1. Wayjor Frippery
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    Wayjor Frippery Contributing Member

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    You're a shit writer if you plot by committee!

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Wayjor Frippery, Jul 25, 2016.

    So I thought we could make a plot by committee. :)

    There's this thing called Save the Cat – it causes some to rejoice and some to retch. It['s a book – Google it. It] sets out fifteen beats which together constitute a plot outline. There's an opening image (setting up the beginning of the story arc) and a closing image (which shows... you guessed it).

    I've set out the beats below and filled in the opening image. If you feel like playing, copy and paste them and add a beat of your own.

    When it's done, maybe one of us will write it...


    1) Opening Image: An alcoholic oil tanker captain shoots his cantankerous first mate with a flare gun.

    2) Theme Stated:

    3) Set-up:

    4) Catalyst:

    5) Debate:

    6) Break into Two:

    7) B Story:

    8) Fun and Games:

    9) Midpoint:

    10) Bad Guys Close In:

    11) All is Lost:

    12) Dark Night of the Soul:

    13) Break into Three:

    14) Finale

    15) Closing Image:
     
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  2. FireWater
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    FireWater Active Member

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    I prefer the 9-part structure laid out by Larry Brooks on his website "Story Fix." :)
     
  3. SethLoki
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    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    Thought, oo yes, gave my fingers a de-rsi wriggle, hit keyboard, pasted in the 15 pts in the reply box and then went—blank. I was going to tag something to 'theme stated' , but then I recalled there's a whole thread on here somewhere where theme is discussed/debated in great detail by more revered souls than I. A thread I shamefully only skim-read. And now feel painfully under-qualified in my understanding of such subject. To which end I may denigrate this shit writer thread if I partake—couldn't coax ma mojo man. Sorry 4 now.
     
  4. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    1) Opening Image: An alcoholic oil tanker captain shoots his cantankerous first mate with a flare gun.

    2) Theme Stated: Revenge is sweet... then bitter.

    3) Set-up:

    4) Catalyst:

    5) Debate:

    6) Break into Two:

    7) B Story:

    8) Fun and Games:

    9) Midpoint:

    10) Bad Guys Close In:

    11) All is Lost:

    12) Dark Night of the Soul:

    13) Break into Three:

    14) Finale

    15) Closing Image:
     
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  5. Wayjor Frippery
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    Wayjor Frippery Contributing Member

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    Oh, only Tender's come to play :( [sad face that no one else has come; not sad face for Tender!]. We're lonely in here, just the two of us...

    I'll do another one, in the middle...


    1) Opening Image: An alcoholic oil tanker captain shoots his cantankerous first mate with a flare gun.

    2) Theme Stated: Revenge is sweet... then bitter.

    3) Set-up:

    4) Catalyst:

    5) Debate:

    6) Break into Two:

    7) B Story:

    8) Fun and Games:

    9) Midpoint: A Story – The alcoholic captain agrees to ship narcotics in return for clearing his dodgy record. B Story – His daughter turns out to be the drug cartel's logistics manager.

    10) Bad Guys Close In:

    11) All is Lost:

    12) Dark Night of the Soul:

    13) Break into Three:

    14) Finale

    15) Closing Image:
     
  6. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    (Psst: It might be because I have no idea what 'set-up' means and I'm probably not the only one.)

    I can't write out of order, even an outline. It hurts my little soul. :D
     
  7. Wayjor Frippery
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    Wayjor Frippery Contributing Member

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    (Psst: It doesn't matter. This is a silly game. Go with whatever you think it means. :D)
     
  8. SethLoki
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    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    'tis the nomenclature and unfamiliarity; 'Save the Cat' is new to me (rhyme unintentional). I've got catalyst covered I think—in my head I'm hearing the word trigger. So...

    ) Opening Image: An alcoholic oil tanker captain shoots his cantankerous first mate with a flare gun.

    2) Theme Stated: Revenge is sweet... then bitter.

    3) Set-up:

    4) Catalyst: The new captain, celebrating promotion and hiding his prior drink problem cedes to an offer of 'just one whisky' from the ship's persuasive owner.

