1. RunningWind92

    RunningWind92 New Member

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    Strong plot summary?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by RunningWind92, Aug 30, 2017.

    Hi everyone. So, I've been a poetry writer for six years but fiction is a completely new territory for me. This will be a YA novel taking place in the modern day, first beginning in New Jersey, or possibly on the Greyhound bus in which the main protagonist, Lacey, is traveling on with her parents. They move to a small southern town (unsure which yet), and the protagonist develops feelings for a boy, Noah, who is in one of her classes, the 7 foot tall center for her high school's basketball team. Aside from school, she volunteers at the local animal shelter in which Noah is also a volunteer there. This is the first time they interact face to face. Throughout the novel, Lacey helps Noah, with school, his father is dying of cancer and he is extremely close with him - but I'm unsure what Lacey's conflict is. Thanks!
     
  2. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView

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    Is this a romance? The relationship between Lacey and Noah seems to be the main driver. If so, then the conflict needs to be a thing that keeps them apart - that stops them being a happy couple from day 1. You mention obstacles in Noah's life (his father's illness, perhaps struggling to fit in basketball training with other school work?) but none in Lacey's. Lacey is your main character, so her obstacles need to be more interesting than anybody else's.

    An agent or publisher (can't remember) said something on Twitter that stuck with me: "If your hero is a firefighter, your heroine had better be an arsonist." Of course it isn't that black and white, but it gives a great start when thinking about character conflict in a romance. Maybe instead of both volunteering at the animal shelter, Lacey is a volunteer animal lover and Noah is learning to run his family's cattle farm (slaughtering cows and bulls). Maybe Lacey joins another sports team and they're in vicious competition with the boys' basketball team for some kind of grant or funding.

    The conflict between the two has to be big enough to keep them apart, and big enough that it can't be solved with a frank conversation, but not so big that it can't be surmounted, or makes one or both of them unsympathetic to readers.
     
    NateSean and ChickenFreak like this.
  3. RunningWind92

    RunningWind92 New Member

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    Hi thanks for replying. Yes this is a romance. I was thinking that Noah's character can possibly be difficult - he endures a lot ridicule and for Lacey to be so open with him, comes as a surprise, so he's a tough shell to break into. That could possibly be the action of the story, Lacey's character fleshing out doesn't have to be the focus of the novel.
     
  4. MythMachine

    MythMachine Active Member

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    One thing that really bothers me about a lot of romantic fiction, is when the romance dictates most or all actions of the love interests in the story. Make sure that you give each character their own aspirations, desires, and responsibilities outside of the romance, or else the characters are going to lack a lot of necessary depth for the readers to like them. If the father dying of cancer is a motivational factor in the story, make sure it isn't just a plot device to set up the romance. Explore Noah's relationship with his father and give it some meaty backstory that really places the reader in his shoes and what it's like to be in the situation. I recommend a little research on the progression of cancer and the various treatments available, if you don't already know about it. I strongly urge to not to turn Noah into Lacey's only goal throughout the story. What were her family's motivations for moving to a small southern town? Does she fit into her new high school? Did she leave behind any friends or boyfriends at her previous school? Is the relationship between her parents stable? You can ask yourself questions like these, and that will naturally lead you to a backstory and give Lacey some depth to move forward with the plot.
     
  5. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView

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    I'm not sure what you mean but I would say the main character's arc really should be a strong focus of the story!
     
  6. Cave Troll

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

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    I agree with @Tenderiser . The focus should
    be on the MC(s), and their arc in the story.
     
  7. Medazza

    Medazza Active Member

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    Don't really tall people often have health issues? Maybe something gets discovered as he has trials for a pro team and has a medical or something?
     
  8. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax Contributor Contributor

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    Not just tall people. (Although gigantism is a thing)

    A guy I worked with had been in the same group of young players as a future England centre-forward. At an age when the rest of the group were turning pro, or being rejected, he was found to have a "problem" with his knee...so they rejected him...Asa Hartford was found to have a heart defect when he went to the medical for a transfer to a top team, and the transfer fell through.
     

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