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  1. dedebird

    dedebird Member

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    I could use some opinions on where to put this plot point

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by dedebird, Jan 29, 2016.

    This is a plot point that changes the way the entire first part of the book is written, and I just cannot for the life of me decide which is better. The plot point in question is the MC getting a ring, but I have thought of two different ways she could receive the ring. The timing of when she gets it changes the begging of the book drastically, so I would really appreciate some opinions on which flows better.

    So to understand the book, it starts off in a dream and it basically ends when she puts on this ring. Now originally when I mapped out this story years ago I had decided it was still going to be on her finger when she wakes up and later it be shown that it was more of a "call to arms" vision than a dream. Then she would get caught with it, and without spelling out the whole story, it basically causes her to get in trouble, causing her to stumble upon a dragon (sorry I'm being vague but I promise it makes sense in my mind!)

    The problem I have with this one is a simple one I don't like that the ring was just "magically" put on her finger. Do you think if I explain later that she was transported to the "dream" place magically and it wasn't a dream after all that would fix that plot hole? Or do you think I should use this next plot line instead.

    She wakes up from the dream in a library and later she goes back to the library and gets in trouble for having a book she wasn't supposed to have (which she didn't know she wasn't supposed to have because it just so happened to be out of the "restricted area") and when the librarian gets busy she has to put it back herself going into the restricted area for the first time and finding the dragon that way (under the library was where I had always planned the dragon to be hidden). Then she gets extra scenes with the dragon, and he gives her the ring. (the ring is an important object she has to have it somehow)

    The problem I have with this is it makes the dream an unnecessary part to the story (and the dream is so attention catching that in my opinion it is the perfect start to this story), and the ring was supposed to be a type of mark so the dragon knows who she is and trusts her. but it does allow me to have more scenes with this dragon which could be useful to get the reader to care about the dragon.

    Oh man this was a bit of a confusing and ridiculously long post. I hope I made some sort of sense. I honestly like the first one better, simply because that's how I originally planned it, but I don't know how practical or believable it is. I'm also starting to think the second one is less cliche. I hope you guys can help me out!
     
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  2. Lifeline

    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Contributor

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    Okay, first of all I do not like coincidences. Or things just appearing 'magically' even when they are a magical object :rolleyes:. For me to really root for a story everything needs to have a reason, yes, even magic. So I am quite pleased that your instincts seem to go into the same directions :twisted:

    I am having trouble with both possible ways you describe. Just 'finding' a ring along the way, or being 'given' to her in a dream. Both are passive happenings for which your MC does not need to make a choice. A story should be all about choices. A MC should be alive, should be kicked screaming to the next battle - but the beauty for me is that the MC goes willingly because his/her own actions led to it.

    For me a possible way to solve this quandrary would be for her to 'call down the ring' in the dream. I do not know how your magic works but if she can work with magic or has the ability - and you really like the dream anyway - it would be possible to have both. The dream could be a foreboding of dark events, could make her mortally afraid and in reaction her mind would manifest the ring.

    *shrug*
    Hope that helps! ;)
     
  3. dedebird

    dedebird Member

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    It does help! she doesn't exactly just "happen" to get the ring in the dream though. It is specifically given to her because it does not scare her. Dragons are a taboo in her culture and the ring is in a shape of a dragon. So she does choose to take the ring instead of screaming in fear away from it. I don't want it to be the cliche chosen one though. Which is why it will be explained that lots of people have been transported to this "dream like" world and given the chance to take the ring. She is an intelligent person and reads a lot so she questions weather dragons should really be a taboo.
    She herself isn't a magical person in the beginning because in her world dragons are what gives the world magic and everyone had killed them off.
     
  4. Lifeline

    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Contributor

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    I like the idea that lots of people have been given this opportunity. The only thing helpful I can mention more would be to try to crank up the pressure in this dream. Just 'choosing to take a ring' is really not much in terms of making your reader scream for your MC :D

    I know I have been accused of being a real badass kind of author my own MC's have to live with but I admit to liking a good tension :twisted:
     
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  5. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Your OP was a little unclear...It might have been easier to follow if you'd given us Option 1/, where the plot is this, or Option 2/, where the plot is that.

    I think that I understand you 1/ want her to have a dream about dragons, and 2/ receive the ring in a plausible non-coincidence...

