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  1. Necromortis
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    Necromortis Member

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    Notes/Plot Overview - I'd love your opinions

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Necromortis, Jul 22, 2008.

    Apologies if I've gone and stuck this in the wrong section. If it is, could someone please move it to the appropriate place?

    With that said - here's the thing. I've had an idea playing around in my head for quite some time now, and just recently I've been taking notes in a notebook. Just playing around with ideas, character backgrounds, etc. I've developed quite a lot of stuff that's pretty solid (I hope at least ;)), and I got around to compiling it into a Word document today.

    I've got background information and traits for my two main characters, as well as a basic (and I mean basic) overview of the plot.

    So...I'd love to get your opinions, comments, critiques, and ideas regarding what I have. Especially the plot. Do you think it's a good idea? Would you be interested in reading a story like this? Are there any glaringly obvious flaws that jump out at you and grab you in a stranglehold? How's the ending? That type of stuff.

    I'd love to answer any questions anyone might (possibly) have. I find that answering questions is a great way to solidify ideas and generate new ones. So if there's anything that's confusing or unclear, and you care enough to find out, I'd love to answer questions.

    Well, enough of my rambling. This is what I have so far:

    Plot Outline

    -MC starts his junior year in high school.

    -He notices there is a new girl, who keeps to herself all the time. She’s strikingly beautiful, etc. etc. He’s intrigued by her, but doesn’t actively chase her like the rest of the school’s population

    -They end up being paired for an English project which requires work outside of school. They agree to meet at his house.

    -At his house, they begin to ‘get to know each other,’ and the MC begins to realize that he’s falling in love. At the same time, she begins to become attached to him as well.

    -They begin to spend their time together at school, etc. Their relationship develops and they both realize that they’re in love with each other. During this time, he begins to suspect that she isn’t human, but he loves her too much to care.

    -An uprising in the mainland United States is spreading. A group of vampires believe that they should rule all the other vampires, and they have some support. Those who disagree are banding together in attempt to defend their ideals, and are going around trying to round up the more apathetic vampires to their cause.

    -The ‘recruiters’ (there are two of them for Alaska) reach Alaska and find the two MCs. When she refuses to join them, they are led to believe that the only reason she won’t join is because she is attached to the MC. Because she is an older vampire, they are particular keen on having her join their cause, and so set out to eliminate the perceived threat of the MC (they discovered him through the emotional bond between the two).

    -The MC is attacked and bitten badly in the chest. However, the female MC’s two dogs attack and push the vampire off of him. She arrives directly after this happens, in time to prevent either dog from being seriously hurt. She destroys the attacking vampire easily, and when his partner comes in she catches him by surprise and kills him as well.

    -The MC is now either going to bleed to death or he is going to turn into a vampire. The only question is whether he will survive long enough to complete the change.

    -He eventually makes the change and becomes a vampire.


    Human Main Character Outline:

    Possible Names:

    Traits:
    -Male, 17 years old, 5’11”, around 150 pounds.
    -Sharp facial features, green eyes, light brown hair
    -Healthy and well-kept, fit and muscular but not overly so
    -Lives in Alaska

    Background:

    -Home life: He is an only child. His father left him and his mother when he was six years old. A few days after his sixteenth birthday, his mother died of cancer which was supposedly in remission. He’s been living alone in his house ever since.

    -Financial Situation/Work: He’s worked various jobs since he was fourteen, and doesn’t spend a lot of money, so he’s got a fair amount saved up. Since his mother died, he’s worked in the local record store. He was promoted to Assistant Manager about six months later when the current Assistant Manager left the state. His mother gave him a few thousand dollars right before she died. He has to wait until he turns eighteen to claim the house and inheritance, etc. Finally, he sold most of the “unnecessary” items in the house after his mother died including most of the furniture, the television, etc. He invested all this money in the bank and uses it to pay the gas/electric and water bills (the house itself was paid off years ago, as it’s been in the family for quite a while). He tends to avoid most expenses, as he is trying to save as much money as possible to allow him to go to college.

    -Lifestyle: He lives a very Spartan, minimalistic lifestyle. He rarely turns lights on, preferring to save money and use candles when it’s too dark to see. He recently found that he needed to buy a laptop for school, and so he does have a computer. He managed to get access to his neighbor’s wireless internet, so he doesn’t have to pay an Internet bill. He has no car – he walks almost everywhere and takes the bus when he can’t walk to where he needs to go. He tries hard in school and challenges himself, and does well. However, between school and work, he has very little spare time to hang out with friends, and because of this is very much a lonely character. He doesn’t play any sports and avoids other extracurricular activities. In his limited spare time, he plays the guitar (mainly his acoustic guitar, as plugging an amplifier in would use electricity) and the piano (acoustic grand Steinway. His mother was taught him how to play as a child, and he developed a love for it).