    5) Debate:

    6) Break into Two:

    7) B Story:

    8) Fun and Games:

    9) Midpoint: A Story – The alcoholic captain agrees to ship narcotics in return for clearing his dodgy record. B Story – His daughter turns out to be the drug cartel's logistics manager.

    10) Bad Guys Close In:

    11) All is Lost:

    12) Dark Night of the Soul:

    13) Break into Three:

    14) Finale

    15) Closing Image:


    (psst. there's an ocean line up for an on the rocks (paradox) finale for the taking now.)
     
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  9. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    1) Opening Image: An alcoholic oil tanker captain shoots his cantankerous first mate with a flare gun.

    2) Theme Stated: People do stupid shit when they're drunk

    3) Set-up: Tanked (sorry, tanker) captain buys a flare gun, then gets drunk (totally blootered)

    4) Catalyst: First mate approaches captain, making cantankerous statements

    5) Debate: "Captain. You're drunk. I'm taking over the ship." "You and hooose army...? (flare)"

    6) Break into Two: ...Committee takes over; original writer buggers off

    7) B Story:

    8) Fun and Games:

    9) Midpoint:

    10) Bad Guys Close In:

    11) All is Lost:

    12) Dark Night of the Soul:

    13) Break into Three:

    14) Finale

    15) Closing Image:
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2016
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  10. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    The opening image you've provided is—looking at the spirit of STC beats—more of a catalytic moment. What the opening image is supposed to show is what life is like before the story starts. But, for the sake of playing along, I'll interpret your opening image while keeping with the spirit of STC.

    I'm seeing that the captain has not only killed before, but makes a habit of it (normal life before the story). He may even have notched his flare gun for each first mate he's killed. He's got twelve notches after the opening image. Further, all this killing implies he's not working for a legitimate oil company (What company would put up with such behaviour?) therefore he must be captain of a rogue or pirate tanker.

    But now I have to wonder, is the captain the MC? What can you possibly teach a man who uses such tactics against his own crew? Nothing. This guy's the villain. And that leads me to the idea that the MC is the person hired to be the new first mate. Worse, he's the captain's thirteenth first mate (remember the twelve notches on the captain's flare gun?)

    The new first mate is gonna be the guy with the most challenges to face and that makes the plot goal a no-brainer: how does the new first mate survive a sea voyage when he finds out his ruthless captain is triskaidekaphobic (afraid of the number 13)?

    With all that in mind, the closing image (which is supposed to mirror the opening image) would see the first mate has displaced the captain and when he's handed the flare gun, rather than shooting someone with it, (and this is just off the top of my head) he uses it to light a cigar.
     
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  11. Wayjor Frippery
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    Wayjor Frippery Contributing Member

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    A Save the Cat crib sheet to help the game along...

    1) Opening Image: [The situation before the story begins]

    2) Theme Stated: [see other threads for endless discussions about what this means]

    3) Set-up: [Introduce the main characters]

    4) Catalyst: [An inciting incident that derails the MC]

    5) Debate: [The bit where the MC debates doing the thing that makes the story happen]

    6) Break into Two: [The bit where the MC decides to do the thing that makes the story happen]

    7) B Story: [Typically some kind of love story, but whatever...]

    8) Fun and Games: [MC dicks about in light of new circumstances]

    9) Midpoint: [An apparently good thing happens, usually involving both main and B stories]

    10) Bad Guys Close In: [The MC gradually runs out of options until...]

    11) All is Lost: [the shit hits the fan – mentors die, lovers are jilted, options are exhausted]

    12) Dark Night of the Soul: [MC wallows in it, on the verge of giving up, until...]

    13) Break into Three: [MC has a bright idea (synthesising all that's gone before, usually with the help of the B story) and...]

    14) Finale: [MC whips baddie's arse, wins boy/girl/crystal/case/first prize in a synchronized goldfish eating display]

    15) Closing Image: [shows the corollary of the opening image – the change the story provoked]

    For a tragedy, switch around the good/bad bits.

