1. stormcat
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    stormcat Active Member

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    I've got these characters, they need a plot.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by stormcat, Apr 24, 2015.

    So I have developed some lovely characters to set in 1889 manhattan. Question is, what sort of hijinks could they get into? I need some Ideas.

    Here they are:

    Victor Highclastle: A young wizard who works at an Apothecary to support his widowed mother. He has dreams of using his magic for the good of humanity, but the Wizard elders forbid it. Still, he tries to make friends with everyone he meets.

    Widow (Fanny) Highcastle: Victor's mother, her husband died of pneumonia in the great blizzard of 1888. Fanny knows how to use her "helpless old woman" act to her advantage. Carries around a cane, even though she doesn't need it because she is a master bartitsu practitioner as well as being a witch. She is considered "A bit crazy" for her outspoken views on Women's suffrage and equality for immigrants. Still, She loves and supports her son however she can.

    Shamus Highcastle: Fanny Highcastle's scottish terrier. Despite the magical concept of "Familiars", this dog has no special powers nor does he aid anyone else's. He is simply a dog who is good at digging things up.

    Joey Voltinini: An Italian immigrant who works the soda fountain at the apothecary where Victor works. He is considered a "trustworthy" because he knows of the highcastle's powers, but he is sworn to secrecy. He has to adopt an "american" name and accent when talking with customers, but because he's good friends with Victor, he can let his facade drop around him. He has dreams of becoming an actor, and is quite good at mimicking accents and sounds.

    Emma Kowalski: A sweet young Polish migrant. Her parents operate a small dry goods store, where she helps out on occasion. She loves to paint and sculpt and has recently discovered photography. Victor seems taken by her.

    James Brown: A former wizard who had his magic taken away. As a black man, he can only find work on the city's elevated railway, but he really wants to combine magic and technology to benefit all humanity. Victor sympathizes with James, and they work togeather to develop new inventions which are operated by magic.

    The Coven Elders: Mysterious figures who have a staunch Luddite policy.
     
  2. drifter265
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    drifter265 Banned

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    I had this same problem - a group of characters that were really interesting and that I had pending excitement for to write, but no plot. Realize that what you're wanting to write is a "character-driven"-story. Your characters drive the story and their decisions are the plot. Your first character wants to use being a wizard to help humanity but the wizard elders won't let him. Besides the obvious plot hole of this (why wouldn't the wizard elders also want to help the good of humanity as well) have the first plot point be that this character goes against the elder's wishes and goes his own way

    Or instead of starting with something so extreme, the book can instead turn into a series and just be about why he wants to use his magic for the good of humanity and the other characters can get involved with him in some way.

    Just start with the character, think what they want, and then put obstacles in front of them to keep them from getting it and then go to the next character and see where they and the main character take you.

    Your story should stem from a single inciting incident that all the other characters (no matter how irrelevant) base from.
     
  3. VirtuallyRealistic
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    VirtuallyRealistic Active Member

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    Something that came to mind immediately after reading the first three characters:

    Victor wants to use his magic for good, but is forbidden by the elders. However, when his widow mother's dog Shamus digs up an ancient cursed artifact that leaves his mother sick/paralyzed/etc, he goes against the elders' wishes and tries to use his powers to counteract this ailment. When he discovers that this anomaly (Average people coming across cursed artifacts, and becoming ill) happens frequently, he sets out to cure all who have been affected. In doing this, the elders begin to actively attempt to sabotage him. The story will follow Victor on his journey to save others, while also attempting to outwit and avoid the elders. His friend James Brown could be of use here, and maybe his hideout could be at Emma's store (Depending on the powers Victor has, he could use some charm to disguise the basement to keep himself hidden). I'm at a loss for Joey, perhaps he could go around the world/area discovering people who have been affected, using his skills at acting to act as a doctor or something of the sort.

    Just an idea that your character's sparked in my head.
     
  4. ZYX
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    ZYX Member

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    (( I don't know how realistic you're going with names or how recent of an immigrant she is, but the feminine form of Kowalski is Kowalska, and Emma isn't particularly Polish, but if her parents wanted her to fit in better in America or had a weird naming sense it would work. Just a note ! The name does work on its own, especially if she was born in America to recently immigrated parents. ))


    I'd say develop the individual Coven Elders as much as you can, start thinking of why they're so staunch and what they do not like about people like Victor and James. Then give them some sort of goal Victor would not agree with. I think this could also work as an underground illicit magic kind of thing where people come in with a problem they need magic to solve and the group has to secretly fix it. I like the character descriptions so far, good luck !
     
  5. stormcat
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    stormcat Active Member

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    I have a few concerns with this:

    1. Other than Native Americans and colonial dutch, you aren't really going to find any interesting artifacts in 1889 manhattan. Unless they were deliberately planted.

    2. Getting Victor's mother sick is completely against her character. She's a firecracker, a loudmouth, and even batshit insane. Victor keeps having to tell her "MOTHER! CALM DOWN!" She just can't get sick.

    3. The Coven elders aren't pure evil, they're just stingy old bats stuck in their ways. If there was an actual plague and people were getting sick, they'd try to help. They are also luddites, which means they shun new technology (unless it proves profitable or convenient).
     
  6. stormcat
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    stormcat Active Member

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    She was actually born in america, and her parents are the immigrants. Her parents are actually minor characters in the story, but I want the main focus to be on Emma.
     
  7. ZYX
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    ZYX Member

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    Alright, I was just curious. Sorry if it was rude / irrelevant !
     
  8. Spencer Rose
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    Spencer Rose Member

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    Stormcat made an interesting point which could easily drive your story. The "artifacts" are deliberately planted. Easily enough that even a dog could stumble upon one and cause an affliction. The elders don't want this issue resolved because they are--in fact-- the ones planting said artifacts. What better job security than to deliberately cause chaos and mayhem, sit back and watch it unfold, and ultimately become the hero when the afflicted persons come forward for help. Couple that with the hefty fee that comes for ridding said ailments and you've got yourself a corrupt group of elders.

    Just my two cents. Take it or leave it.
     

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