1. Alysa
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    Alysa Member

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    Missing Middle

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Alysa, Jan 29, 2014.

    I have this problem where I know where I want my story to start and end but, im not realy sure what goes in the middle other than a few key points. Any ideas?
     
  2. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    That's generally how I create my stories.

    I know what the ending is and why I want it (To show a moral, to have the hero traumatically defeat impossible odds, to have an "epic" conclusion, etc.)

    Knowing what I want to be the end result, I work the story backwards.
    Kinda like cooking. You know what you want it to be, so you dissect the end result and examine individual parts.
    IE: Chicken noodle soup - Chicken, noodles, hot water.

    So, I start thinking why and how my character got to where he is at the end and little by little some back story appears and I can start pushing pieces together with who he is, what put him on the path, why the evil is so evil, etc.

    Every scene is a jumping stone to the end and every character is friction on the wet stones.

    A good start can also be world building whether it be fantastical or mundane.
    The bad ending always exists as there would have been a bad ending if the hero didn't triumph.
    So what made the bad guy bad? What impact does he have on the rest of the world? How is the world at peace normally? What's a routine?
    If it's fantastical, consider how magic/monsters/elves and whatever all interact to create a regular normal day.
    How does your character appear in all of that?
    From then on, if he is the village idiot, it's easy to start creating negative relationships with other characters or if he is a prince you can think of what influential characters are around him.

    My stories generally involve man vs. environment so for me it's very natural to create stories that push the character a direction whether they like it or not as they have to deal with the negative world that is hurting or destroying their life. So I let the environment grow natural characters and the obstacles be tied in to nature trying to win and move it along.

    The world is a breathing place and everything is its product, naturally the product will move where it's taken by it.
     
  3. JayG
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    JayG Banned Contributor

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    Do you know what your inciting incident is? You should, and that will kick things off clarify the endgame goal, and drive your protagonist's actions.

    Do you know what the story is about? I don't mean the plot, but the theme. You should because that's critical. We aren't following our protagonist around like a reporter, so scenes need to be structured so as to advance/illustrate the theme.

    Do you have a good feel for the climax? Everything leads to that, and each scene needs to guide/force the protagonist toward it, options narrowing and the stakes growing.

    If the answer is no to any of those questions, you might want to look deeper into the craft of the profession.
     
  4. Alysa
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    Alysa Member

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    I'm not sure what an inciting incident is. That may just be that I'm unfamiliar with the term though.
     
  5. Alysa
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    Alysa Member

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    This actually helps a lot because I do a lot of cooking! Thank you for the analogy.
     
  6. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    It's what sets off the story.
    The first thing that impedes the character, disturbs the peace, pushes point A toward B.
     
  7. Alysa
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    Alysa Member

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    Thank you! It's been a while and I don't remember all the terms so I appreciate it!
     

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