1. AlgaeNymph
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    AlgaeNymph New Member

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    Teen Slice-of-Life Humor Into SF Thriller

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by AlgaeNymph, Sep 14, 2010.

    I want to write a story that starts as slice-of-life humor (think Daria) that later genre shifts into a SF thriller. Thing is I don't quite know how.

    For the slice-of-life humor part, the metaplot is around a now-graduated child prodigy (Janet) hiring herself out as a private tutor and her interactions with typical teenagers. I've got my main character planned forwards, backwards, and sideways but I've not much insight into the other characters, Should I plan them out or let them develop over time?

    For the SF thriller part, where the grenade lands in the nursery and no one can cope but Janet, I've no idea what the wham moment should be. Why would a thriller antagonist be interested in a high school?

    Lastly, apart what I can scrape away from TV Tropes I know squat about high school, and the site doesn't have a "zany teen situations" section. Any advice (or lists) you have will be appreciated.
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Maybe the land the high school is built on is prime land or he had an affair that went wrong with the head?

    My advice is don't worry about character development for a first draft just write your story out and accept it is probably going to be rubbish (not the story the way it is written). My characters tell me who they are as I write, I couldn't have hoped to have their distinctive voices in first draft form.

    I am wrong person to ask about high school as I am in the UK my husband's experiences are very different from mine
     
  3. SashaMerideth
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    SashaMerideth Contributing Member

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    We've got our groups, that kinda isolate each other. I'm still new to the writing thing... SF?

    Maybe the antagonist was a recent graduate, expelled, or a gang banger brother of one of the kids in the school.
     
  4. 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 all been done before. What matters is how you write it, the characterization, the flow, the imagery, all of it.

    There's 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?
     
  5. AlgaeNymph
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    AlgaeNymph New Member

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    Speculative fiction, it encompasses science fiction and fantasy. A lot of us avoid the f-word because fantasy isn't considered serious enough by the lit-crit snobs with actual clout.

    Gotcha. Still, my three basic questions -- Should I plot characters now or as I go?, What would be interested in a high school?, What actually happens in a high school -- still apply.
     
  6. JTheGreat
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    JTheGreat Contributing Member

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    Really? I thought it stood for science fiction. I feel like such a noob :\.

    As for tropes, Slice of Life is good for, well, slice of life. Academy of Adventure, Wake Up Go To School Save The World is one where ordinary kids life extraordinary lives part-time. Weirdness Magnet is a character who inadvertently attracts life oddities. If the slice of life part of the story ends after the grenade, then it's probably a Call to Adventure.

    This is all off the top of my head :p. TvTropes has enhanced my life.

    For the question at hand, is a famous or otherwise prominent student attending, out in the open or undercover? It's been done, but it's versatile enough to be done interesting and not be noticed as a cop-out. I could imagine an odd friendship between a book-dumb teen heiress and your studious child prodigy.
     
  7. kaylynwrong
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    kaylynwrong Member

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    I'm all for letting characters develop over time, but it's really your call. :) Because you can always go back and change them if something isn't working.

    I can't really tell you what should happen in your story. I do have suggestions for learning about high school. Talk to teenagers who are in school now! If you don't know any personally, find a forum with young people and see what they say about school. Or go 'people watch' and listen in on teenagers' conversations about school.

    What kind of info are you looking for about high school? I"m 20, so I've only been out of it for a couple of years. High school was crazy in my opinion. :) You can PM me.
     
  8. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm planning to label my first novel as "fantasy", so it will be taken more seriously than the genre it actually is.

    I should probably be worried about this. :)
     
  9. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    Same here, this is the first time I see it stand for something else.
     
  10. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I am labelling mine fantasy as that is what it is, didn't do Dark Materials, Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings any harm:) Given what some literature critics pick by way of book to win prizes quite happy they don't like my work:)
     

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