1. Joker-Jayde

    Joker-Jayde New Member

    Mar 26, 2016
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    Thinking of plot ideas for within a main plot

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Joker-Jayde, Mar 29, 2016.

    How do people come up with ideas for mini plots for example, I have one main plot which is running throughout the first story and first half of the second. But within the first story, I need a filler plot. Something that happens which creates situations allowing two certain characters to become closer, therefore creating heartbreak when the main story line comes to a head.

    How do you think of ideas? I'm at a halt, what I think, doesn't sound good enough, doesn't sound enough to create enough for a story to be secondly based on. Main plots aren't always the first thought, they can run in the back ground all through with some defining moments of the second plot referring back to the main...if you get me, lol that's what I'm trying to create.

    Just low on how to gather ideas, do you just write anything and hope for the best or do you take time out? I dont want to take time out and lose my connection to the story and characters.
  2. ToeKneeBlack

    ToeKneeBlack Banned

    Jun 4, 2014
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    When I'm out of ideas I listen to music. Sometimes a title or line of lyrics will inspire plot events, characters or even entire story lines.
  3. Oscar Leigh

    Oscar Leigh Contributor Contributor

    Jan 21, 2016
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    Inner West Sydney, Australia
    "Allowing two characters to become closer" this sound like the exact same question as a previous thread you did. :confused:
    Anyway, as for how to romantic subplots, just engineer whatever circumstance seem appropriate for what you want. What do you wan their circumstances to be like? Funny, tense, awkward, dangerous, poetic, random, social, alone etc.
  4. doggiedude

    doggiedude Contributor Contributor

    Feb 15, 2016
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    Florida, USA, Earth, The Sol System
    My thought process for these sort of things usually starts with ...
    What's the point of my next scene?
    Each scene is generally designed to exhibit something.
    It could be that I want to show two characters meeting for the first time.
    Or maybe, I want to show how character A is kind of selfish.
    Maybe, I want to show a character having a life changing experience to make future actions make sense within the story.
    Sometimes a scene is designed to show more than one thing.
    Once I know the point I want to make within the scope of the scene I stare at my screen until I figure out the circumstance I want to put them in.
    Since I have no background for your WIP I can't help you with that part.
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  5. LostThePlot

    LostThePlot Naysmith Contributor

    Dec 31, 2015
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    Filler plots are pretty easy to come up with all told, you just need to think about them in the right way.

    Start by thinking about the tone for that plot. Normally a filler will be something lighter, a contrast to the main plot, but it could be tense or not or anything; but no matter what start off by thinking about what feeling you want that plot to add. That's what a filler plot is doing. Injecting a different feeling into the book to give you that extra feeling that the main plot isn't going to give you to give you the right pacing and contrast. Mostly what you really need to be adding is a sense of normality; a quieter, flatter plot that sits between intense moments and just shows your guys being themselves. That's why romance is a popular B plot; because it's somewhere that is typically more relaxed that offers the characters a chance to be themselves away from the action and in a way that is vulnerable and honest and creating a human connection. So, first decide what you want the plot point to give the book overall.

    Once you have that then really it's not a huge leap. If you want a lighter plot for contrast then just make it something normal; a subplot about failing to get a promotion or getting a girls attention. It can be fun, funny even, even within a serious book because that's the point. Just people doing people things. Just pick the point in the book where you want it to start and have them (literally) bump into each other. Or run across a thing that piques their interest. If you want something more tense then don't add another antagonist, make it the characters feeling tense, being paranoid and seeing something that isn't there. Remember, this isn't a fully developed plot line, it's ok to have it be more simplistic or even just in their head. This isn't supposed to be something that hugely changes the story or the characters it's just there to give the characters space to be themselves.

    As for your romance (or friendship whatever) it's so hard to say without knowing anything about your work. Truly anything can help your characters bond. Maybe they share an interest in common, maybe they find they share a certain outlook or sense of humor. Just having one of them chuckle, then explain why they found it funny and the other joining in will get things going. All you really need to do is be building trust in these little ways and dripping more chances for them to do it as they talk going forward. A quiet moment where they laugh together or cheer each other up will get you most of the way there.

    Without knowing what you're writing I can't give you easy ideas but in my work my two main characters strike up a romance in an otherwise not especially romantic book. It's a b-plot there for contrast, so they can be vulnerable and gives us an insight into the toll that the work they do takes on them personally. As the book starts they have a kind of insincerely flirtatious relationship. They work together and she frequently suggests that he only hired her to get in her knickers and generally verbally sparring along those lines. They share a sense of humor but not much else and so they have this jokey, sarcastic, flirtatious rapport which gets them through long, stressful days. That suits her fine because she uses that sex kitten persona to keep people away, stop them asking awkward questions. When they do start to get close the jokes suddenly vanish. It's nothing huge. Just she asks him if there's anything he does except work and he kinda deflects and doesn't answer and she says "Me either." and offers to come hang out, if he wants someone to talk to. By all rights she should be mocking him, making it into a joke like she has everything else. But it's not. It's just them being human together, sharing trust, seeing a kindred spirit in each other. It pays off with her asking him to stay with her after a harrowing night and they just cuddle; supporting each other and letting the walls down for a moment. It winds around their main plot, the switch sometimes flipping, opening the door a crack to let us see what's happening underneath. That's all you need to do. Just have them talk normally and share a moment together. Then another. And when the time is right (just after a big plot event) have them just sharing a moment and nothing else; a scene where they can be completely vulnerable.

    Just think about it from that more abstract point of view. Don't ask about what exactly they should be doing. Just have them talk and run into something they share or that strikes a chord and turn it into a moment.
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  6. Aaron Smith

    Aaron Smith Banned Contributor

    Jun 2, 2013
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    I don't think of a plot. I think of a scene and then let the characters paint the rest of the picture.

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