1. DLL333
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    DLL333 Member

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    Need help developing a plot, gentlemen/ladies.. An ambitious amateur.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by DLL333, Jan 25, 2013.

    So, I'm writing something with the goal of it being a long novel-type, but I'm not sure yet if I will have enough under the hood. The plot goes something like this:

    There is a mysterious man who shows up in a prison as a new prisoner, but is shrouded in mystery.The one thing we know about him is he has a supernatural ability to tell stories...to the point where his listener will literally get "sucked into" the story and have it be their temporary reality..like a very vivid waking dream. The stories that the listeners get sucked into are personal to them; experiences/moments in their past that they regret, and have the ability to "relive" and change. If they succeed, the story becomes their new reality, and they awake from the story living the path they would've had they not made that one poor choice.
    - I was thinking about having 2 SEEMINGLY seperate storylines running at the same time... one with Oddie, a prisoner in prison for supposedly killing his son, convinced that he did, but really didn't...not sure if I want to disclose that until the end. He meets the stranger, but never sees him, as Oddie is in solitary confinement and can only hear the stranger's voice through the wall, and gets sent back into his memories.
    - The other storyline is with Maria, a single doctor at a hospital, who befriends a lonely bedridden patient and gets close to him. What the big twist is, is that Oddie and Maria were married, and Maria was the one who actually killed their son, and framed Oddie. Turns out their SON basically HAD to be killed (not sure why yet), and instead of doing the noble thing and confessing, Maria blamed Oddie and testified their son was just an innocent victim. The old bedridden patient is actually the strange unseen storyteller who is helping Oddie, but written in such a way that the reader is led to believe they're 2 different characters. The bedridden patient tries to get Maria to right a massive wrong by herself, without his intervention, by appealing to her guilt, before he sending her back into HER memories...and Oddie and Maria face each other in their own pasts... Something like that... Still things I'm working out, like what would be "success" be for Maria? Doing the right thing? Or overcoming her guilt by successfully doing the same thing a second time?


    I was thinking about adding some more smaller subplots, like eventually showing the Storyteller is from a tribe of Amazon shaman or the spirit of their dead son looking for justice or something, but that might take away from it.

    Definitely want to keep the storylines separate until the right time, just clueing in the reader in by very small, vague details.

    Thoughts? Improvement? Thanks guys!
     
  2. Drusy
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    Drusy Senior Member

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    I actually like the concept. But right away I run into an issue with your two storylines. If Oddie is in SC and your mystery man is in a medical bed - how exactly does the sound travel through the walls? I guess you could have the medical ward directly next to solitary confinement but that seems illogical. Also, I don't imagine most prisons are set up for long term care of prisoners but I might be completely wrong about that.
    Honestly, the first storyline is intriguing. The second just threw me off. But with a little more definition, who knows? Might be great.
     
  3. DLL333
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    DLL333 Member

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    Oh.. Sorry. I should have elaborated that the storyteller is not a typical " man with a talent." He's more supernatural, and is really in 2 places at once. I was thinking about leaving it ambiguous as to his exact nature, so the reader can speculate... That idea about the bedridden man being both and Oddie's cell being next to the medical ward is interesting though. I wonder if there's a way to make that work.
     
  4. Dragoon119
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    Dragoon119 Member

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    Alright the medical ward of the hospital might not be near the Solitary confinement cell but it doesn't necessary have to be. How about this,

    Oddie is sent to a prison 1 and attempts to escape, however he is caught and moved to a new prison. For the sake of not making it confusing we will call it prison 2 which also carries a solitary confinement cells.

    Maria is working at prison 2 thanks to the the large wages it pays out. And does not know that Oddie is confined within the facility.

    The Stranger, because of his supernatural abilities he needs a special, exotic high dollar medicine that only prison 2 can afford. So he is moved to prison 2 with a solitary confinement cell beside Oddie. Every 2 days or so, he needs to be taken to the medical infirmary for a check up on his condition and medical treatment that takes around a day or two to completely go through his system. At which point he meets Maria who is scheduled to look after him and his medication.

    This way both sides get to have time with the stranger. As for the sound proofing, The solitary confinement cells have small reinforced window sliders so that the inmates can receive or give the guards items and utensils. Let the stranger leave his open all the time. Then one day, while Oddie opens his windo he hears the stranger talking to himself and begins listening their by falling into his story.

    Now you said you want it to be a long novel type. And I'm unsure if you will like this idea or not. Just forget about it if you don't. Because Oddie can only stay in his cell for two days at a time. Have the waking dreams cut off/on sort of. Example, the first time the main character is sent to his alternate reality he has two days to do the right thing but, is so confused he wastes his chance. However as he becomes more comfortable he begins to try to change things within the time limit. Same thing for Maria, I guessing that if one stops hearing the story they fall out of the waking dream so to make Oddie and Maria come together, Oddie learns of the Strangers medical condition and hurts himself to be put in the same infirmary... I know, I'm getting too ahead of myself.

    Sorry, your story. Just suggestions. Ignore them if they do not fit within your plot's plans.
     
  5. DLL333
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    DLL333 Member

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    Some great ideas in there.. My issue is just that it seems that the stranger is kind of at the whim of happenstance himself and not really in control. I wanted to give him more of an omnipotence, for him to kind of have a "master plan" and not be confined by the things normal people are confined by, if that makes any sense.. For instance.. He's playing the part of a bedridden patient only so he can get the chance to "help" Maria.. Then he'd move to another iteration of the same shaman. I suppose that could still work if people didn't know Oddie and Maria were in the same place until the end though. Good ideas. I like the progression of events.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The convergence or parallelism of apparently unrelated story threads is nothing new. You'll see it in most TV dramas, such as nearly every episode of Grey's Anatomy. Just be sure to make the connection apparent before the story ends. In a novel, you don't have the leeway you have with episodic television to carry on separate stories across installments under one cover.
     
  7. DLL333
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    DLL333 Member

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    Would it work if it turns out that either Oddie or Maria are already in their memories throughout bathe whole story? Any more ideas?
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It works if, and only if, you make it work.

    As for ideas, don't collect, masticate, and regurgitate. Create.
     

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