1. JTheGreat
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    JTheGreat Contributing Member

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    Plot Brainstorming Help Please!

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by JTheGreat, Apr 21, 2010.

    Hey, I said please.

    My story revolves around the lives of the Arcanthians, the members of a fantasy nation. There are no orcs, elves, or witches. The entire society of my world is based off o the Ancients, the first-born members of the land, who possessed extremely powerful psychic powers. Through time, the numbers of these people have wittled down to a select few, all of whom are granted knighthood by the monarch if they are proven capable. Their young are taught to control their powers at an early age. Those who possess no powers are commoners, and live the lives of farmer, artisans, or servants.

    The Arcanthians aren't the only ones who are well...psychic. Every other country in said world follows the same laws of noble and commoner.

    Alexander Salem Knight II is the crown prince of Arcanthia, and since his father passed, he is technically king, but his mother serves as regent and regnant for the time being. He also has advanced telekineses (but I'll have to think of a euphemism, since "telekineses" wasn't coined until the 1890's) Among those in his life include his clairvoyant strategist sister Cynthia, the telepathic leader of the recently spreading Averian empire (and Cynthia's betrothed) Emperor Evan, Alexander's even more strategy-capable and also clairvoyant mother Queen Olivia, the mysterious telekinetic Tabitha, heiress to the Grey Countship.

    Sounds interesting? I hope so. The only problem is, I only have bits and pieces of the plot, events and such but with no way to connect them.

    I'd like a plot where there is some action, but that is hardly possible with the fact that almost all the characters live in castles.

    I considered having Emperor Evan challenge Alexander for the throne, and sending him off on a quest to prove his worth. But all characters in my story live under a code of honor that you are only worthy of being a noble by being able to defend yourself in battle, so that means no other major characters will be able to interact with him *Sigh*. Plus, all events I had recently planned would have no place.

    Any ideas on how I could think of some possible plots?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The storyline and the plots that comprise it are your task to assemble. If it helps, plots are defined by an actor (character), a goal, a motivatrion, and an obstacle or opposition. Define the conflicts, and you have the foundation for a plot. Plots are what drive characters along the storyline.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    if you can't come up with a plot on your own, how can you hope to be a fiction writer?
     
  4. Anonym
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    Anonym Contributing Member

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    Your premise does sound pretty interesting. I like the pragmatism of only partial paranormal powers especially. It sounds like you've got a good cast of characters but no conflict yet, eh? And yeah, given that there are only 2 factions would seem to presume conflict between the 2... there are no other significant kingdoms worth mentioning? No heathen barbarians or invaders? Another dimension of adversity might be worth introducing. Perhaps a secondary conflict (repelling an invasion, quashing a rebellion, ect) could sew the seeds of conflict between him & Evan. It'd get them out of the castle & possibly putting their code of self-defense to use. Idk, something like that.

    Sounds like you've got a good idea, at least. I hope this helps. Good luck.
     
  5. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm feeling my prejudice against powerful characters - for me, if a character starts out as crown prince, he can't be interesting. He's done, finished, cooked and served, all play value used up.

    To me, the obvious (though perhaps too obvious) plot for this situation is the commoner who is as psychically powerful as a noble. And the terrified nobles who work to suppress that fact, especially when this commoner isn't just satisfied with being paid off and promoted (As, perhaps, has happened many times before? Maybe the nobles never _did_ have a monopoly on these powers?) but wants to change the whole status quo away from the idea that psychic powers are the most important things in society.

    In fact, as soon as you question the premise, there are other possibilities. People with power will do anything to maintain their power. If the power is based on nobles having psychic powers and commoners not having them, then a noble or a commoner who fails to fulfill those expectations is likely to be in a very, very dangerous position.

    Are children who are "wrong" in either direction adopted out, powerful commoners into noble families and powerless nobles into commoner families? Are they just killed, possibly along with their relatives, who might produce more anomalies?

    Perhaps the illusion of a just society is maintained by a claim that psychic powers among commoners are evil, a _different_ kind of psychic power, something to suppress and destroy. (Yes, this is rather like men with the One Power in Jordan's novels, but there are no original ideas.) Perhaps your main character is a hunter/assassin whose job is to destroy these evil creatures and their families, and eventually realizes that, no, they're exactly the same as the psychic nobles. (And, yes, now we're into Logan's Run, but as I mentioned, there are no original ideas.)

    So, in summary, I'd lose the crown prince and go with the huge opportunities for corruption in this society.

    ChickenFreak
     
  6. Chloe Ashlynn
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    Chloe Ashlynn New Member

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    You have a pretty good background. When writing a plot, a basic, simple plot, you have to consider these 3 things...

    1. Initial Conflict
    So your main character is a prince. This produces 2 possibilities because he's basically as high up as it gets. Maintain, or be destroyed. The initial conflict would probably have to threaten his place on the throne. Whether it's due to internal reasons or external reasons(if he goes crazy, or if there is a war) is up to you but the initial conflict must be there. Something goes, wrong, something against his wishes or something that threatens someone close to him. Something he has to fix.

    2. Struggle
    How he goes about fixing the problem. Does he run or stay and fight. Does he give up and have to be motivated or is he rearing to go. A lot of this should be derived from the character's personality, which you should already have done. Whether or not the character is kind, or humble or arrogant would affect how he deals with the situation. Be sure to not create a perfect character-there has to be some flaw or else it's boring.

    3. Resolution
    How is the problem solved. This is usually where a twist appears in the story. Does he make it or does he lose everything? A good resolution is key in making a good story. If people finish your book with a knot in your stomach that's okay, because it means you wrote it well since they were affected. It doesn't have to be a happy ending, but there needs to be some sort of resolution.

    Also remember, you should know your story one level deeper than how your telling it. If you pick a resolution, make sure your character matches it. It's somewhat stupid to have a greedy character just hand over a bunch of gold in the end unless there was some lesson learned. It makes more sense for the greedy person to eventually cause his own demise.

    Once you've got the main 3, Initial conflict, Struggle and Resolution, you can start to weave subplots and smaller twists and add more details as your write. But you need that main part first.
     
  7. JTheGreat
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    JTheGreat Contributing Member

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    Other than the close to world-dominating Averian Empire, the leader of which's name I have changed to Vance (Evan sounds too much like the name of a guy who'd be working in an Office Depot), there are counterparts to many cultures. Lenor is similar to Germany, but more peaceful. Caspar is a coastal country with a dialect like Spanish. They are known for being a breezy trading region, but are growing agitated as Avery's territory grows. There is also a country under construction that holds certain similarities to Asia as a whole, and a desert country because everything's more suspenseful with deserts (orat least, it will give the characters an excuse to talk to one another if they wind up there). Because I've been known get overwhelmed with these things, the only countries that will be delved into in detail will be Arcanthia, Lenor, and Caspar, since all of them are connected by land.

    Surprisingly, Alexander is the most humane central character in the story; all of the others maintain a cold finesse (it defrosts later) that's stylistic in my writing. The ones that are seemingly sincere are either mental, or too minor of a character to be thoroughly examined.

    The thing about royals are, they're lives seem boring. But once you hear what they're saying behind the palace walls... watch out. It's like the appeal of shows like The Hills; the supposedly perfect lives of socalites and the like are shown to be more dramatic than those of the middle-class. Well, more annoying than dramatic, but you get my drift.

    I've considered changing the story so the Averian Empire is more of a side-story, and the real war is going on between the nobles and the commoners, who have recently developed advanced weaponry. This option features a more main character, who's blind, but can see through reading the minds of others that are close to him. He lives with a peasant family because his parents abandoned him after discovering his flaw. What do you think of this one?
     

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