1. Lizor
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    Lizor New Member

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    In need of plot ideas!

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Lizor, Dec 17, 2014.

    Hello everyone,
    I've been wanting to start writing again for a long time, but my ideas are sort of... gone. I'm thinking of writing a Dramione or Jily fanfic since it has been very long since I've written a fanfic, but I really can't get up with ideas, so I was wondering if you guys have ideas for me?
    x
     
  2. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    This is genuine advice. I'm not trying to be a smart-ass.

    If you can't come up with a plot of your own there is very little (zero) chance you'll be able to write the story. First, plots often evolve as you write so you need to be able to create the changes necessary. Second, you need to deeply understand the plot and the characters in order to tell the story. Writing someone else's plot idea is not like colouring in between the lines of someone else's drawing. Third, the plot is the easiest part (and the most interesting). The hard part (and the most boring) is making it work. If you need someone to suggest a plot because you have no ideas means you want to write something that works, but without the ability to do the easiest part of the job, there doesn't seem to be much point.
     
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  3. Lizor
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    Lizor New Member

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    Thanks for replying and yeah I think you are right, too bad since I really really want to write again but I can't come up with anything, maybe you have tips to get inspiration again for stories?
     
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  4. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Don't come up with anything. Plots will come along. Just start writing a scene. Have characters interact. The plot will reveal itself as ideas form. Just write. It's the best way to start writing.
     
  5. Lizor
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    Lizor New Member

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    Okay thanks :)
     
  6. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    Ever thought of writing outside your comfort zone and creating a character of your own? I'm not downing fan fiction, but if you can't find inspiration just by playing around with canon, maybe you might have more luck building your own rather than working to someone else's constraints.

    Start with a basic character. Ask yourself what that character wishes for the most. Give him/her/it several strengths and several weakness, then come up with ideas that will totally test these to their limit. Throw up enough conflicts and your story will start forming around how your character deals with them. (Or not, as the case may be.)

    Like Selbbin says, sometimes you just need to start writing for ideas to start trickling through.
     
  7. Lizor
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    Lizor New Member

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    Thanks for you respond and I've been writing my own stories for a very long time, so that's not new to me :) But I just wanted to start writing a fanfic again since that has been a long time, but thanks for your tips anyways :)
     
  8. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    You are probably better having this convo with those familiar with those specific fandoms in that case. Maybe someone will have a 'wrong' that needs righting... that's how I came to write my one and only fan fic. :D
     
  9. Lizor
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    Lizor New Member

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    Haha okay :) I decided to go on with an idea for a fiction book, but I might once do the fanfic thing if I can come up with something
     
  10. Komposten
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    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Yesterday I was sitting at my desk with a thousand different plot fragments flying around in my head. Bits and pieces, none of them complete and nothing my mind would settle on. However, I wanted to write, no, I had to write. So I put my pen to the paper and let it dance.

    I had no premise, no characters, nothing. Yet I wrote something. Sometimes you don't need to know where you are going, but just let your feet find their own path.
     
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  11. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Just brainstorm. Also start changing up your daily schedule and take interest in something fresh. Maybe stop at an antique store, go to a home show, sit in a mall, visit an old age home and watch people. If you're patient and observant something will happen to spark your creative interest. You need to be on the lookout for characters and ideas and plots - it's kinda like retraining your imagination - because eventually the ideas will come to you when you're just sitting at your desk and staring at your computer screen. Objects can even hold an idea for a story. Every creepy doll holds a possible horror story! lol.

    I was watching a guy on Youtube and he collects vintage postcards and uses them for story inspiration - it could be the message on the back or the image on the front. V.C. Andrews insisted her story, Flowers in the Attic, was a true story that it happened to her doctor who told her about the abuse he'd suffered as a teen boy. Listen to people and their problems, scan the classifieds and the personal ads in a paper or read interesting news articles. Scan the internet and look at art or pictures you know the old saying a picture is worth a thousand words. Plot ideas are everywhere!
     
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  12. ddavidv
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    ddavidv Contributing Member

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    Try writing scenes instead of complete novels.