    Can you have her explore an old house and find the ring? Can you have her digging for worms to go fishing, and dig up the ring? Maybe she's a JCB driver excavating a building site, spots something shiny in the trench and investigates?

    Either way, she pockets the ring, and only later, when she's in the library, gets nervous (perhaps she spots that hot guy? Or that teacher who's giving her a hard time?), puts her hand in her pocket, plays with the ring, slips her finger into it...bang, dream sequence.
     
  6. dedebird

    dedebird Member

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    I'm sorry it was unclear. Let me try your suggestion of explaining. And as a side note this is a sort of mid evil times fantasy book. She is a maid in a castle and that is where the entire first part of the book takes place (the parts talked about here anyway). I will underline and bold the things I have problems with in both plot options.

    Plot option 1
    The books begins in a dream. In the dream she chooses to take the taboo ring. When she wakes up she is in a library and the ring is still on her finger. She panics because it is a taboo ring, but hides it with bandages. Fast-forward through some boring bits that probably wouldn't change either way. The castle is invaded by angry people. She is running away from them and hides in the restricted part of the library figuring they had better things to do than look through history books. Shes wrong they are getting closer she pulls a dagger for self defense that opens to an underground pathway that she assumes is a quick exit for royalty. She finds the dragon. They have long conversation. The rebels break in and find the dragon and she flees.

    The reason I don't like this is because I don't like things to be done with no reason. HOW did a ring magically appear on her finger. As I was brain storming with lifeline above I came up with the idea that she was not in a dream. She was in an actual place transported there by the dragon after she fell asleep, and she was put back after she passed out in the "dream place." And so there is no chosen one cliche I decided that many people had been given the same chance. I feel like that fixes the problem some what but would still like opinions.

    Plot option 2
    The book still begins in a dream (I am pretty 100% on this because I love how attention grabbing the dream is). The dream goes pretty much the same way. When she wakes up she is in a library and does NOT still have the ring on. She has to rush away for work. When she returns to the library to apologize for mess and offer to clean up she gets in trouble for reading a book she was not supposed to have. The majority of this giant library is restricted and somehow she got a hold of one of the restricted books (it was accidentally misplaced or something?). The librarian gets caught up in something else, but doesn't want to get in trouble for having the restricted book out so he quickly tells her to put the book away. This puts her in the restricted part of the library for the first time. Being an intellectual she just HAS to look around. She stumbles upon a dagger that for some reason she decided to mess with opening up the secret passage way in the first plot point. she then meets the dragon and gets the ring after some talk. She visits the dragon a few times. When the angry people break into the castle she runs to the dragon. He gives her the ring as she flees. The rebels break in and find the dragon.

    I have a problem with the fact that a important restricted book was just "misplaced," if it was so important how was it put with unimportant books. And for that matter if the restricted area was so important why would he just let a girl (no matter how much he likes her) in there to put it back and wouldn't he wonder where she went? And again the coincidence that she just so happened to think the dagger was pretty out of all the amazing artifacts in that restricted area. There is to many "oops it just happened idks" in the second one. But on the pros side I like that she meets the dragon early and gets to spend more time with him. It gives a more realistic chance for him to explain all the things I want him to. In the first option she doesn't realistically have tons of time before the angry people break in and finds the dragon.

    So I guess it boils down to. How do I give her more time with the dragon with out all these coincidences, and which one flows better as a story. Was that more clear?
     
  7. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    The problem I've got with this is the library/librarian...and the "restricted books section".

    It all sounds so 20th century.

    Yes, they'd have had a library in a medieval castle, but not too many books...Worcester priory had only 600 books, gathered over nearly 500 years, at the time of the dissolution. A castle would have had far fewer.

    Unless, in your world, they invented printing a while ago? Or, they've been writing books for a lot longer (like the time-scale in GoT)
     
  8. dedebird

    dedebird Member

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    I know it sounds 20th century when I'm explaining it to you but I'm trying to make it sound more medieval in the book. I kinda made the library as a pet project for the royalty, and when you have tons of money for your hobbies you can have a pretty impressive selection. A lot of the things in the restricted area are historical artifacts and historical documents.
     
  9. Aster

    Aster Member

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    Because dragons, being, you know, not real, couldn't possibly exist in a 20th century setting anyway.

    But that's beside the point.

