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  1. bellaxxa

    bellaxxa New Member

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    Plot Help

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by bellaxxa, Nov 12, 2016.

    Hello! I've had major writers' block for soooo long. I've just recently /finally/ figured out a plot line worth digging into and writing, but I really need help.

    "After witnessing his parents' deaths, a boy starts experiencing visions that show his loved ones dying. At first, he tries to save them, but his actions end up causing more deaths of innocent people."

    Honestly, I've been watching a lot of Supernatural recently so I'm kind of inspired by that... I kind of want to have some mythology/God/demons thing going on, but then again I don't know how that would effect the plot.
     
  2. MusingWordsmith

    MusingWordsmith Shenanigan Master Contributor

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    Perhaps your mythological power is the one that gave the boy his visions?
     
  3. bellaxxa

    bellaxxa New Member

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    Hm, I suppose that would be cool! But I don't want to do a whole demi-god "Rick Riordan" deal.
     
  4. Megs33

    Megs33 Active Member

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    Hmm.

    Nothing really clever springs to mind for me. I've been experiencing a similar block in my own writing, and my plan is to do research with the hope that something will spark along the way.

    You might benefit from checking out this web site: http://dankoboldt.com/science-in-scifi/. There are some really interesting and historically relevant topics that could help you spark an idea (nothing about gods and mythology that i can tell, though).

    Some questions to consider: are his visions internal (he has a power within him)? If so, is this something he has to learn to control? How did he get this power? Why did it start manifesting now? Could it have been held back somehow? Is it something he was born with (and thusly could prompt exploration in his family tree), or was it given to him? Who gave it to him? Why did they want to give them to him? Why him in the first place?

    If it's not an internal power, where are the visions coming from? Is some higher power trying to enable him to do something important? Why is it important? Could his loved ones be involved in his visions for a reason beyond saving their lives? Maybe the visions are coming from an energy source that he has to visit but only works for him?

    Hopefully one of those questions offers some assistance. :)
     
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  5. Kerilum

    Kerilum Active Member

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    If you would like to be an author, then perhaps you should use 'affect' and 'effect' in the correct context.

    Anyways, you should explore the origin of this 'power.' Is it something that other people share throughout the world. If so, what do they have in common? Are the other people that have these visions (again, if there are any) able to recognize one another? Perhaps the visions could be an elaborate inter-connected power.
     
  6. H L McCullock

    H L McCullock New Member

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    Everyone makes typos. I wouldn't worry about getting a word wrong every now and then.

    I really like this idea. And I love the thought that there would be more of these people in the world. Exploring if it is hereditary/genetic would be a good place to start. Perhaps his parents also had these powers? Maybe a drawback could be that he can see other people's deaths but not his own? Hence why his parent's couldn't prevent theirs? Or perhaps he finds out it is genetic and therefore was adopted?
     
  7. TheWriteWitch

    TheWriteWitch Active Member

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    Love the idea and have to admit that I've been watching a lot of "Supernatural" lately as well.

    My best advice would be to start slow. I'm always rushing to the big reveal in my plots and I think that takes away from the reader's experience. Maybe your story should start when the boy first discovers his problem: he can predict people's deaths but if he interferes other people die as well. What is his next step? Does the reader enter the story when the boy is trying to ignore it, get help, or struggling to direct his power as a form of justice?

    Let your main character suffer uncertainty, make mistakes, and get angry. Part of the reason I like "Supernatural" so much is that Dean and Sam react like normal humans. They get frustrated, they consider quitting, but, ultimately, they make the decision to keep going because they cannot accept the alternative. Don't give your character an out, first let him get ensnared along with the reader.

    Also, I feel like the mythology could be as simple as death works in numbers. Death is willing to trade one life for another, but the boy has not yet figured out how to control the exchange (if he can at all). Perhaps your form of "death" is a demon sent to claim the life and, when thwarted, the demon doubles-up the body count so as not to displease the lower power (aka Lucifer?).

