1. WrestlingFan101

    WrestlingFan101 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2016
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    5

    Developing My Novel Plot Structure

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by WrestlingFan101, Dec 15, 2016.

    My story follows 14 year old Bryan who lost his eye sight at birth struggling to accept himself as he wants to be "normal" and able to hang out with his peers. Bryan befriends a female for the first time who happens to be a 14 year old girl who is struggling to be herself because she is muslim. Together they will learn the meaning of friendship, how to accept others and how to love themselves.

    The theme would be friendship, learning to accept other people for who they are and to learn how to love yourself.

    My problem is, i don't have a inciting incident (story problem). Normally i would have a inciting incident for my stories but me tackling something on this caliber im a little overwhelmed lol.
    The only thing i have so far is the exposition.
    Expostion: This is where i would show why and how Bryan is struggling with bing blind and how it effects his everyday life of trying to be an ordinary 14 year old boy and where he will also meet Manny, the muslim girl.

    Inciting Incident: ??

    lol a little help would be helpful or some ideas i can work with
     
  2. Spencer1990

    Spencer1990 Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2016
    Messages:
    2,513
    Likes Received:
    3,380
    I'm not sure anyone can answer this for you other than just lobbing ideas across the internet at you.

    I will ask, though, wouldn't it be more rewarding if you came up with this stuff for yourself? I don't mean that to be snarky, but I don't think I could enjoy writing a story that I wasn't so passionate about that I asked other people for the inciting incident.
     
    PenelopeWillow likes this.
  3. jannert

    jannert Retired Mod Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    17,486
    Likes Received:
    19,447
    Location:
    Scotland
    Try for something unexpected. Play what I like to think of as the 'what if' game. What if Bryan is getting a seeing-eye dog? What opportunities would this open up for him to meet the Muslim girl? What if they pass on the street and the dog inadvertently scares the girl, because she's frightened of dogs? How would he react? And explore why she's scared of dogs, maybe?

    Just take any situation you can think of (or see happening in your daily life) and start playing "What If." Turn something on its head, if you can. Don't do the expected thing.
     
  4. SethLoki

    SethLoki Retired Autodidact Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    Messages:
    1,458
    Likes Received:
    1,563
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    As I'm reading it you have a setup already where your characters have separate lives. The trigger (or inciting incident) is them meeting for the first time (something routine, at a bus stop?). The story thereafter you appear to have planned too in that it's going to be their growth, as a couple, dealing with what life has to throw at them. Are you after a backdrop to the story—a setting that'll provide the circumstance and push the hardships their way?

    I'm glad (in a non-shadenfruede way) @WrestlingFan101 that you feel a little overwhelmed, as what you (to me) seem to be going for would be quite a rich story. It'd take a fair bit of skill ( incl. background knowledge and forethought) to pull it off. But don't be put off.
     
  5. WrestlingFan101

    WrestlingFan101 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2016
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    5
    You missed what i was asking lol

    I was basically asking for ideas that would help get my creative juicies flowing and help me spark up some ideas....

    I wasnt asking for someone to find the answer for me
     
  6. WrestlingFan101

    WrestlingFan101 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2016
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    5
    thank you! I havent tried the "What If" method.. and its already giving me some great ideas lol
     
  7. WrestlingFan101

    WrestlingFan101 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2016
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    5
    yu sure them meeting is the inciting incident? lol im probably looking at the meaning of "inciting incident" way to strict as an event that changes the character life and poses a question to be answered throughout the story.

    Yes i have the perfect setting and time and even now im still developing it lol and yes! im doing loads of research. I have a friend who is a muslim so that is a huge help for that characters voice.
     
  8. hawls

    hawls Active Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2016
    Messages:
    200
    Likes Received:
    215
    Location:
    Melbourne
    If you're struggling for ideas go back to why you want to write this particular story and these particular characters.

    Why are you writing about a blind boy and a Muslim girl?