    Could you tighten the relationship between your MC, the library, the restricted section, the dagger and the ring? Sounds like an elaborate game of Clue...What I mean is, a lot of it seem so arbitrary. You literally use the term "for some reason". That reason needs to be significant.

    She witnesses someone using a dagger to reveal the secret part of the library. She goes out to get her hands on a dagger so she can get into the secret part of the library. In the secret part of the library is the book. She finds a hideaway space and begins reading the book. As she's reading the book the words talk specifically to her. They mention her by name. They ask her if she is willing to take the test and if she is, to read aloud the following passage...Because she's hiding she whispers it, her heart pounding. There is a flash and she enters the dreamscape. At the end of the dreamscape is the ring, which she takes and places on her finger. Once she does she is returned to her hideaway spot in the library. The book is open in her lap and she looks down to read a message wishing her luck.

    This way your MC has agency and is no longer passively stumbling across everything by sheer coincidence. You don't have to use these ideas specifically, they were just examples of ways you could make each element matter.
     
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  10. dedebird

    dedebird Member

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    omg I love the book idea, unfortunately I don't know if it makes sense in my plot because dragons can't exactly write and one of the points of the dreamscape is the dragon calling for help.
    You are 100% correct though. That's why I made this thread I hate "just happened for some reasons" plots. I think I am starting to get it more and more shaped with all these suggestions thanks so much you guys!
     
  11. Aster

    Aster Member

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    Maybe the book is "written" by the first person who chose to take the ring...
     
  12. dedebird

    dedebird Member

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    No one has ever had the ring before, it is an embodiment of the dragon's power. In my story's world dragons have never been ridden, or really in touch with humanity. They generally stayed to themselves until some crazy guy decided he wanted to kill all of them (it wasn't I'd say why but it'd ruin the whole plot of my book ^-^ don't want to give away to much yet!) and he figured out it wasn't a good idea and kept the last one alive. I think the first plot I wrote is the one I'm going to use with minor adjustments to get rid of the plot holes. I know there is still some things I need to clear up but that will come as I write it I think.
     
  13. Aster

    Aster Member

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    Then where did the ring come from? Who forged it?
     
  14. dedebird

    dedebird Member

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    Good question lol. Let me think about that for a minute or two. :superthink:

    To be honest originally I hadn't put any thought into it, it was just a ring the dragon magically conjured. Thanks for pointing that out to me.

    Well the ring can't be taken off, and in the dream the ring sort of comes alive and tightens itself to her finger. Maybe it is a living yet material piece of the dragon's soul. And that explains why it can take the dragon's power, because it is a real dragon.

    How was that brain storm? This is really helping me and getting me excited :cheerleader:
     
  15. Aster

    Aster Member

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    So the dragon can make a ring out of its soul but can't make a book the same way?

    Why did the dragon create this ring to be worn specifically by a human if as far as all dragons knew, humans exist only to hunt and kill dragons. Was it just blind optimism?
     
  16. dedebird

    dedebird Member

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    I suppose from my own logic he COULD make a book. The owners of the library are super protective of it, so most casual readers are deterred from using the library at all. Shes lucky because the book keeper took a liking to her. So not many people would have the chance of finding the book. I want more people to have had the same chance she did. So as much as I love that idea the more I think about it the more I'm not sure if it fits very well.

    He is dying so it's a last ditch effort to find anyone or anything that could possible help. It's very important for this world to have dragons alive. He is very cautious around her and doesn't put power into the ring right away. At first it's more of a mark so he knows who she is and to give her a chance.
     
  17. Aster

    Aster Member

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    You have a guy who killed every single dragon except one. So how are there dragons, plural, now?
     
  18. dedebird

    dedebird Member

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    That's the whole story line of the book. Yes they are all dead except the one hidden away. Dragons in my world are more deity when one dies another is formed as an egg. Unfortunately each dragon can only be born of another dragons magic hence the dragon magic in the ring.
     
  19. tonguetied

    tonguetied Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sounds a bit like a pearl in an oyster type of thing. Cats cough up fur balls, dragons can cough up rings.
     
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  20. Aster

    Aster Member

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    Still very unclear how you have multiple dragons now when some guy killed them all but one in the past. Will the rings be used to hatch all these eggs? Wouldn't that guy have destroyed the eggs as well? Why didn't he destroy the eggs? Why wouldn't he destroy the eggs the dead dragons left behind? What happens if you destroy the egg? Does another egg just pop into existence in it's place?
     

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