1. eidolo

    eidolo Member

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    Ghost Story

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by eidolo, Dec 9, 2017.

    So I know I've posted one plot help thread here already. If you help me with this one, I will help you with one task of your choice as long as it's not illegal. I just am not good at this.

    That said, I took some of the critique from the other thread and applied it to the new idea I thought of. This was mainly based around logical errors or plot development in the truest sense. So here's the scoop.

    Five sentence summary: (1) Johnny, a bitter ghost, haunts his former friend mercilessly with the idea that in order to rest in peace, he has to get revenge on the person that started him on the wrong path in life. (2) However, he soon figures out that he has to reconcile with his friend, Charlie, in order to cross over. (3) The rub is, Charlie doesn't want to work with Johnny after what he's put him through - and neither does Johnny. (4) However, Johnny's future is thrown into jeopardy when Charlie gets in trouble with a powerful international crime organization, one that the best of bodyguards has trouble defending against - except for the person that the enemy can't see (Johnny). (5) Therefore, the two will have to work together to get want they want - Charlie, not dying (being a successful musician), and Johnny, closure.

    Would you read this? Does it sound cliche? What could be improved?

    And finally...

    I have three characters that are central to this story: Johnny, Charlie, and Roscoe. I want to tell the story from all of their point-of-view, in first person, using a lot of fourth-wall breaking. Kind of like the reader is watching a video each character has recorded - very informal. How could I do this? Should I?

    Thank you if you read this. I appreciate any help that is offered. Best wishes.
     
  2. OJB

    OJB A Mean Old Man Contributor

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    Hello Eidolo, while a little wordy for me, you do have all the parts needed to develop a complete plot.

    I think you should move onto the writing/plotting stage and start getting words down. Rather this idea works or not will now largely depend on how well you execute it.

    Good luck,

    -OJB
     
  3. Jak of Hearts

    Jak of Hearts Active Member

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    The one thing that immediately strikes me is that having a ghost haunting this guy and then you mention "powerful international crime organization!"... the tone sounds like a comedy action. Is that what you're going for? Because I have a hard time seeing this as having a serious take. When you mention that you will be telling it from each person's perspective, is that going to have a Rashomon like effect where we are getting vastly different perspectives and possibly even conflicting accounts of events? Or just retelling scenes in different ways? Its a unique premise which could be promising. I personally enjoy fourth wall breaking in first person. You also mention it would be told partially from Roscoe's POV but have no mention of who Roscoe is in the story. Bodyguard? Badguy?
     
  4. eidolo

    eidolo Member

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    Haha, sorry. I tried to be less long-winded than I usually am! I'll keep trying to cut it down. Jeez, I wonder where I built up this habit from. Thanks for reviewing my work! I really appreciate it. Now comes the hard part - putting pen to paper and making the dream come alive.

    Haha, now that I look at it it does seem a bit silly. I don't think context will help but here it is: Charlie is a rapper, and he makes a diss track that exposes another (lesser) rapper's illegal activities, which gets that rapper into trouble. This person is a bit of a coward, but he knows the right people, so he gets them to go after Charlie. Maybe a little far-fetched. I should probably take it out... What do you think? As for if it's supposed to be funny, that's not exactly what I was going for since the ghost is supposed to sacrifice himself at the end. I don't know if writing it as a comedy would strike the right tone. Though I've always wanted to write a parody concerning this particular realm of fanfiction since it can be rather trite and is make-fun-of fodder.

    With the different POVs, I was going for the former. Each person - Charlie, Johnny, and Roscoe - would be referring to the reader constantly, trying to convince them of their "argument". I even thought of something today where the reader could be a character in the story itself. Like the characters all acknowledge the reader exists and all vie for the reader's approval. That might be too much, though... And I wouldn't know how to write that.

    Roscoe is the boy Charlie and Johnny try to nurture into becoming a mature man. They work together to teach him the proper ways of behaving (counter to Roscoe's playboy, carefree ways) because they see themselves in him, and want him to be better than they were. Roscoe seems to learn from them however due to the pair's focus on themselves, he goes back to acting in an unsavory manner (cooperating with Charlie's enemy) and is indirectly responsible for harm done to Charlie. He's a medium that's just growing into his abilities. I'm toying with taking him out of the story though, because his subplot might make things too complicated.

    Did you make it through that? Tl;dr musicians backstab each other, and they drag everyone down with them, including the reader. Thank you for commenting on my idea. It helped me see some weaknesses with it that I hadn't really thought about.
     
  5. DaveLu

    DaveLu Member

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    I think it sounds interesting. The conflict is definitely there, as well as the characters.

    Does it sound cliche? Your story seems to have familiar elements and tropes that are encountered across literature and film, but that doesn't mean it's cliche. I never like asking this question too early in the stages of the writing process. As you've probably heard before, it depends on how you write it, you have to put your own spin on the topic. Like for example some people think Vampires are cliche, but I think it's more of a (sub)genre.

    When I read the Summary, I personally saw it working as a third person pov. I have never really been much a fan of multiple person perspective, but that's just a matter of my opinion. It doesn't mean that it won't work for your story. As for the fourth wall breaking, I think it can work depending on how you write it. It would make extra sense seeing as a ghost is involved, but it's something that needs to be executed properly. Are we talking malcolm in the middle type of fourth wall breaking?
     
  6. eidolo

    eidolo Member

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    Hi, thanks for chiming in!
    I had to look up how it's done in Malcolm in The Middle since I haven't watched that show since I was a kid. I found a paper that was written about it even (http://unipub.uni-graz.at/obvugrhs/content/titleinfo/1255978). It seems it's the traditional type. Mine as I've started writing it would be something more intense than that. I have Johnny (the ghost) currently speaking to the reader directly as if he was guiding him through a motivational program.

    For example:
    "That's exactly what makes you perfect for this tutorial. You are smart and curious, a little world-weary. You don't want to be dependent on anyone because of your inexperience. And like any other living creature, you're short on time; gimmicks just aren't going to cut it."

    Haha, I honestly don't know what will or won't work for my story and that makes me apprehensive to start writing it at all. I think my indecision is what's the worst part about the whole thing. I'm especially anxious about incorporating plot with narrative because they have to work together to advance the story, and I've never quite understood how they're connected.
    But I appreciate that you took the time to review my post!
     

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