1. Tom1234

    Tom1234 New Member

    Nov 30, 2007
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    I need a plot!! New to writing!

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Tom1234, Nov 30, 2007.

    Ok, I've just started writing and I'm actually quite terrible at it; but, I'd like to get better! I just sat down tonight and wrote the start of what is going to be a story and now I'm stuck! I didn't really think of a plot.. :confused:
    Here is what I have so far...

    Just west of Louisville the Ohio River runs deep and green south towards the Mississippi, its strong consuming currents dragging all debris of the forest with it. The water is still bitterly cold from the previous winter and the thickly bushed overhanging trees let only thin spikes of the sun cut through onto the river bank, leaving light warm patches among this deep damp forest and closing off parts of the river from the sky. The forest is just settling into the new warmth of spring and the thick willow scrubs are covered in new bright yellow and green leaves.
    As the sun began to set Ryan Weinstein made his way down Highway 64 towards a bridge that connects the highway and the town of Louisville. As Ryan reached the bridge it was coming close to complete night, he leant against the rails of the bridge and looked out over the violently flowing river that widened into a calm lake with a thin layer of fog hovering above the water. In the distance he could see a fisherman on a small tin boat pulling up his anchor and packing up for the day. He looked up to the sky and could see the outline of the blue-black mountains silhouetted against a fiery orange sky behind them. Ryan began walking again and carried on across the bridge into the town; it was a Friday night and all the ranch and factory workers from the northern parts of Kentucky where in town to spend their weeks pay on liquor and at the cat houses. Ryan Walked through the streets slowly it was cold so he buried his hands deep into his pockets, in the bars he could see drunken men with their arms around woman and beer or whiskey in the other hand, Ryan kept walking till he got to a bar on the west end of the town, a small place....

    This is all, it isn't very good :( , but i don't wanna just give up or i'll probably never get to writing again. If anybody has any ideas for a plot or where it could go from here, that would be awesome! :)
  2. anastasiastarz

    anastasiastarz New Member

    Oct 10, 2007
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    I suggest you pick a genre such as mystery or horror and do a brainstorm concept map of all the possiblities of what could happen next, then pick your favourite.
  3. Bluemouth

    Bluemouth Contributor Contributor

    Jan 10, 2007
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    Adelaide, Australia
    Well you're very good with imagery. A little work on the style and it could be your thing.

    I'm that impressed with the way you write about the forest and the great detail that you give I'll go straight ahead and recommend you write something set in a small, country town surrounded by the forest and bring in a small cast of characters who you can detail greatly for the reader and then take them out into the beautiful wilderness. I imagine a slow-paced, relaxing story, a couple guys out one afternoon fishing in the stream, the forest a green, mossy backdrop. Perfect. Keep writing and tell me what path you take.
  4. Domoviye

    Domoviye New Member

    Jan 8, 2007
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    Proud Canadian. Currently teaching in Nanjing, Chi
    This story could easily follow Anastasiastar's suggestion, or Bluemouth's.
    Stephen King has started off several stories like this. Setting up a nice tranquil scene than let Hell come in and try to wreck it.
    Or it could be a nice tranquil, relaxing day in the life, feel good story.
    So think about it a bit, keep writing and see which idea jumps out at you more then go with it.

    SAGMUN New Member

    Oct 23, 2007
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    Land of Enchament
    You are natural writer with a gift for mesmerizing archetypical imagery. Ryan Weinstein is on a journey through the dark side of souls: his and the habituates of the bar he is about to enter.

    Tells us their stories ala Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio. With a keen eye, you have observed the human condition. Please share your insights with us.

    Let's not have prologues and epilogues of self-debasements. Let your writing speak for itself; it speak well of you and what you have written and will write.

    Keep in mind that creativity is curiosity in action. Ask your questions not of us, but of your characters. Listen, to them. Your task is to take down what they have to say. Look at them. Your task is describe what you see.

    There's only one plot: event > action or reaction > results. All the rest are permutations. Plot and character are identical. Genre or author"s preference determines which to emphasize: Outward turmoil (plot), inward turmoil (character), or a balance of both.

    Read Wineburg, Ohio analysis on SparkNotes: Winesburg, Ohio: Short Summary

    Read the Wineburg, Ohio stories on


    Winesburg, Ohio
    A Group of Tales of Ohio Small Town Life (1919)
    Sherwood Anderson
    This collection of short stories allows us to enter the alternately complex, lonely, joyful and strange lives of the inhabitants of the small town of Winesburg, Ohio. While each character finds definition through their role in the community, we are witness to the individual struggles each faces in trying to reconcile their secret life within.


