1. tbeverley
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    tbeverley Senior Member

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    Short Plot Summary

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by tbeverley, Jun 26, 2009.

    Edited: Just gonna remove this plot summary to avoid any potential conflict. Was a misunderstanding regarding this section of the forums. :p
     
  2. Ragnar
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    Ragnar Contributing Member

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    I'm probably the worst person in the world to comment on this which is why I will attempt to set my preferences aside, and give some objective comments. The ending with Jeremy the poet and Elizabeth's ghost seems very "out of nowhere" to me. Suddenly something occult after a somewhat classic tragic love story. Maybe add some occult elements sooner in the story?

    "
    Klaus is a strange case: He is representative of an idea known as "predetermination." That is, he may be a monstrous Nazi, but he exists in a different realm inside of himself. On the inside, he is a good man; on the outside, his actions are not under his control. And he watches himself enacting horrible things without the ability to change his personal history. "Predetermination" is an idea in which people might repeat their lives over and over, like a loop."
    Can you really be called a good man if you are unable to stop yourself from doing terrible things, even on the inside? I actually don't think so. "But they told me to kill the child" So what? You could have said no, or pretended you did when you really didn't or ran away with the child.. Etc..

    Anyway... Klaus as a person is realistic enough, from what you say here, however I don't really get the "loop" part of the idea, no matter what, his life is bound to be somewhat different through it's course.

    Just my thoughts,
     
  3. tbeverley
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    tbeverley Senior Member

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    Jeremy, the young man who falls in love with the ghost, actually does talk about the ghost before Desiderio, the Gypsy, begins to write. Jeremy will always write first, and it's always about the ghost; it's just hard for me to get it into words in a short-enough post; I don't want to write a ten page synopsis. :p

    In fact, there are four independent narrators, but I wanted to get Desiderio's story out there by itself.

    So, the ghost story is what starts the novel; the WWII history comes after that.

    Predetermination is a strange idea. It is essentially the idea that life repeats itself; when you die, you're reborn to relive the same life again. Over time, you become conscious of your repeated life, and while you can think independently of your life, your physical reality remains the same. Think of it as something like being in a dream and not being able to wake up.

    It's an idea that isn't used a lot, but it's sort of sci-fi in a sense. Imagine a dream from which you can't awaken and have no control over, and yet within the dream you can think, watch the dream, and feel horror - but you can't wake up.

    Here's Klaus describing it himself (I hope we're allowed to post bits of writing in plot summaries; if not, let me know):

    I know what I am going to say next and I know what I am going to do next, but I cannot utter a different word and I cannot take a different action. Even as I watch myself drawing closer to the end, I can do nothing to alter a single moment. I can observe the theatre, watch as it runs its course, and I do observe, like a member of the audience sitting in the dark. I watch a lifetime unfold again and again, step by step into oblivion – my lifetime.

    Finally, I begin again. I live the same life over and over.
     
  4. Ragnar
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    Ragnar Contributing Member

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    Oh you're talking about The Matrix.. just kidding. I get what you're saying, but claiming to be powerless is just an excuse, you can break out of the cycle. I'm stuck in a cycle so I can understand the concept but for me it's nothing serious really, just related to my procrastination and general laziness. I'm not saying the character cannot feel powerless because he can, but it is possible to escape.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A story concept means nothing. I can tell you now, it has been done before. What matters is how you write it, the characterization, the flow, the imagery, all of it.

    There's no point to asking what other people think of the concept! They'll either say,"Sounds great," or, "it sounds like a ripoff of..."

    If the idea stirs you, write it. Then ask people what they think of the final story. After they tell you what they don't like about it, revise it, usually several times, until you're happy with it or until you throw up your hands and say the hell with it.

    Please read this thread about What is Plot Creation and Development?

    (and yes, this is a template post, which should give you an idea of how often this comes up.)
     
  6. tbeverley
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    tbeverley Senior Member

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    Yeah, but then how would I have the wonderful plot device that allows me to write from the point of view of a Nazi who internally disagrees with everything he does - and has an internal perspective that allows him to criticize himself?

    :p
     
  7. tbeverley
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    tbeverley Senior Member

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    Is there no plot discussion in WritingForums.org? If so, I'll refrain from posting them. But, clarify, is that the forum's policy? The linked topic outlines what a plot is, and suggests that the posting of plots is overdone on these forums; however, it doesn't give specifics about whether that is or is not forum rules.

    There may simply be a language barrier. The linked text reads as an opinion piece rather than a set of guidelines about posting here; perhaps if it is intended that people don't post complete plot outlines, it would be best to say something to that effect: "Do not post plot outlines here," rather than "We have too many plot outlines posted here." In the linked text, it's not clear either way. However, again, I'll refrain from doing so if that's the forum's rules.

    To give an example, this forum's subtitle reads: "Struggling with the plot of a new novel? This is the place to discuss how one comes up with their ideas and sequences of events." Perhaps, to make it more clear, the wording could read: "Struggling with the plot of a new novel? This is the place to discuss how one comes up with their ideas and sequences of events. This is for suggestions on how to create plots rather than for plot critiques."

    Hope that helps.
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    If you are stuck on a plot point, it's valid to discuss possible ways out of the corner you've painted yourself into. It's also useful to discuss the strategies for plot development that lead to stronger stories.

    There is no RULE against posting a plot outline. But having seen dozens upon dozens of people posting outlines for approval, I have to point out that it makes no sense to do so. All you will get are variations on, :"Sounds awesome, go with it" to :Seen it before, don't bother." Te total value of tese opinions? Zero.

    If the idea excites ytou, WRITE IT. Don't ask permission, don't seek approval. You;re showing people a fetus and asking, "Won't she be movie star beautiful when she grows up?"

    Story ideas are nothing. The vision in your head is only as good as your ability to flesh it out into a finished story.

    (Note - the forum caption dates back to the earliest days of the site. It probably should be revised. The only person who can do that is not around as much as he used to, and there are quite a few more important issues for him to act upon.)
     
  9. tbeverley
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    tbeverley Senior Member

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    No worries. This is my first day here, and I hadn't read the guidelines entirely. I took the post out just to kill the thread. :p
     

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