Tag Archives: plot

Productive Weekend (no writing though)

Currently Listening To: An episode of Spongebob Squarepants playing through my iPod.

Ever had any of those weekends where you have a lot to get done, and you actually manage to get all of those chores done?

Chores included:

  • Reorganizing my room.
  • Cleaning out the computer.
  • Car work.
  • Laundry.
  • Vacuuming.
  • Dishes.

I didn’t get much done in terms of writing done though. But since I got these chores out of the way, there will be less distractions!

I’ve been working on my plot though. I have an overall big picture drawn out for the plot, but the details are still hazy. Well, more like two thirds of the plot is pretty solid, but one third is still very shaky.

One method that has been helping me is drawing a cause and effect diagram. Remember that what you include in the story must drive the plot in some way. So any plot point I include in the story must cause a future conflict.

So for example, let’s say I have my MC spend all night playing video games and snacking on junk food, despite knowing there’s a big battle the next day. His arrogance  leads him to believe that it will be a quick fight.

Seems insignificant right? But this causes problems in the next chapter, because the MC isn’t operating at 100% and his opponents are fresh and ready for battle.

Remember, you have to get to Point A to Point B somehow.

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Priorities and What Drives The Plot

Currently Listening To: Lost, by Avenged Sevenfold

So, NaNoWriMo is starting to look more and more…bleak.

Not because I’m chicken.

There’s a good chance I’ll have to work some major overtime at work next month. I won’t bore you with why.

Anyhow,

I found this nifty little article on the website Writer’s Store

http://www.writersstore.com/character-driven-or-action-driven

As the URL suggest, this is an article about whether your story is action-driven or character-driven.

There’s a quiz that you can take to determine what you prefer to write.

Myself? I seem to prefer a little of both.

I like characters that evolve. I like characters who make mistakes and learn from them. After all, they are human (usually). Like the protagonists,I want to leave the story with an experience that changes something about me.

Maybe it’s my view on life after reading The Stranger and seeing Mersault finally break down about the meaningless of life.

Maybe it’s how I take on the inevitable fact that I grow up after reading Harry Potter and watching Harry, Ron and Hermione grow and take on the difficult tasks that lie ahead of them while dealing with seemingly trivial things that were a big deal for their age.

But to watch those characters grow, I need to see them fall on their face. I need to see them work hard to achieve something. Let them be faced with death and finally break out. Let them try and win a tournament there weren’t suppose to be in. Does it hurt me that the protagonist fails sometimes? Of course it does, but when a character gets back up and continues to climb over the hurdles placed in front of them, I want to keep turning the pages. What happens in the end?

I want to see a character go from point A to point B. Don’t just say they did, show it! Every action they take to reach their goal, I want to see them fall and get up.

A character could be the most interesting guy or gal ever, but if they have no goals, why would I want to read about them?

So in short, I favor action-driven stories just slightly more than character-driven stories because I want to read about a character who has goals. I want to see how and if they achieve them and how the “quest” changes them (hopefully).

NaNoWriMo and plot holes.

Currently Listening To: Knights of Cydonia, by Muse

So for last month, I’ve been carrying a little black notebook with me.

It’s filled with every thought I’ve had about my novel.

The plot has been given a makeover. Plot holes are closing up as I connect all my thoughts and ideas together.

Still a work in progress, but this year’s NaNoWriMo might be just what I need.

I’ve been going through rewrite and rewrite of the plot. My characters are the ones that seem to fuel it the most.

 

Deus Ex Machina (as seen on TV Tropes)

Currently Listening To: Omerta, by Lamb of God

One thing I have learned through writing is to avoid too many coincidences.

Nothing wrong with the main character getting a bit of good luck here and there (after all, as the writer, you should be making that protagonist go through obstacle after obstacle. Doesn’t hurt to be a little merciful once in a while.)

But relying on it too much is a problem. It then becomes an eye-roller. The readers will be screaming “Oh come on! what an ass pull!”

Why read about a lucky character? Everything goes his or her way when it’s most convenient for them. Not a problem in their lives.

I envy those characters…

Anyway, the reason I am concerned is because in earlier stories, I’ve relied on the hero getting a needed power boost or a powerful weapon right when a stronger enemy is introduced.

In video games this works – you have to win!

In fiction, it’s just too damn convenient. Where’s the struggle? The conflict?

So eventually, I’ve made my characters work to get stronger. Need that special weapon? Go on a very dangerous quest. Even with the special weapon, the fight shouldn’t be a one-sided beat down. Usually I make it so that the protagonist is on an even footing with the antagonist.

Oh, by the way, here’s the trope I referred to in my title:

Avoid staying on this site for too long!