1. Seraph751
    Offline

    Seraph751 If I fell down the rabbit hole...

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2016
    Messages:
    555
    Likes Received:
    372
    Location:
    Texas

    Plot? What Plot!???? All I have is a scene and a rebellious character!

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Seraph751, Apr 8, 2016.

    So I sit down to work on my character development, world-building yada, yada, yada, when all of a sudden my character decides she's not content with waiting and wants to do something now. Helpless to resist I write, then type it all out. So here I am sitting at my desk contemplating the whole "*headdesk*" thing, because:
    a) What she did, was not the feels I wanted to go with.
    b) It's a random scene (damn my a.d.d ways!).
    c) I could use some help on back-tracking here, because I was not ready to dive into the story telling, but due to fact that I could picture and almost feel the scenery I was utterly defenseless.

    So here is the scene:

    “If I come with you, you must vow to never betray me.” Cherry told Zane as she stalked towards him. “I will be your comrade, your defender, and your shield if need be.” Wings flaring abruptly in a proud display, tail lashing back and forth as if ready to attack Cherry stopped less than a foot away her crimson eyes holding his as she continued her vow, “For any who try to harm you, I am their death. Their agony will be my keening pleasure and I will lay their corpses at your feet should you so desire.”

    Her wings loosely encircled Zane as she laid her small delicate claws on his chest, gently scratching his skin through thin tunic. “But,” Cherry warned in husky voice, “should you ever betray me, my lord, I will give you such a sweetly bitter death that it will be told about for ages and all shall know of the shame on which you have wrought upon yourself and your household.”

    Zane stared hard at Cherry before responding coolly, “I value loyalty above all else milady. If there comes a day when you judge me unworthy of your comradery or that I have betrayed you in any form or fashion, then I welcome you as my ender of days.

    Cherry hummed appreciatively, pulling her wings behind her as she stepped back. “Well then, Zane, I am yours from this day forward.”
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2016
    Simpson17866 likes this.
  2. Oscar Leigh
    Offline

    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2016
    Messages:
    4,417
    Likes Received:
    1,978
    Location:
    Australia
    Um, this is interesting. And kind of melodramatic. And I just, I don't know what to say. :confused::confused:
     
    NiallRoach likes this.
  3. IHaveNoName
    Offline

    IHaveNoName Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2016
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    161
    I like it. With this one scene, you get a real feel for the characters: Cherry's a demon or maybe some flavor of draconic; she obviously enjoys killing and is good at it, but she's not a psychopath. Zane is probably human, but no pushover - he's a warrior who believes in honor and duty.

    The fact that you let your character get away with that means that somewhere, deep down, you agreed with her. What did you want her to do, precisely? She and Zane are obviously going to meet, so how did you intend for it to happen? If you haven't figured it out yet, then don't stress it. Rebellious characters can be fun to write, as long as you keep them on a tight leash. Let her say her piece, then you can go back and edit later when she's off wreaking havoc somewhere else.
     
  4. Seraph751
    Offline

    Seraph751 If I fell down the rabbit hole...

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2016
    Messages:
    555
    Likes Received:
    372
    Location:
    Texas
    I honestly thought she would be kind of the antithesis of what I wrote. So any plot direction I had an idea of just went up in the air mostly. With what you said then I will just have to work myself backwards from the point where she starts talking to him. Thank you!!!!
     
    Simpson17866 likes this.
  5. Simpson17866
    Offline

    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,708
    Likes Received:
    1,256
    If you liked your original conception of the character but feel that this is too different, then could something have happened to her in her life to make her start changing into something even she doesn't quite understand yet? Would that help to keep your new character compatible with your original plot ideas?

    Or, if you just straight-up like this version better than the original, but don't know what to do with your new character idea because you can't salvage your original plots about your original version of the character...

    You could always save her for later ;)

    For about a year now, I've been working on an Urban Fantasy setting with a few characters that I liked (a "werewolf"-ish hero, a half-orc hero, and a vampire villain) but no real stories to tell about them because I didn't have anything for the villain to do.

    A few months ago I came up with a scene about a few low-level villains that I liked (bank robbers just in it for the money) getting caught up in the schemes of a higher-level villain that I also liked (a narcissist who just wants to show off that she's capable of Bond-villain levels of megalomania and who has blown up a bank just to make a name for herself as a bomber who can rip off other banks by threatening to set off more bombs), but I could not find a good way to turn this into an actual story because there was no second side for the bomber to be fighting against (I couldn't come up with any police characters that I wanted as the hero, I couldn't see how the other villains could fight her).

