1. Laser Sailor
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    Laser Sailor Member

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    Linking Plot Elements

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Laser Sailor, Aug 2, 2010.

    How well linked should plot elements be?

    For example,

    A leads to B leads to C leads to D, each element leads to the next which drives the story forward.

    What if you had one or two points in the story that were not linked to the final outcome, but used to show character development. Like A leads to B, C happens, B leads to D.

    I'm struggling with this idea as I have about fourteen plot points I want to use, the beginning and end are well linked. But my middle section is used to develop the character rather than the main plot.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I suspect you really mean story elements, not plot elements. If a plot does not link to other plots, it should not be in the story at all.

    To understand the difference between plot and story, read What is Plot Creation and Development?

    With the approprioate substitution, it all depends on your story and how you want to tell it, but it may be a more intriquing story if the relationships between story elements are revealed very late in the story. On the other hand, if you overdo it, you can leave the reader confused, and the reader may leave your book partially read.
     
  3. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Can you weave in C (the character development part) throughout the story in little bits here and there? I mean, instead of having an entire chapter or two devoted to it halfway through the story.

    Readers won't mind if a couple of scenes aren't directly linked to what's pushing the plot forward. It seems like the rest of your scenes have a very solid plan with fast-moving action.

    It sounds to me like you're fine.
     
  4. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    when in doubt I put my character to sleep and wake him up in the next chapter;)
     
  5. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Putting him to sleep with a female character might intrigue the reader more. Just sayin'. :p

    With all seriousness, I'm not sure how that would really advance the plot...I mean, you have to deal with figuring out the rest of the "elements" the next morning right?

    Or are you referring to using the night/morning to do the characterization stuff, when the MC is alone and not interacting with fellow characters or the conflict?
     
  6. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Linear narratives are just one convention of many. You're not obligated to write in a linear way: if you want to include tangential or nonsequiturial scenes, if you wanna mess around with sequencing, chronology, linearity, narrative, then by all means go ahead. You're not the first, you won't be the last.
     
  7. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Mine is a painfully shy teenage boy at present going to bed dreaming of the female is as close as he is getting lol it does happen:) I should have written more but it has proved effective in my story as it allows things to happen at night, he can be woken by people, when he was sick it moved the story on a whole week in just a paragraph, he could have a dream or have someone reading to him whilst he was ill. It has been my most useful tool for drawing a line between one part of the story and moving on. When I needed to get from him arguing with his father to his father dying, he collapsed at the end of a long emotional day, then was woken up by his Uncle. His brother who has gone into hiding after a tragic event wakes him up in the middle of the night.

    Seriously it will depend on the story but I find deciding how would every character I need physically get to where I want when I want works. So it could also be a meditation (fantasy novel they can contact people), walk along the beach to his wedding ceremony, to get his wolf he was poisoned and had an urge to escape the city. The first 6 chapters take place almost entirely within three rooms in the palace so letting him go to sleep allows characters that weren't present in the evening be there by morning. He can fling himself on his bed, turning his music up loudly which brings someone I need in to turn it down.
     
  8. BlueWolf
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    BlueWolf Banned

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    Your plot is A to Z, with B to Y being all the elements of the story that tie it all up.

    Of course, as you said, some of these elements (as opposed to plots), may start at K and go through to N and then stop - or at least it enables O to be better explained.
     
  9. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    If the sub-plot isn't directly connected to the main plot, it can be connected through the main character. For example, the sub-plot affects the main character's ability to deal with the main plot. For example, a crime investigator's failing marriage affects his ability to deal with the case he's working on.

    Personally, I think a story is more satisfying if all elements are closely linked, but it's not a necessity.
     

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