1. lyteside
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    lyteside Member

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    Struggle with Act 2 in my novel

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by lyteside, Mar 10, 2009.

    I realize it will be difficult to get some feedback without a full in-depth look at where I'm going in my story and where I'm stuck. I've been trying my hand at the "snowflake method" of designing for my novel, and I seem to be hitting a snare. I want to know if I'm biting off more than I can chew for the story (and making things convoluted) or if there's a way out of my predicament.

    Here is a dumbed down, simple version of the story.

    A common man named Lyte falls in love with a warrior queen named Saria. After learning of her secret family history, Saria suddenly disappears, leaving Lyte with an insatiable desire to find her. His quest leads him into a new world, where Saria’s fate is now caught up in an ancient struggle for power. As Lyte comes close to finding her, he realizes he must release Saria from a prison of depression and lost memories by confronting an impossibly powerful warrior who has committed his existence to the end of "Artisans" (a family history that Saria hails from). After defeating his enemy, Lucien willingly releases his hold over Saria along with his other powers, and wild freedom is restored to the new world. Lyte then wins Saria over to him. The two sunset the powers that bridge the two worlds together, and Saria lives humbly with Lyte as his beloved in the old world. THE END.

    Part of defeating Lucien weighs on Lyte's ability to convince nine others with special powers of their own (borrowed from Lucien) to confront him. Where I get tripped up is this: I want to find a way for Lyte to have known them as children in the new world and then go off for some reason (look for Saria? Run from Danger?) and then when he comes back 12-14 years later, they are grown up and involved in different problems that he must rescue them from. The idea feels a little forced, so I wanted some suggestions. It feels forced because I can't see why Lyte would go away from children that he might love fror 12-14 years willingly and then comes back just to claim their allegiance for his own gain. He's too good of a guy for that. My wife had an idea that maybe Alejandra (one of the nine with time travel abilities) meets up with him as an adult and sends him back in time to meet the nine when they are children. Would this make sense?

    Thanks for your thoughts!
     
  2. Natalia
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    Natalia Member

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    Maybe he had to leave to protect the 9 but always promised to return and be reunited so his reunion is more than to persuade them to fight with him it is to see the people he loved.Maybe he forgot his connection with the 9 as he had to to keep them safe and by reawakening forgotten memories in Saira he reawakens some of his own.He may have been a powerful child in some way and had many enemies who became aware of his potential and they sent their own assasins back in time to kill him so he had to live as a common man. The time travel idea is interesting. Hope these ideas help.
     
  3. lyteside
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    lyteside Member

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    These ideas are great. Some of the suggestions resonate with me.

    Playing with memories is a very convenient way to move him along to another quest and challenge. I'll have to meditate on that one.

    I can get Lyte to a place where he will leave Saria alone when she tells him she doesn't want him anymore ( out of her fear ) so transitioning him to act 2 where he builds relationships with the kids flows pretty smoothly. But getting him away from them seems hard if it relates to Saria somehow illiciting a desire in him to go find and rescue her...again.

    Other ideas might include an external event that forces him away... But here I feel I'm just biding my time. Do you think my readers will forgive me if I can put some redeemable elements in that journey?
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I'm not sure what you need from us. You have characters, you have a direction you want to take the story. What I don't see is a need tat compels Lyte to act. What makes him undertake the challenge? What forces act against him? What makes it impossible for him to chuck it all all and proclaim, "It's not worth all the pain I endure, and the damage I leave behind." What is the cost of giving up, that makesthat not an option?

    What about struggles among the characters? Even good friends have disagreements and conflicting priorities.

    Do you really want suggestions on sublots to introduce, or would you prefer ways to find them for yourself?
     
  5. lyteside
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    lyteside Member

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    The motivations, goals, abstract conflicts, and ephiphanies/resolutions are worked out among all characters. My problem is having an external concrete conflict or situation to see how they will play out in Act 2.

    Lyte, for example, will undoubtedly pursue Saria to whatever end, for he desires the desiring and the "going after her" His abstract goal is to sacrifice for her gain and happiness. It's important here to know that Saria is really not his concrete goal... Rather it's his love for her that he is earnestly keeping alive.
     
  6. lyteside
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    lyteside Member

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    Just expanding on your thoughts and questions:

    To clarify, Lyte would never pursue Saria physically or mentally against her will, nor would he at the expense of another (unwillingly). This is because he loves loving her. Loving can continue despite his "duties" and other problems that might detour him from physically finding her, or winning her heart to him. He is at peace in his ache and pain of wanting her, and only restless if he feels he is not doing everything HE can to love and help her. Of course this cones with some drawbacks: 1) he has the potential to scare her off with his intensity. Also, while he may love others, he may unknowingly be withdrawn from them, due to his thoughts and bent toward Saria... Hope that helps understanding where he's coming from.
     
  7. Ohbalto
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    Ohbalto New Member

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    Just in case I'm misreading things, I want to make sure I have the issue straight: your main character knew 9 individuals when he (and they) were children. Then he left for 12-14 years and now he's catching up with them again (in some way, shape or form)?

    This may be abundantly over-simple, but why not just have it that his parents moved the family away from his childhood friends 12-14 years ago? If you want to tie that to the main story in some fashion, perhaps the parents were explicitly moving away from his friends for some reason. Or, maybe Dad got a good job offer / got shipped overseas / one or both of the parents died and he had to go live with relatives, etc., etc.

    Laying the blame on the parents is an easy way to maintain that your main character wouldn't abandon his friends. He didn't. He was a child. He didn't have a choice in the matter.
     
  8. g1ng3rsnap9ed
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    g1ng3rsnap9ed Contributing Member

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    Ohabalto has some good ideas. The father needing to leave on a business trip may not be so original, but it works nonetheless. What if the father caught mommy with another man, and they divorced. Your MC moves out with his father and the mother ends up moving out too. Which in that case, the MC would have no say-so nor fault in the subject. What may be interesting would to have the MC watch as his friends aged differently by having his mother stay in the town. The only problem with that would be the audience's question as to why MC doens't just move in with her. Or you could just find another idea that works, I'm sure there are ideas out there better than my own. :)
     
  9. Addicted2aa
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    Addicted2aa Senior Member

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    Not sure if you're still having problems but here's how I would deal with it.
    The new world's time is faster than time on the old world. Lyte leaves the kids telling them he'll be back in a few years, but what turns out to be 3 years for Lyte is 12 for the kids. They are all quite angry at him and even after explaining this problem he still can't convince most of them. He must help them out in their individual life's, come to nderstand the suffering he inadvertently put them through.
     
  10. lyteside
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    lyteside Member

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    thank you guys so much for your ideas. They are really helpful, and I'm having a lot of options to think about now. yay.
     

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