1. cyruseli
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    cyruseli New Member

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    Where to go from here?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by cyruseli, Apr 22, 2010.

    I am in the process of writing my first ever full length novel. I've written lots of short stories that I am happy with (okay, three that I am actually happy with, and lots of bad ones), but I want to write something with some length to it. My minimum goal is 200 pages in microsoft word single spaced, which would be a lot more pages in novel size.

    Anyways, I have been writing chapter outlines for each chapter before I do any actual writing. I've never done it this way before but it is a really awesome to be able to get everything laid out before putting a lot of time into writing. The problem I'm coming up with is where to go from where I am at. I have characters figured out I just don't know how to resolve the conflict. So I thought maybe if I post a super short chapter outline here I could get some brainstorming of what endings you might see.

    The story is called Veils, is a horror story, and is written with each chapter being from a different character's perspective trading off between the protagonist and antagonist until a third character is introduced later. So here goes...

    1 - A "monster" awakens within the antagonist as he makes his first kill
    2 - The protagonist does a lot of inward thinking after a date with yet another girl he cares a lot for, but knows will go nowhere.
    3 - The inward thinking antagonist chapter, pretty much. Shows that he can go to work and maintain a perfectly normal existence amongst the public while harboring horrible thoughts and committing terrible things.
    4 - Not necessarily important to the plot but builds up the protagonist.
    5 - The antagonist can't go another night without killing again, so he stalks someone at a bar until they leave. He starts to notice that sometimes people will just plainly do whatever he tells them too. There is a hint of something supernatural about the character, though it is not clear (to the reader) if it is all in his head or reality.
    6 - 6 and 7 tell the same events through each character's eyes, starting with the protagonist. It involves him being introduced to a girl at the same bar that the antagonist followed someone home from the night before. Usually the protagonist has a bad time with women, falling too fast and holding back his feelings in order to not scare them away. But he feels very comfortable being himself with this girl.
    7 - The antagonist watches and can see there is something different about the protagonist (again, might all be in his head) and becomes obsessed with him. He was also only at the bar to see if he would get caught from the night before, which he doesn't, building his sense of supernatural power.
    8 - The protagonist, up to this point, is essentially the opposite of the antagonist, but they both act differently to blend in. The protagonist tones down his feelings of falling for every girl he meets and genuinely wanting to treat customers well at his crappy job so that his co-workers don't think he's weird, while the antagonist has to act like a saint in public so no one suspects he is a monster. After meeting this girl, the protagonist cannot hide his true self. He asks her on a date at the end of the chapter.
    9 - This chapter throws everything off, as it is the girl's chapter. It will go through her past, mostly just to build her character.
    10 - The antagonist is sure there is something supernatural about the protagonist, and cannot stop thinking about him. He stops going to work and basically goes on a killing spree, never once being caught, building even more his sense of power. During one of his stake outs for his next victim he sees the girl from the bar and decides he has to use her as bait in order to get to the protagonist.
    11 - Put simply, the romantic date chapter between the protagonist and his love interest.

    The problem, now, is knowing where to go from here. I know I want the antagonist and protagonist to meet soon, but it would seem out of character for the protagonist to be able to win any sort of confrontation at this point. The only idea I have is for him to get really angry after not being able to get a hold of the girl (her being kidnapped by the antagonist and all) and thinks that all hope is lost in his life. Maybe in his rage he buys a gun, and can show the antagonist just how human he is when they finally do meet? That's just off the top of my head.

    Also I'm just jotting all of that down from my actual chapter notes, which are much more detailed, so worry not, there is an actual story going on here with exciting parts and whatnot, haha, I realize that outline makes it look a little dry.

    Sorry for the long post, but any other ideas on how I can wrap this up would be great. I have such a problem coming up with endings :(
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    mss are not measured by page count... only by word count... and your ms should be double-spaced, have 80-100k words, to fit most publishers' preference... you can email me for a ms format guide, so you'll turn out a submittable piece of work...

    i can't help you with plotting for two reasons... 1. i don't help with work that has any violent content... and 2. imo, if one wants to be a writer, one must come up with one's own plot ideas and not have others do it for them...
     
  3. cyruseli
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    cyruseli New Member

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    Hmm, I was just looking for suggestions, probably wouldn't use any one straight out but it might get the brain juices flowing. Ah well.

    Anyway, I'd love to see the ms format guide!
     
  4. alexwebb
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    alexwebb Member

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    I don't know if everyone's like this, but when I try plan something out it all goes to hell after starting the first chapter. Once it develops I get better ideas and chuck the plan away. The best way to get inspiration is to start in in my opinion.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    That';s why my roadmap is in my head instead of on paper. As I write, the path to the finish changes as new subplots arise. As this happens, the roadmap shifts in my head, but I don't have to change a plan document.

    But I never stop thinking about how the changes I make alter the flow of the story.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    email me and i'll send it to you... or just google wm shunn...
     
  7. Mila
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    Mila Member

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    I usually only do a vague outline because I know it will change as I go along. I do keep stuff on paper so i don't go off on wild tangents that have nothing to do with the story though - more like guidelines to the plot than actual rules :)
    I wouldn't worry too much about how the conflict is going to be resolved at this stage. Start writing, and you might find it comes to you like one of those cartoon lightbulb-above-head moments, and then you'll be ridiculously chuffed at your own cleverness and how everything so far has pointed to that resolution. :D
     
  8. cyruseli
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    cyruseli New Member

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    Yeah, I didn't mean to make this outline sound like the end-all-be-all of my story, just points that I know I want to hit at roughly that time in the story. Plus I've always worked well from lists and outlines, like, if I know what work is ahead of me I enjoy plugging away at it until its finished.

    I think your suggestion at the end there is probably what I will go with. Knowing myself, I will definitely be amazed at my own genius in the end, haha
     
  9. Deevra
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    Deevra Member

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    Here's a thought, have your antagonist unable to kill the protagonist in their first encounter. Maybe have him stride right up to him, have the knife in his hands, and be unable to do the job. Also, perhaps the protaganist can negate the effect the antagonist has on people. They start to pay attention and scream, forcing the antag to flee.
     
  10. Ninetails666
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    Ninetails666 New Member

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    This sounds like an awesome story so you're going to need an awesome ending.... maybe the antag can well, kidnap the girl duh, but have the protag be coming in the room as the antag is trying to kidnap her. So then he'd know who the antag is so he can know who he's going to kill. After that happens the protag gets knocked out by the antag, not being the right time for them to fight, and the antag left a message saying where the girl while be at this time and day. Now the protag has to save the girl and kill the antag at the same time. Kinda sounds like a Batman movie....but I'm sure you can spice it up :D

    Hope this kinda helped -^-^-
     

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