1. Tolsof
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    Tolsof Member

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    Plot moving to fast

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Tolsof, Sep 6, 2012.

    I have a problem with my writing that I tend to progress th plot far to fast. I am currently having this problem with the novel that I am working on (about 4 pages in right now).
    My question is, how do you slow down your story/expand on scenes that are relatively short, especially in the beginning of the story like mine.

    Thanks or any help
     
  2. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    Description and pacing is the key. To make your plot last longer, you'll need to add some twists and turns to it. While a plot goes A-B-C how it gets there, and any subplots to it, make the story.

    But description and dialogue are the keys to stretching things out, but don't add dialogue, which doesn't add to your story or push it along.
     
  3. B93
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    B93 Active Member

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    A story should usually be a series of problems to be solved by the MC and every time they solve one another bigger one pops up, possibly caused by the solution to the earlier problem. Look for more ways to impede your MC's progress.
     
  4. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Take a quick look at the first four pages of a few novels you like. The authors of those novels probably haven't even properly started their plots after only four pages. So find out what they're spending those four pages (and lots of their other pages) doing that you are not doing. My guess is that they're writing their scenes in much greater depth than you are. I bet your stuff looks like a summary of your novel, not the actual novel, when compared with their work.

    When in doubt, look at what the pros do. It'll usually be pretty easy to tell where you're going wrong if you do that.
     
  5. bradwillis176
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    bradwillis176 New Member

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    Create more dots and connect them at the end.
     
  6. InkDreamer
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    InkDreamer Member

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    I'd say instead of plunging into the plot all out, you can spend a little more time letting the characters soak in, both into the story and the reader's mind. You can probably add little pinches of detail as you stir the story around so you get the perfect consistency :)
     
  7. Zuther
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    Zuther Member

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    I tend to dive in to my MC's thoughts, like his reaction to every situation, citing some previous events related to the current. I also try to have conversations.

    And I agree with B93, having a problem come out from the previous solution, like a backlash.
    And don't make the story too bland. Pop up some twists wherever in the story.
     
  8. EricaJRothwell
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    EricaJRothwell Active Member

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    I have the opposite problem, where I end up putting too much filler in the story through description, etc so maybe add a little more description than you are now.
     
  9. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Sounds like your telling too much and not letting your characters show
    the reader what's going on.
    Start with scenes - make the reader want to discover more by not
    telling them everything. Give the mc a problem or a decision to be made
    and let your readers guess what he's going to do. That will keep
    them reading. Don't start with a lot of backstory, or describing a
    strange land or a world where people have special powers.
    Let that stuff get worked into the action.
     
  10. marktx
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    marktx Contributing Member

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    The word "filler" makes me cringe. I can understand if you have the tendency to describe things in more detail than necessary and find yourself trimming down after the fact, but I sincerely hope that you never put anything on the page with the intention of using it as "filler." My hunch (and my hope) is that it was just an unfortunate turn of phrase.

    Any filler is too much filler.
     
  11. marktx
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    marktx Contributing Member

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    You may be thinking of your novel in terms of a single bare-bones plot line, and you may need to step back and find the story's other layers before proceeding. I'll use my own novel in progress as an example to illustrate what I'm talking about.

    The storyline is this: My MC, a homeless crackhead who sees ghosts, learns that a nearby motel is haunted by the ghost of his dead childhood friend. He starts hanging out at the motel to be near his friend. The killer then buys the motel with the intention of destroying the bones that he buried there years ago. My MC digs up the skull and steals it. The killer chases my MC. Adventure and mayhem ensue.

    Nice premise, but not a novel. Besides, I lied. That's not really the storyline.

    The real storyline is this: My MC, a homeless crackhead who sees ghosts, has given up on life. Although the elderly man at the cemetery wants to train him to become the next ghost-whisperer, my MC does not believe in himself enough to take on the responsibility. But through a series of events involving adventure and mayhem, he comes to the realization that real living is about risking real failure, and he comes to accept the challenge of the cemetery responsibilities.

    Did I just say that was the storyline? My bad. I lied again. The real storyline is this: My MC is lonely, and the discovery that his childhood friend is haunting the motel awakens the possibility of a friendship long lost, and he pursues that friendship because it is the most important thing in the world. But his ghost-friend has hatched a plot against his killer that will violate every concept of what's good and right. In the end, my MC learns that he has the inner strength to walk away from a friendship he wants, no matter how painful it is to do so.

    Seriously. Am I still lying about my storyline? I may need professional help! Okay, I swear I'll tell the truth this time. Scout's honor! The real storyline is this: My story is really about a child-ghost. He has been stewing in rage for the past 23 years. He wants to get revenge against the man who killed him. So he hatches a plot and enlists his childhood friend, who is now a crackhead. But through a series of events involving adventure and mayhem, he learns that friendship and connection matters more to him than revenge and settling scores.

    Gosh, I just can't make up my mind! (Or tell the truth, for that matter.) What is this novel I'm writing? Which is the real story?

    All of them. It's all the same novel. But because it has several different layers happening simultaneously, and because these levels are constantly playing into and against each other, my characters are always in states of conflict and flux, and they are continuously playing against each other as well.

    Get to know the characters who are living in your story. What do they want? What do they need? What makes them tick? In any novel, there is never just one story, because each character is operating from their own needs and motivations, and every single one of them believes that they are the MC, even if you know they really aren't.
     
  12. InkDreamer
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    InkDreamer Member

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    Wow marktx! What a great way to explain!
     
  13. bradwillis176
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    bradwillis176 New Member

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    That is definitely a good approach to build up a storyline.

    "What do they want? What do they need? What makes them tick?"
     

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