1. omghelp
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    omghelp New Member

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    need help avoiding similar plots

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by omghelp, Oct 25, 2010.

    Here is a very rough outline of my first chapter as well as my intentions as to where i would like my story to go. I am a VERY inexperienced writer as far as sci-fi type plots go, which is why I am searching to pick anyone's brain who has some solid ideas.

    Chapter 1 begins with the two main characters, John and his gf Serena. They live in SF and have been together for years. He has planned 'the perfect day' for Serena with the intention of proposing to her on the Golden Gate Bridge as the sun sets. As he is reaching for the engagement ring, he sees a man standing on the railing of bridge. The man jumps, and right before he SHOULD hit the water, he looks at John and then a bright light flashes and the jumper vanishes. (Also, John captured a photo of him right when the jumper looked at him.)

    Chapter 2 begins with John and Serena still standing at the bridge. She is completely wigged out as is John. John tries to explain to her that the jumper vanished and didnt hit the water. So he goes to pull the camera out of his pocket to show her, and the ring falls out. She starts to cry. THEN COMES THE PART I NEED HELP WITH....Here is where we switch POV, and it is now a man and a woman in a room. The man is the jumper (Griffin) and the woman is Serena. However, the audience will NOT know it is Serena until the end of the chapter.

    I need to develop some kind of mission that Serena and Griffin are on. Something similar to the ideas of "Jumper," "Inception," and "Being John Malkovich" all tied together in an original way, without getting to be too close to the plots of these movies. Serena lives a double life that John doesnt know about. Griffin "jumped" in front of John because Griffin is convinced that him and Serena need John for part or all of their "mission."

    I will do anything to avoid the "you werent supposed to fall in love with him," or "you mean, you have lied to me this entire time, so I dont think you really love me" cliches.

    I know this is a VERY vague and general overview, but I have been drowning in my own thoughts and need SOME KIND OF HELP.

    -what is their "mission" and what role does John play?
    -how does "jumping" work/how did they discover it?
     
  2. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    This sounds like you're asking us to do precisely the work you should be doing yourself. Don't you want to dazzle people with your own ideas, rather than someone else's?
     
  3. omghelp
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    omghelp New Member

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    understandable

    I am obviously stuck and was looking for some ideas of fellow writers considering all of my ideas have taken me nowhere.

    Thanks for your help.
     
  4. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    This isn't just a detail, or a small plot hole you want help with. This sounds like the main critical element of your story. That's why I think it should be yours and no one else's.

    Keep working on it. You haven't thought of your idea yet, but that doesn't mean you can't think of it. It might come to you tomorrow. It's important to be persistent.
     
  5. omghelp
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    omghelp New Member

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    Since I am a new member, I have to ask...

    Is it okay to post my VERY underdeveloped ideas with hopes that people can help me figure out whether they make sense/are ridiculous/coherent etc?
     
  6. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You can post them, but the mere ideas don't really matter that much. What matters is how you execute them - in other words, the writing itself. Cogito will remind you of that, I'm sure.
     
  7. Agent Vatani
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    Agent Vatani Active Member

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    If the plots are really aliked, you can get sued. If it been made into a book.
    But here some hints, make the characters no where alike form the other's plot. Mix it up a bit.
     
  8. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    This site is to help with specific problems -- you've got 99% of the plot worked out but there's one plot hole you need help closing, or you need to make something happen and want tips on how to make it believable.

    If it's a "what should I do,A or B" post or a "Please help me elaborate my plot, I'm stuck," post, that's not going to bring in much respect. Sorry to sound blunt but it's how it is.

    As writers, our job is to come up with our own plots. Once you make your writing into a collective thing that you let others do for you, your story isn't yours anymore.
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A story concept means nothing. I can tell you now, it has all been done before. What matters is how you write it, the characterization, the flow, the imagery, all of it.

    There's no benefit in asking what other people think of the concept! They'll either say,"Sounds great," or, "it sounds like a ripoff of..."

    If the idea stirs you, write it. Then ask people what they think of the final story. After they tell you what they don't like about it, revise it, usually several times, until you're happy with it or until you throw up your hands and say the hell with it.

    Please read What is Plot Creation and Development?

    What I see as your problem is you are designing chapter by chapter when you haven't any sense of direction for the overall story. Would you start out a trip by mapping your drive through the first two counties when you haven't yet decided upon your destination and major "to visit" locations yet?

    It's your story. You need to develop the overall story plan. No one else can do this for you.
     
  10. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    The easiest way to come up with an original plot is to read and study -a lot- of stories. If you have a couple of hundred stories as inspiration rather then three, the result will be you own unique mix of elements and your own perspective.

    So I would say, knock yourself out. Read the Otherland books, William Gibsons cyberpunk books, Snowcrash, Artemis Fowl, some chit lit urban fantasy since they share a lot of common story elemts as urban SF , watch Shutters island, Existens, the Game, the Matrix, Memento, Donnie Darko, ... And endless list.

    After that you will be able to some up with a original plot, if you leaning on a few hundres sources of inspiration.
     
  11. Jones6192
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    Jones6192 Member

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    I like your concept so far. My advice is just that in most cases (there are exceptions) it doesn't matter if it is derivative, as long as it is done well.
     

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