1. flower
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    flower New Member

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    Need Help! Preparing to write a novel

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by flower, Jul 7, 2011.

    Hello everyone! New member here.
    I have recently come up with an idea that I am very interested in creating and publishing. However, I seriously need help with filling in the gaps and figuring out the rest of my plot.
    This is a bit lengthy, so I'm sorry! But I really need feedback and help. I think that this could become a huge hit if I could get set in the right direction with it. So, please take the time!!

    This whole idea actually came to me in a dream, so it's hard to fill in gaps when dreams switch from one setting to another. Any help is extremely appreciated!

    This is what I can remember:

    The main character is a girl, age ~15-16ish who is dealing with a case of extreme rebellion against her parents.

    This all takes place over the summer when the girl doesn't have school going on.

    In my dream, the girl had an obsession with going to concerts. Sneaking out and doing things against her parents will. But in the actual story I wish to create, I think it'd be better if it was something a little... Well, worse than going to concerts. I think it should actually come to the case of getting arrested. Drinking underage multiple times and doing insane things kids should not be doing. Basically, doing teenage-like things but to a greater extent than what you normally see in the teenage-rebellion stage.

    So, after going through this for months on end, the parents of the girl can't handle her behavior (the setting was in the city) so they send her off to live with her mother's aunt who lives a while away (I'd say a state away somewhere outside of the city would be preferred, but I don't want it too cliche). They hope that time outside of her friends setting a bad influence and the city where things can influence bad behavior will calm her down and change her to be more mature.

    Her aunt is currently taking care of another boy, who actually looks to be about 19-21. In my dream he was about 3-4 years older, and looked kind of Greek with his curly black hair. He was staying with her aunt because _____________(NEED HELP WITH THIS!!!)

    With him (I do not know what his name should be) and the main character girl living under the same roof for a summer, they got to know each other better and became close friends.
    The boy barely talked.
    I need more story here.
    The girl ended up making a friend who also happened to be a bit older than her, who lived in the same neighborhood. The friend was around 17-18 years old.

    They became fast friends and pretty much spent everyday together (need more story; more ideas).

    This is where it all becomes a bit blurry and things weren't so specific, so I seriously need help from here on.

    The things I remember are the guy coming home late one night and looking like a dark, dark shadow with blood dripping from his hands and face. He didn't look human. The girl saw him by accident, and promised she wouldn't say anything.
    This was never explained to her by him, but I know in my dream that the guy had the ability to stop time. He had been sent to earth by an unknown being. Whether it was God or whether he was an alien, I don't know and it's never really answered (if this becomes a serious thing).
    He has a number of people he has been ordered to kill for doing _________(I'm not too sure what the reason should be. Should it be because of committing one of the sins? Should it be something that a number of separate people have that others don't that his planet is harvesting? I don't really know). I also don't know whether or not he should be good or bad (evil or not evil).

    Oh, and just to mention: The night he came back all bloody and looking like a shadow with blood, he had a run-in with the opposite side (whatever side it is) and couldn't fulfill the role of killing whoever it was because they got in the way, and ended up fighting. He survived, the other didn't.

    Anyway, whatever his reason is, the main character girl ends up being on the list. He has to kill her. But by the time he gets notice of this, he's already fallen in love with her. So he spares her and intends to kill her new friend instead (time was stopped at this part. Her friend was sleeping over, and the main character girl and guy were talking. This is where she learned of his time-stopping ability). She asks him to spare her friend, and he nods, then disappears and she doesn't seem him come back.

    The next morning her aunt and friend have no recollection of him ever being there. So, he has the ability to implant false memories/ideas into someone's mind. He was never there with a family, it was just him trying to do his duty.

    And that's about all I can remember. I need as much feedback as possible! Anything is appreciated. And thank you so much for taking the time to read this!
     
  2. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    My YA fantasy involves a young girl who doesn't get along w/ her family who's sent to stay with her great-aunt. Everything else is totally different, but I still thought it was cool. :)

    Reasons for why the guy stayed with the great-aunt:

    -- He was involved in bad things, too (worse than underage drinking? like a cult or something?)
    -- He didn't get along with his own parents:
    1. They were too strict
    2. They were abusive
    3. They were detached or distant, or going through an awkward divorce
    -- Something happened at school or in town that he wanted to get away from
    -- He just bonds well with the great-aunt
    -- The great-aunt's town offers some resource or key feature that his own hometown doesn't

    As far as what they do together, this is where you have to develop the characters. Questions to consider:
    1. What does the girl like to do?
    2. What does the guy like to do?
    3. Do they "like" each other or are they just friends?
    4. Positive things or negative/dark things?
    5. Anything at great-aunt's place that would interest both of them (i.e. a weird place to be explored, some event they're both drawn into)

    I started a Character Development Clinic thread in the Word Games subforum a while back, so checking that out and posting your characters on there might help with this, if you like that kind of thing.

    I think the idea of him being given orders by some dark alien force is creepy as hell. But don't spell it out. This is the type of thing where you want to give sinister details (sounds, sightings, clues) to get the readers' imaginations going, but don't spell out too much, because the products of an individual's imagination will always be scariest when there's room for it to wander.
     
  3. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    Greetings, and welcome to the forum, flower. :)

    When I read this, the first thing that came to mind is that he didn't want to kill the girl, so he killed that other guy instead? Is it just me, or does that not make any sense? As far as I know he had to kill the girl because she was on his list, but are people put on the list at random? If so, why did he have to kill the girl in the first place instead of simply getting a number of people he has to kill?

    And why does he look like a shadow when he comes home? Why not turn into a human again first as a precaution? And for that matter, you said he can change people's memories. Why then does the girl remember him if she saw him by accident?

    There are a few flaws like that you might want to think about. Still, it has a great potential if you can avoid the vampire-trap. With some twists here and there, this can be quite original and interesting. Please don't take the easy way out and make him a vampire. That's such a cliché these days.
     
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  4. LostInFiction
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    LostInFiction Senior Member

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    Hi,
    This story sounds fun. Well done on what you've done so far.
    My first thought is maybe the lad went to stay with the Aunt because she wanted a lodger. This makes it very mundane (good for if things are going to get a bit 'out-of-this world later in the story) and would mean that the Aunt would forgive the lad quite a lot as she may need the money? It would also keep up the mystery of who he is as he would have no need to explain if he's a paying customer. In fact, thinking out loud here, perhaps that's how the girl gets to know him better. Maybe she kind of looks after him by making meals etc in return for the Aunt taking her in and trying to get her on the straight and narrow. There's so many possibilities! lol.
    I'm sure you've been having lots of ideas already with how to further your plotline. This is the kind of book I would pick up and read!
    Good luck with it.
     
  5. flower
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    flower New Member

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    By the way, I totally messed up and said "mother's aunt" when I meant "mother's sister". So it's the main girl's aunt, not great-aunt. Good catch whoever saw that! :)

    The night that the guy came home and was all shadowy-looking and had blood on his hands was the night he had fought someone from "the other side". Because of this he had no energy to use his power(s) to stop time/influence false memories to save him from being seen. So, when the main girl saw him it was because he couldn't do what he normally does in order to save him from being caught in his true form.
    I think a good reason for not implanting false memories the moment he got the energy to, would be because he has feelings for her and doesn't want to do it to her. So he talks to her instead, and she promises she won't say anything. He trusts her. So everything building up to this time needs to be the building of their emotions for one another. I just don't know how, while also keeping it interesting with his other-worldliness.
    Also, just because it has some relevance here... When he leaves, she is the only one that remembers him. Again, because he trusts her and loves her.
    I believe you mean the main girl's friend, that is also a girl.
    Yes this is clunky and doesn't make sense, but it's what I remembered in my dream. Maybe there's some way to work around it, or maybe it could just be removed all together. I don't think it'd make much of a difference.
    Like I said I am having trouble figuring out the reason why the guy should be on Earth to begin with. I'm not interested in making him a vampire. But I'm also not interested in making it a typical alien story or one of the "fallen-angel"-type stories.