    Here's a plot arc you might want to consider:

    1. Learns of the problem (the hard way is always more interesting)
    2. Inciting incident (why the boy can't pretend it's nothing - and he can't accept the alternative)
    3. The learning curve (goal, obstacle, disaster/discovery, next steps. . .)
    4. The situation worsens
    5. Sacrifices must be made (don't have to be literal though that might fit your story)
    6. New direction
    7. Race to the climax
    8. Resolution

    Would love to hear more about it!
     
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  8. bellaxxa

    bellaxxa New Member

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    Sorry! I never got the difference between those two seared in my head. Like how most middleschoolers would get "their, they're, there" confused.

    I was thinking the boy could be some sort of Oracle of Death (edgy, I know). Like someone suggested, I do really like the idea of this demon-death exchange! I'm not entirely good at figuring out origins of stuff, but I'm trying. xD
     
  9. bellaxxa

    bellaxxa New Member

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    Hm, I like that. I was thinking his parents' deaths would have triggered his powers. Maybe in the bloodline, once the parent dies then the offspring get it?
     
  10. TheWriteWitch

    TheWriteWitch Active Member

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    Or Death Dealer - humans gifted with the ability to exchange deaths? That opens up the possibility for your boy to meet good and evil dealers.

    Think of origins as the pay-off and go with problems first. Poor kid, hope he makes it. ;)
     
  11. terobi

    terobi Senior Member

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    Dude, she's twelve. I've marked enough university essays by people in their mid-twenties that don't get this right. Lay off a bit, yeah? Plenty of time to get these straight.
    By the sounds of it, you're wanting to go into Judeo-Christian mythology, rather than ancient pantheons, so I wouldn't worry about people thinking you're doing Rick Riordan stuff (aside from anything else, your concept isn't "I'll just rehash Harry Potter").

    With that in mind, have you considered having a look at various other works playing with Judeo-Christian themes for inspiration? The mediƦval period in particular throws up a mad amount of demonology which isn't generally believed in by mainstream Christianity any more. Some of the madder works from later periods are also quite fun to look at, as well as biblical apocrypha which might be fun to use in a "things the church don't want you to know...." sort of way.
     
  12. Iain Sparrow

    Iain Sparrow Banned Contributor

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    Thanks for posting that link.
    It's a great one-stop-shop for not only finding some inspiration, but a good reservoir of information to build more realistic settings and characters.
     
  13. bellaxxa

    bellaxxa New Member

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    Ooo I like that idea! Maybe there are different types of dealers. For example, the boy, whose name I just figured out, Zackery, is some Death Oracle. Maybe he ends up growing up to actually be a dealer or, you know, one of those fortune tellers?
     
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  14. bellaxxa

    bellaxxa New Member

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    Thanks for the links! I'll be sure to check them out. Thing is, I kind of want him to be a demigod. Thanatos, or something. (Is that the correct spelling?)
     
  15. terobi

    terobi Senior Member

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    Ah, so you are looking at greek mythology, rather than the angels and demons of Christian mythology (where I think the closest equivalent would be the Archangel Michael)?

    I think you're going to want to get it straight in your head whose mythology you're playing with. Of course, you can mix and match, but I'm not sure polytheistic pantheons really fit together with a Judeo-Christian monotheism without getting confusing fast (is "God" a more powerful being than the other "gods"? How do they all fit together? How do we reconcile Greek-style demigods with, you know, Jesus?). Failing that, you could leave it deliberately blurry at the higher levels but make sure you've at least thought the lower levels that your protagonist will be operating in through - remember Sanderson's Law: "An author's ability to solve conflict satisfactorily with magic is directly proportional to how well the reader understands said magic". If you don't understand the ins and outs of how your magic system and mythology work, your reader won't either.
     
  16. bellaxxa

    bellaxxa New Member

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    Yeah, I'm still playing around with ideas! I think I might just use Judeo-Christian stuff. ^^
     

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