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Pirate's Putrid Plot Problems!

 
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le Pencil Pirate



Joined: 19 Apr 2008
Posts: 120
Location: Still under the Opera House, and still hoarding Tristram's pencils.

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:05 pm    Post subject: Pirate's Putrid Plot Problems! Reply with quote

Wow.. I'm in the writer's section. Making a post. o.o; *stage fright*

Anywho, Pirate has a couple of epic tales in the making, but has issues with plot. I'll have a vague idea of the general story, but it never gets much farther than that.

Do you awsome writer-people have any suggestions about making things happen in a story? Creating problems and/or plot-twists? Thinking outside the Box, etc.?
All that my box-imprisoned mind can come up with seem to be cliches. ("OH EHM GEE, it's her LOOK-ALIKE!" or "Luke, I am your father", and such.) It's most frustrating, really.

Any advice you give will be ever so appreciated. Cool
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-Tulio, from "Road to El Dorado".

Keeper of Tristram's Pencils, Bel's non-existant rear, and... I think that's it.
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RoseBlood



Joined: 21 Apr 2008
Posts: 302
Location: Gallifrey. . . (Before the Time Wars. Duh- I time- traveled to get here.)

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try coming up with wacky, insane twists to the story. The crazier the better. Come up with as many as possible- I swear, one will strike your fancy. savvy?
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Asa



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
Posts: 3538
Location: Grammar Police HQ. Watch your language, I'm armed with the NYTimes Style Book AND Strunk and White!

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, I always start with the characters, and just shove them into situations. Sometimes a story builds out of several related incidents, and you can let it simmer while you work out mid-point scenes.

I also start in the middle of a story. "She was trapped in the woods, surrounded by evil scarecrows and without her trusty needle. What would she do?!?" After I get her out of that predicament, I'll know why she was there in the first place, and what she's going to do next. Then I skip back and forth and all around until the whole thing is connected... but I don't do much actual planning beforehand.
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RoseBlood



Joined: 21 Apr 2008
Posts: 302
Location: Gallifrey. . . (Before the Time Wars. Duh- I time- traveled to get here.)

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, usually, I'll just have a beginning or an ending to a story. All the times I've just had a begining- well, let's just say they never got finished (or passed the first page.)

And I'm still working on the ending one. It was actually inspired by the first 1:30 of the song "Whore of Babylon" by inkubus sukkubus. (don't read too deep into it- there aren't even any lyrics to the song).
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RoseBlood=Rose/Blood= Red
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Tamir



Joined: 22 Mar 2008
Posts: 1629
Location: Israel

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't help you 'cause I always work by twist endings. I think of the ending first, then build the story around it. And I never write long stories, so I've never had to come up with mid-story twists. So ya, can't help. =B
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Tenshi



Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 2594
Location: Star Stuff

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mid-plot woes? Have one of the main party captured, kidnapped, or struck ill by a deadly toxin. Have this maybe even be someone trying to kill/sabotage them, by order/payment/desire to help of the MBG (Main Bad Guy)...

Then, a side quest must ensue. This side quest can, at the very end, reveal a great serendipitous chunk of knowledge that helps the characters toward their final goal.

Or maybe just a BFG (Big... uh, Fancy, Gun)?

Good luck!
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Asa



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
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Location: Grammar Police HQ. Watch your language, I'm armed with the NYTimes Style Book AND Strunk and White!

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's true, what Usa implied. Let your characters be your guide. If you're done your job correctly (remember what we said in the "Characters Help Thread"), then your characters should be able to hold themselves up without too much effort from you. You can send them haring off into the wilderness while you work out the plot, and bring them back again when you're ready to have them. In my opinion, any work you do in the same story line with the same characters will help you move your story forward, even if you don't use the newfound info until later on.
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Self-styled Forum Grandmother, because I hand out nicknames and hugs whether you want them or not. ^_^

Keeper of the Library and the Gateway to Haven

Nem: "It's the sort of face you just know is getting ready to poke you with something sharp."
BS: "...then insist you eat a brownie."
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Give me your hands if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.
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Virturealm



Joined: 22 Mar 2008
Posts: 162
Location: OH!

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I may not have the nerves to write much of anything, but I'm an obsessive plotter, and I'll suggest these two things.

One, if you've got the basics of the plot, the characters, the general aim, I would try to flesh out the bad guys. Letting the characters write themselves is one thing, but if you've just run out of things for them to do, nothing builds up the structural aspects of a plot like figuring out the details of the evil plan. Assuming there is one of course. Isn't always.

Second, and this may be more for fun that a serious tip, if you're worried about cliches, I'd say the best way to solve that is just to know them, inside and out. I recommend TVTropes, probably my favorite website on the internet. Basically Wikipedia for plots. You can just search the entry for your favorite series and browse from there. It may eat your life.

Some random starting points.
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Tinu.



Joined: 23 Mar 2008
Posts: 3690
Location: The land of dreams

PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always just let it simmer, and things come. I'll think of something completely unrelated to the story, and then apply it there.
Actually, I cheat becuase things just come ot me via a mental image of a character holding up a large sign that says "DO THIS!!"

A fun way to get rid of cliches and surprise people is to act like you're going into a cliche, and fool the reader into thinking it's cliche, and then do the opposite. So for instance, it wouldn't be her look-a-like, it would actually be her. Or something. It can make things interesting.
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le Pencil Pirate



Joined: 19 Apr 2008
Posts: 120
Location: Still under the Opera House, and still hoarding Tristram's pencils.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh yeah, like pull a Tanith Lee or something. *villainous chin-stroke*


Thanks, guys. All of those ideas are super! (And the website, Virturealm.)
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"Miguel, you know that little voice that tells you when to quit while you're ahead? You don't have one."
-Tulio, from "Road to El Dorado".

Keeper of Tristram's Pencils, Bel's non-existant rear, and... I think that's it.
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