Plot generators - cheating or essential??

Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Noya Desherbanté, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. pitviper

    pitviper Member

    Dec 25, 2016
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    I find the plots generated by plot generators very contrived, and not at all inspirational... that said, no, of course they are not "cheating". If you can come up with a story based on "An international spy and a robot sit in a deserted bar. They share a secret and begin an affair", then more power to you.
  2. big soft moose

    big soft moose All killer, no filler. Contributor Community Volunteer

    Aug 1, 2016
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    East devon/somerset border
    That looks like a writing prompt for the short story contest ... waves @Tenderiser
    Simpson17866 likes this.
  3. Mysteriousem

    Mysteriousem New Member

    Dec 26, 2016
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    Personally, I've never been able to use plot generators. They tend to give me things that would be total nonsense garbage in the context of my story. That being said, I know some people who write perfectly entertaining stories who rely heavily on generators. I don't think either way is superior... It's just finding what works for you.

    I do think that if you find your characters standing around saying "now what?" then there's probably some work that needs to be done at the development level. FWIW, the writers I've heard saying this are often the same ones who seem to have trouble being really mean to their characters (I tend to be kind of a sadist to my characters, not sure what that says about me...) Ask your character what he/she values most in the entire world and then take it away from them. See how fast your characters sit up and start acting. :)

    I will say, though... I have created a sort of personalized 'plot generator' in the form of an idea box.. :) I bought a really pretty, fanciful box at my local craft store, and every time I have an idea that I like, but can't use at that moment (or stray thought, interesting turn of phrase, character concept, etc...) I write it down and throw it in the box. If I feel stuck for story ideas, I pull out the box and see if it triggers anything. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but for me it has a better success rate than online plot generators.
    Mckk and Simpson17866 like this.

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