    Female Vampire Character Outline:

    Possible names: Cassandra (Cassie of Casey), Mary, Alice, Alexandra (Zandra), Anastasia, Irena, Michelle

    Traits:
    -Female, physically around 17, actual age is around two hundred.
    -5’7”, long brown hair, very deep and striking blue eyes, very pale

    Vampiric traits:
    -Incredible strength, speed, agility, and senses
    -Semi-hardened skin that is very difficult to cut
    -Immortal, immune to sickness and ageing
    -Can’t sleep or eat human food
    -Strikingly beautiful and graceful
    -Drink blood for sustenance
    -Drinking around once a month is sufficient to keep their bloodlust under control. After a month, it becomes harder to control, and after two months they begin to physically weaken slightly. If forced to go multiple years without blood, they will eventually die (however, after around six months the vampire will attack just about any human that comes within their reach).
    -Project a feeling of danger to those around them
    -Ability to sense the primal emotions, which leave residual trails
    -Myths are all false: no fangs, garlic can’t hurt them, sunlight doesn’t hurt them, etc
    -Fire can kill them

    Notes:
    She lived in Germany with her family for a long time prior to moving to Alaska. She moved because when she was out hunting, her family was surrounded by a forest fire in the forest where they had been living. She arrived to find that her entire family had died. She bought a ticket to Alaska in an effort to start a new life. She lives in a house on the very outskirts of town, where she lives a very lonely and secluded life. She enrolled into the local high school in an attempt to distract herself, but it doesn’t work that well. She does exceptionally well in school, having learnt all the material before, but intentionally isolates herself from just about everyone, even though most of the student body initially attempted to get her to join their ‘clique.’ She got two young puppies, a Rottweiler and a Norwegian Elkhound in an attempt to replace her family. She has the ability to relate to animals and give them certain mental inclinations, which almost always result in them following her suggestions/orders.

    ----------

    That's about it. Thanks so much to everyone who takes the time to read and respond to this.

    Cheers,
    ~Christian
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    There is no right section. The problem is that posting a story outline, even one as detailed is this, is pretty pointless.

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

    There's no point to 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 this thread about What is Plot Creation and Development?

    (and yes, this is a template post, which should give you an idea of how often this comes up.)
     
  3. Gears
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    Gears Member

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    I personally like it. The story seems compelling. I always thought vampires are pretty cool. If you do write it PLEASE let me know.
     
  4. Necromortis
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    Necromortis Member

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    I've already started ;) I'll be posting up the first chapter sometime later tonight, or tomorrow morning.

    Cheers
    ~Christian
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    cog, m'dear... do you often get the idea that we're whistling into the wind?
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Why, whatever do you mean, Maia? :rolleyes:
     
  7. Heather Louise
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    Heather Louise Contributing Member Contributor

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    A little rude really ... how was he supposed to know it won't do no good, people like to have a little bit pf clarification, we have all been there.


    And in responce to your question Christian, I agree with Cog, although it is nice to have clarification that you plot idea is going to work, it all depends on how you write it. You could write the most interesting sounding plot on Earth, and when you get round to actually writing it, it could sound like crap. This also applies the other way around.

    Just write it, and see what people think of what you have wrote, because you need to bring your charectors and locations to life, and get them living in your plot, before you can tell if it is working.
     
  8. Jade
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    Jade Active Member

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    Hmm I have a question. Does she know that these vampires are trying to recruit her when she first arrives in Alaska?
     
  9. FantasyWitch
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    FantasyWitch Contributing Member

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    It sounds like a rip off of "Twilight"

    There are far too many vampire stories going about just now that are all the same (says the girl who is writing a vamp novel on the side ;) )
     
  10. Necromortis
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    Necromortis Member

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    Nope

    Mmm...I was kind of worried about that. I think the plot is significantly different (if you actually look at it - at least I hope it is). But I'm afraid that simply because it's a vampire novel with a dash of romance it'll be associated with Twilight. *shrug*

    I'm writing it anyway, so we shall see. Thanks for the comments, but I'm actually beginning to agree with Cog...I'm going to write it anyway, so I'm beginning to wonder why I even started this thread *sheepish face*

    Thanks for taking the time to read it and comment though,
    ~Christian
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i wasn't being rude to anyone... i was addressing cog on a private level, in re the fact that he/we so often has/have to repeat the same message... not over again to the same person, but to so many people... no offense was intended, so i'm sorry if you thought otherwise...
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Heather, it wasn't rude. It was very relevant to much of my recent posting, and Maia and I have ended up commenting in many of the same threads. Sorry if it looked that way from where you were standing.
     
