1. SevasTra82
    Offline

    SevasTra82 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2013
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC

    Overused Plots and twists?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by SevasTra82, Jan 17, 2013.

    So I'm attempting to sit down and flesh out the story that I've had in my brain the last decade, and as I'm reading online or doing research, I realize a lot of books start to use the same old twists over and over again. It got me thinking, what plot twists are really over done and tiresome? Or what plot twists would people like to see more of?

    For example, I've read countless books in where one of the story arc's of the book revolves around "who's the parents of this orphan"? Or "who was the one that secretly killed that character"? Plots and Twists like that seems to be plentiful in books, and I don't want to rehash plots in my novel.

    So I guess this has turned into a two part question. What are some plots you are tired of seeing, and what are your suggestions for plots that you think would be good for a fantasy series spanning over multiple books?
     
  2. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,722
    Likes Received:
    4,821
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    Are you seriously asking for a plot idea that fits a fantasy series spanning several books? Dude, you have to come up with that kind of thing yourself. If you want to be a writer, the first requirement is that you have to come up with your own ideas.
     
  3. DeathandGrim
    Offline

    DeathandGrim Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Messages:
    540
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    You can't name a plot that hasn't been done really

    You can boil down most plots to a simple sentence and often most have similar
     
  4. La_Donna
    Offline

    La_Donna Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2012
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    3
    1) The "Chosen One" scenario, i.e. the one person who is destined to kill the villain/save the kingdom/ride the dragon etc
    2) The "Avenging the Mentor" scenario, i.e. where a person's mentor/parent is killed and the character seeks revenge
    3) The "Feminist Princess" scenario, i.e. the Princess who is really better than all the men around her, or escapes from an arranged marriage
    4) The "Being in love with the bitch" scenario, i.e. the protagonist (usually male, although sometimes female), is in love with "the bitch" (usually female, although sometimes male) and at the end realises they are instead in love with their faithful sidekick whose been pining over them the whole book
    5) The "long lost brother" scenario, i.e. the villian and the protagonist are actually brothers and it has been kept secret for years
    6) The "terrible secret" scenario, i.e. the protagonist has a dark secret about his past that he needs to tell his best friend/love interest but doesn't until the last chapter

    That's all I can really think of, for what I "hate", although all of these old tropes can be really good if written well, because there is no such thing as an original plot. But as for the think of a theme thing, you said you've worked on this book for ages, doesn't it currently have a plot or mystery?
     
  5. chicagoliz
    Offline

    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 30, 2012
    Messages:
    3,295
    Likes Received:
    815
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    The twist I want to see is one I haven't thought of.
     
  6. DeathandGrim
    Offline

    DeathandGrim Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Messages:
    540
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    Only twists I really REALLY hate are those twists that undercut most of the plot

    The Dark Knight Rises is the most recent example of this: Oh sh-- it's Bane he's a total badass annnnnnnnnnd this wasn't his... plan... he's the bodyguard? What? How does that? Oh my god... Soo...

    It was a fine twist mind you, I liked it, but it completely took Bane off of this pedestal we held him on over the whole movie because you realize that he was only a follower instead of the true mastermind, which Bane really is in the comics..
     
  7. Fei.Fei
    Offline

    Fei.Fei Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Chicago
    I think if its fantasy it makes it that much easier to create stuff. Just make your character and/or plot as unique as possible within the limits of rationality.
    I hope you understand the last pasrt, I'm not sure I did..
     
  8. Supah13
    Offline

    Supah13 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2013
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    California
    Well mostly the plot I'm SICK and TIRED of seeing is the small-town-girl-meets-super-popular/famous-boy and thinks he his a total jerk at first but ends up falling for him.

    And I can't give you any ideas, because this is the fun part of writing. You can come up with your own ideas.
     
  9. BabylonHeat
    Offline

    BabylonHeat New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    I second this! Sick and tired of that plot too. :) It's soooo booorrrring.
     