    What message do you want to say? Who is this message for?

    Answering these questions (or at least considering them at length) may spark some ideas about the best ways to tell this story.
     
    Hypatios and Seren like this.
  9. Seren

    Seren Writeaholic

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2016
    Messages:
    289
    Likes Received:
    159
    Location:
    England, UK
    Agreed. @WrestlingFan101 Your theme suggests that the message is perhaps something along the lines of: "We should accept others, and also ourselves." In which case, the quite possibly very cliche idea of bullying comes to mind. However, it's used quite often in books like this for a reason: it happens to people that are different. A lot.

    Or perhaps your characters aren't bullied per se, but they are teased a lot by different people and even the odd, spiteful comment from a passerby can really hurt their feelings. How deep and dark would you like to go with this book? How hurt are the characters going to be by the way the world views them, and how is it going to affect them? Who is your target audience? If it's people of around the same age as these characters, a stopper will most likely need to be put on at some point. The knife will not be able to dig as deeply as it might if this is a story about younger people actually targeted at a slightly older audience. Therefore, the problems may vary. An older audience may be okay to see the problem being not just acceptance, but the serious effects not being accepted can have on someone, such as self-harm or depression. For a younger audience, it may be better to show the characters being very unhappy and avoiding places/people.

    In short, your vague problem is most likely going to be the opposite of your message: your characters are not accepted by those around them, and it hurts. How exactly each one is not accepted gives a long list of possibility, as does who in particular it is who does not accept them. I hope I've made sense. :)
     
  10. antlad

    antlad Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2016
    Messages:
    297
    Likes Received:
    96
    Switch things around. Have the inciting incident be them meeting. I would go with something cultural/religious. Maybe he stumbles and reaches out for support, grabbing the muslim girl, which leads to discussion, blah blah
     
  11. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2016
    Messages:
    2,428
    Likes Received:
    3,906
    As far as where they meet, what if they both have a common hobby, and they wind up taking a class or joining a group around it. Martial arts, show dogs, painting, ballroom dancing, horseback riding, etc. The hobby could also be a way to bring up how his injury and her culture/religion affect their participation and how they work around it.
     
  12. Ryan Elder

    Ryan Elder Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2015
    Messages:
    1,629
    Likes Received:
    82
    When I read it, I thought that him going blind was the inciting incident, and that could be one on it's own maybe, to get the further ideas going. Just a thought.
     
  13. Aled James Taylor

    Aled James Taylor Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2013
    Messages:
    959
    Likes Received:
    647
    Location:
    UK
    A key element in this could be what the characters don't know. When they meet, Brian doesn't realise the girl is Muslim, even though she's dressed in traditional Muslim garb. He doesn't realise her skin is a different colour to his own. He knows little anything about Islam. She doesn't realise Brian is blind and assumes he can deduce many facts about her from her appearance. She also assumes he's a normal boy who does all the things normal boys do.
     
  14. antlad

    antlad Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2016
    Messages:
    297
    Likes Received:
    96
    If the inciting incident was losing his sight, the book would start near birth. Then we would have to endure either a boring 'baby born blind' story, or a messed up delivery room nightmare where the baby lost it's sight.
    The inciting incident usually kicks off the story and sets things in motion. In mystery/thriller, it tends to be death, or discovery of body. (There is a little known data point that says that mystery/thriller with body in first sentence are finished more than body in first paragraph, which is finished more than body in first chapter. Finished = read completely) Louise Penny, master of her thriller genre, says always put the body in the first sentence if you can.

    I hope in this story, at some point, you put in stuff about him being 'better' than other kids, not just different or lacking. We all feel lacking at points, but what picks us up is what we see is different. He can read an alphabet no other kids he knows can, he can pick out a model of car by sound from 2 blocks away and is always telling his friends that their mom is about to show up, he pisses off his mom because he is always right when he says her cookies are in a minute too long, knowing by smell, or something that sets him apart but makes him real.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice