1. Boriol
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    Boriol Member

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    Plot Help: Overarching Conflict and Ending

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Boriol, Jul 29, 2011.

    Prologue: The main character, a 10-year-old albino girl (Sierra), is chased through a forest in southeast Africa by albino hunters. Among them is her aunt, who eventually catches her and cuts off her right hand. Shortly afterward, a fight breaks out via a betrayal among the hunters and Sierra manages to find a pistol and shoot her aunt.

    Flash forward four years and . . .

    Sierra is living with her cousins (now her adoptive family) in America. This being VERY slightly futuristic, she has a fully-functional prosthetic hand. Everything is just golden until Sierra's first day of high school, when she walks into her homeroom and finds her aunt sitting at the teacher's desk.

    The rest of the story is basically a drama/tension as Sierra's aunt tries to explain that she's turned a new leaf, so to speak. Originally, I wanted the ending to be along the lines of the aunt trying to kill Sierra again, but being stopped by another lead character, Sierra's cousin/sister.

    Originally, that was extremely predictable and I want a new one. The prologue establishes the overarching conflict, and I don't have a ton of leeway to change up the ending. I understand that I need to think outside the box, but it seems like the box has been bolted to the ground and is made of metal with a fire truck sitting on top. In short, tunnel vision.

    I need a new ending and possibly a new direction for the conflict.

    Some little tidbits that may or may not be helpful:
    -Sierra is designed based on an anime-ish appearance, so even though she's albino and allegedly unhealthy, she's all cute and stuff.
    -Sierra loves to draw, listen to music, and eat ice cream.
    -Sierra remains thin from enthusiastic participation in gym class and a fast metabolism.
    -Sierra's older sister, works at an ice cream shop on the beach.
    -Sierra's dad is a cop.
    -Sierra's mom is a nurse.
    -In the prologue, the man who saves Sierra is a frequent churchgoer who she prematurely assumes has left God for money.
    -Sierra does contact her biological parents on occasion via e-mail and letters.

    I usually wouldn't come and ask for help like this, as it seems like cheating to me, but I've been to this point before: the point where I start questioning the driving points of my plot. After such situations, I'm usually left with no plot and some characters who no longer fit any plot I can come up with to replace it. I don't want that to keep happening, and this is my first course of action to prevent it.
     
  2. R-e-n-n-a-t
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    R-e-n-n-a-t Contributing Member

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    A couple of things to get out of the way. . .
    It seems very unlikely that Sierra's aunt would end up teaching her class by chance, so perhaps you could hint at some point (or expose it in some other way) that her aunt specifically requested Sierra be moved to her class?

    Now, as for a different plot direction, you need to give Sierra's aunt some kind of a personality. A past. Something to make her believable as a person. Her motivations could help drive the plot as well. What is her reason to be involved with albino-hunters? Money? Revenge based on past experiences with an albino person? Superstitious belief that she can cure herself or an important other of some terrible illness or injury?

    Depending on her motivation, her intent will change. If she took the time to move to America and become a licensed teacher, it seems likely that she really did turn over a new leaf. Finding another Albino person in Africa seems easier than moving to America and going through college in pursuit of one.

    I would start by finding out what drives Sierra's aunt. That's really essential to the plot.
     
  3. Protar
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    Protar Active Member

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    A couple of questions you might want to think about is why are people hunting albinos? And why does the aunt hate albinos even though her niece is one?

    edit: Forgot to look at your link explaining albino hunters. Nonetheless it seems odd that the aunt would want to hunt her own niece.
     
  4. Boriol
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    Boriol Member

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    @Rennat - I took your advice and reconstructed the aunt's entire character. Now, instead of a sadistic stalker, she's a sadistic stalker with a character arc. The ending is WAY different, too. Thank you for your input. I think you saved my story.

    @Protar - I made up this entire story after reading about the albino hunts. However, that second question is something I hadn't looked at in too much depth before. I had the aunt being a greedy sadist before, but as you found it strange, I believe you wouldn't be the first or only one. So I elaborated on it, and now, thanks to all that little stuff I forgot to consider, I think I have a strong story now.

    Thank you both.
     

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