1. Razzle

    Razzle New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2016
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Arkansas, USA

    Need advice on specific conflicts for story idea

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Razzle, Nov 28, 2016.

    So I started to practice typing ideas for my stories, and I have setting and character ideas for a romance(?) of sorts.
    However, I can NOT think up decent conflicts so even in practice my typing is just bland rambling right now.

    The basics of what I have so far involves a couple of men who are dating and the fact that (Miniver) suffers from clinical depression and the other (Albert) is from a strict conservative religious family that doesn't approve of homosexuality or anything like it and so he hides his true self from them.

    The story is about how they continue to support (or attempt in many cases) each other while facing these issues and more, and while I myself cannot draw my ideal dream is for this to be a webcomic series one day.

    I have some ideas about 'the worst that could happen' to the two main characters, which would be Miniver attempting suicide and Albert being disowned, but even if I decide to go with those routes I'd want a build up to this with a bunch of lesser conflicts.
    Not to mention how it would end and all that.

    And on setting...it takes place in a suburb in Arkansas, USA ranging from 1990 (flashbacks) to 201x (current time the characters are in)

    What kind of conflicts would make sense in this kind of story?
    Something I can at least start practice typing with, like a very specific writing prompt perhaps?
     
  2. EnginEsq

    EnginEsq Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2016
    Messages:
    176
    Likes Received:
    123
    Perhaps you could start with yourself, your family, and your friends - what bad things have happened to them?
    Maybe you can adapt them to your MCs.
     
  3. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2016
    Messages:
    2,359
    Likes Received:
    3,770
    I think it might help to ask yourself what some other details are about your MCs, and what types of conflicts/situations they could encounter:
    • What do each of them do for a living?
    • What are their hobbies?
    • Do they have friends in common?
    • What is Miniver's family like? And on that note, what are the origins of Miniver's name, is it strikes me as a bit unusual for a contemporary male in the USA?
    • Is there anyone in Albert's family (even extended, like cousins) who might have Albert's back?
    • Did one or both of them go to college? If so, what did they study? Did they wind up in jobs related to their major?
    • When did they leave home and start living on their own, and what were the circumstances surrounding that?
    And as a writer and avid reader of m/m romance, I personally am not a fan of books that are too bleak or depressing. So I would encourage you to explore Miniver and Albert's good times and joyful moments as well as their struggles, so they can be more well-rounded.
     
  4. Eliza Rain

    Eliza Rain Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2015
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Ohio
    Okay lets start with Miniver.

    Depending the age his depression began, he has most likely been struggling for years with himself and his mind. He's probably thought about if he should see a counselor. He's thought about drugs and if they could help him or if he's against them. He's definitely hid this from people (or at least some to extent) because he doesn't want to burden them or be judged. He'll lose interests in things he loves to do and begin to lose sight of his goals in life. Thoughts could appear like 'it'd be so easy to step in front of a bus...' etc. Many people struggle with depression and some basic research wouldn't hurt.

    Albert is different in that it is more dependent on his family. I'm sure there's been a bunch of lying, awkward situations, and excuses in the past regarding his family. This is very stressful, and if he's been doing this since he was a teenager (or whenever he discovered his sexuality) he's probably lost some basic trust in family. He's never had a true support system. This can be devastating in many ways, so get creative and spread some misery! Haha!
     
    Razzle likes this.
  5. Denegroth

    Denegroth Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2016
    Messages:
    177
    Likes Received:
    82
    Location:
    South Florida
    "...are dating...." doesn't tell me much by way of the nature of the relationship. "Supporting each other" could be as simple as not rejecting each other. Families aren't all that prominent an influence these days, unless you're from _________. Political correctness forces us to not say that one out loud; freedom of speech and all that.

    If they're just dating the conflict would be happening to them individually. The other one could do no more than sympathize, or offer advice. Money is the major conflict for couples, but we don't know if we have a couple here, or not. There has to be some sort of deeper commitment to have expectations to make his problems my problems. Even for us outside looking in, our first question (whether we admit it or not) is "why bother?" Or, "How does this involve me?"

