1. Pandemonia
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    Pandemonia Member

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    need feedback about a potential storyline

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Pandemonia, Feb 11, 2014.

    here is an idea I've been playing with; would like some feedback. ...

    Awkward, overweight and shy, 16-year old Cindy seems destined to be one of high school's eternal victims. Bullied and alone, she finds refuge in frequenting online chat rooms where she can re-create a whole new identity for herself. during one of these times she makes friends with a fellow chatter who posts under the handle "Buddy". soon she is disclosing more and more about herself and her problems in school. but when her tormentors start dying in freak "accidents" she begins to suspect that her online friend might be closer than she thought.

    (no idea how to end it tho.)
     
  2. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    Right, I have two things to say, both on your idea, so bear with me.

    1.) Here comes a piece of advice that almost any writer will tell you: in the general sense, ideas don't matter. It's the execution that counts. You could have the "best" idea in the world for a story, but that doesn't mean anything unless it is written well. The same goes for "bad" ideas; if a successful and skillful writer were to be given a horrible clichéd storyline, I'm sure they could still work wonders with it. So, in the end, posting a story idea on this forum, or indeed anywhere, will be nigh on fruitless. This is your story; you tell it the way you want it to be told.

    2.) However, I am aware that this would be kinda sucky if this is all you gleaned from the thread, so I will comment on your idea. First of all, it seems nice and modern, with bullying/cyber-bullying/murder being the theme. I liked that you included murder, as I thought it was just going to be another 'how to solve bullying' sort of thing. However, you have put your own spin on it, which is an excellent thing to do. It reminds me a bit of an up-to-date Final Destination, actually.

    As for the ending, don't sweat it; there are plenty of authors who didn't know the ending to their novel until they were writing it - me included. For research, read books on cyber-bullying, murder in general, serial killing, and possibly police investigation, if you want to include scenes where the police are involved. You don't have to, of course, because it could clutter your book, but just have a think about it. Horror slashers and psychological horror films might also be a good idea to watch, as it will get you in that frame of mind, namely the "someone is stalking me, what on earth do I do?" sort of mind.

    So there you have it. There's now no need to post an idea thread again, because you know that an idea is what you make of it. :) In the end, if you're excited about your story, then others will be too, so it's okay! :cool:

    (Also, the more advice you hear, listen to, and throw away/keep depending on whether you agree with it or not, the more it's making you a better writer. You're shaping your own personal wisdom, if that makes sense. Now you're no longer a beginner, because you know more than that now. Just a cool thing to think about! :D)
     
  3. wade-newb
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    wade-newb Member

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    I'll be honest, I didn't like the sound of it, until the end. The unexpectedly dark element to an otherwise bland modern tale makes it something I would actually enjoy reading. The relationship postulated between Cindy and 'Buddy' sounds unique and strange -- why would he care about her so much to take the lives of her bullies? Sounds like a twisted character. His motivations would have to be strongly crafted to make his character believable, so keep that in mind if you decide to take this project forward.
     
  4. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    As Thomas said, ideas don't really mean much. Intriguing ideas turn to mush, trite ideas turn into masterpieces. Only the writer can determine if an idea will actually work.
     
  5. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    One glaring connection I see that seems missing is why the killer starts killing? What's the motive?
     
  6. wade-newb
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    wade-newb Member

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    What I assumed is that Cindy might have been telling her internet friend about her bullying problem, which may have led to him probing for further details; addresses, names, etc. The motivation might be explained by either Buddy's fondness for Cindy, which seems like a stretch, or a bullying experience he/she had had in the past themselves, or a combination of both. Just an assumption though.
     
  7. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    For the sake of brainstorming - for that is the purpose of this area of the forum ;) - the OP mentions that Cindy creates a catfish persona on the web, so she wouldn't be griping about bullying. It would seem more likely she'd be painting herself as high-school royalty.
     
  8. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oops. Apologies to the OP. I never remember to look at which area posts are in. :oops:
     
  9. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Some issues I'd see with the story is it could become quite boringly episodic. I came up with an idea like this yeeeears ago ( I was reading a lot of ya point thrillers. ) And I realized that you have to watch bumping off characters one two three as the reader's suspense shrinks. T.v. shows ( The Tunnel ) manage to get away with it cause it's got the thrill of the chase ( not to mention the dynamics of the main character's interaction ). And Horror movies manage to get away with it cause it's got the visual gore. But books need a better pattern. It's not who's in danger?! what will happen?! It becomes who's next, how will they go. Charlie and the chocolate Factory has this problem. Great book but take away the whimsy and it'd be quite dull - as a transparent pattern emerges - a kid gets there come uppance, and the oopa loompas sing a song.

    Maybe shake up the storyline a bit. Look at it from another character's viewpoint and see how they'd react or respond to shift things.
     
  10. ddavidv
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    ddavidv Contributing Member

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    I like the idea, in general. You could go so many ways with it.

    The point about bumping off people sequentially is important. Agatha Christie did this in Ten Little Indians. I've never much cared for Christie novels, and it's been two decades at least since I read that, but you may want to review her method. Stephen King did sort of the same thing in Carrie and also Christine. What I remember about the latter was even the 'good' people weren't safe; the possessed car went after everyone, eventually, including the character who adopted it. Cindy could be an intended victim, as the story develops.
     
  11. Bjørnar Munkerud
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    Bjørnar Munkerud Contributing Member

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    It's a clever idea, Pandemonia! :) The most important thing to master I think will be the way you combine her school life with her Internet one. Maybe each chapter only lasts a day and you see her at school first and then online later, maybe they're all cross-mentioned in some fancy way, or maybe she has "flashbacks" at irregular intervals when something she experiences relates to something she mentioned in a chat room. I'm genuinely stoked about this project now. I wish I had thought of it myself and could be working on it now, which is a great sign (to me anyway).
     
  12. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'd say go for it, I agree totally with @Bjornar Munkerud im I wish I could read it. However, @Wreybies has a great point; If she's being bullied at school but switches her persona online, how would "Buddy" know? All he sees in the chat-room is little Miss Perfect so why would he care? Maybe she should just be herself, some little emo chick, a victim of her own little world that her school colleagues just don't get. Maybe "Buddy" was also bullied at school for being such a nerd, a brilliant IT guy, a computer scientist and he hacks her facebook, email etc and tracks the bullies through the IP addresses of those that pick on her, send her such disturbing stuff... Maybe the end of the book is her finding out about her murderous "friend" and blames herself on their deaths. Her guilt is so bad she tries to commit suicide but Buddy saves her at the death.

    Just throwing some ideas out there where your two main characters, one, the emo chick who hates these bullies and wishes them dead feels remorse and is racked with guilt, and the murderer ends up as the saviour, of your emo...
     
  13. SuperVenom
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    SuperVenom Contributing Member

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    Nice idea. Same kinda idea as an episode of drawn together (yes I was one that watched it) where toot (the character) has a stalker hidden in her room and when she writes in her diary that someone was mean to her they are killed in the way they were mean. Ie princess clara makes fun of her hair so is scalped. comupance is always the best revenge.
     
  14. Pandemonia
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    Pandemonia Member

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    Unless somebody might consider a collaborative effort. I am not a native English speaker so my writing is not too good.
     
  15. wade-newb
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    wade-newb Member

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    Write it in your own language :) It can always be translated afterwards.
     
    Bjørnar Munkerud likes this.

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