1. Aleque
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    Aleque Member

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    Putting things into context, and organizing with a system

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Aleque, Jun 11, 2011.

    Hi all

    I have been working on my project for a pretty long time, but it seems like it has no end. It's still in the brainstorming phase, and I would like to wait writing the actual plot when I feel that I have some solid ideas to chose from. My project is constantly evolving at the plot and character aspect, and it's fine, but sometimes I wish I could just assemble all of my tiny ideas and actually draw a thick line; this should be here and that should be there.

    Some of the ideas seem too precious to "throw away".


    It feels like I have too many possible ramifications of the plot parts and that am some point I'm going to have to sacrifice this and that in order to keep the story simple.

    I have also made a "skeleton" of the whole plot - a timeline with Start and End, and I've added markers with notes that say when should what happen. For instance 50% within the story, the character will find out that he is going to die. 75% within the story, the character accept his fate and stops being affraid. And later I add other sub-markers with sub-plot parts and more cosmetic parts of the plot.

    I would love to hear how you deal with your plot and how you prioritize which parts of the story you sacrifice and which parts you keep.

    I would love to have a system that makes it easier for me to have an easier overview of the whole story. Right now it's just too much sporadic text. Is there a software that makes it easier to deal with this? I would love to have a sort of mindmap where there are different possibilities for how the story begins, how it evolves and how it ends.


    I appreciate all the input.
     
  2. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you already have a skeleton of the story, I don't really see the problem. Simply start from the beginning and write a quick version of the plot over a page or two. That way you can see the story ahead of you, so you can more easily see what parts fit and what parts doesn't fit. If there are things you feel are too precious to throw away yet doesn't fit into the story, maybe they can fit into another story later? You don't have to use every single idea in one story, you know. ;)
     
  3. Patrick94
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    Patrick94 Active Member

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    Either spread it over a series or put some of the ideas in a different novel. Have fun writing!
     
  4. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Get a scrap book. Make a map of character links for each character (put a character in the middle, draw lines with notes to other characters. Like A --kills--> B, B <--loves--> C). Do this for all your characters (and make sure that everything is joining everywhere), then pick the least ugly/messy ones and put them on your wall.

    Write with large words on scrap book pages with plot overviews for main characters and sub-plots.

    Eat lasagna! You deserve it! C:

    Put up blank scrap book pages write next to your writing area below/next to the other pages. These should be within arm's reach so that when you add a detail onto a character's description, you can scribble it on there.

    Any variation on this method requires lasagna.
     
  5. AveryWhite
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    AveryWhite Senior Member

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    Perhaps your plot is too complicated. You may need to simplefy it. If you find it confusing then how do you think the reader will feel? Afterall, often the most simplest of things are the most effective.
     
  6. Aleque
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    Aleque Member

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    Thanks for the kind and helpful words, I will try :)

    I have already simplified my plot a bit. Perhaps I should put a huge piece of paper on my wall and start drawing a line: Start --- > End, and inbetween, draw small branches with some of the important story highlights which could ramificate further into detailed descriptions, and different options, which I could pick from later.

    Like: there are 3 possibilities of Act nr. 5, a). b). c)., if I chose a). it leads to a1). a2). a3). etc.
     
  7. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    That sounds like a good idea. That way you can see what versions you prefer and stick to them. I would start with the side-parts (a1, a2 etc) and see if I can sort out which ones of those I like. Then I would sort out the good ones and see if I can find the best ones among them, and so on. In the end I would have just one sidepart, so I would work from that. The remaining parts isn't too hard, as they have to fit with the best part. The previous parts can be tricker as they might not "fit" with the best part I'm working from. But in that case, I will try to either rewrite them to make them fit, or alter the best part a little bit to make it fit. Either way it would give me a starting point. After that it's just one step at a time.
     
  8. SteamWolf
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    SteamWolf Senior Member

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    I pick scene 'milestones'. Pivotal parts of the story I want to cover. I then write to bridge those scenes. It helps to keep me on track with the plot and character development.
     

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