    I'd venture best friends are committed to one another more than two people who are "just dating." Then, you have the problem of are the conflicts between the two, or "you and me against the world" or "this happened to me today, how'd things go for you?" There is a plethora of problems life offers on many levels. What levels are we dealing with in this instance?
     
  6. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    17,272
    Likes Received:
    19,010
    Location:
    Scotland
    Yes, I agree with this. @Razzle needs to work on expanding his cast of characters, maybe work in a few settings. The story will start to evolve, the more complex the situation becomes. However, this is for the author to do. It's part of writing. What do YOU, Razzle, want to say about this situation your characters find themselves in? Don't tell us here. Go away and write it.

    If you're really stuck, give one (or both) characters a dilemma they can't actually solve. For example: Albert can't ever convert his father to accepting homosexuality because his father has just died. So Albert will need to live with the fact that his father never understood him. How does he learn to handle the brick wall he's just hit?
     
    Razzle likes this.
  7. antlad

    antlad Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2016
    Messages:
    297
    Likes Received:
    96
    From this little bit...I would say a big conflict could be that Albert actually suffers more depression, but has naturally learned to deal with it, while Miniver uses a label to identify himself. (Very common situation. Albert has spent his life hearing those he loves spit poison about who his true self is. Do they really love him back...or would they?)
    How does Miniver deal with his depression? Therapy? Helping others? Big Brother program?
    What type of depression? (Readers who suffer will want something to tell them. We all compare ourselves.)

    A suburb in Arkansa shouldn't play much into it-
    unless you live there and can describe the shifting feeling over the years.
    unless you are going to make it a simple 'dumb south people bothering folks that are different.

    I think the neighborhood should feed in like any suburban neighborhood would-
    some people like all neighbors
    some people dislike all their neighbors
    there are ultra-consrvatives to ultra-liberals
    there are kids and teens and their views change over time
    Is it a 'good' or 'bad' neighborhood? How soon do police/fire arrive?
    Is it a neighborhood inside a neighborhood, or a neighborhood that many pass through to get on a highway?
     
    Razzle likes this.
  8. Razzle

    Razzle New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2016
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Arkansas, USA
    Thanks for all of the input!
    I started writing down more specific character information to build on such as their hobbies, jobs, and family background, and already got a humorous drabble written down based on Miniver's job.
    Thanks especially @Laurin Kelly for giving me info like that to fill out for myself.

    And @antlad I'm unsure what I want done exactly with the setting now that I think about it.
    I possibly slapped that on lazily as a beginner writer who doesn't know much about other locations and was raised in Arkansas.
    I DO like the idea of embracing both the bad and the good of southern culture and not just writing about a bunch of discriminating jerks.
    I like the idea of writing about Arkansas in ways people may not think of, which is rather inspired from when I was a child and found out about how up north people think we don't have Walmarts (we invented it so that's kinda funny) and don't wear shoes or go to school.
     
    Laurin Kelly likes this.
  9. antlad

    antlad Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2016
    Messages:
    297
    Likes Received:
    96
    Use what you knew as a child. Also, use those regional biases, they help readers identify (like I'm from Cali, so I naturally grew up surfing every morning before school). You can also touch on the wealth in Arkansas, industry and retail leaders are there, as well as the diamond mine industry not many know about.
    Are they being priced out of where they like to live? With a down economy, has the klan started to creep back in?

    As a side note- I once read a children's book that dealt with regional thinking. I believe it was called Gila Monsters Meet You at the Airport, or something similar, about 2 kids traveling and what they are told to expect.
     
    Razzle likes this.
  10. Razzle

    Razzle New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2016
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Arkansas, USA
    So, update: I've decided to start out with writing the story in the form of drabbles that lead into each other for now.
    Also, I'm starting to think I like the idea of starting the main characters off as friends and neighbors instead of already a romantic couple.
    On that note, I want to read some original (not fanfiction in this specific case) drabbles, is there a good website you guys would suggest for finding and reading that kind of stuff?
     
  11. antlad

    antlad Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2016
    Messages:
    297
    Likes Received:
    96
    I don't know where to find drabbles off hand. The only experience I have is reading a drabble book a number of years ago. It was good overall. Post apoc, mechs, zombies. It is called Dead Mech by Jake Bible. Might want to check out his site.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice