1. Kaldwin
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    Kaldwin Member

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    Ironing out a plot

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Kaldwin, May 31, 2014.

    Hi guys, so I posted here a bit ago about a rough idea I had for a new manuscript. That idea has since evolved, to the point where I do have a basic plot in mind. The problem now is ironing out the details, and working subplots into the mix. I also have it set in two different universes, and I'm wondering how much of the manuscript I should set in each 'world'.

    The basic plot of my manuscript is that there's a group of emotionally troubled kids in 'group therapy'. Unknown to them, one of the kids in their groups is a ghostly manifestation, stuck in a version of purgatory. In order to progress to the after life, the ghost must save three people from suicide.

    If you've seen my first post (http://www.writingforums.org/threads/developing-a-new-plot.132704/) you'll know that the main characters have powers associated with something they hate, something traumatic in their past. However I've decided not to have any of the characters attempt suicide, and rather have their powers develop when the 'ghost' character tires of using 'subtle' methods to complete his mission.

    At one point in the book, the main characters attempt to track down the 'ghost character' (who goes by the name Daniel) They dig up as much information about him as they can, and it leads them to an empty apartment that looks like its been sealed for months. Inside, there are some sort of symbols and sigils on the wall, and the main characters inadvertently end up in purgatory (oopsie)

    So I will have part of it set in the real world, and part of it in an 'after life'.

    I was wondering what techniques you use for getting the details of a story straight, and how you think I should divide up the word count dedicated to each world.
     
  2. Okon
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    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Manuscripts are funny that way. If you plan it to a T before you start writing, you'll still end up with a totally different story. As you explore your characters and their motives, tons of opportunities will present themselves.

    I write up a quick summary for each scene in every chapter, and label them with decimals: scene 1.0, scene 2.0 etc; this allows me to put stuff in between, like a scene 1.5 or 1.6. Further, if a potential plot hole or inconsistency comes into mind, I post it as a question in one large document. Sometimes it's something really big: "What the hell is Leather's motive?" or something small: "How does their friend get eaten if Spices still has some left over mice?" I answer the questions and modify my writing accordingly when it finally comes to me.

    Word count in each world is totally, totally up to you. In fact, you shouldn't be worrying about the word count at all. Use as many letters as you need to advance the plot or build character.

    It sounds like you're not keen on jumping in. Too much planning can reach a point where it is just procrastination. I suggest getting a first draft of your first scene down (at least) before planning the rest. It will give you an idea of what the setup will feel like, and what directions you can really take the story in. Good lucks :).
     
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  3. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's funny, Kaldwin. In your other thread I was actually going to suggest purgatory. In my mind, all your heroes are in purgatory for committing suicide (they just don't know it). Their powers are actually curses, based directly or indirectly on either their suicide or the reason behind it. And the mysterious person chasing them is actually something like the Grim Reaper. Ultimately they have to come to grips with their powers, and thus the traumas that haunt them.

    I didn't mention this then cause I thought it delved too far from your original intentions but maybe I was wrong.
     
  4. Kaldwin
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    Kaldwin Member

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    Yeah, I also feel like the story will become more clear in my mind as I write. I just like to have a rough 'road map' before I get too far into it, so I don't waste time writing a completely different story that I end up deleting.
     
  5. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    Start writing what you know and go from there. I know my beginning and end so I'm working those and filling in from both sides.
     

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