1. MaryMO
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    MaryMO Member

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    Stuck

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by MaryMO, Nov 6, 2014.

    I'm currently working on my first fictional novel, actually this would be my first time writing something and seriously want to have it published.
    Right now I'm stuck between having to continue with my third wheel character. The first four chapters were about my two main characters working together. Let's call them cara1, caro2, and caro3.
    Cara1 finally began to trust caro2 and was starting to have feelings for him, but I didn't know where to go from there. I was having trouble trying to figure out what else I needed them to do. How can I build on that more? I didnt want cara1 to fall too much in love with caro2 because I need her to have to come to a decision on that towards the end of my novel.
    So instead I went the other way and put doubt into cara1's mind, by introducing caro3 into her life to complicate things for her. Caro3 will eventually die in the end, but I need cara1 to be in love with him too. I'm at a stand still with this, because my middle chapters are falling short. Do I take out caro3 for now and just keep building on caro2 with cara1?
     
  2. Miss Red
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    Miss Red Member

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    Perhaps Caro2 does something that's unsatisfactory or unappealing to Cara1 in some way, or Cara1 is somehow under the idea that Cara2 did something Cara1 doesn't like. (Stole something, hurt someone, did something that's opposite to the stuff they're trying to achieve, etc...)
    Introducing Caro3 might make the story dynamic, competition for Caro2 and someone for Cara1 to look forward too while being cautious with Caro2, but it's up to you to decide whether or not Caro3 should stick around or be worked out of the story.

    Is there a goal or other purpose to the story? Try to introduce more obstacles along the way to the goal or purpose, keep the trio busy, on their feet and moving forward while they're dealing with the internal, moral conflicts of attraction. (Assuming there's more to the story other than Cara1 falling in love and deciding on Caro2)

    Attraction could be used as an obstacle, since it could make one or some of them stressed out or cause conflict in their relationships while trying to move forward along the goals in the story.
     
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  3. MaryMO
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    MaryMO Member

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    Thank you for that idea. I actually hadn't thought of adding some type of conflict in terms of one or the other doing something unsatisfactory. Since Caro2 and Caro3 are life long friends, I was so focused only in that one conflict.
    I have two other questions about how to write this properly. Cara1 has visions and dreams, in one scene I couldn't figure out how to put her thoughts in them. I had already used the italicized font so the reader knows she's dreaming.
    Question 1:
    What should I use when she is thinking while in that dream state?
    Question 2:
    My character's can also speak to each other with their minds. Is it enough to just use the italicized font with quotation marks? I'm only asking because I found myself using, "I heard him in my mind." or "His voice in my head." just to name a few. Usually I just switch them around.
     
  4. Miss Red
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    Miss Red Member

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    For question one:
    You could structure the paragraphs in a way that makes it clear that she's having inward thoughts to herself, such as this example.

    Play around with different wording and phrasing. Once you find something you like, find a consistent way to replicate it.

    ----

    As for question 2:
    If it feels like it's enough, then it should be okay. However, you can still play with the paragraph arrangement, and once you find a method you like, you can stick to it. I don't have much experience writing about characters reading each other's thoughts, so someone else might have some better examples. : )
    Perhaps you can be careful about where speaking conversations and thought-reading conversations are situated, so that it doesn't get too confusing.

    --

    If you're looking for specific tricks in grammar and punctuation, I think it might be better to wait for someone else to post their advice, or do some research. (Paragraph and sentence structure, etc) I grasp the basics of grammar but I never got that deep into it.
     
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  5. MaryMO
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    MaryMO Member

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    I just read a that super long forum on the topic if using "italicized fonts for thoughts." What I realized realized after reading the entire thing is, it is really up to me to choose to use it. I'll keep playing with it. But for now, I'm just going to finish writing out my novel and find someone to edit it for me. My grammar needs a lot of work and if I keep stopping to fix it, I'll never be able to complete it. Which will be very hard because I'm a bit anal when it come to my writing, thank goodness for word doc.:agreed:
     
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  6. Christine Ralston
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    Christine Ralston Active Member

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    For me, first draft is all about quantity. I don't worry about anything else until I have a completed draft. Otherwise, what would I have to work with in subsequent drafts?

    Your writing is not going to be perfect and I find admitting that helps prevent getting stuck. Just trudge on with the knowledge that your seventh or eighth draft will scarcely resemble that first, hardly readable draft.
     
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  7. MaryMO
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    MaryMO Member

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    I know what you mean, when writing a new paragraph I just skip the tab key on my keyboard and keep on typing. I think I've gone back to my first chapter over a dozen times, trying to edit it myself. My friends from work who have been reading every chapter I've completed so far, got so irritated with me that they did a sort of intervention. They both sat me down and said "Stop going back, you need to keep moving forward."

    After that I just kept on writing, right now though I'm getting so frustrated with myself. Is it odd that I hear my characters voices in my head? I'm not crazy I assure you. It's hard to explain, I see them in my mind and they're all yelling or trying to talk at the same time. Picture a jar filled with characters all banging against the glass like they're trying to get out. I've never experienced that before in my life, only since I've started writing.
     
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  8. Miss Red
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    Miss Red Member

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    I'm glad you figured out a plan. :D
    Good luck, and have fun! I hope you've got an idea on how to un-stuck the story.

    I should probably do that too. Ignoring the "little editor" in my head and try to plow forward.
     
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  9. James Random
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    James Random Member

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    What I've realised is that as long as you follow core rules, you can play with words-and make them play with each other-to your heart's content. Doing so often makes for very interesting reading. People like China MiƩville and Joe Dunthorp did this and their books always have an interesting flow to them.

    Italics can be used for thoughts if you want. They can be used in a variety of ways. I sometimes use them in a very avante garde way.

    EG:

    He rolled his eyes and offered her a pained look: really?

    or

    He had been about to admonish the kid: look where you're going! but had seen the fear on his face.

    or

    The officer blew out his lips and scoffed as she left: what a bitch.
     

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