1. wordwizard
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    wordwizard Contributing Member

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    Which Do You Like Best?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by wordwizard, Jul 3, 2007.

    I am writing a short story on a Natural disaster for a contest. I am not sure which way to go.

    a: drought- a healer can no longer cure any of the towns people of their ailments-because her crops have failed from the drought.All lives are in danger from dehydration, and lack of food. (still in the works)

    or

    b: A Tornadic Waterspout- A fleet of ships are at sea and are hit by a waterspout. Many things are done to try to avoid this spout, and attempts to contact land to warn against the impending disaster are useless. (still in the works as well)

    so tell me what ya think!
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I like the drought idea better, personally. Natural disasters have mostly been written in terms of large forces mobilizing to mitigate the impact of cataclysmic events.

    The drought story stands out more as an inexorable but silent threat, and you can focus more on how individual people deal with the disruption of everything they have known. Furthermore, it will resonate with people concerned about global warming.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...can't see how her crops failing could have any effect on her ability to heal, so i think this idea needs more thought... and whole towns of people don't really die of dehydration in a drought, as there would still be wells and supplies of water and other potables available locally, as well as coming in from other areas not affected by the drought... same goes for food...

    or

    since waterspouts appear and dissipate rather quickly, i don't know how 'many things' can be done to avoid them at sea... and as they don't usually continue on land, the warning bit doesn't seem too believable, either...

    as this has to be a short story, why don't you just focus on one small aspect of whichever disaster you prefer to write about, instead of the more expansive concepts you seem to have here?... such as, pick a single character to follow, as the disaster unfolds and show what they do and how it affects her/him...

    in deciding which you want to write, consider that a drought takes place over a long period of time and a waterspout is over in mere minutes... so, if you choose the former, you can only tell about a short period of time in that months or years-long event... and if you write about the sea disaster, you can encapsulate the entire thing in your story...

    bottom line?... either way can work, depending on how well you write it...
     
  4. Crazy Ivan
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    Crazy Ivan Contributing Member

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    Think of it this way: If this isn't set in modern times, and it's not set in magical times, then the healer probably relies on plants and herbs for her healing mixtures and remedies. If a drought comes, plants can't grow. If plants don't grow, she can't get enough of her usual herbs and whatnots to create her potions and suchwhat. Ergo, healing prowess diminished by a great amount.
     
  5. Domoviye
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    Domoviye Contributing Member

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    I think the boat idea could work. But instead of focusing on all the ships, center in on a single one. Its a short story, so keep it tightly focused.
     
  6. wordwizard
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    wordwizard Contributing Member

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    Yes your coreect Ivan the drought would be set in olden day times, and just a quick note: this story will be fantasy. So if the water spot doesnt dissipate quickly then thats ok lol. I agree domo that I should focus on one boat since it is a short story. Everything is still in the basic outline so I still need to do a lot of thinking of how each could play out. Thanks for all your input!
     
  7. Domoviye
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    Domoviye Contributing Member

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    A nasty enough storm can be a natural disaster. Even if the waterspouts, which are deadly for ships, don't reach land, the storm that spawns them could destroy a city.
    So you don't even need to worry about magic.
     
  8. wordwizard
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    wordwizard Contributing Member

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    true enough, but I just figured it would make it more exciting.
    Thanks again for your thoughts!
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    got it, ivan!... i wasn't thinking of herbs, was imagining a 'healer' who used only her innate 'powers'... not one needing plants and such...
     
  10. EyezForYou
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    EyezForYou Active Member

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    Why don't you write both?

    Can you?
     
  11. EyezForYou
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    EyezForYou Active Member

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    I like both.
     
  12. EyezForYou
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    EyezForYou Active Member

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    Both can be good.
     
  13. wordwizard
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    wordwizard Contributing Member

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    hmmm thats an interesting idea, but it is a short story and I am not sure it would be wise to use both.
     
  14. Crazy Ivan
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    Crazy Ivan Contributing Member

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    Ooh, EFY gave me a good idea- you can cut them together. Every few paragraphs, you could switch perspectives. It would make it easy to write- instead of going through all the boring filler, you could switch from one important part to the next- and if you were really good, you could find a way to present the irony of the situation: While one group needs more water, the other faces death from an excess.
     
  15. Novel Novice
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    Novel Novice Member

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    I'm a fan of choice A.

    To me, it is more of a story that "hits home" when a character runs out of the very thing s/he depends on to do whatever it is they do well. This way, the story can take many leads because it is out of the character's hands how they are going to alleviate the predicament they have found themselves, when usually they can figure a solution out no problem (but, of course, that can no longer be applicable since the crops have run out and the character must now find an alternate route---which way will she choose...?)
     

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