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Hello? Plot? Where are you?:

 1 Haldo, Sat, 28th May '11 1:28:27 PM from Never never land Relationship Status: Coming soon to theaters
Indecisive pumpkin
So, I've got all the tools I need to make my story- I know who the characters are, I know where they are, I know what the main character wants, and I know what the main source of conflict is (that Wild Magic is really messing people up, and there seems to be more of it than usual lately)- and yet, I'm still not sure how to pull it all together into a story. Argh... has anybody else faced this before?
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^These are interrobangs. Love them. Learn them. Use them.
 2 Gault, Sat, 28th May '11 1:32:49 PM from near a disputed border
When history changes...
This is a bane of my literary existence. I can set up a world, populate it, work out it's geography and politics, intimate details down to the design of the firing mechanism of the guns. But, I just can't seem for the life of me to actually nail down even a conventional plot where a bunch of characters go places and do things and stuff. I'm only just beginning to get something together after a long time of building this world, and even then it's more of a minor point- a single point of conspiracy where a plot might start, or might tie in to something bigger or that might be some miscellaneous detail.

edited 28th May '11 1:33:52 PM by Gault

un monde libéré de la guerre est un monde exempt de frontières
 3 Ralph Crown, Sat, 28th May '11 3:47:13 PM from Next Door to Nowhere
Short Hair
Try to find a book called "The Art of Dramatic Writing" by Lajos Egri. It's intended for dramatists, but it breaks down the essentials of a story in a way I've never seen before.

In a nutshell, find your antagonist, decide what he did to screw up the protagonist's life, and let it play out from there.

There's a reason so many lazy writers use chess as an analogy. The OP has pieces (characters) on a board (setting) and some rules (backstory). Pick one character and put yourself in his place. Where can he move? What can he accomplish? Which enemy piece will he take out last? If his role isn't interesting enough, pick someone else and try again.

Edit: stupid phone...

edited 28th May '11 3:59:35 PM by RalphCrown

Under World. It rocks!
 4 Voltech 44, Sat, 28th May '11 4:36:41 PM from Alongside a Virtual Weasel
All Guns Sparking
Well, it's a good thing I just got out of a Theater History class!

Maybe you could try to think of the plot as a vehicle — a method of sorts to help move your characters about. Take it step by step; think about where a character starts, then have his/her (or another character's) actions or choices — especially choices — move the character to the next stage. Taking cues from Romeo and Juliet, the death of Tybalt (following Romeo's snap decision to avenge his friend) in the big fight scene inspires the star-crossed lovers to take desperate measures. Juliet hatches a plan to fake her death, but when Romeo finds out he think's she's really dead, and thus kills himself, and...well, I think you know how this story ends. (Not well). The point is, maybe it might be useful to consider the plot in terms of reactions to actions.

Barring that, you can try sticking to the basic plot graph you see all the time in English classes — simple, yes, but it rings true. Fill in the blanks at your leisure, and it's likely that you'll be able to come up with something.

Hope that helps you out, my troper comrade.
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Total posts: 4
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