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  1. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    World building problem *warning: A bit long!*

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Link the Writer, Sep 24, 2009.

    My first topic! Let's see how it'll go down... (Oh, and if it's in the wrong place, feel free to move it. In fact, I think it is in the wrong place.)

    OK, where do I begin?

    I've had an interesting idea rummaging in my head for a good while. It's a historical-fiction mystery series...but I have problems. Namely I can't decide which period would be best for the story and the main character himself, I don't know where to put him. (nevermind the fact that he's blind and everything's from his POV, but that I can handle)

    I've got two time periods in my mind: Colonial America or 1850s Alabama. To better sort it out, I'll turn it into a list-type thing.

    COLONIAL AMERICA:
    > The main character is a French orphan named Aimon (His English name is Amos) who lives in a tavern.
    > I can have a Patriot/Loyalist angle, so that's good.
    > Whenever I think of them, they're walking around in Colonial-style clothings doing Colonial things, so maybe that's a sign that it should be in Colonial America?
    > How many stories have there been about the Revolution? Countless! Also, I can already see a cliched "Choose Your Side" story because of the patriot/loyalist angle.
    > I'm kinda sick of reading about nothing but the Revolution.

    1850s ALABAMA
    > It's in a time of peace, America's a nation, so that's good.
    > The main character is a Mexican orphan named Miguel who was rescued from the Mexican War (Or his family fled from there when it happened)
    > He lives with the Maywalkers in their plantation.
    > Only problem is, I have a decade to work with before America splits into Civil War.
    > Another problem is that instead of the patriot/loyalist angle, I have the pro/anti slavery thing and I do not want to explore that.
    > I do like the name "Miguel".
    > I live in Alabama and have books about Alabama in the 1850s.

    That's my big problem. I love both time periods to death, so I can't pick out the best one. If I do one of them, the other one begs for my attention. I once asked this on another forum and some suggested I have it all set in a different place entirely, like Russia or the Ottoman Empire. I do find that interesting, but I'm not sure I want to do it.

    What should I do? :(

    P.S. If you want me to clarify some more, let me know and I'll be glad to help.

    EDIT: The biggest problem I have is that although it's just historical fiction, I can't help but try being 100% as accurate as possible, and it's cramping my writing.
     
  2. Kas
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    Kas Contributing Member

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    I'm sorry, but this strikes me as a form of procrastination, something I am also guilty of from time to time. . .

    You probably already know which story you'd like to write the most. If not, flip a coin, I guess. . . Or write both of them. Or write something else entirely. I think the best thing you can do for yourself is to simply make a decision and start working on an actual project, rather than brainstorming endlessly.

    And if you're really not sure where to post a writing-issues-related thread, General Writing is usually a pretty safe bet. You'll notice it's one of the more active forums.;)
     
  3. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I haven't really thought of that. Interesting. Think I should move this over there instead?

    Sheesh, my first topic and I put it in the wrong place. XD
     
  4. tonten
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    tonten Senior Member

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    I've read that some people here, when they start working on one idea, in the middle of that idea, they decide to scrap it and go with the other.

    You will never know which idea is better until you actually start writing it. The planning/developing/thinking process is very different when you start putting everything to words.

    And if you do decide to scrap one idea after getting into it, you would have gained, not lost from investing your time into it.

    How would you have gained?

    Your writing gets more developed as you write more.
    You will finally toe some sort of conclusion this may not be the one you want to write.
    Writing will give you more insight into your world than just sitting around thinking/planning it.
     
  5. luckyprophet
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    luckyprophet Member

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    By the whole story here, it looks like (to me) that you have two characters, and two stories; in my view, you should think about develop them both. (Maybe not at the same time ...)

    You seem to like better the Colonial America story. So, maybe, begin from this one, but it's just an idea.

    ANOTHER idea would be (once you like the name of the second story), to put the two characters in the same story. I don't know how possible this is, what of the story you have developed already (not much, it seems?), but, well, if you can make them both to be in the same place ... or even,

    A THIRD IDEA, the second place could be a sequence of the first. I write in different times, and there's always some sort of relation between two characters. I have Roman soldiers founding colonies in parts of the empire where, later, there will be a medievalic burg with another name, an ancient history, and old families of Roman origin, with contemporanized names ...
    ~ Well that's me. What are you?

    Parvo


     
  6. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I see. That's interesting. Make two mystery stories one in Colonial America and one in the 1850s.

    Hmmm...I don't want them to sound too similar...*Makes some edits*

    So what you mean is...maybe what Aimon does in the Colonial American stories, Miguel can draw up from that nearly 80 years later for his mysteries in 1850? Now THAT, I never considered. :)
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    If they are the same story, then choose the setting that works best for the story. Otherwise, write them as two separate stories.

    I'm not sure what other answer you would expect. Writers have to make choices and live with them.
     
  8. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Thanks for the advices. I realized it was just procrastination and chose a time period. 1850s it is.
     
  9. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Alabama will probably be more realistic since you live there.

    Hell, if all else fails, you can make the MC a time traveler. lol. Maybe when he falls asleep, he wakes up as Aimon in Colonist America, but when he falls asleep there, he wakes up as Miguel in Alabama. What dream is his real life? That is part of the mystery. Yeah, I am a sci-fi nerd.
     
  10. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Yeah, that'll be kinda hard to explain. XD

    I think I like the 1850s now and I just love the name Miguel. :D

    I do like the idea, however, that Aimon's story and Miguel's story are in the same universe, just 80 years apart. I can tie things up rather nicely.
     
  11. talieseen
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    talieseen Member

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    Sounds like you have a similar problem as I do. Like Architectus I'm a sci-fi/fantasy buff, so for my three time periods that I am interested in I've decided that there are a number of things that I can use to tie them together.

    1) There is 1 character that is not a main character, more of a sideline character, young in the first story, very old in the last one. This supporting character knows both the main characters and their stories.

    and/or

    2) Something the first main character did was heroic and went down into history. The second character has learned all about his/her life and how to live by following this historical figure, or by trying to rally against this figure and their causes.

    and/or

    3) The first main character was an ancestor of the second, and the second's life now is affected by what the first did.

    and/or

    4) Getting sci-fi here now, the second main character is a reincarnation of the first, with full memories of the first which they discover over time as their story progresses. At times the two lives become blurred, which ends up with this being 2 stories in 1 essentially.
     
  12. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Question: Would I have to write out the Aimon mystery series FIRST before tackling the Miguel series just so it makes sense or can I write them interchangeably?
     
  13. talieseen
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    talieseen Member

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    Personally.. I'm writing both of mine at the same time. I have a habit of getting bored easily with a subject and either going way too far in depth with it, or completely changing course midway through. So, as long as I know that Cause A will lead to Effect B, it doesn't matter if I write B or A first.
     
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