1. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Proper Plot Concept Help

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by GuardianWynn, May 17, 2015.

    I sat here for like twenty minutes fully prepared to type out the entire concept I have for you guys(I might still do so knowing you guys) but then I realized the core concept isn't important. The idea is that the main mission of the story is in some ways not related to the opening. Same characters but that is the point to introduce characters and get a feel for them.

    So in its simplest form it is kind of like this.
    - Opening
    - ???
    - Big massively important scene
    - End

    The question I ask is if the point is revealing characters for the ??? should I have a theme like a plot that starts happens and resolves before the big scene happens? By the time the big scene happens I want the reader to have a good feel for the characters. My current writing just sort of is slice of life and I am not sure if that gives enough excitement or enough depth to the characters. Is more of a structured plot needed? How much does such a plot need to tie into the big scene? Main point of relation is the big scene happens tot he same characters. Is that enough?


    Thank you.
     
  2. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think yes.

    I mean, if I understand what you're asking, then definitely yes.

    It might be okay for the opening to not relate to the rest of the story (although even this is a bit shaky) but are you asking whether the main part of the story should be related to the climax of the story? That connection seems pretty fundamental to me. So possibly I'm misunderstanding the question...
     
  3. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not really a yes or no question.

    Sorry I wasn't sure how to properly phrase it. Thanks for the quick reply. Maybe that context will help.

    Basically the end large scene is a attack on a military fortress. The characters are going to get someone out.
    The ??? I had is what happens before this. This raid should not happen until you have a feel for the characters.
    So the question is what is an acceptable concept to express characters before this?
    Slice of life as I was doing for example had moments like one character learning her newly discovered sister had never been to a movie theater before. This is random and really has nothing to do with the raid beyond being these characters. Does that make it bad?
    That sort of what I mean. Maybe that scene still works but I need some over arcing theme more connected to the raid?
    Is lots of random slice of life moments acceptable?
    Like an example. A martial arts tournament it shows off fighting. Raid has fighting but that is still a loose connection. Do you think the loose connection is bad?

    Do you understand what I am getting at?
     
  4. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Are you trying to write a novel?

    If it's a novel, there should be a central plot that runs through the whole story. So, no, a bunch of unrelated scenes that are just there for character development wouldn't make sense. I mean, there might possibly be room for a few of those scenes built in around the central plot, but you can't just... not have a central plot.
     
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  5. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah I am trying to write a novel.



    SAD! I am a failure! I..... SAD! :cry:

    I can't even think of something that ties to the something like a raid. I mean characters they happen to be involved. Theme of can't judge a book by it's cover works too. The events connect in a sense as it is a murder the MC witnesses that leads to her discovering her sister. It is also the same event that leads to her having to rescue her sister in the raid. Wait does that count? I mean it is a connection but the current idea is that plot open is an opening scene and the raid or climax. I figured the section I am referring to needs to calm down and focus on something else. I am wrong?
     
  6. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, for a novel, you're going to need a lot of scenes, right? I don't have an exact number, but... 40 or 50, maybe? These all need to be glued together into a coherent pattern.

    I mean, what's your plot? Your MC witnesses a murder and this somehow brings her into contact with her sister. I don't really understand how that happens, but I assume you're going to need quite a few scenes to show it? And then the sister is cruelly ripped away from the MC, the MC does a bunch of investigation and finds out where the sister is being held, stages a raid, rescues the sister. Does that sound about right? So, sure, mixed in with those scenes there will be some times when your characters aren't having huge action adventures, but the focus should still be on achieving whatever the ultimate goal is.

    I'm not a huge fan of outlining, but this sounds like maybe you need to do an outline. Google "novel structure" and read a bunch of people's ideas about it. You may want to google "central conflict". Or try asking yourself what your MC wants, and what she has to do to get it. She may have to do a bunch of small things throughout the book, but there should generally be one central desire and one main way she has to act to meet it.

    You could also pick a few of your favourite novels and break them down, scene by scene. What's happening in each scene? How does it relate to the central conflict?

    A novel needs structure, for sure.
     
  7. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    I am a bad reader..... I am a failure!!!! :cry: I haven't read many novels in my whole life! :cry:. I am trying to fix that but I did a count I am at like 5.

    Your guesses are kind of wrong but with the context I gave you I sort of expected them to be. Thing is doesn't matter. The central problem I am having you did mention. Which is. "And then the sister is cruelly ripped from the MC" for this action to be cruel they had to know each other. So how do I have a large scene with them bonding? And it not ruin the whole central theme you are talking about? I mean them bonding has nothing to do with the terrorist network concept that she witnessed a murder from and other stuff right?
     
  8. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think you can have the bonding scene, for sure. That's plot related. Just remember that it's only one scene out of forty or fifty.

    Honestly, though? If you've only read 5 novels in your life, I think you may want to ease off on the writing for a while and focus on reading. You can still have your story idea in your head and be jotting down notes or whatever, but reading is probably the best way to learn how to write well. If you haven't really done any reading, I'm honestly not sure it's time for you to start writing.
     
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  9. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    I am trying to read in my spare time. It always puts me to sleep! I like can never push though it is horrible. Old habits from childhood I suppose.

    Actually I have already wrote two stories. One 31k the other 50k. Got a few people crying. Not trying to say I am good. I know I am still bad and want to improve. I mainly been improving by sheer volume of writing. I wrote the 50k in less then a month. On a normal night I can get 2-5k done :D.

