1. Sintas
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    Sintas Member

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    Plot help, antagonist as MC

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Sintas, Apr 27, 2015.

    I've never had the opportunity to talk with fellow writers about stuff like this, I'm so excited to be able to ask for input...
    This story is just a skeleton right now. Characters are fully developed, the just need a world.

    So my MC Jesse is basically the bad guy in the story. She's broke, struggling with opiate addiction, and is living with her brother for almost free. She loves her brother for obvious reasons. However, her brother has hereditary diabetes and recently developed a herniated soon-to-be-ruptured disk in his back, which makes it hard to walk thus worsening diabetes etc. I'm pretty sure that I want the story to start off with her trying to find enough money for him to have surgery.

    I know that she'll make said money by dealing shitty drugs. Enter the other MC Austin. Him and his (girlfriend? love interest? friend) dabble in some of the drugs she sold him, and they both get sick. Not sure if It would be a cliche for his love interest to die, but something has to happen for Austin to want to seek out Jesse.

    And that's about where I have it right now. I'm totally stuck on this :(
    I think I want Austin to eventually fall for her, but Jesse is gay so it'll never happen. I just need his judgment to be clouded enough for her to be able to take advantage of his wealth in some way. It would be very in character of her to get greedy and try and get far more money than she immediately needs.

    I know this is a really underdeveloped idea right now, but any ideas are welcome! The setting is realistic, so fiction but not fantasy by any means.
     
  2. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think it would clarify things if you used the word "villain" or "antihero" rather than "antagonist"... antagonists play the role of blocking the protagonist's desires, and it sounds like Austin and Jesse are your two protagonists?

    Unless you want to change focus and tell the story more from Austin's POV. Then I guess Jesse could be the antagonist, since she's getting in the way of Austin getting his happily ever after.

    I feel like you have more of a premise right now rather than a story, if that makes sense. I mean, everything's set up, but you don't know where it's going to go?

    You could introduce a larger goal for the two of them - but what that goal will be depends on what kind of book you want to write. A crime/caper novel? Maybe the guy who sold Jesse the bad drugs also stole money from her, so she and Austin team up to get revenge on him via some sort of elaborate scheme. A quiet character study? Maybe Jesse and Austin run into each other repeatedly while dropping Jesse's brother and Austin's girlfriend off at the place they get PT, and a relationship grows. Political thriller? Jesse tries to blackmail Austin (a senator's son) over his drug use, but everything gets more serious when Jesse's brother is blown up in a car bomb that was clearly meant for her.

    Possibilities are pretty close to endless, I think... what kind of book do you want to write?
     
  3. Sintas
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    Sintas Member

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    Ah you're exactly right in saying that Jesse is more of an antihero, she's my main protagonist. And yes, a premise. I haven't actually gotten to plotting exact events, obviously ahaha.

    She isn't exactly meant to be a traditionally good person, so she knew that the drugs she was selling were dangerous, and didn't care. This is definitely going to be the kind of story that is propelled by her character flaws rather than anyone elses scheming. I'm geared more towards writing a crime novel, but the problem that I keep running into is that Jesse was the one handing out the bad drugs, so if there's anyone to hunt down it would be her. Could it work that way? It seems backwards to have the protagonist be the one that's running.
    I really like the idea of a political novel, but I would have no idea where to start. I don't know anything about politics.
     
  4. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, did Jesse MAKE the bad drugs, or did she buy them from someone and then re-sell them? Let's say Person Z is the guy who supplied the drugs to Jesse, and then Person Z stole something from her or hurt her/pissed her off in some other way. Jesse wants to go after Z but needs help, and she knows Austin is mad about the bad drugs and has useful quantities of money, so she lies to him and says she didn't know the drugs were bad, it's all Z's fault. So then Austin wants to get Z and he and Jesse team up and have adventures. And then toward the end Austin finds out Jesse lied to him and knew about the bad drugs all along and... ?
     
  5. Sintas
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    Jesse bought said drugs (bathsalts, since we're getting more specific) from friend Z who told her his buddy had a bad reaction to them. He wanted to get rid of some, so she agreed to take half and mix it into some halfway decent molly she already had access to. Do you think it would be plausible if Jesse found some other cheaper source of xyz to cut the molly with, friend Z got angry because he wanted to sell her more and hurts her in some way?

    I'm thinking of having her pretend to be romantically interested in him to get the money. Mostly because, based on character, Austin wouldn't be angry enough about the bad drugs for the story to progress unless his love interest died or he left her for whatever reason, maybe to be with Jesse.
    Thank you for all your input, by the way. It's really helping me think up some fresh ideas.
     
  6. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I feel like you're still almost fleshing out characterization rather than finding a big overarching plot. Which is fine, if that's the stage you're at, but I think a satisfying story will eventually need a central conflict, with rising action, climax, denouement, etc. You've got things set up, but once they're set up what are they actually going to DO?
     
  7. Sintas
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    Sintas Member

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    Characterization as in creating the characters themselves? I feel like my central characters are adequately fleshed out, but my problem is exactly what you stated. I don't have the main plot created yet. If I were to follow along the same plotline we were talking about earlier, the main objective would be to find person Z and...? It just falls a bit flat to me. I'm wondering if I should explore another genera than crime because it's feeling a little empty right now.
     
  8. BayView
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    I don't think I've ever tried to plot a book without even knowing the genre! What do you read? How do you see this book playing out?
     
  9. Sintas
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    Ahaha well I'm not on a time schedule at all, so I'm still playing around with ideas. I read a wide variety of things, from comic books to historical fiction. I have the most experience writing fantasy. I'm struggling with the plot and the genera simultaneously now, until today I was fairly sure that it was going to be a crime book but now I'm confused. This book is just a side project right now, eventually I'd like to make it a comic and not a novel, actually. But for now I want to write it out.
     

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