1. JWest1984

    JWest1984 New Member

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    Brainstorming A Plot/Premise

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by JWest1984, Jan 8, 2018.

    First things first, I am not a writer. I have never had anything published and never really attempted to do anything seriously but I have alot of ideas in my head and I decided that I am going to challenge myself to see if I can write something. Whether it's read by tons of people or just friends and family doesn't concern me. Just want to challenge myself and see if I can do something and have fun with it.

    With that being said, I want it to make sense and entertaining. I have a premise and really just kind of want some more seasoned writers to give an outside perspective or provide some criticism for the premise. It is in the very beginning stages.

    The premise is this. A millionaire media mogul is found dead in his mansion and at first glance it appears to be a suicide but the mans journal is found which sheds doubt on that. The journal entries provide some clues and a timeline of the events leading up to the death. The final journal entry includes a challenge to his two grown sons that the first one to solve his murder will receive his entire fortune. Both sons, who each had a different relationship with their father accept the challenge for different reasons. They find out just how many enemies their father had with each one having a motive to want their father dead.
     
  2. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    Welcome to the site!
    There's a word for that kind of person, and the word is "writer" ;)

    Interesting.

    Why would the father set up the challenge in this way?
     
  3. JWest1984

    JWest1984 New Member

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    That is one plot hole I'm trying to figure out. He is a power hungry, greedy man who is willing to do anything to be wealthy and stay wealthy. I want him to have a soft side deep down. I know his paranoia in the years, months, weeks, and days leading up to his demise to grow and he begins to suspect that he will have a violent end at the hands of someone else who wants him dead. I feel as though maybe he should have an enlightening moment where he realizes he needs to change his ways.
     
  4. Thundair

    Thundair Contributor Contributor

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  5. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    Pitting his kids against each other so that one gets it all and the other is left with nothing is not, IMO, a soft side. It’s a way to exert sadism beyond the grave.

    Maybe that’s the reason? Maybe he’s always pitted them again each other, he knew he wasn’t going to live long, and he wanted to continue to destroy their relationship even after he was gone?
     
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  6. JWest1984

    JWest1984 New Member

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    That's a valid reason. And most importantly, it's simple. :)
     
  7. MusingWordsmith

    MusingWordsmith Shenanigan Master Contributor

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    Personally, I would find it appealing to see that set up and then the two brothers end up uniting to solve the crime together, and splitting/sharing the fortune. But I'm a sap like that, if you find it more natural to have one get everything and the other left with nothing then go right ahead!
     
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  8. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView

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    If he's that power-hungry, wouldn't he do everything he could to stay alive and keep enjoying his wealth and situation? Which suggests that, if he knew he was going to be murdered, he would put his efforts into preventing it rather than asking for help beyond the grave.
     
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  9. DueNorth

    DueNorth Senior Member

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    Perhaps the twist is there is, in fact, no $$ for either of them. The old man screws them both—vindictive bastard that he is.
     
  10. JWest1984

    JWest1984 New Member

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    But how do you know that he won't do everything? Maybe he hires the best security team in the world and they get picked off one by one by a master killer. Maybe his head of security, and most trusted advisor who knows the tendencies and security flaws, isn't responsible in some way? ;)
     
  11. Midge23

    Midge23 Active Member

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    Well, only you know what he will do or not to prevent his own murder.

    Decide who kills him and why, how they do it. You need to do this as you plan to have the father leave clues for his sons. This is a story that needs careful planning, I think.

    You could make the father a total bastard and have one of the son’s have the enlightening moment, the realisation once the money is in his grasp that, although it is what he wants it is not what he needs to make him a complete and happy person (will the money make him a miserable, nasty man like his father? What will taking the money cost him: love of another, the life of his brother?).

    You could reveal that the father, once he knew his life was in danger, did nothing to prevent his murder, rather he prepared for his son’s quest after it (could be an interesting twist if you come up with a compelling and plausible reason he would do this). If you do this, I’d suggest revealing this about halfway through the story.

    Write down ideas and consider dismissing the first ones that come to mind as too obvious.

    Get writing.
     
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  12. JWest1984

    JWest1984 New Member

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    I know it is a very ambitious project and probably way beyond my expertise but I don't want to live in a comfort zone. I want to face the challenge head on but I want it to be fun for me where I don't get stressed over it and ruin it for me.
     
  13. Midge23

    Midge23 Active Member

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    Just start with the simple stuff and build from there. Here’s a suggestion.

    Who is the MC?: Pick one brother, the one that undergoes the enlightened moment, the one that changes into a better person at the end of the story. What is his character flaw (greed, selfishness etc.?).

    Inciting incident: Discovery that the father’s death was murder and the quest he has left for his sons.