    Less than a week ago (a year after my first idea, a few months after my second), I was thinking about a bunch of my ideas for stories (not just these two) because I've recently finished my not-for-publishing Doctor Who fan-fiction and I wanted to get back into original work, and fiddling with the motivation for the vampire in my Urban Fantasy world made me realize she's the bomber from what I'd thought was a non-Fantasy scene :D

    If my "bank robbers getting caught in the wake of a terrorist" scene takes place in my Urban Fantasy world, then not only did I just solve the biggest problem with the scene itself (how can my bomber show her face in public and brag about being the bomber without getting caught), but now I have an actual story about my 2 heroes trying to stop the bombing spree.

    I have had an actual book in my head for less than a week, but I've already got a bunch of chapters outlined and I have a lot of ideas for how I might end it :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2016
    Seraph751 likes this.
  6. Seraph751
    Offline

    Seraph751 If I fell down the rabbit hole...

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2016
    Messages:
    555
    Likes Received:
    372
    Location:
    Texas
    I like my new version of her and definitely feel the ideas percolating at the thought past event that had a huge impact on Cherry. As for putting her away, I am kinda' in love with the challenge of writing her, from the stand point of how expressive I can make or not make her. Between the normal human expressions/body language, add in wings and a tail. Here is her full Description if you would like to read it.

    Nickname: “Black” Cherry
    Gender: Female
    Position: Daughter of Clan Leaders, Nox & Amara Bane, of the Bane Clan, also known as the Poison Clan.
    Species: Layethnadur (Nature's Warriors, laochra nádúr is said the same way as Layenthnadur)
    Called the Nadors for short (nadur, warriors)
    “We are Layethnador!”
    Pronunciation: Lay-ith-na-door
    Na-door
    Race: Ala Noctis (Night Wing)
    Description:
    Height & Build: 5’ tall, slender build, almost waif-like in appearance; bone structure is strong, but hollow, allowing for flight
    Eye Color: Slanted almond-shaped Crimson eyes,
    Hair Color: Pitch black hair with subtle wine-colored streaks to the middle of her back.
    Species Traits:

    Cherry’s incisors are slightly longer and sharper than a human’s and her lips are black on outer part of the upper and lower lips & dark green on inner part of the upper and lower lips. She has porcelain skin except for on the back of her neck, across the top of her shoulders, and from there, down her back in a v pattern which goes just outside of where her wings are to the lower part of her back to right above the tail. Here Cherry’s pale skin is covered with a slightly effervescent smattering of black-green freckles. This is a defense mechanism, if willed, due to this species having wings they developed a the smattering of ‘freckles’ to help protect themselves from being held down as they can secrete their own individual toxin through the skin here. At the end of Cherry’s 3’ skin-colored tail there is a 2" black-green blade-like porous bone that she can use to cause devastating gashes with and can simultaneously deliver her poison through.


    She has black-green claws with a 1/4” of deep crimson at the tips and are hard as the talons on her wings. Black wings with a deep ruby streaking across them, creating a vein-like or tree-branch pattern. In terms of height they are about 2” taller than she when she holds her wings behind her and have a wingspan of 6’ that are bat-like in structure. Upon the highest arch on each rest a hooked talon (hallow and almost unbreakable they are prized in trade) allowing Cherry to hook them talon to talon in the front creating a cloak-like appearance.


    Family: Nox Bane (Father; copper eyes & black purple hair; name is based off of S. Nigrum or Black Nightshade), Amara Bane (Mother; modeled after Woody Nightshade; bright red hair and amethyst eyes


    Ability: Her poison, atropine, which she is able to use at will. Effective in liquid, vapor, or solid form, while it is quite deadly as it attacks the nervous system it is also used to heal in small doses. When she exhales atropine in vapor form she can light a match causing the vapor to ignite, creating a fire-breathing effect.


    Weapons: Matches (lol), 2 Poison dipped (made by it all by herself too) swords as they will not interfere with her wings, and poison dipped throwing knives for long range.
     
  7. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,604
    Likes Received:
    5,877
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    Your thread title is apt. She sounds like an interesting creature, but what are you aiming to do?

    I mean, do you have any story in mind? Are you asking us to come up with a story for this cool creature?

    I'm confused as to what you are asking.
     
    Seraph751 and Oscar Leigh like this.
  8. DeathandGrim
    Offline

    DeathandGrim Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Messages:
    540
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    What feel were you going for?
     
    Seraph751 and Oscar Leigh like this.
  9. Sack-a-Doo!
    Offline

    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,231
    Likes Received:
    1,511
    Location:
    [unspecified]
    A couple of things you might contemplate...