  13. coalminersdaughter
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    coalminersdaughter Member

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    I think what maia said was extremely rude and demeaning to the original poster. She said that it was meant only for cogito, and if that was the case, why didn't she pm him or something? You two seem to enjoy patronizing other people a little too much.
     
  14. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Please, folks, read the whole thread in context. I don't feel it as rude, in the context of a response I first gave, along with the remark that it's a response I give frequently in this situation, and no acknowledgement of that comment was made. The original poster has that right, of course, but it is certainly a valid reason for observing that I may as well have been whistling into the wind.

    Now, if you feel a post is insulting to another member, please use the report post icon, which will notify the moderators to look into it. Posting to the thread is not the way to address a perceived issue, it only exacerbates it.
     
  15. Plumsauce
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    Plumsauce Member

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    I must admit that when I heard it I thought Twilight as well but I am in agreement with Cog in the sense that we can't really form an opinion on it until we see the way it is written. I too am writing a vampire trilogy as well and one thing I've realised is that the only thing that's going to make it original is the style of writing and the way I bring the story line across. Looking forward to seeing the first chapter.
     
  16. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've been giving a lot of thought to this theme over the past few months - the theme being, people who post general plot concepts looking for feedback.

    Plot Creation, the title of this section, offers a broad range of possibilities from a basic outline (such as in this thread) to an in-depth excerpt which begs literary tweaking. In both cases, member responses are dealing with the development of a plot - i.e. plot creation.

    I don't feel it wastes time, or disrespects members, for someone to seek input about a general idea - even if it is vague. That's brainstorming. It can be a lot of fun. Useful comments may result; things like comparisons - "It sounds like a ripoff of (such and such)", or perhaps alternative plot directions - "Have you thought about trying . . ." This kind of general discussion may help a writer decide where to take a story.

    As far as Cog's cut'n paste response earlier, it's great advice IF the original poster is looking for others to do the writing or most of the creative thinking in development of a plot. It's also dead-on for posts that merely seek approval of a vague plot outline. As Cog and mammamaia say, the only real test of a plot's effectiveness is in the quality of the writing. I simply think we need to allow for plot outline discussions too.


    Necromortis - your outline contains strong characterization and a somewhat cliché plot. This is a good starting point for your writing, but as Cog suggests, the real test of this plot will be in your ability to weave a compelling story with good character development. Along that line, I would suggest you develop one specific antagonist rather than the "group of vampires" you presently have in your outline . . . readers like a villain. Who is the leader for this "group of vampires" in their uprising? Perhaps your plot could show your MC as having some prior history of conflict with this villain. Maybe she even fears him because of his great power and after she easily wades through his subordinates, she comes up against her arch nemesis. Such devices will add layering to the plot in your story.

    Just some ideas.

    BTW - I did not find Cog or maia's comments to be demeaning . . . maybe a little personal between them and off topic, but nothing that should make anyone upset.
     
  17. Ungood
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    Ungood Contributing Member

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    I have to agree NaCl in this one regarding some of the things he said, because many times if an author is looking for feedback about their Plot Line it is a good thing. There might be some issues that need adjusting at the beginning to save a whole revamp later.

    I have to agree with Cogito and mammamaia that for people just looking for others to give them approval then this should not be the place to go for that.

    Telling someone "You know this sounds like a rip off" here in plot creation and then saying "do you have a plan to avoid that issue" is better then going into the novel area after they wrote 200 pages and saying "You know this sounds like a rip off..."

    Now on a critique note:

    There seem to be several "realism" issues. Listed are the main ones.

    Why is this really old vampire posing as a high school student? (I really can't get my mind around that issue as it does not seem to offer any benefit to the vampire.)

    Another issue I have is how does a vampire go to high school? (Wouldn't the whole "Burning in the sun" be an issue for them?)

    Last would be this "Old Vampire" still having the emotions of a young girl, which seems out of place in it's own right.

    Most of the other stuff sounds fair. Also what NaCl said about having a single "bad guy" might help for focus sake.
     
