1. ..N

    ..N New Member

    Aug 18, 2013
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    Idea for a Horror story. Need your feedback on what I have so far.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by ..N, Aug 18, 2013.

    I need some general feedback and tips for improvement on my ideas so far:)

    Now, I have this idea for a story where there is a fictional island off of the coast of Russia and it has been hit by a new and devastating waterborne virus which.. yeah you guessed it... turns the inhabitants into zombies/mutants.

    I currently have a plot where initially, the main character is tasked with leading a team of mercenaries and scientists to the island's main water purification plant where they are to deliver an agent which kills the virus in the water. (All we know so far about the main character is that he is in the military and emotionally scarred from the death of his wife early into their marriage) When they arrive they find that the plant is destroyed and acts as a hive for the horrifying mutants and zombies. They retreat to a nearby empty town. It is here where the main character (MC) develops a love interest with one of the mercenaries working alongside him. They become extremely close until the MC realizes she is the closest thing to a relationship he'd had since his wife's death. Further into the story, he begins to treat her like his wife and swears to protect her. However, she is later injured in a run-in with an infected individual who follows them back to the town and upon receiving tests from the scientists, she is deemed infected. Though, days later she has still has not received any symptoms at all. She is somehow showing signs of immunity. With the water purifier being a write off because of the infected, the scientists eagerly turn to the girl for a possible vaccine.

    I'm thinking of perhaps having one surviving scientist come the end who still stands for the vaccine. The main character must either choose to give the woman's life to make the cure, saving lives and making him a savior and hero, or he kills the scientist and takes the girl who he has gotten to love and protect like the wife he never got to love and protect and escape the island. Obviously, both choices involve some kind of compromise or loss. He again loses the only girl he ever got to love to a vaccine, or he saves her and leaves thousands to die. I'm looking to make themes of choice, selfish desire, Love, struggle, etc prevalent.

    Which choice is better and which should I choose? Or can you think of a different choice?

    (Also I have decided on the location, a made up Russian island named Калуга (Kaluga) but I am as of yet unsure as to what my characters will be like, any ideas whilst we're here?)
  2. BritInFrance

    BritInFrance Active Member

    Nov 7, 2012
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    Central France
    Hi, looks like you have a rough outline, but until you fill it with characters it remains just that. Why don't you put some characters into the situation you have created and see where that leads you? You need to make the choices yourself (or let your characters do it): that's the fun of writing.

    Good luck.
  3. peachalulu

    peachalulu Member Reviewer Contributor

    May 20, 2012
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    occasionally Oz , mainly Canada
    The choice totally depends on you and where you want to take your story. Killing off the woman has the element of tragedy. And if your
    comfortable writing tragedy go for it. But if you'd like a bittersweet ending - keeping your love interest but
    sacrificing someone else then go for it. But I'm of the route of BritInFrance - write it and see which ending best works. Don't plan the ending see where the relationships, the mc takes you - you might even have a better twist up your sleeve... you never know.
  4. 123456789

    123456789 Contributor Contributor

    Jan 28, 2012
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    This is one of those things, I think, where what you write from the very start is going to effect what you should write at the very end.

    Large part of it will come down to reader's expectations, which you are going to be establishing from the get go. If you want to go for a shock, and the tone is rather somber, and MC seems like an OK guy, kind of quiet, sort of sad about his wife, but also kind of average, having the guy screw over thousands to save a girl, condemning himself- and her- to damnation might be just the twist you need that also fits with the rest of the novel.

    It's got to fit in what makes sense, and the tone.
  5. The Peanut Monster

    The Peanut Monster New Member

    May 9, 2013
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    New Zealand
    There are lots of people that ask about plot ideas and turns on this forum. The general consensus is that there is no "good" or "better" plot, but really it just comes down to how it is written and your own personal preference. Once you start writing, you will probably find that your plot changes a lot (and maybe even in unexpected ways). Do a good job on the text, and with meaningful, engaging characters and readers will be happy with what turns or twists they end up getting!

    On a personal note, I do tend to get frustrated in books when a main character is killed off for drama's sake; there seems to be a wee bit of that in the synopsis you provided. It can be done well, if it moves the story along effectively (think Game of Thrones - the books, not the series). That's just personal preference though, and there will be differing views on that.
  6. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Mar 3, 2013
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    Ralph's side of the island.
    Good start, a plot idea. You are ready now to start writing. :)
  7. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    May 19, 2007
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    Massachusetts, USA
    A story concept means nothing. What matters is how you write it: the characterization, the flow, the imagery, all of it.

    There's absolutely no benefit in asking what other people think of the concept! They'll either say,"Sounds great," or, "it sounds like a ripoff of..."

    If the idea stirs you, write it. Then ask people what they think of the final story. After they tell you what they don't like about it, revise it, usually several times, until you're happy with it or until you throw up your hands and say the hell with it.

    Please read What is Plot Creation and Development?
    hibiscus likes this.
  8. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

    Mar 9, 2010
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    My first thought is, why does she have to die? I don't think that vaccines normally require that the immune person be killed; in fact, I'd think that killing her would destroy the antibodies.

    But I think that my second thought is more important: What about _her_?

    The plot summary seems to treat her as chattel, a piece of property that he may keep for himself, or hand over to someone else. How does _she_ feel about it? Why isn't she told? Isn't she smart enough to guess? Why doesn't she try to escape? Does she consider sacrificing herself? If he's going to hand her over, will she kill _him_ to save herself?

    This isn't about whether he gives away his most valuable possession; it's about whether he betrays another human being. And it's also about that human being.
    BritInFrance likes this.
  9. hibiscus

    hibiscus New Member

    Jul 21, 2013
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    If it is up to me, I'd make that girl turned into something more sinister than a mere fast-running zombies a-la Resident Evil with Javovich in mind but that would be a rip-off ;)

    Just my 2 cents as a reader.
  10. Flying Geese

    Flying Geese Senior Member

    Aug 12, 2013
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    Sounds alright...but as someone has already said. It depends on you
  11. I. R. Writer.

    I. R. Writer. New Member

    Aug 7, 2013
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    I like the name for your island, and already you have a strong, solid outline.

    It reminds me of The Last of Us computer game: The protagonist loses his daughter to a virus; he then becomes self-centred, and has issues trusting others. He meets a young girl who he discovers to bore markings of a bite from one of the creatures. However, she shows no signs of turning. Together they venture across the perilous city, fighting their way, not only through the dead, but through the majority of the living, whom murder anyone they come across, whether it be for food, weaponry, or any other possible reason, in order to track down a group who call themselves the Fireflies. Disliking the girl at first, but through their ordeal begins to care for her, and once they come across the Fireflies, they explain that they will need to sacrifice the girl, to test for a cure. He refuses to let this go ahead, choosing to fight for the girl’s safety, sacrificing any possibility for a cure.

    The characters in this game are strong, as are the storylines. You need to create believable/multi-emotional characters - back-stories including - in order for your readers to care for them, and their wellbeing’s. They need to deal with trust issues, hunger, ammunition and/or weaponry.

    Perhaps at the end your protagonist decides against the sacrifice of the woman, yet one of their accompanying mercenaries they consider a friend cares more for the cure than he does them, double-crossing them, and handing her over to the scientist?

    Perhaps one of the mercenaries can no longer live this nightmare of a world and executes himself?

    If you can, I would advise you to try this game. It will further ideas, and character traits.

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