1. 33percent
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    33percent Member

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    What is a good plot to you?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by 33percent, Sep 24, 2013.

    I started writing my small sci-fi story, when I was bored in the library. Since then I've managed to write almost 30 chapters with 3k-4k words per chapter, and made a 180 what it's was about. I want to know what you writers consider as a good plot?

    What I am aiming for it to be a soft sci-fi, because it is aimed more social, political, and culutural. The whole point of me writing this story is to give a reader an indirect moral point of the story. Then again I want to keep the readers guessing, distracted and emotionally attached. I have the main plot down like the core, just everything intertwined from character development, sub/twists plots having trouble with. I'm writing as I go or think of ideas on the spot like having a wild card imagination. I feel if I plan it out, it will conflict with my imagination, and creativity.

    The whole plot being briefly stated from start, middle, and end like a movie in my head screaming to get out. I have the main parts played out in my head, just not the little things which makes whole thing bonds. I feel that what's missing. Alot of times I feel it is getting more tense, I have the ending but don't really know how to get there. Personally looking at my brief plot, I want to sabatoge it logically. What is wrong with it? does it only make sense to me? Just wondering because should I be more worried what the readers think? or how I feel what is best?
     
  2. DeathandGrim
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    DeathandGrim Contributing Member

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    Any plot can be good depending on how it's told. Final Fantasy 8 couldn't have had a simpler plot but it's the only one I go back and replay. I think similar to you, I have a theater of the mind and it creates the stories for me and it's fun. But eventually (if you reached my point) you're gonna start forgetting things and wished you wrote them down.

    A suggestion would be to write down the major events in order, from there write the major events that connect those major events. Now write the minor details that connect those major events that connect those major events.

    Anyway for your question you should write out your story how you feel best at first the edit it. Giving in to what your readers think would sabotage the story YOU want to tell. Of course take in consideration suggestions you feel would help but you should be the final say in your tale.
     
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  3. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    My first recommendation is to write in complete and intelligible sentences, bud. Sentences and fragmented sentences may pan out well in our heads, but on screen, they don't always flow well. Sometimes they don't make sense with missing words or missing letters. ;)

    Next, I would say make a scene map of all the major scenes that relate to the plot and the story arc (in order on a sort of timeline). Then think about the best ways to connect each scene as it applies to the core plot (and main character arc, if there is one). Only after that, would I start filling in subplots and weaving them in. It is meticulous, but it will give you a framework/skeleton. After that, just write the damn thing and let it be what it is. Only after the first draft would I recommend going back for edits, unless you like to edit as you go--I just find it can be distracting and may be pointless if you remove certain scenes.

    You say planning may stifle your imagination. I will argue that if plan it out you may become more inspired as the entire work begins to take on a fuller form. It becomes more tangible. Beyond that, you're only creating a skeleton that helps you keep your mind together. Now for the caveat: If you don't do the first step (planning) and just write it, it is easy to run off chapter after chapter of stuff happening with no clear connection or order. I would know, I've done just that. I got to about 300 pages of drivel. Not saying it's all worthless, but with all the inconsistencies that inevitably rose, I figured It'd be easier to plan things out a bit more, establish the core, build the skeleton, and then go at it fresh (and with new skills).

    No matter what the plot is good writing will be read. There are many plots out there and all of them have been done to death. What is important is telling your story, telling it originally, and telling it WELL. A good plot does not make a good story. Its the story telling that makes the plot worth reading (or rereading).
     
  4. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    But that's just me, do what you want ;)
     
  5. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I don't understand - what is your question?

    And personally, just write it. You aren't even finished yet. There's no point worrying at this point. If you worried about the readers, are you going to change your plot? No. So just write. And if you wanna sabotage the plot, then save as it under a different file name, and write the alternate endings in two separate files. It's double the amount of work, but then you're not losing anything should the alternate ending go pear-shaped and you ask yourself "WHY did I do this to myself?" lol.

