1. psyence53
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    psyence53 Senior Member

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    Plotting? Timelines? Ideas?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by psyence53, Jun 7, 2009.

    Sorry if this has been covered, I couldn't find anything quite along the right lines, unless I missed something.

    WELL, I've spent more time thinking over the same things and reading over webpages, threads, posts, resources etc for any sort of help whatsoever. All interesting and thoughtful, but nothing that has got me writing. Well, prompts have, and particular writing software has encourage the ideas to flow, but the problem is lack of ideas and inferior ones at that. SO I've been using StoryBase to broaden the horizons, as it were. Already it's got me thinking. Would the character do this? No. How would they react to that? Hmmm... etc. Also, the books I tend to prefer reading aren't novel length, so that has been helpful in realising I don't neeed lots of plot turns to fill a thick hardback. I only want to write shortish "novellas," (200 pages of an average sized book) some of which don't even have proper endings. But I like them, and they are published, and don't even have much to their plot. This gives me hope, which is why I'm posting here, in the hope I can get past this next step.

    I know it's not recommended to post current plot ideas on here, so I don't really know, just to ask for advice I guess. It is advisable to try to start writing with the ideas I have, or is using StoryBase, and not being that confident ANYWAY, a bad move?

    One final thing - beginnings. How could I find a way to begin it. I.e. a point in the story. It's tending to be edging on character-driven, and i can just see their lives over a long period of time. Perhaps this is something only i can find, but any help?

    Or just on the plot thing?
    Thank you.

    If this thread has been done, delete as appropriate, and sorry for the inconvenience.
     
  2. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Ok, your first point: plotless novel(la)s...I don't think I've ever read a story that had no plot, even the purely character driven ones....the closest example I can think of is Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis, which has very little character development and a very mundane, basic plotline, but it still has a definite beginning and end (the start and end of his holiday in California). So, even if there's no development or conventional narrative arc, I think it is still important that readers are left with some sense of completion/catharsis/loss/something like that...as far as beginnings, if you don't have a definite moment in mind already, or one that comes easily, pick a climax/conflict/important event and work backwards from there in your mind until you find a sensible place to start...
     
  3. psyence53
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    psyence53 Senior Member

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    Yeah that was the biggest problem before i used Storybase. I have found some ideas but i'm just not sure if it's the right way to go or if it's enough for a book. Working backwards, that might be an idea, thanks arron89 :)
     
  4. Kirvee
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    Kirvee Contributing Member

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    I kind of understand your dilema(I know I spelled that wrong....), except the books I've read all my life have had plot and were pretty much all novels.

    But, I can say this. I remember being advised (either on a site or by a book) that when starting your story, it's best to introduce your main character(s) or main plot right in that first chapter. You can do that by showing one of the character's conflicts or start in medias res (in the middle of the action).

    If you're short on ideas, it might help if you try and go somewhere quiet, think about your story and just contemplate. That's what I do for my stories. I contemplate them before I sleep, when it's nice and quiet and I can think out scenarios in my head without interruption.
     
  5. psyence53
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    psyence53 Senior Member

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    Haha, i've spent months contemplating my stories xD But i like the idea of starting in the middle of the action or introducing the character and problems right away. I just started writing two novels (only done 400-1000 words of each) but in one, i started during a suicide attempt. It was much easier than before. It was like trying to find a way to begin in an empty void. Didn't know what to look for. Still struggling with timelines and rest of events, but the beginning helps. By getting straight into it, there isn't too much faffing around :) Thanks for the help!
     
  6. Kirvee
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    Kirvee Contributing Member

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    Yes, and starting at a place like that then opens the door for you to go into the story and explain how that character got to that point of wanting to die. From there you just keep writing to explain everything and soon enough, voila! You have a completed story. Once you know your beginning and your end, everything in the middle falls into place.
     
  7. philosoraptor
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    philosoraptor New Member

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    OK, this might have absolutely nothing to do with what you were asking about, but if you are having trouble with time lines, personally, I find it helps to write what you already know. Say you know a certain event is definitely going to happen in your story. So write that chapter or paragraph or what ever. Do this with every concrete element in your story, then you can sit down and put the puzzle together and fill in the blanks. Its weird but it works for me
     
  8. OrdinaryJoe
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    OrdinaryJoe Member

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    Okay, I once wrote a short story / novella / weird thing that to me did not have any plot what so ever. I was having problems just getting started. So I cheated. I had my main character sitting in an open place reading a book. It allowed me to write all sorts of nonsense that had nothing to do with the story or character. If it was off the wall, it went into the book he was reading, if I liked it, I incorporated it into the main story. It helped. If you are like I used to be, it sometimes takes a kick start to get going. I think that is why some people do start their stories in the middle of an action sequence. Anyways, sometimes you only need two things a start and ending. Everything else is fluff.
     

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