  10. King Ulfrik Flamebeard
    Offline

    King Ulfrik Flamebeard New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    MIA
    A trope is only noticeably overused when done badly to be honest... The trick is in presenting it as original through the way that you use them. If it's fantasy you are writing, I'd recommend sitting down and fleshing out the world in your head a little first. Everyone works differently, but in my experience a plot feels significantly more original when you already have a unique background to set it against. That way, you can focus less on what tropes you are playing straight or subverting, and more about your world. And that is something that you will need to do yourself, because a) the story will only be yours if you devised the plot, and b) you would get bored writing somebody else's plot anyway.

    I hope this is of some use, but we really can't suggest a plot for you to use without the story not being yours any more.

    Kuffy

    EDIT : Although on second thoughts, I'd agree, good vs evil and the guy meets girl... themes are pet peeves of mine too
     
  11. SilverWolf0101
    Offline

    SilverWolf0101 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2009
    Messages:
    333
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    New York State
    The two plots that absolutely, positively, undeniably drive me nuts?
    1. Good Vs. Evil
    2. Girl meets guy (or vice versa), girl has some feeling for guy (it doesn't always have to be positive or negative), guy is always portrayed as jerk, ending comes and then they're madly in love with each other and do the kissy thing.
    Seriously, I'm tired of these plots! I just watched a movie earlier that had BOTH of these things in there and it drove me nuts, I was ready to scream from it. Not only because it was SOOOOO obvious, but also because it was so badly portrayed that it made me want to throw something at the TV. Come on people, give us a twist we didn't see coming.
     
  12. Sved
    Offline

    Sved Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2013
    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Norway
    I agree.

    Ever since Tolkien, and before him as well, there has been plenty of old wizzards around and some have been good and some have been bad.
     
  13. Dragoon119
    Offline

    Dragoon119 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Banahina
    Every plot and twist is overused. And honesty theres almost nothing original about any of them anymore. I say almost, because this is where the quintessential question comes into play. Are you a writer or are you a story teller? A story teller, can take an overused plot, and overused plot twist, and make turn it into an interesting and generally enjoyable read. However a writer, can take an overused plot, and overused plot twist. And turn it into something truly original and unbelievably gripping.

    So in honesty you'll never find a plot or twist that hasn't been overused. But that doesn't mean it can't be original.
     
  14. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    How can any of them be overused when they are still generating fresh, exciting novels? Certainly there are are also plenty of dull, flat, pedestrian books hitting the shelves, but that isn't the fault of the story line. It's a failure of execution.

    Don't blame the story line. Blame the author who fails to breathe life into it.
     
  15. SuperVenom
    Offline

    SuperVenom Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    Messages:
    478
    Likes Received:
    72
    Location:
    South Wales
    I agree but there are certain plots i think that have a danger of people saying "oh..it's another wizard school one."..or similar. It is walking a tight rope.
     
  16. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    That says more about "those people" than about the storyline.
     
  17. Mask
    Offline

    Mask Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2013
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0
    Unfortunately, we are writing for ""those people"", in many cases. What it says for them isn't very important. It's what it says for an author which is important to an author. "How much of the market will say, 'oh dear, another wizard school...'?" and that sort of thing. If you really want to write about wizard schools, you should. When you have a premise people are likely to immediately turn down, you need to be more clever with marketing the book and getting word around that it isn't one of the many mediocre stories floating about on the subject.
     
  18. The Tourist
    Offline

    The Tourist Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    Messages:
    1,089
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Wisconsin.
    I'm tired of "the expert that plays by his own rules." I've been tired of them for over twenty years.

    Cops who play by their own rules get fired, not decortated. And soldiers fight as units.
     