    As for what makes a good plot, that is almost irrelevant. A good plot alone isn't enough to make a good book. You have to execute it well with good writing, and bring it to life with good characters. For me, I love a bit of mystery in any genre. Anyway, if you're a good enough story-teller, any plot could be made interesting.
     
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  6. 33percent
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    33percent Member

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    Basically how well the story is written/told it dosen't has to be a twister and all a plot is just a route from start to finish. I have the major events down, but filling it with the minor detail or subplots is what I'm having trouble with. I feel like it's pretty straight forward. Majority of my book is filled with adventure,action thriller type of book. I do have a arc, but it takes the MC going into the far future. First two chapters take place in our present time, and rest in the far future(Sci-fi). With characters, I've been using people's personalities in real life asking myself what they will do and conflict of the situation rises.

    Yeah today, I started to map out the plot, and with scences think of it like setting it up for a movie? Bought some basic ABC books on novel writing. Started to notice there was holes in my story that did not make sense. I have the basic foundation of the concept down but making it fluid is what I'm not getting down. I have to admit I have came a long ways writing it.
     
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  7. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    Improvement is always good. Congratulations on where you've come so far. Never stop learning. There is always more that you can discover, always more that you can be. There is always more to life than we can experience, so we must take in as much as we can with open arms and an open mind--especially as writers, whose aim is to recreate the world in one form or another.

    I would also say that I hope your sentences make more sense in your novel than they do here. There are a few missing words here that make me believe English might not be your first language. Otherwise you are running off your thoughts without editing. (Have I got it right? lol)
    When it comes to filling the story with subplots, those are things you'll have to workout for yourself. Choose a couple of good things that will add layers to the story. Don't add a subplot that won't, in someway, affect the core plot. There will have to be scenes at which they intersect. Subplots work best, in my opinion, when they are related to character arc and character development, but I would say use whatever the story needs. If the subplot has something to do with gov't (for example) and not characters in particular, make it important to the story at large. How to transition between major scenes is up to you. Perhaps you could think about "scene and sequel" writing, once you have identified all of your plot holes.

    Hope this helps, good luck!
     
  8. graphospasm
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    graphospasm Senior Member

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    It's important to remember the differences between a character-driven story and a plot-driven story, just as it's important to be cognizant of how your story in particular is driven. Are your characters simply reacting to things the world/author/plot throws at them, or are your characters creating the plot themselves by virtue of their choices and the sheer value of their presence? I find that the latter often produces a story with a more natural flow of events. If you're having problems "creating" a plot, try allowing your characters to drive the plot themselves and see what happens.

    Handy Measuring Stick: If you can exchange one of your characters for another with no change to the overall storyline/plot, you probably have a more plot-driven story on your hands than you do a character-driven story. Of course, there are plenty of entirely plot-driven stories out there that are absolutely wonderful, but there's something remarkable about a well done character-driven work... :)
     
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  9. 33percent
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    33percent Member

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    I just got done doing a 24 hour shift, running off my thoughts without editing. I'll do some more brainstorming on sub-plots just don't have the energy to think at the moment. As for character or plot driven story, it's more on plot driven. I do have the plot thrown MC, forcing him to act but later on he does make choices that changes the course of the plot in a major way. I can exchange the MC/other character's out the story, and there will be still be a war breaking out, political turmoil etc.. in the story.
     
  10. mrieder79
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    mrieder79 Not a ground squirrel

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    I am confused. Have you written 90-120K words without having an underlying plot? From the sounds of things, you have written a lot, as much as many full novels. I would use what has already transpired in your story as a guide to the future. Think of how the characters you have created will handle the situation so far and how their actions will progress it to its climax.
     
  11. JayG
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    JayG Banned Contributor

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    • Alot of times I feel it is getting more tense, I have the ending but don't really know how to get there.

    Forgive me, I mean no insult. But if you don't have a handle on that, how can you make every scene contribute to the rising tension that drives the reader to stay with you?

