1. Megan Snedeker

    Megan Snedeker New Member

    Oct 26, 2014
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    Care to Help Me Flesh Out a Plot Concept?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Megan Snedeker, Oct 26, 2014.

    This would be my first ever attempt at urban fantasy, so I could really use some help with fleshing this concept out. This is just a bare-bones concept based off of a character design I very recently had pop into my mind.

    The Concept: A young man, alone in his forest home, discovers a siren. In this concept, sirens aren't the beautiful water-nymphs that lure men in with their irresistible songs. Here, a siren is almost best-described as a witch of some sort. These "witches" have control over the slender waves on which sounds exist. Through a variety of "skills" or "spells" they can manipulate sounds and the hosts in which sounds live. These spells are: Cadence (the basic manipulation of a sound and it's host - high energy use, very heavily based on the concept of 'if a tree falls in the forest and no one's there to hear it, does it even make a sound', but reversed. 'If there's no sound when a raindrop splashes, does it really fall at all?'), Echo (the process of taking the energy of sound and transforming it into a physical force), and Dissonance (the process of replacing a sound's host). When male main character turns around in his home to find a young girl standing there, a cry of surprise rises in his throat. Then never releases. The girl offers him a coy smile with an inquisitive tip of her head.

    I'm not really sure what I wish to DO with these sirens, particularly the siren our main character meets. Do they have a fantastical enemy she's running from? Does she suffer amnesia, unaware of the abilities hidden inside her innocent frame? Are sirens actually just as deadly and evil as folklore would have you believe?

    I'll very seriously take in any critiques on the concept itself and ideas for where I could possibly take this story. Thank you all very much in advance!
  2. jaebird

    jaebird Active Member

    Sep 7, 2014
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    United States
    Well, you're on the right track, which is asking yourself questions about where you want the story to go. This is really the only way a good plot is developed, one question after another. The 'what-ifs', if you will.

    As far as what you want to do with your sirens, I can't write your plot for you. That's something that belongs entirely to you. My advice is to develop your characters and your setting, and figure out what kind of story you want to tell with them. So, does the girl have an enemy she's running from? There are only two possible answers. Pick yes or no and then run with it and see where it takes you. Does she have amnesia? Well, what if the enemy is the one who gave it to her? Or what if she has to find a way to break through it before the enemy catches her? Usually the answer to one question brings out about half a dozen more, and the more questions you answer the more fleshed out your plot will be. I would also consider the history of your world and the beings in it. That could raise a lot of questions about why things are the way they are and what the characters have to deal with in it.

    I like the idea of manipulating sound. I do have one question: When you talk about a sound's 'host' are you referring to who is hearing the sound or who (or what) is making the sound? Good luck with your idea, I'd love to see where you take this!
  3. Komposten

    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Supporter Contributor

    Oct 18, 2012
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    Only you know where your story will go. We, the others, may give you questions and ideas to aid you in your progress, but only you, the writer, can choose the right path along which the story treads.
    I wish you luck and hope that you find the inspiration you need to discover the one path that entrances your mind.
    cutecat22 likes this.
  4. cutecat22

    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

    Feb 20, 2014
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    Write a scenario for each question you ask yourself. Then you will have your answer.
  5. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    May 19, 2007
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    Massachusetts, USA
    In particular, look for opportunities to introduce conflict or dilemmas (which are internal conflicts between conflicting values or goals). Don't be satisfied with a single conflict. One will probably stand out as the central conflict, but every conflict is an opportunity to develop character.

    Check out the stickied thread "What is Plot Creation and Development" under Plot Development.
  6. karmazon

    karmazon Member

    Dec 25, 2007
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    Cogito is right. You need to figure out the conflict.

    Flesh out the young male character more and then ask yourself "how can discovering this siren be the worst thing to happen to that man? How could it turn into the best thing?" or the opposite "how could it be the best thing? How can that end up being the worst?"

    A quick and very obvious example would be a Romeo and Juliet storyline: the man is lonely in his forest home, he meets a beautiful siren and they fall in love(best thing) but the other sirens won't allow their relationship to exist(worst thing).
  7. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax Contributor Contributor

    Aug 27, 2014
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    Hi Megan,

    You say urban fantasy, then start with a young man in his forest home...so are you planning to have the pair move to town? Certainly, there isn't a lot of scope for interaction with just the two of them in a forest...presumably with trees falling silently all around them!

    Are you planning to make this a free-standing novel/short story, or do you intend it to be the start of a long-running series? Whichever you decide, you need to have some sort of conflict/problem for her to resolve. And, for the story, or each episode, there needs to be some sort of resolution. For a series you need a l0ng-term overarching mystery (think "Lost") and then a smaller problem that can be dealt with in the next 50 minutes. If you take the idea that she's running away from Siren Central, and they're trying to get her back to stop her telling all their secrets, each episode could deal with a close encounter with their Silent Killers, or trying to stop the townsfolk from lynching her because they've found out about her powers. You'll have to work out how her Superpowers enable her to outwit the townsfolk, and how Normal Kevin uses his normalness to outwit the Silent Killers.

    And you need to decide your character's attributes... a bit like a RPG, but more realistic! Is he a nice guy with no problems (potentially boring!)? Is he a nerd (done to death!)? Is she a manipulative little minx?

    Good luck with this, I'll be watching to see which way you go.

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