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  1. Rasmus
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    Rasmus New Member

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    Stuck in the middle!

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Rasmus, Apr 26, 2011.

    Alright, here goes. I get super uncomfortable showing people my stories/story ideas, but I'm tooootally stuck for plot points in the middle part of the story, and I'll tell you why in a minute. I'll try to keep this outline concise:

    Setting is in a fantasy world similar to our own. We have one kingdom/culture, and foreigners who have dealt with a disaster that's making their previous home unlivable. There's a lot of tension, especially since the world isn't advanced to the point where there's much broad travelling happening so there's not much familiarity with people besides their own. The foreigners are tolerated by most, accepted by some, but there's some fear and unrest among a large percentage.

    The family in power is threatened by the foreigners-- in particular one of the heirs of the kingdom. Beyond that, she also wants recognition (maybe she didn't get enough in the past) so she ends up killing them, and framing a couple-- who have represented a challenge to her family's rule-- for the crime.

    That couple's daughter is the main character-- her mother was a foreigner and her father was a native. Once convicted, they're branded outlaws and in their society it's not a crime to kill outlaws, and the villain takes advantage of this, killing the protagonist's parents in front of her.

    Protagonist's uncle (mother's brother) takes her in; raises her.

    The villain has a son (debating whether to have him be adopted or not), about whom there is a prophecy. Something about him having the power over life and death. Protagonist discovers this prophecy later; she and her best friend devise a plan to get rid of him. Their culture is one of the pioneers of advanced sea travel, though they're still working it out themselves-- so the plan is to dump him on some distant island.

    There's a storm and the ship is blown off-course and crashes, and they end up instead on a far-away peninsula. Protagonist's BFF is hurt so they have to stay for a while, with the natives of that land who are very hospitable towards them. Protagonist and Prophecy boy end up falling for each other (who called it?). The natives also keep (and communicate with) magpie-like birds, so they send one off to see what's happening back at the Protagonist's home. Historically the protagonist's kingdom is run by a council (which I'm still working out the logistics of), but the main villain, after the disappearance of her son, is working out a new way to basically turn their system into a monarchy. Protagonist's BFF (who has always liked her and gets jealous of prophecy boy) is healed by that time, so the three decide to go home with some guards

    This is where I'm stuck. Being that the protagonists are far away, there's no fast means of communication between long distances,that travelling such a distance would take a long time, and that I want the climax to happen more or less at the point of their arrival back home, I don't really know what to do with the rising conflict on their side of the story. Sure, I can have some other "good guy" at home trying to deal with what's happening, but what about the main 3 characters? what conflicts can I give them that would move the main plot along so they aren't just "derp we are travelling, our only threats are physical 'let's deal with nature' threats". I'm also a little confused as to whether their stay in the foreign land needs any more "plot feeding", if I may call it that, than the 'falling in love' part.




    The theme here is life vs death, prophecy boy has the power of life or death (his "bad" power is more of a possession-type thing than any actual killing) driven by how he reacts to things. He was spoiled by his mother but she didn't connect with him on any deeper level, so he was kind of apathetic, therefore rendering his power dormant. Meeting the protagonist made him care about something, which feeds his "good" power to grow things/heal things/revive things. Kind of cheesy, I know, but it's pretty key so I have to mention it ;D The prophecy about him is sort of a threat, though, and I don't want it to be that way if I don't actually make this power threatening, so I have to make him somehow give in to, perhaps, his selfishness and include some internal conflict in the climax too (his mother/the villain, and the protagonist end up getting killed, and he ends up bringing them both back, though the revival of his mother is mostly just a side effect of his love for the main character-- since it effects everything nearby haha).

    But yeah, I'm -mostly- having trouble thinking of any rising conflict that could happen to these guys who are so far away from the main conflict, especially since the villain's control is limited to one kingdom and I can't LotR it up and have them encountering her ~minions~ or anything like that. The rest of the story needs some work too, but this roadblock is frustrating me most. So, thanks in advance!

    ETA: Heh, I think I failed at the "concise" thing. Oh well, hopefully that's a sign that means when I actually write, it won't be that bare-bones cliffnotes thing I tend to do! If only we could be so lucky.
     
  2. JimFlagg
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    JimFlagg Contributing Member

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    Just a couple ideas.

    Idea 1

    If this is a fantasy then come up with a discovery of something magical that allows them to see what is going on in the other world they left.

    Idea 2

    Invent a traitor that gives their position away so that the villain finds and captures her. Or the villain stumbles across an old clue that gives her current ware abouts away.

    Not really sure but some how get her back. Captured gives you more options and makes it more interesting.

    Not sure if that helps.

    Interesting plot. Is she having any moral issues with carrying out her plan and has some self conflict?
     
  3. Rasmus
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    Rasmus New Member

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    Hey thanks! The magic idea is an interesting one... and it would make the prophecy/etc feel less out-of-place C: The wheels are turning! I'll consider the capture thing then, too

    The protagonist's internal conflict so far is mostly about moving past her parents, but yeah, hopefully I can make the relationship between her and prophecy boy realistic, haha!
     
  4. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Here are some ideas....

    1. Make the trip full of tension between the traveling characters.

    2. Add other dangers from people on the trip - sure the enemy kingdom is limited, but that doesn't rule out bandits, rapists, human traffickers, etc.

    3. Give the enemy kingdom more power so they can now stalk your MCs

    I'll post more ideas if any come to mind....Good luck! :D
     
  5. GStohl
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    GStohl New Member

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    It sounds like the most important thing you need to do is a way to bring your characters into contact with one another -- either physically, through some technology/magic, or through an emissary. What you're really struggling with is not a way to create conflict, but a way to bring your characters' worlds together.

    Also, any time you have to insert "who called it" into your plot synopsis, you have to ask yourself whether you're leaning too heavily on cliche. Is there a new twist you can give to the relationship?
     

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