    Happy plotting... :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2016
  12. Wayjor Frippery
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    Wayjor Frippery Contributing Member

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    Puts your beats where your mouth is @Sack-a-Doo! ;)

    Copy and paste, copy and paste, copy and paste...

    We want fifteen beats all lined up in a nice neat column – just like the Hollywood folk.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2016
  13. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    According to your OP:

    Nothing was said implying that the beat I add has to be the next one available, so I added the last one.
     
  14. Wayjor Frippery
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    Wayjor Frippery Contributing Member

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    @Sack-a-Doo!, I said...
    You can fill in any beat(s) you like but copy and paste the beats, Sacky, like Tender, jannert and Sethi...

    Then the next person copies and pastes, until the beat sheet's complete.

    :)
     
  15. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ah! So, I was off the leash. You're not the first to point it out. ;)
     
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  16. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh @wayjor, you're working so hard, darling...tell me what to do, I'll play, tho powers are weak tonight, hence no two boot entry, parachute. ;)
     
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  17. Wayjor Frippery
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    Wayjor Frippery Contributing Member

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    No, it was only a bit of fun, a load of old tosh really. Tell us a story, Matty, any old thing will do, even a sentence, about a squiffy sea captain, and I'll be made right up.

    :)
     
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  18. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    From The Origins Of Spencer [draft fail, chapter 2]

    In the Master’s cabin of the brig Syphilia, Clementis sat on a stool and stitched the seat of her new husband’s undercanvas. The Master himself lay on the bed, camped a beauty king, figure fit for any artist of the period, his flesh a roast belly of Zeus wrapped in a pressed buttoned blazer. Personally, he relished the freedom of the window’s breeze across his bare rump and tanned ankle.

    ‘Husband?’

    ‘Very good, my wife,’ he said.

    ‘Our dream of canvas in the winds. Our escape with the elements upon an ark of fortune so stirs the heart, yet at times I…’

    ‘My blood pudding. How your melancholy foams me like so many tributaries – so many swallowed mouthfuls of the Tiber river. Enough,’ said the Master.

    ‘But I grieve, for Tiggy and for all the cats of the world,’ said Clementis.

    ‘Pussy has passed and lies in Highgate,’ the Master’s cheeks flushed in cruel dismissal of all his wife’s irritating cat talk.

    ‘Bless the paw,’ she said.

    ‘Bless the paw and dream, woman,’ he bellowed. ‘Imagine too, bible recital before a kangaroo plateau – crammed natives fresh for medical dissection. But by lamp chop, woman, you can be as tiresome as trifle! Clementis, please button your port hole, conduct your chores. I must think as a man and please do not confuse yourself with such emotion of the high politik.’

    [Set up?]
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2016
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  19. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    ooh, squiffy sea captain ...you've hooked @matwoolf !
     
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  20. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    catalyst ...the (Uriah Heepy) pistol duel guy turns up
     
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  21. Wayjor Frippery
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    Wayjor Frippery Contributing Member

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    All this has made me very happy. :)

    The Master, Clementis, cats and pistols. I am in story heaven. :)
     
  22. Wayjor Frippery
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    Wayjor Frippery Contributing Member

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    Meanwhile, on deck...

    Before the mast stands Gillum, twining rope around his gnarly arms when he should be reefing sails. Twenty years he's stood the Master's foibles, but today the salt is a grain too bitter.

    'Aye to the Devil and whatsoever,' he spits through the side of his bludgeoned mouth, 'it be foulest luck to bring a woman aboard. Master should know better.'

    Duggan wallows beside him as the brig rides the swell, a younger man but privileged; he's held his rank for longer than his manhood.

    'Silence, Gillum! Or by the Grace of God I will break the cat upon you! You are out of place and out of depth, man, and you will rememberer that you cannot swim!'

    Gillum twines the rope the harder, puts the insult with the others. In his mind, the cat flails, mutinous, the kiss of leather brings sweat to his palm, and Clementis sinks as Duggan's back bleeds red.

    [Set up – antagonist?]

    he heh he blah blah blah...
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2016
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