1. kixi08
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    kixi08 New Member

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    Plot too simple...Help

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by kixi08, Feb 3, 2010.

    Ok. So i have a plot that i feel like is too simple. So I need your opinions. Would it make a good story? If not what could i change or add to make it better?

    Current Plot:

    A young girl gets pregnant from her long term boyfriend. She is really scared and afraid. She doesn't tell her boyfriend or her family about the pregnancy. She runs to her aunts house on the other side of the country, whom she knows will help her and keep her secret. Her boyfriends shows up wondering why she left, discovers the pregnancy, and is really excited.


    I dont see any real trouble or problem. So any ideas are helpful. I'd appreciate honesty.

    Thank you
     
  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 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 this thread about What is Plot Creation and Development?
     
  3. B-Gas
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    B-Gas Contributing Member

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    If the plot is too simple, add more stuff.

    In this case, more characters.
     
  4. Norm
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    Norm Contributing Member

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    How about completing it? Okay so the boy is excited... what happens next?

    Do they have the child?
    Does something tragic happen?
    Do they have to overcome something in order to support the child?
    Is it a boy or a girl? Twins?
    How do they get by being young with a child? Do their parents end up supporting them?
    Do they have to struggle to keep a family together?
    Does the girl lose her feelings for the boy over time?
    Does the Aunt end up ratting her out to her family and she gets in trouble?
    Maybe she is forced to be separated from the boy.

    The short plot your provided for us is so open-ended it's not even funny. Use your writer imagination and expand that thing ASAP.
     
  5. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    It's difficult to make a plot too simple, and the situation you've described there is full of opportunities for conflict. You kinda skip over the journey to her aunt's house, which in itself could comprise a large and important part of her journey--who does she encounter along the way, how does she change, etc. There's also a lot of room to explore why she is afraid to tell everyone, and explore the nature of human relationships. The resolution (if it is in fact intended to be the resolution) feels like a bit of a cop out, but besides that, it seems like a book that could be quite psychologically complex and poignant. Don't worry about twisting the plot just because you feel its too simple; you're not writing a Dan Brown novel, obviously. Just add characters and elements to the plot as you find a need for them.

    That said, I'm kinda a fanboy for slow, subtle, nuanced (and, probably to some people, boring) fiction...not sure how many of us there are, but we do exist...
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    sorry to have to be the 'mom' here, but if you want to be a writer, you'll have to be able to come up with your own ideas about what to write!
     
  7. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why is it so wrong to ask fellow writers on tips on how to expand a plot or characters? Cogito comes off as seeing a certain word and just copys that message into the post. It sometimes comes off as he didn't actually bother to read the post.

    I don't see any harm in pointing out a few things to consider. Don't need to hand her ideas, but rather give her a nudge into a direction so she can come up with the ideas.

    Ok sorry that was more of a rant...

    Back on the topic.

    You should consider what her parents are doing. When a teen runs away, the police are going to get involved. How does this aspect effect her or more importantly the parents?

    Then there is the boyfriend and what kind of guy he is. Is he the guy who is awesome or is he actually a pretty bad guy all around?

    As someone mentioned the trip from her home to somewhere else adds lots of conflict. What kind of people she meets, what kind of events happen along the way?

    Start asking your self 'what if?' and applying it to different aspects of the story. Most of them you might never use, but find the ones you like and can fit into your story.

    Not sure if this is any help.
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    That impression is incorrect. I do read each post, but the response is essentially the same so often that I created a template. Have you read my post, or did you dismiss it because you have seen it before?

    What is wrong about asking for an opinion on the outline (read the original post - she did ask that!) is addressed in my template. The second question (If not, what can I do to make it better?) is rendered meaningless by my answer to the first question). To refresh your memory, this is what she asked:
    You're free to do so, but I agree with Maia on this: The writer should come up with his or her own storyline. Note that kixi did not say she was stuck, much less on some particular point.

    But if you want to throw out some ideas, feel free. No one closed the thread, nor are you required to agree with my position*.

    And neither am I required to agree with yours.


    * You are, however, required to be respectful in how you disagree.
     
  9. kixi08
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    kixi08 New Member

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    Thank you for your ideas. And I know that i am responsible for creating my own ideas, and i will do so. But like Unit7 said, i needed a nudge in the right direction. I'm not very experienced when it comes to writing so a nudge every now and then is what i need.
     
  10. HeinleinFan
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    HeinleinFan Banned

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    A nudge, eh?

    You've given us a storyline, rather than a plot. Why is she scared and afraid? Why is her aunt willing to keep it (and her location) a secret? How does her boyfriend find out where she is?

    You don't actually have a conflict here. "She randomly hides a secret and when it is discovered it turns out to be no big deal" doesn't sound like a good story.

    But answer those questions I had and you'll have a story. Maybe her father is abusive and her mother doesn't protect her. (Or her mother is abusive and controlling and her father is oblivious or absent.) Maybe her boyfriend has been concerned about her (for health reasons? for personality reasons? Perhaps he suspects the abuse?) and she interprets his snooping questions as a precursor to abuse. (Maybe she feels that it's not really any of his business, and worries that he'll be angry if she tells him about the abuse... maybe she thinks he admires her abusive parents or something.)

    Maybe when he proposes that they have sex, she only says "yes" because he's awesome and she's terrified of losing him, the one dependable guy in her life. So then it's reasonable for her to be worried that he'll be angry and leave her.

    Her aunt might keep her presence a secret because she's aware of the abuse at home. Maybe her boyfriend remembers how much she liked her aunt, and puts two and two together and begs her aunt to let him come over. (Maybe her aunt meets with him at a local restaurant to judge his character first, before letting him come over.) Maybe he puts two and two together, realizes that she's pregnant (does he find the wrapping or the box from a pregnancy test kit in her room? Or maybe her parents find the pregnancy test kit box, and they accuse him of having sex with their daughter) and decides to propose to her.

    That's more than a nudge. But it's a plot. Obviously you could do something different ... but you don't necessarily need more characters. You need more interpersonal conflict, something almost entirely lacking in your short storyline. She needs a reason to be afraid, and her aunt needs a reason to keep it a secret. If you can figure out those reasons, you'll have a complete plot.
     
  11. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    The issue people were having was more about how you were asking rather than what you were asking. If you do want some help fleshing out a story, you need to have a little more focus than "It's too simple, help." For example, someone was stuck on ways a murder could look like an accident, described the setting, we threw out ideas, and the person was actively involved in the discussion of those ideas.
     
  12. kixi08
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    kixi08 New Member

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    I understand. Thanks. I guess i wasn't sure how to go about asking it.

    Thank you to all those great ideas.
     
  13. InkDream
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    InkDream Senior Member

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    Focus on the journey and the problems presented along the way. How did she get to her aunt's house? What was it like traveling pregnant? How does the aunt feel about the situation? How does she feel about the pregnancy? Does she want to keep the baby or give it up? How does she feel about her boyfriend's reaction to the pregnancy? How does her family react when they eventually find out? There's plenty of potential here for a good story, you just need to find it. Life isn't a bunch of sunshine and rainbows, most teen pregnancies are met with very serious challenges and obstacles that do not end when the baby is born and the young parents decide to "do the right thing." Maybe her boyfriend and aunt are ok with it but what about everyone else in her life? Conflict. There would be conflict somewhere in this situation, I promise you. And where there is conflict there is plot.
     
  14. SamPayne
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    SamPayne New Member

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    It can't just stop there, you have to continue it, it seems sort. Or maybe its because it doesn't have a thrilling end. I'm sure that when you start developing characters you should get a better idea of the conflicts in the story etc.
     
  15. writewizard
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    writewizard Contributing Member

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    You should read Tristan's Gap by Nancy Rue. Same plot, except the boyfriend wasn't longterm. Like Cog said, the plot doesn't matter; it's how you write it that counts. What's different about your story? What would make me pick your story up out of all the others? What is your main character's problem? Why did she run?

    These are all questions you need to ask yourself before starting.
     
  16. Anonym
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    Anonym Contributing Member

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    Create conflict. create pain. create an antagonist.

    real life-esque stories are interesting as long as they're realistically dramatic.

    no conflict = no story.

    seems like you need more of a backstory to me personally.
     

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