1. louis1
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    louis1 Contributing Member

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    RIOT

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by louis1, May 4, 2012.

    Okay so I'm working on this novel in which there's going to be a massive riot. the problem is I don't know how to approach this in an interesting manner. What I mean is the rioters are my MC and the government would be the antagonist and since these aren't individuals I have no idea how to give them flaws, morals weaknesses etc... as you would do for a normal character. and I have no idea how could I build up to the climax...

    any help would be great.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Don't write your story around groups. Select individuals and write your story around them, and let them represent the groups.
     
  3. louis1
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    louis1 Contributing Member

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    that's exactly what I trying NOT to do. I want a story where the two MCs are the society and the government. I don't want to see individuals, I want to show the movements of ideology within a story world.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You can show the ideologies through the individuals. But groups are not as relatable as individuals.

    Look at Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. You get a very clear picture of the society, but you see it through a few individuals.
     
  5. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Think about news coverage of a riot, e.g. the recent troubles in Egypt. The cameraman always tries to find an individual, or a couple, maybe, who are running to escape the attackers. We start rooting for them ... one falls ... his friend goes back to drag him to safety ... and so on. We need a human face and emotions to focus on, not concepts and ideologies. Those develop from what we witness. Let the reader form the conclusions. You are the catalyst.

    You can use individuals in a group to exemplify the ideologies or types of behaviour you are interested in, you know, one person being forced to conform, someone else being a bully, the lone idealist swept in against his better judgement, etc. Look at works like Lord of the Flies. You have the whole spectrum of behaviour and the breakdown of civilisation represented in a group of schoolboys ...
     
  6. Ventis
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    Ventis Member

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    Hm... like in history lessons? 'Country X attacked the country Y' style? It... could work, I guess. Maybe. The problem is how to make it interesting throughout the novel. A short story, I can imagine. Novel, not really. The groups wouldn't have characteristics of individuals, and the whole tone would have to be more neutral. Personally I think it would get boring, after the novelty of such style wears off.
     
  7. MeganHeld
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    MeganHeld Senior Member

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    I agree, it would be tough to focus on just the two groups as a whole. You can have multiple characters from both side, such as a leader, the lowest level and a few medium level characters within each group. You can begin to make a climax the breaking point during the riot. Something close to home, like loosing members to police violence or having someone leave the riot. There are ways to do it. Before hand you can build up the government doing something causes a group of people to get angry about it and want to change it. Then you could have the group assemble and the riot happen after a certain point. There are ways to do it, but it would be hard not focusing on several characters.
     
  8. louis1
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    louis1 Contributing Member

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    thanks to everyone, I did find my way around this issue.
     
  9. Leonardo Pisano
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    Leonardo Pisano Active Member

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    Here is another crazy way to look at it. Create a character that represent the government and another one that represent the masses. Something similar as a mister Black representing the bad guys and a Ms White who stands for the goodies. Or Mr Regular Average versus Ms Behave-or-I-lock-you-up. Or use animals but that's not original I fear.

    HTH
     
  10. Scott Berman
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    Scott Berman Member

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    This makes me think of this horrible anime I saw once called Hetalia. Its sort of a history show where the nations are portrayed as individual people. Now, I understand this isn't what your trying to accomplish, but maybe you could start by writing them as individuals, and than go back and change them into groups. I hope that makes sense.

    Groups can be given some personality and emotion, but it would have to seem more like a history or news report I think.
     
  11. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    If the government is the main antagonist, then a little bit of creepy ambiguity goes a long, long way. Think about various dystopian books/movies and how the governments are portrayed. In "1984," the government is characterized primarily as secretive and deceptive: room 101, Newspeak, etc. In "V for Vendetta," the government was portrayed as being thuggish, anti-tolerant, etc. While creepy secrets were definitely there, it wasn't to the same extent as in "1984;" the stories have similar government concepts, but lots of differences in the manner in which they are portrayed.

    Pick the main "vibe" that you want your story's government to have, and then build atmosphere and scenes and foreshadowing based on that.

    Also, I second the notion of having a few characters that serve to represent various facets of the government.
     

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