    The Book of the Grotesque

    HANDS—concerning Wing Biddlebaum
    PAPER PILLS—concerning Doctor Reefy
    MOTHER—concerning Elizabeth Willard
    THE PHILOSOPHER—concerning Doctor Parcival
    NOBODY KNOWS—concerning Louise Trunnion
    GODLINESS, a Tale in Four Parts
    ****I—concerning Jesse Bentley
    ****II—also concerning Jesse Bentley
    ****III Surrender—concerning Louise Bentley
    ****IV Terror—concerning David Hardy
    A MAN OF IDEAS—concerning Joe Welling
    ADVENTURE—concerning Alice Hindman
    RESPECTABILITY—concerning Wash Williams
    THE THINKER—concerning Seth Richmond
    TANDY—concerning Tandy Hard
    THE STRENGTH OF GOD—concerning the Reverend Curtis Hartman
    THE TEACHER—concerning Kate Swift
    LONELINESS—concerning Enoch Robinson
    AN AWAKENING—concerning Belle Carpenter
    “QUEER”—concerning Elmer Cowley
    THE UNTOLD LIE—concerning Ray Pearson
    DRINK—concerning Tom Foster
    DEATH—concerning Doctor Reefy and Elizabeth Willard
    SOPHISTICATION—concerning Helen White
    DEPARTURE—concerning George Willard
  6. B-Gas

    B-Gas New Member

    Dec 1, 2007
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    Here's how I plot (not that I don't need help with mine, but anyway)-
    Get a good, solid beginning.
    Get a good, solid ending.
    Everything in the middle either follows on from the beginning (through the characters and their interactions) or builds up to the ending (through plots, schemes, and other self-motivated character actions). If it's a longer story, then there can be several things in the middle where it builds up and follows on (and multiple plots and layers and all that good stuff) but work out where it ends second. That tells you what characters you need to develop, what character developments need to happen, what items of power the characters need to gain (if it's a fantasy), what secrets you need to reveal (if it's a mystery) and what technology needs to be explained (if it's a sci-fi).

    A good ending is tough. I think that the sympathetic death of a major villain is a good starting point for an ending, but you have to follow it on from there. Is it a hopeful story? Give it a hopeful ending. Ditto for unhappy stories, sap stories, WAFF stories and all the rest. Get the ending that will knock your audience dead and everything else just leads up to it. Not that the middle is easy, but the ending gives you a direction you can't ignore. Good luck.
  7. Tom1234

    Tom1234 New Member

    Nov 30, 2007
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    Hey, thanks guys.
    This really helps!
  8. Lemex

    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

    Oct 2, 2007
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    Northeast England
    I can second that plan a good begining and ending!
    Many of my first stories are terrible as I didn't plan the ending.
  9. Darksoul

    Darksoul New Member

    Dec 9, 2007
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    My apologies for straying off topic on this one, but I have a rather silly question. Throughout my studies I have come across the terms "human condition" more than once. Yet I have never had more than a vague clue about what it means!

    I was just wondering if anyone could... define or the describe what 'the human condition' means. My guess is it could be paraphrased as "what it means to be human", but like I said, it's just a vague idea.

    Just curious, throwing it out there:)
    (again, I feel silly asking such a question!)
  10. trailer trash

    trailer trash New Member

    Sep 18, 2006
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    United States
    The creative and developmental process of writing ....


    Formal Plotting is not necessary, although it is at least a good idea to have some vague idea as to where you want to go with a story before you begin. It is my belief that you are going to plot either consciously or subconsciously. Anyway, genre would be the first thing to come to my mind as has already been pointed out by anastasiastarz.

    Some writers let the plot and characters develop naturally as they write. But, most have some idea or concept for a story before they start. Otherwise, it is termed as stream-of-consciousness writing, which is for the most part is a little on the avant-garde side of writing, at least in my opinion.

    If you are truly asking someone on the forum to develop a plot for you then I am afraid you are in serious trouble already. And if you are honestly asking this question, then I suggest that you need to back way up and perhaps reassess your reasons for writing in the first place.

    The creative and developmental process of writing is supposed to be one of the most important and rewarding parts of writing. You sound like a desperate student eager to finish a story for English Composition 101.

    There are many good books that have been written by some of the most awesome minds in the technique and art of writing creative fiction. They are entitled by virtue of their sacrifice to the craft to have you read their work. Yes, even if you have to pay the bucks to purchase the books.

    Plotting a story, if used, is one of the most fundamental aspects of the knowledge of prose. I think it is best covered in books on how to write short stories. This forum contains post by individuals such as me who have taken their time to list them in different threads of this forum. You should take advantage of this by reading those post and following up on reading the suggested publications. Writing is not a process of having to stop and ask someone on ever turn where you should go next—and believe me that is exactly how your post is coming off to me.

    I wish you the best of luck in you efforts to finish your story.

    Thanks for posting,

    Trailer Trash

    PS: Sagmun has made some good points, as-well-as providing you with absolutely free sources of information. For less than five busk US you can get Spark Charts that cover many of the questions that I am sure are going to arise as you are writing.

    PPS: Welcome to the Writingforums.

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