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  1. Rhipsime Rose

    Rhipsime Rose Active Member

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    'Empty' space in plot.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Rhipsime Rose, Jun 4, 2019.

    Hello,

    I'm writing a novel. The plot is: A young man working as a liquidator after the Chernobyl accident finds a baby girl abandoned in an abandoned house in Pripyat. He adopts her and now cut to some time later when the girl is sixteen. The liquidator is now her guardian, and they live nearby the Dnieper river. However, the former liquidator is diagnosed with thyroid cancer and dies a little while later. The girl is then forced to leave and seeks someone to take her in. After being turned away many times, she is taken in by a kindly woman named Lyudmila. Soon, she learns that the woman is her mother. Sadly a short time later, when things are getting better, the girl dies. (other details: the girl has glowing blue eyes and vision impairment, a result of a large amount of radiation in her skull)

    That is what I have for the plot. My problems are:
    -What is the girl and the liquidator's everyday life like?
    -How long should it be before the girl finds the woman?
    -How do I draw out the time before she realizes the woman is her mother?

    Thank you!
     
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  2. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    That depends on what you are defining a liquidator is, given the way you have it setup in universe.

    A few weeks to maybe 6 months or so at the very most, though IDK how your world works, and how information is obtained.

    That depends on the angle you want to go with. First being that she tells her shortly after getting her back, or for a more 'thrilling and suspense'
    filled angle do it near the end of the book.

    I wish I could be more helpful, but you have been quite vague on the details needed to make a
    better informed conceptual idea.
    Best of luck, and I hope I have been a smidgeon helpful in the least. :superidea:
     
  3. Alan Aspie

    Alan Aspie Banned Contributor

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    Your English is very good. And you seem to be quite young. I give you few advices based on these two things + your opening.

    1. There can be only one person who decides plot and character arch related things before it's time to talk with publishing houses. And that is you.

    2. There is a lot of good literature about character arch. Big part of it is about screenwriting or movie scripts. It does not matter. Buy some, read and make your decisions.

    Three half random picks:
    Blake Snyder: Save the Cat
    Jeoffrey Alan Schenchter: My Story Can Beat Up Your Story
    Lisa Cron: Story Genius

    3. In the beginning of writing career it is most important to make a lot of mistakes and learn about them.

    4. Writing is rewriting. Test it. Write what you like. And then you can rewrite it better if you want to.

    5. Don't let anyone ride you.

    If you are young and talented, there are people who envy you and are hostile because of that. But there are also good willing (or less) people who want you to succeed and shine - and then they can have some of that shine too.

    Be careful with both. Don't let anyone steal the spark of writing from you. Don't let anyone ride in your back. That kind of "good willing" extra weight is hard to carry. And don't let anyone pull you down. Beware the crab bucket phenomenon.

    Have good time with your writing!
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2019
  4. Charlie TC

    Charlie TC New Member

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    You have to choose how you want your story to read. In your mind, are you picturing Rey from Star Wars, or is it more Storage Wars? Once you have a concept, then read stories and watch programs that will help you get a feel for the reality you're creating.
    Good luck.
     
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  5. The Piper

    The Piper Contributor Contributor

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    Hi,

    Not sure I can answer your questions about the plot - as long as you can keep a reader interested, anything can take any amount of time. The key, then, is to keep it interesting. Everything that happens depends on the world and characters you've built as well as your idea of where you want things to go.

    What I will do is give some advice about the last part, and you can either ignore this or take it on board - it's absolutely not a criticism, and it's not a "this applies to EVERYTHING" kind of thing. In my opinion, to have the girl die after she finds her mother could be tricky. I'm absolutely certain it'll break your readers' hearts, and that's great. But depending on how she dies, and why, it might also leave your readers severely pissed off. To have followed the character all through the story, only to have her killed, is frustrating.

    Having said that, it's only frustrating if her death doesn't achieve anything. Even if it doesn't achieve a thing other than to make your reader cry, if it's written exceptionally well it can be an amazing ending. But 9/10 times, it'll leave a hole where there should have been a feeling of "that was worth it". So my advice is this: figure out why she has to die, and what effect this has on the story and the other characters. Don't kill her for nothing.
     
  6. Rhipsime Rose

    Rhipsime Rose Active Member

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    I've thought it over a bit more, and I decided that she will not die, but she will lose her vision completely. I made this decision because the death I had planned just seemed kind of "death for the sake of death", and because I had planned that she dies of radiation poisoning(?)
     
  7. Rhipsime Rose

    Rhipsime Rose Active Member

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    To clear some things up, "liquidator" was a term used to describe the men involved in the cleanup of the Chernobyl disaster. The character worked as a liquidator, but he is no longer one.
     
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  8. The Piper

    The Piper Contributor Contributor

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    Sounds good. You can definitely have tragedy and the impact of something tragic happening without losing a character that we've watched grow.
     
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  9. Selbbin

    Selbbin The Moderating Cat Staff Contributor Contest Winner 2023

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    That's a great concept. Very interesting. But what you're asking for really is the bones of how you should write the story, and that's not something I believe we can really help with. These are not plot points to be filled in. These are style questions on how to tell the story. And you don't draw out time unless it's part of the story. If it's not, don't draw it out, summarize it quickly with key details such as: "She spent four years at boarding school learning how to type on asparagus, which is harder than it sounds, mostly keeping to herself as attention from the other children wasn't playful, but simply mean." If you can't tell the story as a novel, don't. Make it only as long as it needs to be. The time with the liquidator seems like it would be a few paragraphs at most. The real story seems to be finding out the woman is her mother, and this can take it's time, especially of the woman has taken her in because she's still grieving her lost child.
     
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