1. Minoeman
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    Minoeman New Member

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    Needs more of a twist...

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Minoeman, Mar 1, 2009.

    Needs more to the plot...

    Yes, my title gives the problem away.

    I've written just the outline of a story, but I'm afraid it doesn't have
    much of a twist. The book is about three friends that go on an
    adventure but all I have is that they're tricked into releasing a mythical
    army into their world. They find a way to stop it by breaking into a vault which tells them.

    Does it need more of a plot? Or, more exactly, any suggestions?
     
  2. pacmansays
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    pacmansays Senior Member

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    Wouldn't call that a twist but just a change of events, a twist would be the sudden destruction of archetypes of character or events that had been set up previously...

    Like a character being actually working on the villain's side all along


    Personally, I'm not a fan of them
     
  3. Minoeman
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    Minoeman New Member

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    Oops, sorry I got that wrong.

    What I meant was there needs to be more to the plot and stuff. More
    happening, but I can't think of anything. Any help? Or, any suggestions?
     
  4. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Having both internal and external struggles is always a good way.

    The MC is not only struggling with the his surroundings, but he is also struggling with something on the inside. Perhaps he is struggling with accepting help.

    Another thing MCs should struggle with is something they need but are unaware off until almost the end of the story. For example: The MC is scared of love, but they don't know this. You show it by their actions. Perhaps they are to open with how they talk to others, but they don't realize it. Maybe the girl wears slutty clothes to get attention and doesn't realize it, etc.

    Another way is to have a theme. Actually, I don't want to keep typing. I wrote an article for this so I wouldn't have to, lol. Go here.
     
  5. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yep, conflicts among the characters that don't directly relate to the overall plot is a great way to enhance it. In The Wizard of Earthsea, the two main conflicts are about an evil king wanting to steal something to gain more power, and the wizard who eventually learns he has the power to defeat the king (something along those lines, anyway, but the particulars don't matter) who is trying to stop this monster he accidentally created. He has his issues dealing with maturing, and the bully at the Wizard school who is giving him a hard time.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    What most people call twists usually end up seeming contrived. Don't contort yourself into traction just to make the story "different."

    What makes a piece of writing special isn't a clown jumping out and hollering, "SURPRISE!" In fact, it has very little to do with the plot outline at all.

    What makes it shine is the writing itself. Make the characters interesting, develop an appealling writing style, and concentrate on telling a good story. Many of the greatest stories are told over and over again - the underdog prevails against an opponent who seems unstoppable, the star-crossed lovers from incompatible backgrounds, the farmboy who leaves home and discovers himself while discovering the world, boy meets/loses/wins back girl, etc.

    A reversal (a more literary term for a twist) CAN add interest to a story, but it need not be a major piece of the central plot. Reversals make great complications along the way, like the foolproof plan that fails for some unanticipated reason. But reversals should always arise logically aqnd naturally from what takes place beforehand. The best ones come to you while you're writing happily away, and descend with all the gravity of Fate itself.
     
  7. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    I was wondering if the OP was also talking about a surprise. The surprise is hinted at through out the story, so when it is revealed, you go, duh. I think three good examples are, The Sixth Sense, The Others, and Revolver.
     
  8. Vayda
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    Vayda Senior Member

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    I think your plot is actually really good - but it's definitely just the most basic overview of a plot. I mean, isn't the plot of Lord of the Rings a group of adventurers go on a quest to destroy a ring? That's about as much plot as you've given here - and yet it's this huge trilogy story.

    So your group is tricked into releasing an ancient army onto the world and have to solve the problem. Sounds good to me.
     
  9. Minoeman
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    Minoeman New Member

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    Yes, that's true, but my problem is my story is too short, and I can't think of anything to make it longer. :confused:
     
  10. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Don't try to make it longer if you can't think of anything. Some plots are meant to be 300 pages while others are meant to be 150. Adding a twist for the sake of making a story longer is not a good idea in my opinion. Instead, you could focus more on characterization, description, etc.
     
  11. Minoeman
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    Minoeman New Member

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    Well, I'm afraid if it's too short, no one would read it...
     
  12. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    How many words is it? Maybe it's better off as a short story or novella rather than a novel.
     
  13. Minoeman
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    Minoeman New Member

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    I said I only had the outline down, so I don't know how many words it's going to be.
     
  14. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    You can't really say how long or short something is going to be based on an outline. In the process of writing, you will cut out some things and add some new things. So, my advice is to start writing and not worry about length.
     
  15. Minoeman
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    Minoeman New Member

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    It's short as in a story that could be told, without any description, in about 5 minutes.
    What I'm looking for is some ideas to help make the five minutes go to seven or ten.
     
  16. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Why are you worrying about length so much? Just start writing. Some people prefer shorter stories to longer ones and vice versa. If you worry too much about length, plot, and audience, then you may never get to the actual writing. That's really all the advice I can give.
     
  17. Minoeman
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    Minoeman New Member

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    Your right. Sorry for this post.
     
  18. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    If you are writing the story for oral presentation, the twist is the least of your concerns. You need to know how many words (or typewritten pages) you will deliver in a speech of your target length. That will vary somewhat depending on your speaking style. Aim for the long end of the range, and as you develop the story, decide what you can omit or compress in the later paragraphs if you need to adjust your timing.

    Is omitting description a goal of the exercise? If not, you may want to keep some description at the beginning to draw your audience in. You want to speak to your audience, with plenty of eye contact, so you will need to have a very clear notion of what you will say, but you probably shouldn't plan to tell it verbatim, and you don;t want your eyes glued to the page, so keep it simple.

    Oral storytelling is a very different activity than writing for readers. I was in Toastmasters for some time, and they do have a Storytelling unit you can work through after your basic ten speeches. It won't help you much in the short term, but if you have an ongoing interest in oral storytelling, I highly recommend taking part in a Toastmasters group in your area.
     
  19. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    How long ago did you think up this idea? Maybe it's just a matter of mulling it over a bit longer. My novel and serial ideas simmer in my mind for weeks, months, years before I even try writing them because I know if I start too soon, of course I'll stall out with nowhere to go. Ideas are like anything else and need time to develop, unless you're writing a short-short.

    Writing is about work and a lot of hard thinking. I'm surprised so many beginners think you can just whip fully formed story ideas out of thin air so quickly. :confused:

    Not every area has those. I've never even heard of them here in northern Michigan.
     

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