1. pamedria
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    pamedria Member

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    Seeking help with main plot

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by pamedria, Mar 31, 2016.

    So my story is essentially a fantasy one as it is in a different world of humans.
    The best continent was thriving with the country rich with resources until a man decided to invade and capture the north. There is a mountain range in the middle of the country making the south difficult to capture and eventually a treaty is made to end the war. 160 years later the ancestor (now northern king) decides to continue the invasion.
    I have planned out the characters and multi different chapters of exciting happenings. But in terms of the overall plot, it is essentially just a war. I need something big to happen in the middle or the end. Like a BANG. The characters and stories within the war are what I'm happy about but I feel the story needs an edge, for example.. When someone asks me. What's it about? All I can say is 'a war' cos all the little plots within are just what happens to the characters ..
    Any suggestions for a good turning point or ending to war stories?
     
  2. PassTheDrinks
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    PassTheDrinks Member

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    I can honestly say you have a very good start here in my opinion. I'd read it. As far as a "BANG", I personally love surprises. Those bits of the story where you are like "I did NOT expect that to happen" and it leaves you like "Whoa". I suggest throwing in a secret. Something neither place remembers. Something that maybe they both have in common that gives the reader a firm insight into the story. I cannot suggest a specific secret, but I'd thought I'd throw that option in there. Hopefully it helps at least a little.
     
  3. Wayjor Frippery
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    Wayjor Frippery Contributing Member

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    Hi pamedria,

    One thing you could try to help you out of your muddle is to make one of the little plots that happen to the characters into the main plot. Thinking about an event as the main plot can be tricky because good stories tend to be about people and what happens to them, rather than events and how they unfold. That is to say, focussing on how a character acts and reacts makes a more compelling story than focussing on events and how they transpire.

    For example:

    Event Plot

    Act 1: Two countries are having a diplomatic spat. They can't resolve it. They go to war.

    Act2: Some battles are fought. A third country gets involved. A huge battle goes badly for one side. The almost defeated country rallies. But is beaten again. But rallies again.

    Act 3: A battle mightier than any before is about to be fought. The third country helps the other two to talk. They make peace.

    THE END


    ----

    Character Plot (same story as the event plot):

    Act 1: A negotiator - lets call her Keli - tries to get her boss to lessen his bellicose stance towards their neighbouring county because she knows a sensitive meeting is coming up. She thinks she's done it, but at the meeting her boss lets fly and the whole thing falls apart. Keli is frustrated and disillusioned. She's hauled up by a superior and balled out for not keeping her boss in check (which she was supposed to be doing for the superior). The superior informs her that she's out of a job because war has been declared.



    Act 2: Keli goes home. The enemy invade, and her home town is right on the border. She's sees the carnage up close and personal. She flees with her aged mother and three legged dog (what? gimme a break, I'm making this up as I go along). Stuck in a refugee camp she hears on the radio that her country's other neighbour has got involved in the war. She has an old boyfriend from there. She decides to head for his place, thinking it might offer safety (the other county has bigger weapons). On the way, she gets caught up in a huge battle. She has to cross no-mans land to get where she wants to go. Her dog gets lost in the process. But she gets through. Her ex-boyfriend (who's a high ranking politician) isn't pleased to see her, and now she gets slung in another refugee camp and has to survive and look after her mother while all the time hearing snippets of news about how her own country is being annihilated. Finally she hears that her home country is on a recruitment drive because its army has been decimated. She decides to join up as her current predicament is going nowhere. She joins up and is assigned to an envoy mission to open a back channel of communication with the enemy. The mission fails and at the same time her country is beaten on the battlefield again. She has seen some signs of progress with the envoy mission that others have missed. She tells the superior from act 1 who has a direct line to her country's leader, who decides to throw everything at the opposition just to give Keli and her team time to conclude her business (she has a trump card of some kind, which I'm not going to think of right now).

    Act 3: Keli hears the big battle is about to happen. Her people will be wiped off the face of the earth if she doesn't get her shit together. She contacts her ex again and persuades/cajoles/tricks (whatever fits) him to put in a good word with enemy about her plans. This gives her the opening she needs to play her trump card. It works. Her opposite number -lets call him Jim - communicates to his leaders that peace should be made for the sake of everyone's best interests.

    Keli rescues her mum from the refugee camp and finds her dog.

    THE END

    ---

    OK, so it's all a bit woolly, but I'm sure you'd agree that the character based plot is more compelling than the event based one. So you could try doing what I've done here with one of your characters (the one you think should be the main character) and tell the war story through her/his experiences. You'll probably find a much more satisfying story.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2016
  4. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I'd try to mirror the main character arc in the main plot arc. It'll feel more satisfying and coherent.

    Edit: Pretty much what @Wayjor Frippery said. He got there faster. :D
     
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  5. pamedria
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    pamedria Member

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    Thank you all so much! Wrote out a plan and have decided on it roughly now :)
     
  6. Kayla Hicks
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    Kayla Hicks New Member

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    You have a good start. If you have strong characters than you are well on your way. You could have specific kingdoms fighting, a romance dispute, a fight for resources, an end of the world situation, there are many directions that you can go.
     
  7. Sidetrack
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    Sidetrack Member

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    I suggest a subplot. The kings daughter is kidnapped. Go through her struggle to get away, but falls in love with her guard. They create a family. 160 years later, the new king reunites with his lost family.
     

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