    Strap her to a chair and tell her to behave (although this is unlikely to work).

    See this as your character telling you about herself and nothing more. It's not necessarily The Story, it's just her way of introducing herself to you (and only you) as the author. Let her have her rant and then start thinking about what story she might live best.
     
  10. Seraph751
    Offline

    Seraph751 If I fell down the rabbit hole...

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2016
    Messages:
    555
    Likes Received:
    372
    Location:
    Texas
    @DeathandGrim
    @GingerCoffee
    Her body is weapon, but I wanted her to be the opposite of that. To be this deadly creature but have no desire to be. Does that make sense? However, now I like Cherry as is. I am just bewildered at the direction Cherry took me. Lol. At its most basic, I have a scene I have written down and have no clue where to start building it up. What are some general suggestions that you use to backtrack or flesh out from a scene.
     
  11. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,604
    Likes Received:
    5,877
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    Post it as writing prompt exercise and see what ideas emerge. You could call it the first scene and have people add the subsequent piece, crowdsourcing the story so to speak.

    Starting with nothing but a cool creature is an inefficient means of growing a story but maybe it works for you.
     
  12. Seraph751
    Offline

    Seraph751 If I fell down the rabbit hole...

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2016
    Messages:
    555
    Likes Received:
    372
    Location:
    Texas
    That was part of the frustration. I had this crystal clear scene when I was working on my world-building, that I just needed to jot it down and this. I know this is not how it's supposed to be done and that is why I started this thread. :) To try and get some input on how I need to put myself back on track.
     
  13. Lifeline
    Offline

    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2015
    Messages:
    1,393
    Likes Received:
    1,545
    Location:
    UK - the place betwixt and between
    That worked for me. Of course, when the plot emerged a whole lot of words later I had to backtrack and clear up a whole lot of issues - but nothing in writing is ever wasted I figure ;)
     
    Seraph751 likes this.
  14. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,604
    Likes Received:
    5,877
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    You keep talking about a scene, that's not a story. What is the story you want to tell?
     
    Seraph751 likes this.
  15. Simpson17866
    Offline

    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,708
    Likes Received:
    1,256
    There was a professor a while back who was going through his students' papers and stumbled across a blank sheet mixed into the stack of homework.

    When he saw the blank page, his brain immediately conjured the sentence "In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit" to fill the empty space. He had no idea what a hobbit was supposed to be, so he came up with an entire world just to answer that one question in his mind "What is a hobbit?"

    If that's "not how it's supposed to be done" then I think we're all in trouble ;)

    Especially New Zealand :D
     
    aguywhotypes and Seraph751 like this.
  16. tonguetied
    Offline

    tonguetied Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 23, 2014
    Messages:
    547
    Likes Received:
    219
    Location:
    Near Atlanta
    Could Cherry just be faking bravado and has some fear of Zane so her rant puts him in a place to not want to fight with her? Over time they could come to terms and Cherry learns her true power but tempers it with her inner self, using it under Zane's request only when worthy, and so on.
     
    Seraph751 likes this.
  17. Seraph751
    Offline

    Seraph751 If I fell down the rabbit hole...

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2016
    Messages:
    555
    Likes Received:
    372
    Location:
    Texas
    I was playing with the idea of having a group of adventurers making intentional and unintentionally hysterical mistakes, pranks abounding, and not quite living up to their archetypes and the troubles they get into. Normally the personalities should have never meshed (but in my own little world), this group made it work. A strong theme throughout this is comradery. I was only at the start of creating my characters, world, history, and culture. I have outlines for some of these things but not as much detail as I would like yet.
     
  18. Seraph751
    Offline

    Seraph751 If I fell down the rabbit hole...

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2016
    Messages:
    555
    Likes Received:
    372
    Location:
    Texas
    Lol! I am so a.d.d. I started out by writing the ridiculous thoughts, quotes, and actions that just seemed to crop up randomly. Then frustrated with that and wondering why and how the frigg am I supposed to connect this? (Connect the dots to 100th degree). I decided I will outline based on a "these personalities should never mesh but oh what the heck lets mesh 'em anyway and have them go on adventures to see what could go wrong." Cherry started out as "Hybrid girl" one day and the next was changed to a poison inspired character. She kind of ran away with me. :brb:
     
  19. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,604
    Likes Received:
    5,877
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    A bunch of cool people having a good time is also not a story. It might be fun to daydream about being among such a group of friends, but what is the story besides a bunch of people hanging out?

    (PS: I'm asking you this to get you thinking, not to criticize you.)
     
