1. CommonGoods
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    CommonGoods Senior Member

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    Terribly depressing story, yet I can't stop thinking about it

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by CommonGoods, Sep 25, 2008.

    Well, I'm happy to announce I just finished the first chapter of my fantasy novel. I'm a lot less happy to announce that the next chapter will have to waith for a while. For of late, I've been haunted by day dreams, visions, if you will. They haunt me, and to be very honoust, I let them haunt me.

    A story about a boy who has been handed a gift or a curse, depended how you see it; he can't die or be seriously hurt but, in return, everyone around him dies a pre-mature death.

    Depressed yet?

    I'm trying to adress the universal question; who want to live forever? It will probably be a serie of shortstories, each one written in first person, with the ending in third person (he's actually telling his story to someone else, more or less like the Kingkillers triologie). It will be depressing (everyone dies, do'h) and filled with dark humor. And I mean dark. Not "the shadow of a man in the park at night"-dark, not "the dark side of the moon"-dark, but "god no, please no, there has never been light here and we laugh about it in a abbyss of endless despair"-dark.

    Its still very raw, but I'll try to put it into a template;

    Theme;
    Endless life
    Losing loved ones (and less loved ones)

    Storyline
    Boy's parents die, boy goes to forster care, everyone dies, boy tries and fails to commit suicide, boy falls into endless pit of death and suicide attempts till he meets girl, his life blossoms with girl, lives happily for a while, then girl dies, boy goes on a pointless death-quest (1 scene I've already plotted down is my proteganist barging into NYPD-station and declaring: "I'm here to kill you all. Shoot me.")

    Plot
    Ehrm, all three
    Man VS Man; the main characters curse and his quest to get himself killed offcourse includes other people.
    Man VS Himself; the whole point of this story is the main characters inner struggle; can he be friends with someone, while he knows that if he stays near them to long, he'll kill them.
    Man VS God; More of a sub plot, but there will be some scenes of him blaming/questioning god.

    The Climax points are probably his first attemtive suicide, the point he meets the girl and the point the girl dies.

    So, how does this sound? Any loopholes I should be wary of?
     
  2. 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 been done before. What matters is how you write it, the characterization, the flow, the imagery, all of it.

    There's no point to 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 this thread about What is Plot Creation and Development?

    (and yes, this is a template post, which should give you an idea of how often this comes up.)

    I didn't see any real loopholes, but if there are, you'll be spending far more time with the story than I as wou write it out. It still depends mostly on the writing.

    I've seen stories with plot holes big enough to drive a truck through, that were still quality writing.
     
  3. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    I haven't any comments on your plot, but wanted to warn you that you should beware putting off writing things whenever some new shiny idea comes along. If you don't, then you'll never finish anything. Sometimes you have to compromise.

    Since you say your new idea is still "very raw," I would hold off on starting it and keep working on the fantasy story you only just started. Firstly because you should give the new idea some more time to develop or you might end up stalling out after chapter one (sound familiar?). Secondly because what if yet ANOTHER shiny idea comes along after you finish chapter one of your second story...? You'll keep ending up with a bunch of chapter ones and nothing else behind them.

    You have to settle on something sometime.

    Oh, one more thing--SERIES! Not SERIE! SERIES is both singular AND plural and when writing about a set of stories or TV episodes or whatever, the word is always SERIES. UGH I hate that mistake. There are other spelling issues in your writing too but this is a post, not a story, so I won't point them all out; just look into that for yourself, if you plan to go into writing.
     
  4. Scattercat
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    Scattercat Active Member

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    I'm actually reminded of a strange manga my mother-in-law gave to us a few years ago (apparently on the grounds that we liked roleplaying games and video games and some anime series, so it was all the same). The premise of the story was the main character was "cursed" to never die until he had slain one thousand evil people or some such nonsense.

    It sucked.

    There was no tension whatsoever, because the premise stated flat-out "This guy can't die, ever." It kept trying to make us concerned, leaving him in impossible situations, or chopping off his head and then cutting to a different scene, or having climactic swordfights with super-skilled opponents. And we didn't care because we knew there was no way to stop him until he'd finally accumulated his one thousand guys and ended his curse. Watching him angst about it was frankly dull; I suppose some people might enjoy that, but it wasn't terribly interesting to me.

    Basically, I have no interest in watching someone whine and fail to kill themselves repeatedly. I'm not sure how/where that would be a marketable idea. Sometimes, the "ennui of eternity" angle can be an intriguing take on immortality, but even then I think making that the central conflict of a story isn't going to end well.

    What are you trying to say with this story? "It sucks when loved ones die"? Yeah, pretty much. And?

    "Suicide is the only way out of this vale of tears"? I find that to be a foolish and nihilistic point of view, and I'm not sure you can make a convincing case for the futility of existence when you're starting with such a magical/fantastic premise. (More to the point, if all you're trying to say is that life isn't worth living, why are you bothering to say anything at all?)

    "Ha ha! Lookit the little emo kid!"? That seems like it would get old fast.
     
  5. Speedy
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    Speedy Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can vision the scene in The Terminator with Arnie blowing everyone away :D


    Good point.

    I could understand an attemt or two (even if its only self harm) but repeatidly doing it over and over, to me would lead to my believe a 2-d character with no real though.
     
  6. CommonGoods
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    CommonGoods Senior Member

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    Ok, 'parantly I wasn't very clear...

    Tehuti88
    I am not planning on making work of these stories just yet, I will first finish my fantasy-project. The problem stories is that I can't let go of them unless I've written something down. This qualifies, so I'll just take everything that was posted here and put it in my big folder named "ideas". Untill I've done just that, there is no sense in me trying to work on anything else. Its the way I work, sadly. If I get distracted by schience during an english test, I'm screwed, cause all I can think about is science for the next 2 days.

    I am, my dear, mad.

    As for my spelling; I am not a native speaker, and I've been ill for the last 2 weeks. Influenza, or something. Just that my thinking is a bit hazy. (Granted; Serie was a grave error)

    Scattercat
    If you remember the name of that anime, it would be usefull research, I guess. As for the guy turning into an emo-kid; that was never supposed to be the case. I don't want people to feel scared. It won't be a thriller, or even a true fantasy story. Someone, somewhere once said; The opposite of death isn't life, it's choice. My main character has neither. This may sound emo, but it is not the way I'm planning on it to turn out. I was trying to go for something inbetween a humor and drama. You aren't going to watch "someone whine and fail to kill themselves repeatedly", as you so kindly stated. The attemptive suicides are supposed to be part of the humour. LIke I said, the humour was going to be dark.

    As for trying to say something with my story... I'll leave that to the Bible or the Koran. I write to entertain. If I am trying to say something, anything, it is to myself. More to the point; I do not mean life is not worth living. Thats up to you decide. In case of the protagonist, its not.

    He isn't going to be an emo-kid. I do not like self pity. I detest it, to be honoust. He is going to be an extremely sacrastic guy who can be a complete son of a bitch and does random stupid stuff cause hey, he can't die anyway. Which is about as far as his reasoning goes for the better part of the stories.

    I would like to present you with the reason many of the emo-kids I know cut themselves (and trust me, I know my share); pain makes you feel alive.

    Perhaps looking into the eyes of death makes you feel dead?
     

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