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  1. Chaoslogic
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    Chaoslogic Member

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    The MC and his Plot Catalyst. I'm stuck!

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Chaoslogic, Apr 7, 2009.

    I'm having trouble thinking about how to get a plot started. It's about an everyday MC with terrible luck. Him and Murphy's Law cannot seem to get along. The whole world is his enemy.

    He has a really bad day where everything goes wrong before stumbling upon a codex that gives him a special awareness about the world around him, including the power to cancel and counter magic.

    The problem is I want the plot to take off immediately, but I want to convince the reader that he's the target of a Universe that hates his guts.

    The plot requires him to have a crappy day, then find something random. The only motif I can think that fits into the theme of canceling or manipulating (magic) rules/laws is a codex.

    A codex seems rather cliche to me. Condenscendingly cliche as spellbooks are so overdone in the sense that they scream of unoriginality. I'm looking for something different, but have no ideas. If the audience thinks a codex works, I can live with that. If not, I'm hoping there are better alternatives.

    I don't the MC to get something through family or a friend. He's not from a lineage of warriors or spellcasters. He's some random guy who gets this random item. Is it fine if he discovers it on the ground and picks it up?

    Dan.
     
  2. Yitz
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    Yitz Member

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    Supposing he goes to a book shop (who's called him about money he owes them)
    and after paying up (including fees), he randomly looks at a book on the shelf or two he wants and buys them. He then goes home, finds the first one not as good as he thought, and the second has been hollowed out inside. (Make him really want the second one in the shop, but this backfires as he pays way too much for it.) He's angry that the book is obviously NOT what he wanted--he couldn't look at it at the shop because the shop owner heat-shrink wrapped it; he's afraid people will read them with out paying for them.
    (Make sure there's no returns on used items at the store.) Inside the hollowed out section is a (sigil, stone, gem, box) that he (opens, picks up, reads), and it dissolves in his hand and is absorbed by his skin, thus starting his adventures.
    Before this make sure his car has been hit, the insurance company won't pay for it, the cell bill is overdue, and some collections agency is on him for a bill he doesn't even owe. Maybe throw in some bank trouble regarding a replacement debit card and overdraft charges from something on their end.

    Maybe something like that?
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The MC must feel like he is cursed. Why not have him seeking out crackpots in desperation, and somehow in all the junk he accumulates in his search, he discovers that one trinket (or perhaps a couple of broken pieces that fit together, eithr have real power, or provide a clue to where the real power lies?
     
  4. Unsavory
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    Unsavory Active Member

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    Since luck is a theme, I think finding an item by sheer chance can work just fine. However, there needs to be some kind of explanation as to why a man with such horrific luck is lucky enough to find that kind of device. It's kind of a paradox.
     
  5. PS Foster
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    PS Foster Member

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    Or....he is wandering the streets, lamenting about his bad luck, and comes upon a 'bag lady' with a shopping cart full of junk. He strikes up a conversation with her about their circumstances. She offers him (something) as a gift of friendship. He almost throws it away, considering it junk, but something about it draws his attention, and he keeps it.

    Go from there. Just an idea.
     
  6. pacmansays
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    pacmansays Senior Member

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    Have the MC begin with something of slight value then lose it over the day (nothing tragic), then repeat with something of more value and have him attempt to get it back or get something else but that failing too...
     
  7. Chaoslogic
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    Chaoslogic Member

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    Thank you, everyone. This has been really helpful.
     
  8. Tall and Weird
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    Tall and Weird New Member

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    It looks like you've gotten whay you wanted from this thread but I had a few ideas that you might find interesting.

    If he is indeed the universe's punching bag, he will have only survived to the beginning of the story by learning to avoid every possible risk factor.

    He wouldn't use shoes with shoe laces for instance because they could snap causing him to lose a shoe, they could get tangled together causing him to trip and be unable to walk, they could tighten to an excruciating degree becoming almost impossible to remove, they could catch on something that would make him either fall over or have whatever he got caught on fall on him, or they could simply become too short to even lace up.

    So, he would have learned a paranoid carefulness that would likely be viewed as some kind of obsessive compulsive disorder in those around him that had failed to see just how unlucky he was.

    I also had an idea about your non-Codex Codex.

    How about a four-sided die? (The link's just in case you don't know what four-sided dice look like.) The die would work by him coming up with four possibilities and assigning each possibility to the result of a roll of the die and then rolling the die. For instance, he decides that 1 would mean bad luck would ignore him for the day, 2 would mean that he would have some good luck, 3 would be for it to rain, 4 would be for his car to start perfectly and whatever he rolled... ALAKAZAM! Hey presto! It comes to pass.

    There could be symbols instead of number and those symbols may have some link with the possibilities he chooses in some manner.

    A die is something that can offer different results and has an element of luck involved that would make things interesting for someone with bad luck. He would slow discover ways to make it work for him and... I don't know, it might give you some ideas anyway.

    And, speaking from experience, stepping on those little pyramids in bare feet in not at all pleasant.

    Cheers.
     
  9. Chaoslogic
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    Chaoslogic Member

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    I like this idea. This really helps me out. Also, the idea for the die is interesting. I'll see if I can use it somewhere.

    Also, I may have a few more questions after I've organized my notes. It's become a slushpile of .docs.
     
  10. Credulous Skeptic
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    Credulous Skeptic Member

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    I love the idea about the bag lady. (or is it baglady? bag-lady?)
     

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