  18. Silver Random
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    Silver Random Senior Member

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    One thing that concerns me is how immediately it turns from real into very unreal. I mean i was reading the usual American High School drama at the start, then suddenly "he begins to suspect she isn't human." Obviously when you may not be intending to write it so that it suddenly changes like that, but i'd make sure you consider what a drastic conclusion that is to come to... i mean, think about what it would take for you, in real life, to decide that someone you met was, not just really weird, but not human.

    For it not just to be completely boring and unrealistic you would have to have a big reveal. Also im curious as to how you plan to introduce the band of vampires out to dominate the other vampires, as in the plot description they appear quite abruptly as well. Obviously you could mention them from the beginning, using an alternate point of view following some of the villains. That way it wouldnt be such a drastic change when the reader sees the MC find out the girl isnt human, and you wouldnt need to make such a big deal out of it. Only think about that is it may spoil the surprise (although i'd imagine the title, synopsis etc. will make have to make it fairly obvious it relates to vampires anyway).


    And i have to say also that i agree with NaCl and Ungood, i dont see the big problem with asking for any advice / criticism of a plotline, and i find the constant c&p of the same response to be extremely condescending and very unhelpful - i mean how easy would it be to simply take a short look at the plot and try and give some constructive criticism, or if you dont have any, even just to say that it looks good, if you can write it well.
     
  19. Ungood
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    Ungood Contributing Member

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    One thing we need to realize is that Cogito has what..? 9,000 posts. He has been at this a long time and I would wager that he has seen once too often people come in with

    "what do you all think of this plot" but what they are really saying is "tell me it is great, tell me it great, tell me it is great because I can't criticism in any form and I want/demand mindless praise"

    I can see how that would grate on even the most patient people.

    I would gander that after enough times of that I would be more then happy to tell them where they can shove that plot line of theirs - but I think there are forums rules against that, yah, I am pretty sure there are forum rules against that.
     
  20. coalminersdaughter
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    coalminersdaughter Member

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    If people have a problem with what others post, in that they annoy them or their huge egos, maybe they should ignore these posts to save the person their feelings.
     
  21. Plumsauce
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    Plumsauce Member

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    is this just becoming a battle of the comments?? Was this not originally meant to be about a plot line of some sorts??
     
  22. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yup!... and double yup!!
     
  23. Ungood
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    Ungood Contributing Member

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    Nope.

    BTW: Do you have a comment to make about the Plot put forth?
     
  24. penhobby
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    penhobby Contributing Member

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    I don't know if you’re still checking this thread Christian, but if you are, I think you have a good plot idea. If I may though, I would like to offer you some advice, which you may disregard of course.

    Throw away everything. All the notes and outlines on characters and plots…everything. If you are like I was, you probably have a whole filing cabinet full of them. (I had the perfect filing system for every book idea I had, but not a single written book.) When you've done this, sit down with a clear idea of what YOU want to write and start typing.

    I read this quote on an Author’s bio years ago, and it’s a shame I cannot remember who it was.
    I know it’s not much, but this quote always keeps me writing, as I envision my beloved characters in limbo, shouting angrily at me to finish their story. Don’t worry about the characters and the plot, because as you start typing they will reveal themselves to you. Perhaps in ways you didn’t originally intend, but in my opinion that is what makes a good read.

    As usual these are my personal opinions, and they do not have to be liked or shared by anyone else, so no one shoot me over them.
     
  25. Necromortis
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    Necromortis Member

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    This is absolutely brilliant. I went to Michigan for a week with no internet access, and I come back and this thread actually had new replies *smiles*

    I'd like to send my deepest thanks to everyone who posted here, especially those who took the time to give me their thoughts, it's very much appreciated. This is exactly what I was hoping to get (no offense to Cog or anyone who thinks these threads are generic and annoying) - I wasn't looking for people to tell me the plot was great, I was hoping for people to try and shoot holes in it, which is exactly what happened.

    And now, to address the points :D

    I hadn't actually thought about developing a single antagonist. I'm going to burrow myself in my room and do that now *goes off and burrows*

    But seriously, that's a good point. I really appreciate the thought - layering to the plot is always a good thing.

    A point, but I'd thought of that and I have an answer *grins* I hope it's adequate :p

    Firstly - if you live forever, and you have all day and all night to yourself, it would get slightly boring (at least, I think it would). Considering she was pretty isolated for a long time of her life (in the forests in Germany with her family), when she gets to Alaska, she wants something to break the monotony of her day.

    Secondly - along those lines, she wants something to distract herself from the grief of losing her family.

    Thirdly - realism. It would attract attention if she moved into a house and didn't go to school, right?

     

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