1. Artemus19
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    Artemus19 Member

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    Making Things Interesting

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Artemus19, May 5, 2015.

    I know a lot of you out there are science fiction writers much like myself and based on ideas we have we can go into spouts of uncontrollable lust for writing the next big thing. Sometimes, however, it seems like these wet spells often lead us into a sort of "loss for words" or just a lack of ideas on how to make the plot interesting and convey what you're trying to put across. My question to you is, if you have what seems like a boring plot with no cohesion, but you believe with all your heart and soul that the story could flourish, what is something you do to put the glue where it belongs? In other words, how do you engender ideas from basically nothing?
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Your words seem contradictory.
    That doesn't say "boring", nor does it say "basically nothing".

    I am spicing up my sci-fi story setting with world building. I've added interesting flora and fauna. I'm in the process of making the technology a bit more interesting. But the story stands on its own.

    In some places where I wanted relationships to all work out, good friends and all that, I've ramped up the tension and made the characters struggle a bit before friendships evolved. And I added cross-cultural awkwardness that needed to be overcome.
     
  3. Artemus19
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    Artemus19 Member

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    I think that's half my problem. I also think I just realized I'm focusing too much on a few singular items. I mean, the story is in first person xD
     
  4. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    If it comes across as boring even to me I usually rethink the entire plot, or scrap the story altogether.
     
  5. Ivana
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    Ivana Contributing Member

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    A strong plot is very important, but if the storyline isn't interesting enough, you can focus on your characters and make them push the story forward. But your world must never be boring to you, that's my first rule. Make it interesting, put some action scenes in, torture your characters, make them struggle. Let your imagination go crazy. You have to be your own most demanding reader in the first place. Everything starts and ends with you, after all. Plus, trust you instincts if they really tell you that "the story could flourish". Make writing your story an experience of reading the best story you could think of at the moment.
     
  6. VirtuallyRealistic
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    VirtuallyRealistic Active Member

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    Your use of the word, "glue," sparked a memory that I think could be useful to you.

    In Brandon Sanderson's lectures (http://www.writeaboutdragons.com/brandon_w2012/ if you're interested. I found them on this wonderful forum) he talks about the three elements to a story: Plot, Setting, and Character. The thing that glues these separate elements together is conflict. You can have intriguing plot, engrossing setting, and interesting characters, but without conflict the story becomes boring. You should always be finding ways to make two or even three of these elements conflict with each other; character vs. setting, plot vs. character, setting vs. plot, etc. That is what makes for a good story.
     
  7. Ivana
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    Ivana Contributing Member

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    I think I have all of those conflicts in my story :D
     
  8. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, that's a great piece of advice. :)

    Just don't get so carried away with conflicts you forget to resolve them or leave them hanging too long up in the air. :D (yeah, speaking from experience here...)
     
  9. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    If the story appears boring even to you, then probably rethink the whole thing or ditch it altogether. When the author herself is bored by what she writes, that's a huge alarm bell there and should not be ignored. When I get bored, it's usually because the story's taken a turn I don't actually enjoy or doesn't seem right, and the only solution is pretty much scrap the entire scene or chapter and write it again from scratch.
     
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  10. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    Not sure I understand the triangle of conflicts. Can you expand on it or give examples?
     
  11. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    As a writer, conflict is your business. :)
    Maybe this sounds obvious, but I see this a lot in the novels from debute authors I read so I'll say it anyway:
    Make sure the conflict is relevant to the story. Not just any conflict or things going wrong for the character but something that affects the story and the character's goal/-s.
     
  12. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Stories are only boring if the characters are doing things with no motivation and/or no conflict. They act because the writer designed them to react that way but there's no real drive in the character. You can see this in crummy movies - especially horrors. Those idiots will wander around ... alone, without picking up a weapon or strengthening their numbers even as the body count rises. The reason they look so dumb is there is no motivation, and no conflict. Half the time they're not even aware of any danger until it's nearly too late.

    What I do is try to figure out what angle I want to take for the story I have - who will best showcase my world, what will be the best conflict to relate to it, what will be the best motivation for my character.

    For instance Oz could've had the Scarecrow as mc -rescued from his pole by stranger Dorothy. But Oz wouldn't have looked very special to the Scarecrow, after all it's his world. With Dorothy you get contrast, motivation, goals and antagonists.
     
  13. DiscoMacaque
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    Definitely not an expert, but I would say don't try to force it! Work on another project for a while and come back to the one that's troubling you when it's feeling new and shiny again.
     
  14. m.j.kane
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    m.j.kane Member

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    I'll second this.
    Also any SF or Fantasy writers who haven't checked out Brandon's lectures should do so.
    Brandon is very understanding of other writing methodologies, and encouraging to any kind of writer in those genres.
     

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