    Seraph751 likes this.
  20. Seraph751
    Offline

    Seraph751 If I fell down the rabbit hole...

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2016
    Messages:
    555
    Likes Received:
    372
    Location:
    Texas
    With the species Cherry is, she has to know her limits to some extent. Her carelessness could kill and with that being the case her responsibility in the regard is a heavy burden which changes a character.

    Nickname: “Black” Cherry
    Gender: Female
    Position: Daughter of Clan Leaders, Nox & Amara Bane, of the Bane Clan, also known as the Poison Clan.
    Species: Layethnadur
    Called the Nadors for short
    “We are Layethnador!”
    Pronunciation: Lay-ith-na-door
    Na-door
    Race: Ala Noctis
    Description:
    Height & Build: 5’ tall, slender build, almost waif-like in appearance; bone structure is strong, but hollow, allowing for flight
    Eye Color: Slanted almond-shaped Crimson eyes,
    Hair Color: Pitch black hair with subtle wine-colored streaks to the middle of her back.

    Species Traits:

    Cherry’s incisors are slightly longer and sharper than a human’s and her lips are black on outer part of the upper and lower lips & dark green on inner part of the upper and lower lips. She has porcelain skin except for on the back of her neck, across the top of her shoulders, and from there, down her back in a v pattern which goes just outside of where her wings are to the lower part of her back to right above the tail. Here Cherry’s pale skin is covered with a slightly effervescent smattering of black-green freckles. This is a defense mechanism, if willed, due to this species having wings they developed a the smattering of ‘freckles’ to help protect themselves from being held down as they can secrete their own individual toxin through the skin here. At the end of Cherry’s 3’ skin-colored tail there is a 2" black-green blade-like porous bone that she can use to cause devastating gashes with and can simultaneously deliver her poison through.


    She has black-green claws that taper 1/4” of deep crimson and as hard as the talons on her wings). Black wings with a deep ruby streaking across them, creating a vein-like or tree-branch pattern. In terms of height they are about 2” taller than she when she holds her wings behind her and have a wingspan of 6’ that are bat-like in structure. Upon the highest arch on each rest a hooked talon (hallow and almost unbreakable they are prized in trade) allowing Cherry to hook them talon to talon in the front creating a cloak-like appearance.


    Family: Nox Bane (Father; copper eyes & black purple hair; name is based off of S. Nigrum or Black Nightshade), Amara Bane (Mother; modeled after Woody Nightshade; bright red hair and amethyst eyes

    Ability: Her poison, atropine, which she is able to use at will. Effective in liquid, vapor, or solid form, while it is quite deadly as it attacks the nervous system it is also used to heal in small doses. When she exhales atropine in vapor form she can light a match causing the vapor to ignite, creating a fire-breathing effect.

    Weapons: Matches (lol), 2 Poison dipped (made by it all by herself too) swords as they will not interfere with her wings, and poison dipped throwing knives for long range.
     
  21. zoupskim
    Offline

    zoupskim Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2015
    Messages:
    648
    Likes Received:
    521
    Leave it, write the original version of the scene you envisioned, then move on. As your story progresses, and your people struggle and fight and love and murder, come back to both and edit. This scene comes off as very defining, but you seem to have a grasp for your story already, and the scene is at odds with that.

    Write the rest, or at least a bit more, and see who your character's really are. Is this scene an awesome vow stated by a dragon/phoenix/ hawk ninja? Or, is it a melodramatic lie to herself, as she is actually a coward and a traitor.
     
    Seraph751 likes this.
  22. Seraph751
    Offline

    Seraph751 If I fell down the rabbit hole...

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2016
    Messages:
    555
    Likes Received:
    372
    Location:
    Texas
    No I appreciate the time and effort you put into making me question things.
    The Central part I have right now are these 2 things:
    War that Created the Vale of Wisps: Occurred 300 years ago; Unkown cause of death for the mages; history was not written down as all who were there seemed to have perished at during the catastrophe; Why were there only mages in The Vale or were there only mages there? What happened? What caused the war? Who killed the mages and how? Why did they fight? The sheer quantity of magic created a drastic change in fauna and flora over a period of 300 years (when mages perished to present day)
    Weeping Mages: Look like willows/ were once willows; found only in the Vale of Wisps, but during the last war hundreds of thousands of mages perished all of a sudden leaving vast amounts of magic in the vicinity. One of the most notable changes; the branch is veined with an eerie soft white glow throw the trunk and winding itself upwards through each branch, the vein pattern occurring tighter and tighter towards the end of the branch. The branches are anywhere from 2’ to 8’ off the ground; when the breeze runs through the Vale of Wisps stirring the branches, drops of light the size of a penny drift off the ends of the branches making it seem as if the tree itself is crying. This phenomenon also inspired the name of the Valley, The Vale of Wisps.
    .
    The 2 are connected obviously, but I wanted to delve further with the characters on what happened and what will happen when if that catastrophe occurs again. How will they prevent it or manage to to lessen it's impact etc.
    Does that make sense?
     
