1. MFreak
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    MFreak New Member

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    Looking for help with a plot

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by MFreak, May 18, 2010.

    When it comes to writing, I could come up with 50 different beginnings to stories in a day, but when it comes to sitting down and continuing these stories I'm no good. I'll usually develop a case of writers block halfway through, or simply loose interest, or become distracted with another project. Here is a simple thought that has been in my head for a while, and I wish to, hopefully, develop it into an actual plot.

    The working title for now is Fallen.

    It is about a small family, consisting of a single father and his two daughters, who live in a large Victorian style house at the top of a hill in the middle of nowhere. For now I’ve decided to call the area Waterbrook Hills as I thought the name sounded pleasant. The father will be in his 40s. The eldest daughter will be 17. The youngest will be 13.

    Every winter the roads close up and the family must live for a few months on their own in the large house on the hill, but they had been doing this for their entire lives so not only are the use to it, but they enjoy it.

    Anyway, one winter during a particularly bad storm the family is jarred out of their sleep by a thunderous booming sound. The eldest daughter, being a curious young woman, persuades her father to let her go out into the storm to investigate. She isn’t gone long before he hears her screaming. He runs out to find her standing over a large crater in the snow and earth. At its center sits the body of a young man wearing nothing more than a t-shirt and jeans. He is motionless, his eyes closed, his body already covered heavily in snow. They take his body back to the house, soon realizing that he is still alive. He remains unconscious while they try to decide what to do. The roads are far to bad for them to be able to take the mysterious boy to a hospital.

    Anyway, I don’t have much else. The father will examine the young man and find he has no injuries, not a scratch, not even frostbite from his time exposed to the wind and snow.

    I’m not quite sure yet what he will be, but my main thought is maybe some kind of fallen angle. I won’t make him an alien, as I really hate stories like that. He will wake up eventually, probably with no memory, and he might fall in love with the older daughter...

    That is basically it. I know it is pretty light at the moment but this is basically just be throwing together all the thoughts I have had so far...

    Any suggestions as to how I can get this thing together.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Yes. Keep working on the concept until you have a story to tell/write. This should come from you, not from a committee.

    Maybe you have enough in your head to sit down and start writing. Let the ideas flow from your writing process.

    As for your "writer's block", you need to develop a discipline to buckle down and work on a story until it's complete. Sure, keep a notebook of ideas, but once you start with a story, stick with it. If you get truly stuck, set it aside for a while and work on another story, but then go back to it and work on it some more.

    Yes, there will come a point where you decide a piece of writing just isn't working, and you should drop it in favor of something more promising. But you have to give it a good effort first, and work the stroy for all it's worth.

    But starting out, don't give up on ANY of them. Finish tem, and learn from the mistakes. Your first stories probably won't live up to your initial expectation. As with everything worthwhile, there is a learning curve. And you never stop learning.
     
  3. MFreak
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    MFreak New Member

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    Thank you. I do in fact have a notebook I've been filling with ideas since... oh- I'd say early 2007. Like I said before though, I have trouble following up on them.

    As for the story, I was brainstorming today, and I came to the conclusion that the mystery man will be a fallen angle of death.

    Here is where I really need help. I have spent the past 6 or so hours with only one thing on my mind, and I still can't figure it out. What should his name be? Ugh!
     
  4. MissBelle
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    MissBelle Member

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    The setting as you have described it here sounds like a horror movie. I dont really read horror, but that is what it felt like to me.

    I guess my question is what is the conflict and who is the protagonist? Is it the young man or the daughter? It sounds like a really good start. I love the setting.
     
  5. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    So, we have a setting and we have a cast.

    Now, what is the story you want to tell? ANd I don't mean the order of events and what happens here and there and to whom. I mean what do you want to say with the story?

    Is there a love story here?

    What is the purpose of the plot device of this young man arriving as a meteorite of sorts? Its sounds interesting, but what purpose does it serve in the telling of the story?
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Then name him Ugh for now.

    Give him any name at all. Don't let that stop you. You can always change it when and if you think of a better one. Just make it a name easy to search on. So don't name him "The".

    Don't allow yourself te luxury of excuses to procrastinate.
     
  7. Mantha Hendrix
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    Mantha Hendrix Contributing Member

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    I always leave names to the end, they're often not largely important. Usually I try not to write anything down but a concept until I have a large bulk of the plot in my head, then I write it down.