  19. Xatron
    Offline

    Xatron Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2013
    Messages:
    576
    Likes Received:
    6
    I agree with Mask. There is nothing new under the sun. I believe that for any ridiculous plot idea you can possibly have there is someone out there that has written a book or a story or a short story or a poem or something with that plot. Hell, yesterday i was at my college library and found four different books with their main plot being "a clown that becomes a servant to the man that wronged him and takes revenge in the end"....If you want to write a story for yourself or for friends and stuff then you should write on your plot no matter how overused it is. If you want to write for a living though it is 50% luck even if you have a rare plot. There is a reason overused plots have been overused. These are the kind of plots people like to read about. I believe that if you switch every character and landmark name in Lord of the Rings and switch the ring for a rubber ball leaving the rest the same word for word, there will be people that will buy it and not just a few.
     
  20. Mask
    Offline

    Mask Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2013
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0
    @Tourist: I agree, in most circumstances. Sometimes a guy does come up with the revolutionary idea which everyone then copies (watch the film, Moneyball, for an example of this). Usually though... playing by your own rules is just being lazy.


    This is an awesome sentence... do you mind if I signature that?
     
  21. Xatron
    Offline

    Xatron Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2013
    Messages:
    576
    Likes Received:
    6
    Feel free :redface:
     
  22. henmatth
    Offline

    henmatth Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Florida
    Oh there are so many 'new and exciting' twists I would like to see incoorperated into a book! Like perhaps- what if a person was cursed to be an animal, but actually ended up feeling more 'fulfilled' as a different creature (instead of crying and crying until they come back to human life and have 'learned a lesson')? Or what if there was a typical fairytale love story (like a Cinderella tale) with homosexual characters?

    I'd also love to see more books plots based on the lives of elderly people. Too many people think that 'the end of life is boring'. But I find elderly people and the miniscule lives that they live absolutely fascinating. So many beautiful, magical, book-worthy events happen even in the last few days of life. I can't believe not more people choose to base a novel not on the youthful and dumb- but the old and wise.

    Things I'm not really a fan of and I feel have gotten 'overused' lately are specifically gothic themes and ones with fantasy creatures like werewolves and vampires. I feel like a Sweeny Todd sort of setting is being overused lately. And I also feel like the werewolves and vampires are not evolving- they're all sticking to a fairly basic stereotype (that I find boring- invent something new!).
     
  23. The Tourist
    Offline

    The Tourist Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    Messages:
    1,089
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Wisconsin.
    You have no idea.

    For example, last year I could provide my clients with real razors designed from the play and movie. In fact, I even saw ways to make movie prop razors that spurted fake theatrical blood.

    Somewhere, there are guys that must have Battlestar Galactica toasters, Klingon forehead ridges, Helfer's little red dress, vampire fangs, even red contact lenses.

    Speaking of BSG, they had one of those prequel-esque movies called "Razor." The lead female had a folding knife, which was actually a nine-dollar Chinese import.

    My suppliers told me the fanboys bought out their entire stock...
     
  24. ika
    Offline

    ika New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2013
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just popping in to second that every plot has been overused, in some form or the other. Girl meets guy, forbidden love, revenge of family member/loved one, good vs. evil, "special being" granted powers or being "the chosen one", etc. Nothing's original anymore. What matters is how you tell the story, not always what it contains.

    Sometimes authors even tweak characteristics of an over-done plot line to make it "original", and it works rather well IMO. When reading this post title the first thing that popped into my mind was Brokeback Mountain. At the end of the day it's a very touching and beautiful love story - two people who aren't supposed to fall in love with each other do, can't be together (for some reason), meet in secret, one ends up dying. Sound familiar? Romeo & Juliet, been there, done that. Replace two teenagers with two male cowboys and it's a complete rehash on a tired old tale.

    Find little elements and details that will set your plot apart. My story is a conglomerate of plot lines that have been way overdone - stripping away everything else, what it boils down to is a heist story. But I've changed time frames, characters, back stories, and other little nuggets to (hopefully!) make it stand alone in itself. At the end of the day as long as you like the story, no matter how "cliche" it is, that's all that really matters (in other words, don't try too hard to be different for the sake of being different - it usually becomes transparent and contrived at that point.)
     
  25. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Don't blame the plot. Blame the writer who executes it poorly so it feels feels tired and lifeless.
     

Share This Page