  23. Seraph751
    Offline

    Seraph751 If I fell down the rabbit hole...

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2016
    Messages:
    555
    Likes Received:
    372
    Location:
    Texas
    @zoupskim
    Here is Cherry's blurb
    Nickname: “Black” Cherry
    Gender: Female
    Position: Daughter of Clan Leaders, Nox & Amara Bane, of the Bane Clan, also known as the Poison Clan.
    Species: Layethnadur
    Called the Nadors for short
    “We are Layethnador!”
    Pronunciation: Lay-ith-na-door
    Na-door
    Race: Ala Noctis
    Description:
    Height & Build: 5’ tall, slender build, almost waif-like in appearance; bone structure is strong, but hollow, allowing for flight
    Eye Color: Slanted almond-shaped Crimson eyes,
    Hair Color: Pitch black hair with subtle wine-colored streaks to the middle of her back.

    Species Traits:
    Cherry’s incisors are slightly longer and sharper than a human’s and her lips are black on outer part of the upper and lower lips & dark green on inner part of the upper and lower lips. She has porcelain skin except for on the back of her neck, across the top of her shoulders, and from there, down her back in a v pattern which goes just outside of where her wings are to the lower part of her back to right above the tail. Here Cherry’s pale skin is covered with a slightly effervescent smattering of black-green freckles. This is a defense mechanism, if willed, due to this species having wings they developed a the smattering of ‘freckles’ to help protect themselves from being held down as they can secrete their own individual toxin through the skin here. At the end of Cherry’s 3’ skin-colored tail there is a 2" black-green blade-like porous bone that she can use to cause devastating gashes with and can simultaneously deliver her poison through.

    She has black-green claws that taper 1/4” of deep crimson and as hard as the talons on her wings). Black wings with a deep ruby streaking across them, creating a vein-like or tree-branch pattern. In terms of height they are about 2” taller than she when she holds her wings behind her and have a wingspan of 6’ that are bat-like in structure. Upon the highest arch on each rest a hooked talon (hallow and almost unbreakable they are prized in trade) allowing Cherry to hook them talon to talon in the front creating a cloak-like appearance.

    Family: Nox Bane (Father; copper eyes & black purple hair; name is based off of S. Nigrum or Black Nightshade), Amara Bane (Mother; modeled after Woody Nightshade; bright red hair and amethyst eyes

    Ability: Her poison, atropine, which she is able to use at will. Effective in liquid, vapor, or solid form, while it is quite deadly as it attacks the nervous system it is also used to heal in small doses. When she exhales atropine in vapor form she can light a match causing the vapor to ignite, creating a fire-breathing effect.

    Weapons: Matches (lol), 2 Poison dipped (made by it all by herself too) swords as they will not interfere with her wings, and poison dipped throwing knives for long range.
     
  24. DeathandGrim
    Offline

    DeathandGrim Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Messages:
    540
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    Well my motto is to "think about the end goal" What did you hope to get from this scene? Did you get there from where you started? Another good tip is to use what you've given yourself. If you find that not working and helping you toward the end goal you're gonna have to give yourself something else.

    And you can probably achieve the goal of the scene by having a sort of soft reset on her actual personality. Perhaps confiding in secret to Zane that she disdains being the way she is and how she truly feels about it. It can build chemistry between the two
     
    Seraph751 likes this.
  25. IHaveNoName
    Offline

    IHaveNoName Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2016
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    161
    You say you want the story to be not-serious, but the blurbs about the War and the Weeping Mages sounds pretty serious (or, at least, it has the makings of a good "serious" backstory). Why not just make it full-on dramatic fantasy and see where it goes?

    What happened in the Vale...
    * Someone lured all those mages there and set off a magical "bomb".
    * There was a battle, and it was so intense that the magics used warped the very fabric of reality.
    * There was a huge ritual wherein they tried to summon something they shouldn't have, or open a portal to a forbidden plane/location.

    What's the backstory with the Layethnadur (have you gotten that far?)? Were they created, naturally evolved, travelled here from another plane? Maybe they have something to do with the Vale (for some reason, I immediately thought the mages were killed with poison).

    One final thought: Cherry and Zane... are those names from the Anita Blake books? :p
     

Share This Page