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  1. DaveLu

    DaveLu Member

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    I think my twist is cliche

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by DaveLu, Jun 24, 2017.

    I'm writing a story (alternate world) about a boy who tries to help free a girl from a slave trade. After fleeing to his town to hide, the two fall in love. But she's soon discovered by this group of bandits who try to take her back. The MC strikes a deal with the bandits that if they can pay off her debt by a certain time, then she will be free. However if they don't then he will give himself up as well to the trade. (Still trying to figure out a reason why they go along with it, instead of taking them both right then and there.)

    At the end of Act Two, they have finally raised enough money to pay off the girl's debt. However, the main bandit betrays them, deciding to take both them and their money to work for him. I kind of feel like this part in particular is obvious.

    Also I'm kind of unsure where to take the Climax. Right now I have that they somehow manage to escape with the help of their friends they've made along the way such as rebellious bandits who hate their boss, and then a fight/chase scene results in the antagonists death. But that just seemed too easy. Hopefully I gave enough info to work with!
     
  2. Cave Troll

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

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    If he chooses to join her, then he would have an emotional investment in doing so.
    The more raw the emotions are the more believable it will be. You don't want to
    force them into a situation just to add a dramatic flair. Let them organically grow
    and work together to get out of their sitch. Anything less than that will feel contrived
    and will fall short in the long run. IMO. Too easy and it feels contrived, too hard and
    it feels the same.
    There should be the fear and realization that they cannot win, but manage to overcome
    them in spite of it by the skin of their teeth. The gamble should add to the suspense
    as opposed to the success.
     
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  3. Selbbin

    Selbbin The Moderating Cat Staff Contributor

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    Well, to me it seems the bandits would go along with it for the money, knowing they will betray them. But that does mean she would have to stay with them as collateral. If it's that obvious, perhaps use that expectation against the reader and have the MC prepare for that eventuality in secret and add a twist that he gets one over the bandits. That second part I wouldn't use.
     
  4. Infel

    Infel Contributor Contributor

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    OoOoOo! Why not go the super route of having the protag agree to join them WHILE working to buy their freedom? Then the bandits get another laborer who will struggle to earn them additional money on the side, and after he does earn it, they can just kill him and have the money AND the girl.

    Then the protag can use all the skills he learned from working to earn the money to kick bandit ass!!
     
  5. Mocheo Timo

    Mocheo Timo Senior Member

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    The idea of one of the bandits betraying the MC does seem cliche to me.
    But I don't think that would necessarily be a problem depending on how you work with the plot after that.
    This seems more like a beginning than a scene that leads up to a climax,
    so in my opinion, the reader could actually enjoy this familiar twist since they will easily be able to place themselves in the MC's shoes.

    The MC was betrayed, now what? Will he be merciless and kill all of the bandits?
    Will he suffer and suffer until he is so miserable that any chances of him coming back seem unbelievable?
    Will he play the classic hero and defeat the bad guys, show off some noble character, and end up with the heroine in the end?
    The reader could still wonder all of these questions above (and perhaps other ones) as a result of the twist.

    Now what is left is for you is to play with the outcomes in an interesting way.
    For example, the MC defeats all the bandits and gets the heroine but decides to continue his life as a bandit and ends up becoming the new bandit leader...
    The climax could perhaps be clearer in your mind that way.
     
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  6. Ulquiorra9000

    Ulquiorra9000 Member

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    Hmmmmm, I can see why you think that "a bandit betrays the deal and kidnaps them anyway" twist is pretty conventional. Well, what if a 3rd party takes that course of action instead, maybe one that the MC trusted until now? And they reveal themselves to be even more wicked than the slavers?
     
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  7. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    After the thread on whether to comment on usage, I can't help commenting.

    A plot that depends on a cliche (noun) may be cliched (adjective).
     
  8. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    Addressing the actual question: one way that you could make a classic he-rescues-her plot less cliched could be to make her an active and essential part of the rescue, instead of a passive victim waiting for rescue. One step further, maybe she accomplished something more than rescuing herself.
     
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  9. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    maybe the MC takes over the bandit gang and sells the erstwhile leader into slavery but is relationship with the girl goes tits up because she can't be with a slaver and forced to choose between her and money and power he chooses the latter.

    Or the girl takes over the gang and sells the MC into slavery along with the antag as they are both rivals for power
     

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