    What does he want?: The money! He wants it more than anything and will do anything and hurt anyone to get it.

    What stands in his way?: His other brother. The difficulty in understanding the clues. The person/s who murdered his father.

    Now you put the MC into loads of difficult situations and stop him from getting the money.

    Massive Crisis!: Perhaps the discovery that his father knew he was going to be murdered? There is no money? Etc etc. You will have to decide.

    Think about what you might like to happen in the end. The MC has to choose between the money (what he originally wanted) and something far more important (what will complete him as a person but could cost his everything). Give each choice consequences.

    Here is a thought: the father was a terrible man and knew his life was in danger but did nothing to prevent it as he felt he deserved it for some terrible deed he did earlier in his life (perhaps how he got rich in the first place). He hopes the quest will change his spoilt and selfish sons and stop them from living the life he has.

    Good luck.
     
  14. Simon Price

    Simon Price Active Member

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    One thing you could do is tie it into being worthy of taking the reins of his business. Maybe he's rich for something that this sort of detective work would be relevant towards, and he wants to know which one deserves it more.

    OR...

    Perhaps either for personal or practical reasons he NEEDS at least one of them (as opposed to the police) to solve it, and this is just an incentive to get it done quickly.

    As for the plot hole of how he'd predict his own murder but not do anything about it, maybe use that as an opportunity to make the secret main villain scarily powerful, that the main villain has so much control and influence that even this incredibly rich man instantly realizes that if this secret individual has marked him for death, there's nothing he can do but put his affairs in order. That could also explain why he asks his sons to do it because he knows the police will only put up a token show of trying to solve it because they won't touch this guy.
     
  15. JWest1984

    JWest1984 New Member

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    My biggest thing with that is that both brothers are totally different and each could have compelling paths and stories. The older one is just like his father. Greedy, power hungry, womanizer and the "heir apparent" to the company. The younger one is the "good one". Hates his father, happily married, honest, doesn't value the money as much. At first he rejects the challenge but some unexpected circumstances cause him to reluctantly accept.
     
  16. Midge23

    Midge23 Active Member

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    So which one is the MC? I would strongly suggest that you go with just one and tell their story rather than juggle two MCs. The other brother’s story will still get told, just through the MC.
    If the MC is the younger ‘good’ brother, don’t make him perfect. If he is reluctant to go on the quest you must give him a compelling reason to do so. He must want something badly.
     
  17. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I was just thinking of a Frederick Forsyth short story like that, where the old man tricks the family members into thinking hes converted his fortune to platinum bullion and weighted his coffin with it for a sea burial - when in fact he has left it to his butler (who helped him with the set up)
     
  18. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    May be he's terminally ill and doesn't want to suffer so he hires a hitman to kill him and frame one or more of his enemies for it in order to fuck with his sons who he doesn't much like.

    At the end it turns out that he gave all his remaining money to said hitman for the job and has just left his sons with a tonne of debt

    Or at the end it turns out the good son will inherit, but only if he allows the frame to continue, since the hitman is in the wind and he has to choose between the money and doing the right thing. A Hollywood ending would have him reject the fortune rather than allow his fathers enemy to be jailed and they'd all have learnt something about themselves and become bbetter people..... get me a bucket.

    A twistier ending would be that the 'good' son has been corrupted by the money and wants to keep it and the enemy isn't much of a loss anyway
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
  19. Tomb1302

    Tomb1302 Senior Member

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    Would love this. That scene where both sons encounter each other at the end of the road after having been split in attempt to solve the murder throughout the whole story, only to realize there was actually nothing to it, and they had been played.
     
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  20. JWest1984

    JWest1984 New Member

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    Maybe one of the son's could be the murderer and acts as if he is trying to solve it knowing that he did it and then they could meet up at the end with the innocent one revealing who did and the guilty one saying he wrote the entire journal with the hope that the other one would solve it and come to him so he could turn on him and attempt to kill him and keep the murder a mystery.
     
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  21. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    the problem with that is how far fetched it is - there are easier ways to kill someone.

    its also a little bit scooby dooo "an' it was me all along, and ive have got away with it all if it wasn't for you pesky kids"
     
  22. Lew

    Lew Contributor Contributor

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    Great scenario! Get some words on paper.
     
  23. Odile_Blud

    Odile_Blud Active Member

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    I like the way it sounds. I could see myself reading it.
     
  24. JWest1984

    JWest1984 New Member

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    Thanks Odile. I hope I can write it well and have it be exciting so that people will read it. I am planning to write it as a serial. Primarily because I don't have the time to sit and write a full fledged novel. Plus the serial concept where every chapter/episode is connected but contains its own story is appealing. I like to be different.

    Thanks for all the responses. Some things I never considered. I have more decisions to make about it but at least now I have some options.
     

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