    Another inspiration is browsing pre-made book cover art; I've been shopping for a cover for my latest novel and so many of the covers I view make great inspirations for stories...kind of the reverse of their intent but it's still a way to get an idea.
     
  13. Fitzroy Zeph
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    Fitzroy Zeph Contributing Member Contributor

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    There is a very old (1934 but still in print) how to book by Dorothea Brande, Becoming a Writer. She has an interesting exercise to do that involves getting your creative subconscious working for you. Her idea is to get up every day 30 to 60 minutes earlier than normal and without doing anything, especially reading a word, sit down and start writing. Do no critique, or worry about what; just write the first thing that hits your brain and go from there. Do this for a solid month or more and do not re-read or touch what you have already written.

    I tried this and although I had some difficult moments, I have a small treasure of possible story ideas that I didn't have before. Her theory, and others can agree or disagree, is we writers need to find a way to let or creative side work without interference from the conscious practical side until we need that side to do the editing.
     
  14. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    what you probably need is some kind of writig prompt, or for me personally, looking at interesting fantasy pictures usually spark a world of ideas. There's a writing prompt subforum on here, maybe you should check it out. Otherwise, what do you normally do for ideas? Different people are inspired by different things - what inspires you? Go do that :) Also, sometimes a breath of fresh air and doing something else actually helps the gears get moving.
     
  15. lustrousonion
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    lustrousonion Contributing Member

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    I was going to say the same thing. If you're into fan fiction, join a fest, or write a sequel to someone else's story.
     
  16. ddavidv
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    ddavidv Contributing Member

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    I bought this book many years ago and still recommend it. I don't agree with everything it espouses but it's a good read for beginning writers.
     
  17. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Watch The Twilight Zone.
     
  18. Ben414
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    Ben414 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Place extensive constraints on yourself. Creativity will come naturally if your brain is able to concentrate on a specific area and "problem solve" a story out of constraints that don't lend themselves in an obvious way to a plot. Then, you can either directly use your stories under the constrained themes, or you can gain some new and fresh ideas from these stories that can hopefully propel you towards other stories.
     
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  19. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Now, the problem with "set yourself some constraints" is that you then need your imagination to set these constraints...! However, you could enter one of the short story/flash fiction contests on this forum. (Or just use it as a writing prompt.) Even just having a title can give you the "constraint" that you need to get you going.
     
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  20. plothog
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    plothog Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    If you want some random constraints, you can generate a list of random words at somewhere like randomlists.com
    Then try to make each word a significant point in a story in the order they are listed.
     
  21. Ben414
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    Ben414 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Another way to constrain yourself would be to randomly think of 10 different settings, 10 different groups of characters (any number of them and without purposely making them related in some way), 10 different conversations, and then randomly pick one of each.

    For example, I might come up with a cemetery, the President of the U.S and the President of the NRA, and a conversation about whether fruits are better than vegetables. Clearly, this is a weird example... Perhaps the cemetery was chosen as a discrete place to meet where they wouldn't be overhead and the conversation was merely awkward small talk leading up to the conversation that is the true purpose of the meeting. Maybe the President wants to have a bill passed that would require background checks; knows that the NRA would be against such a bill; and wants to bribe the NRA President for his support. The NRA President would support the bill, surprising other NRA leaders who would question what he was doing. Then somehow the media would get rumors of the President bribing the NRA President, leading to conflict between other NRA leaders and the NRA President; other NRA leaders and the US President; politicians from the President's party who don't want corruption allegations; and between the US President and the NRA President because the former thinks the latter leaked the allegations. And so on and so forth. This is starting to sound like a cheesy movie, but hopefully this sort of thing would really help generate ideas.
     
  22. Lizor
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    Lizor New Member

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    I might buy this book, but I don't know if it helps since it's for "beginning writers" and I've been writing since I was about six years old, but of course you will always find new things
     
  23. Renee J
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    Renee J Contributing Member

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    I get some ideas from things I see everyday. For example, I could be in the park and wonder what would happen if someone did this or that right there by that tree. Or I'll read a news story and wonder what would happen if someone secretly witnessed that crime? Or if someone tried to be a hero?
     

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