1. ManyQuestions

    ManyQuestions New Member

    Mar 30, 2016
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    Complete Story or Incomplete Story?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by ManyQuestions, Nov 16, 2016.

    This is going to be a long thread but i hope someone helps me out
    Im working on my finished novels but I feel like my stories are simple and for that reason i feel as if they are incomplete....

    My first story follows Sam who is the Godmother of a crime family (think Griselda Blanco).... Sam is dating a man name John from another crime family, unknown to her, he is married to another woman name Lisa in which that marriage unify John crime family and Lisa crime family. Sam finds this out (not knowing of this arranged marriage) kills Lisa in rage and betrayal. The family fires back by kidnapping John and now Sam sets out to rescue John. Sam goes out and rescue John but turns around and kills John. Story ends.

    Here i a chapter by chapter outline:
    Chapter 1- Sam finds out John is married
    Chapter 2- Sam goes and kills Lisa
    Chapter 3- Lisa family attacks Sam and kidnaps John
    Chapter 4- Sam prepares to get John
    Chapter 5- Sam goes and gets John back
    Chapter 6- Sam kills John
    Story Ends

    My 2nd story follows Tyler who is one of the 4 "Prince" of a mob family. Tyler gets himself into the drug business by robbing a crime family warehouse operation and raiding they trucks. The family fires back by attempting to assasinate Tyler and guns down his brother. Tyler sets out to get revenge for his brother death by going to face the rival family head on and successfully gets his revenge. The Story Ends.
    Here is a chapter by chapter outline:
    Chapter 1: Tyler and his crew plans to raid another mob family trucks and warehouse
    Chapter 2- Tyler and crew executes plan
    Chapter 3- Rival family attack Tyler and crew and kills brother
    Chaoter 4- Tyler prepares to go to war with rival family
    Chapter 5- Tyler successfully kills rival family
    Story Ends
    I feel like my stories are incomplete because they are short and happens relatively in a few chapters.

    What am i missing? Why do i feel like its not flushed out enough? What do i need to make the story feel "Whole" or Complete?
    jannert likes this.
  2. NiallRoach

    NiallRoach Contributor Contributor

    Jan 7, 2015
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    The middle of the UK
    Perhaps because you seem to be thinking purely in terms of actions, when there's an awful lot more to a novel. It doesn't seem as though you have any subplots, which will obviously add bulk to a novel, but aside from that, look at the emotions of your characters.
    Sam killing John is a flat action, the climax, so you need a lot of build up, a lot of emotional weight behind it.

    I'd also recommend paying attention to improving your spelling and grammar.
  3. FireWater

    FireWater Senior Member

    May 29, 2016
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    A resource that will be hugely helpful to you is the blog StoryFix by author Larry Brooks, especially the sections on story structure.
  4. Tesoro

    Tesoro Contributor Contributor

    Jan 3, 2011
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    A place with no future
    It does seem a little simplified. It goes from A to B in really few steps. I also have a hard time believing that you've reached novel length with these plots, did you? And if you do, it sounds like there's a possibility that each chapter contains some fluff/filler or just extremely detailed descriptions of something that shouldn't need to take that much to depict.
    My advice is to take a couple books you like, and make a similar outline for all the chapters in them, trying to see how the authors have done, and how they've created the plot and side plots by weaving them together, and maybe how they work with different POV's. That is really the best way IMO to understand plot structure IRL. Also note where the turning points show up and what they're made of, and how they affect the story and the characters. In that way I think you'll get a better grasp of what is lacking in your own plots to make them richer and more satisfying.
    Lifeline likes this.
  5. Kerilum

    Kerilum Active Member

    Jun 13, 2016
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    East Coast USA
    We can't know if you're 'missing' anything from your novel based on a one sentence action summary of each chapter.
  6. jannert

    jannert Retired Mod Supporter Contributor

    Mar 7, 2013
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    Have you actually written your stories, or just planned them out?
  7. Denegroth

    Denegroth Banned

    Nov 20, 2016
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    South Florida
    It's a good start. Now, all you have to do is fill it out. There is information a reader needs to better understand the story you told. Go through your bare-bones first draft and add some of these things. The first I'd suggest is to deal with your main character. What sort of person is he or she? How heroic? How mighty? What does he look like? How does he speak? These sorts of things allow your reader to better understand the character.

    Then, the place where all this is happening. What's it like? Heavily wooded? Lots of rain? Desert perhaps? If it's a city; good side of town, bad side of town? This helps your readers better visualize what you're telling them.

    The other characters? Who are they? Are they likeable just trying to make a living? Is there something about them that justifies your main characters getting the advantage of the situation? Are they just plain mean? Tell us.
  8. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

    Aug 1, 2016
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    East devon/somerset border
    They are too short for a whole novel - my wip is at 31 chapters so far

    also they are too simplistic , one event per chapter - on average 3 or 4 different things happen in each of my chapters

    and finally each chapter summary could be easily split over several chapters with more detail - e.g the war between tyler and the rival family could easily run to ten chapters of move and counter move (read Gangster by Lorenzo Carcatera for a tour de force of this sort of thing)
  9. WNP

    WNP Member

    Oct 19, 2016
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    As others have said, it seems a bit short to make a whole novel, and there's no mention of any subplots etc. that would help increase the length or create an extra dimension to the story.

    You could add in something like a constant running battle to keep the cops off Sam's back while she's dealing with Lisa's family. Surely the police would be all over this sort of thing? Maybe when she finally kills John she then runs off with the head detective on the case as a twist.

    Or maybe she has a close friend that gives her a lead on where John is, but it's actually a trap. Then Sam has to deal with the friend betraying her, both emotionally and by killing them.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2016

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