    Don't be annoyed if it takes a while... some things can take a while to come, but often one idea will run off into another. Before you know it things are starting to form in your head quite nicely...
     
  8. MFreak
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    MFreak New Member

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    I'm not really sure how to explain this, but I am a method writer... and an odd one at that.

    I can't just sit down and start typing. You know how some actors kinda go overboard and get all into their character and have to have that character down, knowing every little detail about them... Yeah, I'm like that, only I'm not the actor, so instead of having to worry about one character I feel that I have to have the entire cast down to a tea before actual work can begin. What they like, what they hate, how they act, what they eat, and every other little unnecessary detail... All this, must start with a name... and I often find a proper name more hard to create then every other aspect of the character combined. God I must sound a bit crazy at the moment, but who isn't huh? I have entire pages of notes sometimes completely dedicated to a single character, just so I can really truly feel what it is to be them. I create the situation. Next I create the characters. Lastly, I don;t make them do anything, rather I sit back and watch to see what they do on their own.

    Now that I am done rambling like a mad man let me try to express what it is I want to get at.
    I want this to essentially be a love story, as I have never dared to venture into that genre, and I feel that I have a lot built up inside me that is pushing me to write something like this. I want this to be a story about a girl who has only known her family her own life, who is afraid to love anybody else, and a boy who is from a world where he was trained to feel nothing and do what he was told.

    An Angle of Death, and the Girl that showed him what it was to be alive.


    That might be the tag line or something... It just came to me as I was typing this paragraph. I think that one sentence might be all the intensive I need to get the ball rolling.

    EDIT: I might call him Cyrus
     
  9. System-Crashed
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    System-Crashed Member

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    Hmm... sounds like a shoujo manga.

    Anyways, if you can come up with like 50 beginnings in one day, then why don't you chain them up somehow? A new day is a new beginning they say.
     
  10. Mypen
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    Mypen New Member

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    Have you considered a religious or mythic reference?
     
  11. KP Williams
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    KP Williams Contributing Member

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    And if nothing else comes to you, just keep his name "Ugh." It's original. I like it. Bonus points if he's really proper and/or self-important. :D
     
  12. themistoclea
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    themistoclea Member

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    I totally agree with this, this the question you need to pose to yourself until you have a satisfying answer.

    I think this may be the problem that is causing you difficulty in progressing from a 'beginning' to a whole story. There needs to be some premise, some universal value or conflict that flows beneath whatever events are happening. It's not something that needs to be apparent, or forced down the throat of the reader.

    I would use the young man as a catalyst for other events/themes/issues that would interrupt this family's previous solitude and peace. Just think about where the family is, and what would disrupt that. The kindly treatment and tending of a stranger isn't a conflict, even if the young woman falls in love with him...
    What threat does he pose?

    I hope this jump starts some new ideas for you :)
     
  13. scribller1
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    scribller1 New Member

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    Try a narrative hook. Example: Ed believed Vera the pefect wife until he discovered arsenic in his food. --OR-- Little Eddie was about to mail a valentine card to Sara when her brother, Carl, said she wouldn't invite him to her birthday party. In the first narrative hook there are two characters. In the second hook there are three characters. And in each hook there is a conflict among each character. The next step: Write an idea how and where will the story end? Next: Write an idea how and where the story will begin? In this manner you have ideas in logical order. Next is the plot. Plotting is simple but consumes a lot of time. Example how to detail a plot for a scene: Sally arrived at her apartment. The door was ajar. Slowly she entered the livingroom. Then the bedroom. Then the kitchen. In the bathroom she saw a dead body. She screamed then ran to her friend's apartment. They chat for a moment about the dead body. Sally's friend calls the police. The two girls go to Sally's apartment. The dead body is gone. That is a simple way to develop a plot for a scene. Same approach to an entire novel. Viewpoint is what makes a story exciting and interesting. Viewpoint: The writer pretends he or she is every character.
    Best wishes for a successful career.

    Scribbler1
     
  14. AngelSong
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    AngelSong New Member

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    I really love the fallen angel, crashing like a meteor Idea!

    Here are a few questions that might help you form your plot :What did he do that got him kicked out of heaven? Why doesn't he remember? Did goddess (or whoever is the leader of the angels) wipe his memory for whatever reason? What is (or is there?) the bigger story behind his sudden appearance?

    One thing I have to say is that "An Angle of Death, and the Girl that showed him what it was to be alive." seems a bit cheesy and cliche to me. I don't really know what your story is, you may be able to make it work, but it would be hard.
     

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