    Maybe I am a bit lost on what you mean by bonding scene being just one. I mean you don't fall in love after one encounter. Wouldn't bonding take a lot more time?
     
  10. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Everything takes more time than we give it in novels. We try to boil down large, real-world experiences into their essence and present that in as few words as possible. Otherwise books would all be millions of words long. So your 'my sister has never been to a movie theatre' scene is sort of symbolic of all the OTHER ways the characters are bonding. You can make passing reference to the other ways they're bonding in other, more plot-driven scenes, of course.

    This is all assuming that your plot actually is something along the lines of "a girl is reunited with her sister and has to save her from evil forces". Like, action-y. Possibly your plot is "a girl is reunited with her sister and they build a relationship", but if that's the case the murder and the raid start to feel a bit out of place, maybe.

    I don't know. You're happy with the writing you've done so far, so maybe I'm either not understanding your questions here or you're writing in a different way that I'm just not familiar with. If reading isn't going to work for you as a way to learn, I guess you can try learning by writing, and see how that goes.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2015
  11. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Fair enough. I think I see the problem here and have an idea on how to fix it. Thank you for the help.


    First one closer neither is exactly right. If you are curious I could PM you. I don't want to publically say it if you know what I mean.

    I guess I am still a failure to have been so bad at reading. I want to get better but it just puts me to sleep! I trying to think of a solution or find time to do it. I really am. I think writing a lot has helped me become a better reader but I guess not good enough :cry:
     
  12. Lae
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    "big scene" usually means "important scene" so its usually a tad important to the plot. I don't understand how you have an entire concept for a story but no plot at all?

    The way i see it is if this big scene is the assault on the fortress to save whomever and it's basically brings about the end of the novel then you could make the whole novel about how the characters are in this mess (e.g. why are they saving them, why is the person kidnapped or whatever, what leads up to this big assault. Things like that) and gradually work your way up to this big scene.

    The ??? part is your actual novel, the big scene is just something you want to write. Sounds like you've seen something that made you think "yeah i like that fortress assault idea" and now you're trying to crowbar a novel around it.
     
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  13. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    I guess it hurts to not add context but I figured the context wasn't greatly important to the point.

    The trouble I was having was thinking not how they got there. Or why they were there or even who they were or nothing like that. The problem was I thought this should be a much larger work then I am used to writing and that since the assault on the fortress is the climax I was trying to think of how to pace out the story before I get there. Because I don't want it to not be long enough and not give the reader to know the characters well before I reach there. Yet I didn't want to bore them either. I was entertaining the notion of adding a filler plot in-between or at the ??? moment for pacing and asking what your guys thoughts were on that.

    Does that make sense?
     
  14. Lae
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    Lae Contributing Member Contributor

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    if it were me, i'd tie it all into the big scene. I'd have it be as long as needed. In my opinion the big scene, the "ahhh" moment or whatever should be built up to throughout the entire novel, i personally wouldn't like filler plots, things that aren't important or seem irrelevant to the problem the characters face. I'd get bored. If you want to add opportunities to flesh out the character and make them real then add set backs, dilemmas, struggles etc along the way, not random/unimportant struggles, random dilemmas that serve no purpose.
     
  15. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah that is the conclusion I was reaching from my chat with BayView
     
  16. RachHP
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    So, I'm not sure I'm entirely following this but regardless:

    Your initial post made me think of the classic plot structure where your MC experience a colossal failure before the final climactic success.
    So the ??? section you're talking about is the part of the plot where everything seemed to be going well but then suddenly everything turns to s**t. Their leader is killed or their tribe decimated, their plans fall through or someone loses an arm. A loyal friend betrays someone, etc etc etc.
    Basically, something happens in the ??? section that could completely destroy their ambition/makes it seem like success is impossible, but then they overcome it and ultimately win.

    About your examples particularly: there's nothing wrong with a random event, as long as it turns out not to be random (if that makes sense). They get invited to a tournament and it all seems very innocuous, until it turns out the missing sister is there and they have an 'almost' encounter (failed rescue attempt but it motivates them to break into the fortress).
    Or, they rescue the sister earlier on but while they attend a random event, they get separated and she's abducted again.
    It doesn't matter what they're doing or where they are, as long as the overarching plot is maintained (which I sense from what you've said, is reuniting with the sister). Ultimately, you can achieve the same basic plot in a lot of different ways, so try not to get too hung up on the 'right' one.

    Hope that makes sense!
     
  17. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    First I apologize. I do realize for what ever reason my ability to express myself properly was suspended when I wrote the OP.
    @BayView I apologize
    @Lae I apologize

    Yeah you guessed it pretty close. I have seen the error of my original thinking.

    Overall I am thinking it is not bad to have apperance of random but random in truth is sort of disrepecting the audience. My issue was giving the screen time to the characters before the events got intense which I still think is a thing I need to do but I realize now that the big bad being a threat is equally a concept that deserves some early screen time and that I need a way to show them too even if showing both doesn't show themm interact. Like an idea I had was MC at a police station to file a report and it gets attacked by the big bad. There reason for being there has nothing to do with the MC but this still gives them screen time.

    Side note @Writing Forums Staff (Didn't know I could tag that. lol hope they don't mind) I wish to randomly thank this community for being so amazing! :D
     

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