    There is a structure to the construction of fiction. It consists of units of rising tension we call scenes. And each scene has elements that contribute to that pattern. We can't simply follow the protagonist around with a pad and pencil, recording their actions, because that's a chronicle, not a story. Every line in your story must either develop character, set the scene, or move the plot (hopefully, doing more than one of them at a time). But how can we do that if we don't understand the basics of creating a scene that will make the reader feel as if they're experiencing the action? How will we know how to achieve a balance between melodrama and boredom by regulating the tension?

    You may be a great storyteller, famous among your circle of friends for your abilities. But that helps not at all on the page because none of your storytelling skills are available on the printed page. They're performance skills, and words on the page can't reproduce them. As we tell a story, we watch the audience and modify our presentation to fit the audience. But that's not available on the page.

    What I'm getting at is that with a bit of craft under your belt, and a better understanding of what the reader reacts to—and what they hate—you can tailor your presentation to best effect, and more easily get to where you want to be.

    For example, here's an article on how to present point of view and make the reader feel they're experiencing it. If it makes sense you may want to look into the book the author got the idea from.
     
  12. LegendsTheFour
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    LegendsTheFour Member

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    Something unique. I mean you can have all kind of magical creatures in it such as elves, dwarves, dragons, but make them special. The Elves lived in the woods. The Dwarves conquered the mountains and the Dragons roamed the sky. That is very stereotypical. Sure, have your elves living in the woods, have your dwarves in the mountains, but there got to be something special with them. Make it interesting and unique.

    It also gotta be original. People can easily tell when something has a very big influence from other works. George was a wizard. He had a wand and went to a school for wizards. Harry Potter much, ey?

    Hope it helped!
     
  13. Morgan Willows
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    Morgan Willows Member

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    Well first, I think you should get some sleep. That's a very long shift to just come off from and start writing without any cooldown in between. Taking a break to rest, maybe have some coffee/tea/cocoa or something, will help to give you more room in your brain to think about plot instead of all the stuff that's been going on during your shift.

    Second, don't worry about whether it's a good plot or not. If you like it and it feels consistent, I'd say plow on ahead.
    Is it the plot you want to write? If it is, you're good! Keep writing!
    Is it a plot that feels like it makes sense in its own reality? If it does, you're good! Keep writing!
    It really doesn't matter if it's "good" or not; there's really no such thing as an objectively good plot since everyone has different tastes, preference for a particular plot is entirely subjective. Consistency and enjoyability are the important things. If you like it, chances are that other people will too, the story will find it's own audience of folks who'll enjoy it. If the plot is consistent within the story's reality, people will get absorbed in reading the story, making it even more enjoyable for them. Those two things will make it a "good" plot.

    I am pretty familiar with having gaps to fill in, though. You may want to try a mind mapper to help you plan and connect events. The program Freeplane was recently recommended to me by another forum member and it's been incredibly helpful for both of those tasks.
     
  14. 33percent
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    33percent Member

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    I have main idea, the core of what I want my story to be about, and with the theme and setting. I'm just making it up as I go as if I'm doing a role playing story. I enjoy reading terribleminds such as this article, #3

    http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2011/06/20/25-things-you-should-know-about-writing-a-novel/

    Also someone suggested a mind mapper like http://www.mindmeister.com ?

    I have no clue where it's going to take me, but I know the end. I just don't want to spend years writing, and I know I have to be patient to get it right. I started to do alot of subplot brainstorming, and researching organizing for a better plot like using a spreadsheet. Basically the plot is the vehicle, and it's how/where the characters drive that vehicle that drives the story.
     
  15. bpress54
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    bpress54 New Member

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    To me a good plot is one that keeps me turning the pages to find out what's going to happen next, and one that is not easily figured out. And whoever said you should learn to write in complete sentences is correct. Oh, and a lot is not one word.
     

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