1. AJ Oatsvall
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    AJ Oatsvall New Member

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    Smalltown American Demonology

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by AJ Oatsvall, Jun 21, 2012.

    I recently came up with an idea for a horror/thriller story set in a small rural town (based on the community where I live here in Wisconsin). The initial starting point of the story is that the protag works at a library, and he has to train a new hire (a rather nerdy yet appealing girl). And that's when weird things start happening; mysterious disappearances, suspected murders, etc. I want to incorporate the "repeating day" concept from the film "Groundhog's Day" starring Bill Murray, but with a much darker tone. Yet I don't want there to be a lot of death happening all around, more like the death and disappearances to be past events that the main character looks into and finds out about during the course of the story. The female lead is somehow connected to them as well. Now, for the antag "elements" and I use that kind of term because I have not decided/determined the "villain" of the story. Rather, my idea is to have Death personified and be the "force" behind the mystery and haunts that have plagued this small rural town. And yet I feel that Death is not enough, but rather a demon is haunting the town... perhaps a puppet of Death. I would prefer to keep satanic and heavy Christian tones out of the story (this isn't gonna be an exorcist story, lol). In the end, my idea is that the main character is spirited away to the past and changes a key event; causing the town to be flooded by the building or destruction of a dam and once he returns to the present he finds the town and its "demon" no longer exist. I'm just not sure if this kind of story would really make sense to most American readers (as its inspired by Japanese horror/demonic/psycho-thriller stories). Any suggestions? Or general questions? I find it very helpful to be asked about my stories, even when they haven't been developed, in order to further develop them and refine the characters and plot. ^^;
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A story concept means nothing. What matters is how you write it: the characterization, the flow, the imagery, all of it.

    There's absolutely no benefit in 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 What is Plot Creation and Development?
     
  3. louis1
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    louis1 Contributing Member

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    Cog, you must be quite tired of copy/pasting this everywhere ahah!
     
  4. AJ Oatsvall
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    AJ Oatsvall New Member

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    Hmmm... my post is not much different than another thread started under Plot Development and I didn't see anything as near a comment as what I'm seeing now.

    You may think concept means nothing, but for me, as a writer, if I can't even grasp my own concepts and make them work in my head then I don't bother writing them.

    I'm not one to dictate how forums like this are suppose to work, but I think your best course of action would be to just to delete this thread. You obviously felt it was a waste of time to make me feel insulted on a difference of opinion. Really, I think you could have done better by not replying to this thread. All you did was get someone else to "bump" it by stating how tiresome you must feel by copy/pasting the same link all over the place.

    I'll be sure, in the future, to limit how much I share on my own creative writing. My first attempt obviously didn't prove as beneficial as I was made to think it would be when I joined this site.


    EDIT: It is my sincerest desire to see this thread deleted ASAP.
     
  5. indy5live
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    indy5live Active Member

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    I don't mind helping develop ideas, ideas is what I'm best at. But in the end, it's just that until someone takes that idea and turns it into a story. I wrote a 60,000 page novel that is turning into a TON of work because I didn't take the time to fully develop my ideas, but instead just started writing to get the whole story down on paper. Now I am having to go back and make major revisions to whole scenes and characters. If I could go back I would outline my thoughts and chart my plot and profile my characters and have everything worked out before I write a single word of the story. It sounds like that's the phase you are at. You have an idea and you need to take that idea and develop it further. The questions you are asking us are the questions you should be asking yourself. I wrote nearly 6 pages of questions to a novel I already finished, questions I should of thought about before writing. What am I trying to accomplish with this character? What is the purpose of this scene? How can I rework this sub-plot to be less confusing to my reader? If it's the first Chapter, ask yourself What you're trying to accomplish in this chapter, how do you want to introduce the characters, do you want to start off with conflict or set the scene for a potential conflict? You have a good idea, now turn that idea into something tangable. Once you get it to the point you are satisfied with what's on the pages, your readers will most likely love it too. Good luck on your journey.
     
  6. live2write
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    live2write Contributing Member

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    After reading the OP, you must becareful! Cognito is right by the way, story means nothing: it is all about how you write it.

    Reading your pitch a few red flags sprang up in my head (funny visualizing it). Do not try to be like the horror/thriller genre that you see in movies. Many times I read people write a story or pitch and idea and it makes me think of a horror movie I watch days or weeks ago. (It maybe just me but I am speaking from a film student's perspective too). What makes the horror and thriller genre unique is the originality of branching away from the mainstream. Then again you can keep mainstream elements but I am talking about the overall story line.

    I love horror stories because it opens the doors to creating the unexpected and unimaginable. Also the detail in the story is critical where:

    "A ghost of an old man appeared in the room after I closed the door" instead you can strengthen that idea into "After the door slammed shut the air grew dense and cold. A shadow appeared in the corner of the room revealing a silhouette of an man with no physical body."

    I always encourage research into what you are writing about as well as using your imagination to it's potential. You do have a pitch that has potential. As cognito wrote: it is all about how you develop the characters, the voice and how you put it together as a whole.
     
  7. DHTSciFiWriter
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    DHTSciFiWriter New Member

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    I am having a bit of a problem with the "Repeating Time Loop" aspect of it. What is causing it? Time loops make no sense and have no relevancy in the scientific universe. The only thing that would make a loop possible is either a hallucination or magic.
     
  8. Siren
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    Siren New Member

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    I think s/he could pull off the time loop. The pro and nerd chick works at a library, either of them could quote some Nietzsche regarding eternal recurrence. Maybe some Hindu or Buddhist scriptures or a little astrophysics taking the view of a cyclic model of the universe. Take the concept a bit out of context sprinkle some demon meddling. It doesn't need to be scientifically explained. As long as s/he is able to suspend our disbelief its totally doable, let the reader come up with their own theories.
     

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