    If this whole thing becomes something serious (which is what I'm honestly hoping for!) then in the first book I don't even want this question to be answered.
    But I do think that it's important to figure out the reason for him being on Earth before moving further.
    I think that the idea of his people harvesting something that only a certain humans have may be a good idea. So to answer your question, it's not at random. I think it needs to be specific, but it's not a set list that he has at one time. The request from his Lord, or whatever we can call his ruler, comes sporadically. The only thing he knows is he must be in one area for a set of people at a time, hence why he's at the girl's aunt's house. There are people in that region that have this element. But when the time comes, he'll have to leave to a different place for the new set of people to harvest from.
    This could definitely work, but without becoming too cliche I think there needs to be more story. Mainly because I don't want the reader to know right off the bat that there's something fishy (or at least too fishy) about him. We want him to look like a normal person who's probably just got a lot of problems going on and needs help. And then boom he's actually someone not even of this world.
    I don't know, it's hard to think of why he should be there without giving the story away.
     
  6. 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?
     
  7. flower
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    flower New Member

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    Haha :) read the entire thing.
     
  8. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    There needs to be some consequence to the fact that the guy chose NOT to kill anyone. There needs to be a set-back, so tragedy, although the whole struggle with whether to kill them would've been pointless.
     
  9. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I know you're the mod and I completely agree with what you're saying, but it just sorta feels like spam the way you copy and paste... :confused: People are always gonna want some approval and I see nothing wrong with checking to see if the story may be interesting to other people. There are just some plots that should never be written and simply aren't worth the time and effort.
     
  10. flower
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    flower New Member

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    Oooo that's a great idea. Consequences. Yes. I like it.
    Really still need to work on the inbetweens. Inbetween beginning-middle, and middle-end.
    OO SUCH FRUSTRATION!
     
  11. [ESCAPE]
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    [ESCAPE] Member

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    I LOVE that plot idea! Kind of reminds me of the girl who leaped through time, tho xD
     
  12. Norm
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    Norm Contributing Member

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    You said that the boy looks a little bit like he comes from Greece, well that gave me the idea of well- maybe make him from the past, and this mysterious alien organization grants him these powers if he agrees to kill their list of targets. He really likes the current time period and the people he meets and his friends, but falls in love with your MC chick - who later ends up on the list.

    Epic tragedy - he must choose between killing a girl he loves to save his lifestyle, or proving his love by sparing her life and losing everything.


    I also read a few posts back something about him renting out a room at the Aunt's house. That's probably the best way to go with that.
     
  13. lemurkat
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    lemurkat Senior Member

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    I like your plot idea, it sounds similar to the paranormal genre that is so popular, but with that extra little twist that add the point of difference I will be interested to see where you go with it.

    But as for this bit.... Why does he have to kill the main girl character and then decide to kill her friend instead? Why not just have him sent to kill her best friend. He hesitates because he is in love with her (the main girl) and he knows that killing her friend will cause her great pain. During this time of hesitation, she (main girl) convinces him otherwise. It makes things a bit more concise and also proves his extent of his love for her - that he would be willing to spare not her, but her friend, to his own detriment.

    If you keep it your way, you've got to come up with a reason WHY killing her friend instead of her would work. Which in many situations it won't - because if he's sent to eliminate people that are going to cause trouble in the future (either positive or negative depending on the position of his leader), then killing someone else is hardly going to make up for that, is it just?

    Or you could just have him sent to kill her, decide against it and leave forever. No friend involved at all.

    And as for his position in the house - lodger is the easiest way. Perhaps he is studying at a local university? Or working somewhere nearby and she needs the extra $$$ he brings in. Keep it simple.
     
  14. thalorin19
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    thalorin19 Member

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    I disagree. This should be posted on every thread like this.

    First, you should be writing for yourself. If the story stirs you while you write it, then it should stir others. But if you are asking what other people think of the story you then didn't have initial confidence about it, or didn't feel inspired enough to write it yet.

    Besides, there will always be people who aren't interested in your plot no-matter how original or good you think it is. Just the way the world goes.
     

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