1. Firefly4420
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    Firefly4420 New Member

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    Is this an intriguing or dull plot?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Firefly4420, Aug 19, 2010.

    My idea is that a girl, an average high-school girl who is constantly in the shadows, is thrown into a rape/murder case because while leaving a club she witnessed the actual act. But she was in a state of shock that left her unable to remember the face that ran past her out of the alleyway which is the scene of the crime.

    Eventually, a year or so after the case is closed she suddenly dreams of the event that has haunted her for years and sees the face that ran away. But she doesn't take it to the police because it is someone she knows and cares about. (I haven't decided who yet). So she decides to investigate herself.

    I want to alternate between this girl and the man committing the crimes, so you get two POVs and a full circle story, but is it too common or too much?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A story concept means nothing. I can tell you now, it has all been done before. What matters is how you write it, the characterization, the flow, the imagery, all of it.

    There's no benefit in asking what other people think of the concept! They'll either say,"Sounds great," or, "it sounds like a ripoff of..."

    If the idea stirs you, write it. Then ask people what they think of the final story. After they tell you what they don't like about it, revise it, usually several times, until you're happy with it or until you throw up your hands and say the hell with it.

    Please read this thread about What is Plot Creation and Development?
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yup!
     
  4. Trevor
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    Trevor Member

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    I've probably seen that post a thousand times and now I say it:

    On this board you push a philosophy of writing publication worthy writing and yet you also push the notion that writing quality will always trump plot.

    So, why then do agents request plot information and synopses? If you send a piece of Faulkner about about a tree I doubt the agent or publisher would be very interested in reading the actual manuscript.
     
  5. B-Gas
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    B-Gas Contributing Member

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    Agents want plot synopses to know what kind of story you're writing and whether they can sell it to publishers- a romance specialist doesn't want to try to sell a sci-fi epic, for example. Once they know what kind of story you're writing and are sure that it's within their capabilities to sell it, they then ask you to send your actual writing in. After they read the manuscript, they decide whether or not it is publishable.

    Plot synopses are only useful in that initial point, the spark. Whether the spark catches or not is up to the writing. This site is focused on that second part, because writing a punchy, saleable plot summary is easy.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A couple reasons. One is that the ability to write a clear, succinct synopsis can tell the submissions editor about the writer's ability to communicate.

    Another is that publishers are looking for certain genre niches more than others at any given time. It doesn't mean the piece of writing that doesn't appear (from the synopsis) to be what they are looking for is any less publishable or of poorer quality, it just means it doesn't grab that editor's interest.

    A third reason isn't a great one, but it's what you have to live with. The submissions editors have a huge volume of queries coming in, and they can't give them all the attention they probably deserve. So the synopsis is used to filter the traffic. Just like a resume doesn't really tell an employer all that much about a candidate, the synopsis doesn't tell the submissions editor much about the book. But it is used as a screening criterion anyway.

    When someone posts here to get an opinion on a story idea, the writing itself does not yet exist. It's a partially formed summary, but what really matters is the actual writing, no matter how brilliant or crappy the summary is.

    You should always be able to write a better synopsis of a completed piece of writing than of a partially developed idea.

    The sole purpose of a synopsis in a query letter is to convince the submissions editor to take the time to look over the actual manuscript. The manuscript is what the acceptance or rejection will be based on.
     
  7. Norm
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    Norm Contributing Member

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    For the record, go ahead and write it.
     
  8. Lyssaur
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    Lyssaur Member

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    If you have to ask then it's probably not good enough.
    /not meant to be harsh.
     
  9. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    It sounds awesome -- btw, if you want reviews or anything, PM me! I study psychology/criminology so I could offer input on how that kind of thing might affect the characters in different ways and stuff. I find that type of thing fascinating. Reviewing it would be fun!

    For the record, as everyone says, any plot can be good or lame depending on your writing skills as you get the story from your head to the Word Doc. :)
     
  10. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    I think the POV should remain with the girl's, if you want to maintain the mystery throughout the book.
     
  11. SandraLSC
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    SandraLSC Member

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    I agree with Manav.
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Different POV decisions result in different stories. There is not a single best choice, although switching POVs requires more skill from the writer to do well.
     

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