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Okay please excuse my dorky moment of I'm a moderator! Alright moving on....This topic/thread is for anyone with plot issues or anyone who is having a hard time writing a summary. We will be sure to tell you if you're plot isn't good or has room for improvement. We will also be sure to tell you how to improve your summary! This topic really doesn't have any rules, except to help whoever asks for it.

3/8/2011 #1

Alrighty then...I got a question to pose to the group. How do you normally take your plot and incorporate it into an actual story?

Do you make a set course of actions? (example: characters go from point A to B and so on...)

Or, do you take the plot as a vague outline, and fill in the rest with...who knows?

(Not going to lie i use bits of both...though more the "who knows" bit lol.)

3/8/2011 #2

It depends on the story for me, sometimes I will go with who knows if I know the characters well. If I don't know the characters well, then I like to plot it out and really get to know the characters.

3/8/2011 #3

So how do you get to know the characters without writing the story? Granted we normally have a baseline idea of what we want for a character, but do you round them out before hand and then apply them to the pre-established plot?

Normally, I write with vague ideas, or markers that I want the characters to eventually get to. This allows for an incredible amount of leeway. It can also become distracting if you're not used to it, but it helps round out my characters rather well. I kind of set them loose, and after a while get the feel for how each one goes about reaching said markers.

3/8/2011 #4

I get to know them in my head ( I visualize the whole story) , like I act out what they would say and stuff. sometimes I change the plot, sometimes I don't, usually I just let it kinda works itself out. But it's gets to the point, where I say Lexi wouldn't do that.

3/8/2011 #5

I got a vague plot but I think it is sort of a brainstorm item.

3/9/2011 #6

All my finished shorts and poems came from an idea which flowed into a fully fleshed story. I have tried to think things out in advance, but I find it hard. I just write whatever seems right, get up next morning and edit, repeat until finished. As for characters, as weird as it may seem I talk to them in my mind until they become real people to me. I always have goals in mind for how a character will turn out - is he going to be a d***, disgustingly happy, caring or maybe just unlucky.

3/9/2011 #7

I talk out loud about my characters, and pace around my house, it looks rather odd. but hey it works..

3/9/2011 #8

Character development. . . .ahhh. . . .one of my greatest loves in writing. . . . .

As for plotlines, I usually plan, plan, plan! I tend toward complicated storylines with multiple subplots, so I have to be really careful about keeping all the threads straight. Occasionally, however, I'll write something through "freewriting," as I call it. I'll have a basic plot, points A, B, and C, then I fill in the blanks. But I find that a LOT harder than planning!

As for character development, I actually study human behavior. People are ecclectic, gathering a host of information. For example, I am a stay-at-home mom, but I am fluent in Sign Language for the Deaf, play bass guitar in my church praise team, have a decent layman's understanding of forensics, and other things. They're all layers that I picked up from my various experiences in life. Characters are like this. Their experiences of the past teach them the oddest things!

Also remember that characters have weaknesses. I try to put one weakness into every character, one flaw that they struggle with all the time.

And I take on characteristics of a character. I once wrote a character who drank wine and had lived in Tuscany, Italy, for some time. She was nearly a professional chef, though life took her a different direction. While I don't drink alcohol of any sort, I took to drinking my iced tea out of wine glasses. It helped me get into the mindset of a character. I've worn watches (which is abnormal for me), tried painting, and various other things. I suppose it's the method acting idea. . . .

And there's my really long answer about plotlines and characters. ;-)

3/10/2011 #9

I research things and google some odd things.

3/10/2011 #10

I do that, too. I have googled the ODDEST things. Right now, it's sheep shearing. . . .

3/10/2011 #11

I have really looked into womens underwear in certain centuries, so I end up going to some kids sites at times for the info it gives you.

3/10/2011 #12

I could tell you the really odd things I've looked up for the sake of a story, but I might get put on a watchlist somewhere. . . .literally. Suffice it to say that one of my upcoming stories involves domestic terrorism as one of the main plots. ;-)

3/10/2011 #13

Haha, we used to say u couldnt search bombs on the school computers and they would get suspicious. Creepiest things I went on for a story, pro-ana websites.

3/10/2011 #14

Okay, I also look at a character and work out the plot from there. My characters i see in visions and sporadic little scenarios. That morphs into a possible event. Then from there i think of a plot to go with it. In Vengence I actually wanted and wished i could do a murder mystery with layered characters and lots of plot twist. It was just what I wanted and the romance stuff was just extra.

