1. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    Too much plot?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Alesia, Jun 26, 2013.

    So my current project is an extremely long one following two different MC's and two secondary protag's. One MC and two of the secondary characters are on the east coast, the second MC is on the west coast. Both have their own plots that are coming toward each other and will intersect at the beginning of the sequel where the two MC's and 2 secondary's all join up and move on with the story together. Now here's the question. Is it too much stuff for ONE book if I write it in a fashion such as chapter one MC East Coast, Chapter 2 MC West Coast and so on? Or would it be better to separate the West Coast character into their OWN separate work and have what was going to be the sequel be the threequel? Info that might help is though the two plots do move forward independently of one another, it is shown through the storyline how they are moving toward one another if that makes sense.

    Also I would be putting locations at the top of each chapter like January 15, 2004 Los Angeles, CA so the reader will know which character that chapter is focusing on.
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I don't think this would be "too much plot", but that is going to depend on how minutely you take us through the entire trip coming from each side. Just like one doesn't need to puppet characters through every motion they make as individuals, so I think the same advice would be what I would give in a broader stroke here. If you make me travel every single mile on both sides, then yeah... too much.
     
  3. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    There's always the option of a duology. Is there a complete story before they move on to the next phase?
     
  4. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    I prefer these stories where different things are happening different characters even in different time zones or different decades/centuries as long as they come together at the end with no lose strings. Go for it - done well it can be great!
     
  5. maskedhero
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    maskedhero Active Member

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    I like a story that brings together two disparate worlds and lives. Interesting stuff when they do intersect.
     
  6. Justin Rocket 2
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    Justin Rocket 2 Contributing Member

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    You need very clear clues -in the story- (as opposed to just chapter headings) within two sentences each time you change the primary camera. And those clues -can't- depend on secondary information (such as a secondary character speaking).
     
  7. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    I'm not sure I understand. I'm not swapping within the same chapter so it's quite clear the character and location is changing. That being said however, I've been going over my notes and the secondary plot may have to stand alone. It's way bigger than I remembered it being when I conceived the idea nearly a year ago.
     
  8. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    I don't see why it would be. There are plenty of books that follow multiple mcs in multiple locations. As long as their stories weave into the plot at large I think it's just fine. Like Wreybies said paint with broader strokes. If it's not relevant to the plot or character development don't focus on it.
     
  9. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    Like I said, after re-reading my outline, this thing is too much of a monster to weave into one work. It would end up being almost 70 chapters long if I tried. I could use broad strokes, but there's so much story I want to tell about the west coast character that it would kill me not to fully flesh it out if you know what I mean. That and the more I look at it, the secondary story is more of an info dump background related to the sequels MC which can technically stand on it's own as a detailed story revealing answers to some of the mystery surrounding that character after the first two parts are written.
     
  10. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    I had a big problem with:

    "Both have their own plots that are coming toward each other and will intersect at the beginning of the sequel..."

    Do you mean to say that basically your first volume is two plots, unrelated plots, until volume two? Suppose there never is a volume two, or the reader hasn't read/isn't going to read volume two? What's the sense in a novel that is only a warmer? How do you think you are going to get anyone interested in publishing this? How... I could go on, but you have got to realise that every single book has to be able to stand alone and make sense as a single novel.

    Also, re: "...there's so much story I want to tell about the west coast character that it would kill me not to fully flesh it out..."
    You have got to realise your reader is less connected to the character than you are, and does not need/want to know every detail.

    Oh, and of course, there can be such a thing as too much fancy plotting and too little characterisation/situation/feeling/description etc. The "plot" should not be the driving force for most genres--perhaps detective/mystery needs plot intricacies more than other types of novel.
     
  11. Nee
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    Nee Contributing Member

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    When I read, "Both have their own plots that are coming toward each other and will intersect at the beginning of the sequel..." I heard the failure buzzer going off in my head. No one will publish a novel like that. As Madhoca said, novels must be able to stand on their own. Make sure your main characters come together just in time to join forces at the climax to save the day.
     
  12. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    I hate that word "publish." I don't write to get published, nor do I have any aspirations of doing such a thing. That being said, I only care what readers think, i don't really care what publishers think.
     
  13. Mithrandir
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    Mithrandir Contributing Member

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    Publishers care what readers think. They care in the extreme since their survival depends on it.

    Publishers usually publish only what they think readers will read.
     
  14. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    That's a pretty sad commentary on today's reader then given the tripe that's coming off the presses.
     
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  15. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with Madhoca and Nee. If I was reading your novel (assuming it ever made it as far as a reader) then I would be pretty ticked off to read a story written in this way. When I buy a book, I want to read a complete story. In this instance, I would want to see the characters cross pathes, merge their individual stories into one, and then move on to the next point before reaching 'the end'.
     
  16. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    This is what I was thinking.

    I know it's difficult to narrow down how much you share about a character if you're deeply attached to them but it's a good idea to because sharing unnecessary details really bogs things down.

    Everything in moderation. Have balance in your writing and it will be much better. :)
     

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