1. pacmansays
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    pacmansays Senior Member

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    Writing a book with little to no plot....

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by pacmansays, Feb 27, 2009.

    I don't know if anyone has read American Psycho but for those who have it's a great book which delves into the character's mind but with little of a plot going on...mainly because he life has become identical and his character lashes out against it...

    Anyway, I'm trying to do similar about an alternate version of me who never was encouraged to be creative but rather told not to and so resorts to expression in more violent means....

    But it's similar to American Psycho in the sense there is no overall plot but some events that occur throughout the piece...

    Any help on writing this would be grateful
     
  2. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Watch MASH. It doesn't have any one definable plot to tie all the squences together, other than being doctors in Korea, but it all fits together.
     
  3. Vayda
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    Vayda Senior Member

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    Since it's based on you, you might try to keep some kind of diary for a week or two. Write down what happens and try to capture the monotony of daily life, leave out the simple details that your creative mind uses to stay sane. Then you'll have an idea of how to keep your character going day by day, what they do, where they go, the routines you don't think of as routine.
     
  4. pacmansays
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    pacmansays Senior Member

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    Yeah Vayda that sounds like a good idea, i had been keeping a journal and it did seem oddly psychopathic what details I kept and what ones i didn't

    also, thanks for the routine part....I forgot a character in this scenario often needs routine....


    I do have a somewhat of a plot where the character's life fulls apart around him and he destroys it a little too....

    lol getting some ideas now
     
  5. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    A book without a plot can be hard to manage. Plot is often what helps attach the reader to a character, and the character's development often keeps them reading. But it's not unmanageable. Starship Trooper's by Robert Heinlein has no plot really, or at least, none that really provides any real excitement or character development. Even the story line is barely there. But the book is still a good read. I'm not really sure how he did it but it is possible to write a pretty good read without a plot.
     
  6. pacmansays
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    pacmansays Senior Member

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    Yeah, I wanted to set up many elements in the characters life and slowly they dissolve and collapse around him causing him to lash out...
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Other inspirational works:

    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter Thompson.
    Sienfeld TV series.

    By the way, the absence of a distinct central plot does not mean there is no storyline, or that there are no plots. You may want to look at this thread, What is Plot Creation and Development?
     
  8. Vayda
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    Vayda Senior Member

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    lols at Seinfeld. It's a show about nothing!
     
  9. Atari
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    Atari Active Member

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    The only things I can think of that will keep a book interesting if its plot is very simple or very little, is entertaining characters and witty dialogue.

    My book WILL have a plot, but I want that to be secondary to interesting characters.
     
  10. Munk
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    Munk New Member

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    where you've no plot, the character and their reaction to experiences is vital. Because you don't have events or a future resolution to carry the reader, it has to be the experiences that keep them turning pages.
     
  11. pacmansays
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    pacmansays Senior Member

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    Yeah, like I have quite a few events in my head but they don't sequence together into a main plot, though I want the character to eventually have his life destroyed partly by him, partly by others.

    The only problem i'm having is how to plan writing this book when i have no overall plot to keep to. Though I have the ending planned.
     
  12. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Check out the Canadian show Corner gas. It's really about nothing. It takes place in a tiny rural town in Saskachewan.
     
  13. Phelan
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    Phelan Member

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    That'll be your plot then.

    Overly complicated plots can actually be a bind; some of the most successful books have simple plots. That's not the meat, the real work is in character creation, sub-plots, episodic events, etc.. Too many people feel that a plotline has to be very complex and interwoven. It's a book about a man who suddenly develops x-ray vision and he discovers a plot to kill the Queen but then his wife turns out to be a Russian double agent who kidnaps his mother (a famous scientist who has discovered a cure for cancer but has been paid off by the Government to keep it quiet) and when the army find out they try to kill him because she framed him for a conspiracy but unwittingly they end up helping a small Palestian militia export eagles for meat.

    You don't need all that; what you have is fine. Your biggest challenge is to write it well in an original way. The 'life falls apart and character self destructs' thing has been done so many times it'll take a lot of work to make yours different.
     
  14. pacmansays
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    pacmansays Senior Member

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    Well the ending is with his entire life being destroyed and the whole book it slowly falls apart, but in the end due to it being self-destructed he finally can begin it again
     
  15. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Seinfeld might be a show about life, but every episode had a plot. One or more of the main character's have a goal, and they strive to reach it. Or rather, I should say each episode had at least two plots overlapping each other.

    This was even the case in Mash, from the few episodes I watched.

    I guess my point is, if the MC doesn't desire something, it might not draw people in.

    I haven't read American Psycho, but I can bet the MC desired something and tried to obtain it.
     

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