1. captain kate

    captain kate Active Member

    May 4, 2008
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    Cruising through space.

    Advice on plot for newbies.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by captain kate, Jul 28, 2008.

    When wanting to create a plot, the very best thing to do is to go back to your character development and know who your character is. Most plots, or at least the first in a series, tend to spring from things in their life and/or background.

    Now is that everything that there is? Unfortunately, no it isn't. Just because you know their background doesn't mean that you have immediate plot. A plot has to move forwards, sometimes it moves forward based of the character's life. I will summerize the "main plot" i had for "Freedom's Fall" and what it ended up being in the end.

    Freedom's Fall started with Captain Kate Almir commanding a ship looking for colonizable worlds, running into a alien space craft destroying them. That lead her into a conspiracy to overthrow the government, a betrayal by them to an old enemy of hers, her escape, stealing of a ship based off the alien technology and boom! move to the second story...not quite.

    Simple enough plot, not enough meat, by adding "back story" into hr background and HOW she got to that point, it became a fleshed out plot. I won't give play by play, but here is how to new one is.

    I have a theme I believe in, but the reader can develop many more from the book. Mine is the danger of how history repeats itself, so I try to retell the falling of the German Weimar Republic and the rise of Nazism, causing WW2. But then one can draw off it several current social themes too, so I leave that for the reader to interpret.

    Plot follows like this

    ch1-introduction of Kate Almir, her injuries, the cybernetic replacement Surgery, introduction of Rear Admiral Reyes, and the doctor hints of things to come

    ch2-her awakening learning, the consequences of the surgery, emotional response

    ch3-sniper training, first signs of some of her negative character traits

    ch4-sent on mission to save President from Terrorists

    ch5-first half of mission
    ch6-second half
    ch7-sent to kill someone involved in above, and personal consequences
    end book 1
    ch 8- reaasigned from intel
    cha9-new ass
    cha10-transporting herslf there, being known by the conspirators...plans to try to kill he again
    ch11-fleet ambushed, dogfight against old enemy,
    ch 12-shot down, pursued, survival,
    end book 2
    chap 13-commanding vessel, getting distress call
    chatp 14- finding distress vessel, learning something bad
    cha15-tracking down what she suspects
    ch16-barely escaping trap
    chap17-sent to interview witness far from earth
    chap18-betrayal by conspirators to another old enemy
    end book 3
    ch19-back into past situation in present life
    ch20-facing inner demons from trauma
    ch22-breaking friend out form prison
    ch23-stealing prototype
    chap 24-climatic battle
    onto next book

    each book has it's on climax and plot, but they all tell a different point of my character's life, and how it ties into the end, which is present day. Al while following the theme of the Weimar fall.
    try to make sure your plot somehow ties directly with the background of your character, and you will most likely be ok. Everything boils from the character(s) and that is where you start first, 'cause once you have that figured out, the story comes naturally.

    the old saying that your character will tell you how their life goes is very true.
  2. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    May 19, 2007
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    Massachusetts, USA
    That may be a way to drive a storyline, but plot involves establishing a conflict, internal or external, and resolving it through a series of actions and interactions. The resolution may or may not be favorable, but there should be some manner of resolution for at least the central conflict of a story or novel. As a plot (read conflict) develops, there is an increase of tension until something gives; the resolution is the release of tension. In the case of a horror tale, for example, the sudden and painful demise of the main character is a resolution, even though the MC would not view it as such. But it caps the built-up suspense and releases it.

    Often you throw in additional conflicts or complications to make the struggle sharper, but the idea is to never give a character real peace without throwing in something else to further complicate his or her life.

    Never forget the distinction between a storyline and a plot! :)

    See this thread for more about this deistinction: What is Plot Creation and Development?
  3. captain kate

    captain kate Active Member

    May 4, 2008
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    Cruising through space.
    each section is a release from tension, yes, and some plots carry over for extended periods of time...ALA babylon 5.

    when writing a book that has "mini books" in it like "Freedom falls" and "In fury Born" by david webber, you have those mini releases, leading to the main one.

    Unfortunately, I wished i could have gone into greater depth on what i was meaning with each section but it's not smart to play all your cards before its been published. However, everything is character driven, if you don't know your character, your plot will not evolve at all.
  4. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Contributor Contributor

    Nov 30, 2006
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    Ohio, USA
    That is one method to go at it, especially if it's a character driven novel that is being written. Starting with an idea, developing a plot and then inhabiting it with characters works just as well.

    Usually there is a give and take, or better stated--a balance, with plot and character development, but one does not necessarily come before the other.

    Both methods work, just coming at the problem from a different angle. I'm sure there are even more, possibly more effective routes to the same goal that would work for writers out there.

  5. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Nov 21, 2006
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    Coquille, Oregon
    there's no 'best' for all... only each writer's own particular 'best'... and even that can vary from one work to another...

    what you are saying is 'the very best' only works if you have a character and no plot, which isn't the case for all, nor the case for any all of the time...
  6. J Done

    J Done New Member

    Jul 28, 2008
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    It sounds a good enough plot; but I don't think it should all be separated into specific sections like that.

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