I like to do characters that will be somewhat real, but of course they are flawed terribly or just a little. I'm working on a vampire story in my head that's been bugging me and though I haven't committed anything to actual type, I think it needs something else. I hate to be too cliched, but I always try to depict my characters with a mold and work from there. I also like to go from extremes in my characters that can help with easy friction or I use folks that are alike to show how conflict can be seen even in those situations.

The plot is also something I like to try to keep interesting throughout and sometimes I argue with my characters. In a story I once wrote I cried every time my character spoke of their deceased family member since my father had passed and I used personal pain and anguish to help develop my character.

Look kid is crying brb, or not.

3/11/2011 #15

I usually let my characters work there way into the plot.

3/11/2011 #16

In another story, my dialogue is killing me. The main character is so much like another character its ticking me off, because in my head they are different but they may be like each other on paper.....Their story is also about just some general things and conflicts. It deals with alcoholism, domestic abuse, love, and the social service system. I just need to be able to get the ideas straight. I have a little bit down, but i hate to post up just a couple of pages. It annoys me to no end. Then the plot is simple that I don't have to worry about it, but its the characters and their lives that are kicking me in my shins now.

3/11/2011 #17

Hmmm. . . .similar characters is a bit of a problem. First of all, getting INSIDE their heads is crucial. If they've had similar upbringings, what is different? How did that one difference shape them? As for dialogue, does one have a particular method of speaking? Maybe he/she doesn't use contractions for some reason? Transfer that over to the prose from that character's POV. Those are little ideas I use. But, I'll be honest, I don't tend to continue using a character that is so similar to my main one if the minor character refuses to be changed.

3/11/2011 #18

I would scratch the character or figure out little quirks that they each have.

3/11/2011 #19

You see they are similar in their go get'em attitude and their love for a female that is simply a friend. They both eventually finally sleep with the female, yet close to the stories close, but that's where I find it's a problem.

The same way they get with the girl is the way I want it, but I'm afraid most would simply say, 'Oh well that's what will happen in this story. I have only two stories where the main and the love interest actually didn't get together and it bothered me to no end. I like to be happy when I write and heck if I can't stand it then what of my audience.

The other thing is even though they are charismatic, one is more of a womenizer and the other is just childish in his way of working around females so I figured that in itself was a good enough difference. Hence the birth of the most recent posted story. It was my way to just force myself to break a mold and move on....the story is already stuck and I'm only on page 7. ): Poohie

3/11/2011 . Edited 3/11/2011 #20

Give it time.

3/11/2011 #21

Yeah, the one thing I don't have a lot of.

I do eenie, meanie, minie moe to see what story I'll try to work on.


3/11/2011 #22

One of my tried-and-true methods of dealing with writer's block is (literally) ignorance. When I get to this frustration point in a story, I ignore it for a day or two. Go read a book that has NOTHING to do with the story. Watch movies. Spend time with my daughter. Heck, I'll even go take a shower or bath for a momentary break. Usually, when I ignore the problem and give my brain a rest, everything just falls into place. ;-)

3/11/2011 #23

@ Ladygris thats a good idea.

3/11/2011 #24

@ladygris- That IS a good idea, but my characters talk too much in my head, then I got those at work that keep bugging me about giving them something to read during their lunch hour. So they sort of keep me thinking about it. I did force myself a couple of times and I'm just editing what I put out.

3/12/2011 #25

@Frap: Oh, I have readers like that, too. But sometimes, I just forget about everything. I mean, we have to rest, take a day off sometimes, too. And writing is hard work! I have found that I write better when I schedule time off.

3/12/2011 #26

@Ladygris - Giiiiiirl don't you knowit! I have time off coming but I can't work with the little ones up. I also have NO support from the fam. so my writing is TRULY something I have to do on my own. Your hubs supports you. But that's all I'll say about my folks. Now as far as the breaking away, I just posted another chapter of my current story to shake up my braincells. I've been away from it waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay to long.

Thus the birth of soooooooo many other things and stories.

3/12/2011 #27

@Frap - Have you ever tried to take an evening to yourself? I tend to take my laptop to the local coffee shop just to write. It gives me time away, even just an hour or two, and breaks up the scenery around me.

3/12/2011 #28

I sure did. No sooner did I get to the first or second paragraph or got my laptop to boot up I get a phone call and the kids are screaming or whining in the back ground.

Trust me......I learned to type as fast as possible. So that may be something else that leads to my hate of dun dun dun.....comas....LOL!

3/12/2011 #29

Oh, that sucks! :( I wish I could help you out there, but my family has been incredibly supportive since my book was published.

3/12/2011 #30
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