1. UberNoodle
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    UberNoodle Senior Member

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    Placement of 'disasters' and their nature

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by UberNoodle, Jan 24, 2011.

    Hi,

    I know that the 'Three Act' structure is a much argued model, and I get all that. I agree with points on both side, however, I appreciate the use of the structure as the core of plot brainstorming.

    My question is about the nature of disasters and their spacing out on the plotline.

    For example, how about these threshold climaxes:

    ACT I - End
    Involved in crime (thrust into turmoil, thus embarking on journey)

    ACT II - Middle turning point
    Forced on the run (left with no other option but head towards the 'big bad')

    ACT II - End
    * After learning vital truth
    Faces final gatekeeper (forcing a the final encounter with the 'big bad')

    ACT III - End
    Settles accounts in the only way left open or possible​


    Or, as apposed to this arrangement:

    ACT I - End
    Forced on the run due to involvement in crime

    ACT II - Middle turning point
    Learns vital truth (left with no other option but head towards the 'big bad')

    ACT II - End
    * After dealing with this vital truth
    Faces final gatekeeper (forcing a the final encounter with the 'big bad')

    ACT III - End
    Settles accounts in the only way left open or possible​


    My view is that first arrangement possesses a 'slow burn', enabling the first half of the story to be driven by the character's emotional journey. In contrast, the second arrangement favours action and spreads that action evenly through the plotline.

    What do you all think [edit: about approaching such kinds of stories]?
     
  2. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Sorry to sound vague, but it really depends on the specifics of the plot in question.
     
  3. nzric
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    nzric Active Member

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    I guess the question you need to ask is whether it's important to the story that the person is a criminal? What's more important, that they're forced into crime or forced on the run?

    If it's a "good/normal person forced into crime" story, then their journey is what's important

    If it's a minor plot point that the person is a "criminal" (or just in some way involved in crime), the story is what is important.

    If the MC had a choice, would they be pursuing their own interest "through any means necessary" or would they choose to be a law-abiding citizen?
     
  4. UberNoodle
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    UberNoodle Senior Member

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    I think I've been misunderstood. I'm not after story advice. What I wrote above are just examples of two ways to arrange the same plot events. In both, involvment in a crime leads to an 'on the run' situation climaxing with a settling of accounts. What was I'd hoped to hear was other members' thoughts on these two types of approaches - one being a 'slow burner' and the other being action oriented.
     
  5. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    My advice is keep both in mind and just write, one way will make more sense in context of the story than the other, as the story is written.
     

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