 Member

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    thanks for the good advice guys. I've tried doing some of that stuff and it's really helped. Today I just took an hour away from school and thought about my characters a bit. Most of it was just thinking about how they would be around each other. I realized I was putting a lot of myself into the characters. Four of the characters are beginning to feel more real to me. It's weird but its starting to become fun again so I'm a lot happier.

    Maybe If I keep thinking about things characters have done in the past it will lead me into a possible plot.
     
  5. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    You've got characters but not a plot, so this indicates that you're probably a character-driven writer rather than a plot-driven writer. This means you'll probably find a more natural ability to shape the plot around your characters, rather than the other way around.

    You say you have characters, but how fleshed out are they? It's one thing to have name, age, gender, occupation, interests, likes and dislikes, etc. mapped out. (By the way, do yourself a favor and stay away from the "profiles" that make you list out your MC's horoscope, favorite color, mom's occupation and other mundane things. Those will get you nowhere.) The important things to think about are motivations, fears/dislikes (not little trivial things like getting stuck in traffic, but things that would serve as major obstacles and setbacks), biggest mistakes they've made, what would make them susceptible to making a bad decision, what are they able to be subjective and objective about, what are their prejudices or attitudes, goals, etc. Focusing on these things will give you some plot ideas to work with.
     
  6. keats81
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    keats81 Member

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    Yeah I agree. I wouldn't say my characters are very fleshed out...At this point they are what I'd call the underwear stage. They've got their clothes and professions but no real depth. A couple characters are further along. One character has a scar that he received from another character...Things like that. Enough to give background history between the two rivals but not enough for the plot. I have more than a hundred characters drawn, some more than once. Of that 100 there are about 30 important ones, of that 30, there are 10 essential figures, and of that 5 very important characters and then the one I would like to be the protagonist. So now that I have what almost all of the characters look like and their occupations and some with their connections etc., should I focus on things like : this character is afraid of their step brother because of his lingering stare and subtle approaches that seem to be building up to something else? Or maybe that thief character is really fearful of getting caught because he has illegal merchandise in his sack. Or this character is an assassin and gets a thrill from the kill. These characters where motivated to leave their home when new occupiers took over only to find that (like in east berlin)...they could not emigrate? Most of these were silly ideas made on the spot just now but am I on the right track?

    Maybe I could start with a desire. I could look at each character and figure out what they want. Maybe it will add more depth...they wanted this in the beginning but all these other characters wants caused this to happen and the character finds themselves in a whole new boat.
     
  7. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    100??? Really? You plan on including them all in the story or are they just on the audition for the roles? And I thought I was going overboard with my 16 and cut them down to 8! :D
     
  8. Connor Bible
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    Connor Bible Member

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    the-graduate.jpg
    Characters.
     
  9. Gonissa
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    Gonissa Contributing Member

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    Here's a suggestion. Pick two or three characters to lead the direction of the story. Work on their personalities. Then let them decide what they want to do. Characters are little people living on a lower plain. They're moving even when you're not.

    Or heck, just write a list of options and pick the one you like best.
     
  10. keats81
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    keats81 Member

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    Yeah...I like long stories. Like I said only 5 including the main protagonist really matter. I really like books where you get to see through the eyes of multiple people kind of like in Dune. I think it is fun creating a whole different world with a lot of characters. I don't want any of them to just be stand ins. Obviously there will be random people, and bystanders but I want all of the people that I name to at least have some depth, personalities, motives of some sort.
     
  11. keats81
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    keats81 Member

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    Anyway thanks again for the advice everyone!
     

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