1. ickletezza
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    ickletezza New Member

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    Plot idea? and Introduction.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by ickletezza, Sep 18, 2010.

    Hello everyone
    As you can probably tell this is my first post and also my first attempt at writing what I hope will amount to a novel.

    Here is the general plot Idea

    Mike is the main character/narrator. He took his own life one day and after discovering his eight month old Niece Hailey could see him as a ghost he stayed on Earth as a ghost vowing to protect her. As Hailey grows and begins to lose her innocence as a child she can no longer see her Uncle Mike but is still able to sense him. Hailey grows up and has a family of her own. Unfortunately there have been some child abductions in the area and the children are being sold for illegal adoptions. One night Mike is sitting in with Haileys twins when someone breaks in and kidnaps the twins. The only Witness is Uncle Mike. Now the race is on to find the twins before they are adopted out and the only one that can lead everyone to the abductors is a ghost.

    Now the book is more focused on Hailey as an adult and her children but I wanted to include a few encounters between Mike and Hailey as she grew up just to explain their relationship and how she goes from seeing and hearing him to just sensing. Is this the way to go about it or is it just unnecessary? Then it leads into Haileys own family a brief introduction before getting into the story properly.

    Thanks for your time
    Terri x
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A story concept means nothing. I can tell you now, it has all been done before. What matters is how you write it, the characterization, the flow, the imagery, all of it.

    There's no benefit in asking what other people think of the concept! They'll either say,"Sounds great," or, "it sounds like a ripoff of..."

    If the idea stirs you, write it. Then ask people what they think of the final story. After they tell you what they don't like about it, revise it, usually several times, until you're happy with it or until you throw up your hands and say the hell with it.

    Please read What is Plot Creation and Development?

    Also, your excerpt has been removed. All writing submitted for feedback must be posted in the Review Room critiquing workshop after meeting the requirement of at least two constructive critiques.
     
  3. ickletezza
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    ickletezza New Member

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    Thanks Cogito I wasn't looking for the intro to be reviewed just thought it would help to explain my questions so the reader could see what I was coming from and heading to plotwise.
    Thanks for the link I have read it and am aware of the two critiques rule which I will do when I can x
     
  4. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I like the general mood of your idea, so please don't be too discouraged by the fact that the following pretty much tears apart every single element of your plot. :) I _do_ like the mood, I do think that I'd like to read the story of Mike the protective ghost and his special bond with a member of his family. But I think that the specifics of the plot aren't serving that story.

    > Mike is the main character/narrator. He took his own life one day

    This fact - the suicide - is sort of thrown in there, while to me it should be one of the central issues of the book. If you want to casually get past his death and into other plot elements, I think that his death needs be something other than suicide.

    > and after discovering his eight month old Niece Hailey could see
    > him as a ghost

    To me, this, too, needs some explanation. Why can his niece see him? What makes that bond between just these two? That's not to say that you have to explain it in explicit detail in the book, but I think that you as the author should have some idea.

    > he stayed on Earth as a ghost vowing to protect
    > her. As Hailey grows and begins to lose her innocence as a child
    > she can no longer see her Uncle Mike but is still able to sense
    > him.

    If this ends up being primarily a kidnap thriller, this is a long, long lead-in to that story. But on the other hand, you need the lead-in, because you can't just go straight to, "There's a nice lady named Hailey - and by the way, she has a ghost in her life."

    So I think that the structure needs to deal with this time not as just a lead-in, but as an essential part of the story. For example, maybe the focus of the whole thing is about dealing with the issues that led Mike to suicide, which would make these early years relevant instead of just "setup" for a core kidnapping plot.

    > Hailey grows up and has a family of her own. Unfortunately
    > there have been some child abductions in the area and the
    > children are being sold for illegal adoptions.

    Breaking into a home and kidnapping children for sale doesn't seem very likely to me. Kidnap for ransom, yes, if the family is wealthy. Or a crazy person kidnapping them for some crazy motive - which you'd need to work out in detail. Or a custody battle.

    But kidnapping well-documented kids who have the protection of a conventional family is something that would bring out the big police guns, and the relatively modest adoption fees that could be obtained just don't seem like enough reward for the risk. I'd expect that a kidnapper would want many hundreds of thousands, or millions, of dollars, to go to that risk. Someone who has that much money for a child can probably get a child through something closer to conventional channels, such as paying a surrogate parent an extra half-million under the table.

    > One night Mike is
    > sitting in with Haileys twins when someone breaks in and kidnaps
    > the twins. The only Witness is Uncle Mike. Now the race is on to
    > find the twins before they are adopted out and the only one that
    > can lead everyone to the abductors is a ghost.

    "before they are adopted out" seems like an inappropriate deadline - the adoption would be completely invalid, if it were based on a kidnapping. If they're going to be sent out to another country where there would be jurisdiction issues, that might work better.

    > Now the book is more focused on Hailey as an adult and her
    > children

    But the book can't take its focus away from Mike, IMO - the book premise can't be "It's a kidnap thriller - and oh, by the way, there's a ghost." The ghost is weird enough to make the kidnapping dull and prosaic by comparison. I think that Mike has to be the core.

    > but I wanted to include a few encounters between Mike
    > and Hailey as she grew up just to explain their relationship and
    > how she goes from seeing and hearing him to just sensing. Is this
    > the way to go about it or is it just unnecessary? Then it leads
    > into Haileys own family a brief introduction before getting into
    > the story properly.

    Again, the kidnapping can't be "the story", IMO, if Mike is going to be a ghost.

    ChickenFreak
     
  5. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    I agree that why he died and remain a ghost have to be explained. Yes, ghost's world is unknown and you can make Mike stay on as ghost without any apparent reason, but the thing is mere mortals are the ones going to read the story, so you need explanations. The obvious one should be that he should have an unfulfilled promise, thing to do which he couldn't do while he was alive. May be Mike was suppose to look after Hailey for some reason. Or, may be Mike wasn't Hailey's uncle, he was part of a gang who use to kidnap children for selling in the adoption market, Hailey was one such child and he somehow became fond of Hailey even though he sold her. He died, preferably non-suicide, but if you want to use suicide, make sure you give enough reasons to make it plausible yet his suicide should not overshadow the main plot, which is Mike the ghost trying to save Hailey's twin. Anyway, he died and in trying to save the twin he fought against the very gang for whom he used to work.

    ChickenFreak raise some valid issues with the plot... like the plausibility of just kidnapping children at huge risk for relatively less amount? Also, in countries like US the police can track down a child even after being sold. But this can be solve by setting your story in a poorer third world country where such incidents actually happen. Like say in Mexico or India you can find people to do such things for very less amount of money. Or, if you want to keep it in the US you can make the parents of the children illegal migrants, this way they can't report it to the police and the job of the kidnappers is relatively less risky.

    Simplest answer i could think of.... a child is innocent and pure at heart, and their minds are not filled with stuff of day-to-day living, as oppose to adults who are caught up in all sorts of stuffs. So, a child might be more sensitive to paranormal activities. Or, power to show himself to anybody he wants lies with Jake the ghost, Hailey enjoy seeing him while she was a child, but as she grew up she got fed up with seeing and hearing a ghost. She wanted a normal life now that she can take care of herself so she tell jake to go away. Jake obliged and became invisible and inaudible, but he was around and she could sense him.
     

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