a 3 Arc Story in 9 Acts:

Total posts: [4]
1 NekoLLX30th Sep 2012 01:36:29 PM from Soviet America
Writer: Tokusatsu 5YrWar
Working on revising Substitute Magical (And my other stories) and I'm trying to figure out the best way to make the flow feel more natural.

There are 3 main arcs which all should have the 3 act structure as well as a over all 3 act for the entire 12 chapter story. Since it's 12 chapters that means 4 chapters to dedicate to each Arc. Right now they seem to flow too quickly and you don't really feel the impetus of key events.

Arc 1: Substitute Chaki sees the Magical Girl Sakura colapse outside his window with a Oni/Monster in hot persuit, in this act I need to establish a few things.

Chaki is a trained warrior, though a slacker he's only paid attention to the bare minimum of what his father has taught him.

His father plays the fool spoiling Chaki but is really a Broken Ace, having had his wife die to a Oni when Chaki was young he promised to protect their Son's smile so he works 2 jobs to indulge his son's gaming habits and the like. But while the others may see the warrior within all chakie see is a father who as things get more serious seems less mature then he is forced to grow into.

In this arc we are also introduce to the other Magical Girls as Sakura passes her powers to Chaki mistaking his Chi for Magic turning him into a girl and the Substitute Sakura, we will also see that the other Magical Girls are ALL Broken Ace s.

We are also introduced to Aiko the teams mascot/mentor/spirit guardian who has very specific opinions of what Girls should act like and sets about mind raping and forcing Chaki to conform through Possession.

Act one would peek with Sakura's jelosy eventually causing a Dark Magical Girl transformation, fighting the team and end with Aiko finish the intership by returning Chaki's powers to Sakura and giving her her own.

Arc 2: Promotion Chaki now has powers of her own but refuses to use them, the form Akio shaped them in is far to girly, (a pink candy summoning catgirl) and yet she has grown closer to the team so she will try to help but with her Chi powers not magical the fights are harder then they should be but eventually Chaki is forced to power up to use healing powers to save the team. Additionally Chaki's father begins to train the girls in martial arts While Aiko starts to let up the overt mind control and just gives Chaki magical items that do the same. Having had to move, go to a new school, and make new friends Chaki feels to preasured by the past to really be herself and takes the items of her own free will. But her father is getting fed up and eventually confronts Aiko, cornering her and cutting off her ear to show just how serious he can get and that these warriors CAN and do have the skills to kill spirits.

This causes Aiko to pleae for extra power from the Council of Familiars to "protect" her charges and herself from the mad man. This arc has several peaks and causes my main problem story wise as it's far more peeks then the previous and leave pratically nothing for the 3rd arc.
  • A old enemy returns, brother of one of the girls fully consumed by a Oni, he casts a spell on Chaki sealing her causing her magic to back up, to prvent exploding aiko puts on a second curse that is slowly causing her feline aspect to overwhem her human one. They team must defeat the Oni before she is complelty overwhelmed but in the intrium he manages to get into Jewel's head and bring her over to the darkside as she chooses Family over friends.
  • Starlight (a magical girl with a unicorn theme) is approached by White Rose so the team head to the Dreamrealm to help defend it which leads to a quest for this Mid-Season Upgrade Transformation Trinket But the realm's magic completely overwhelms them, they forget the mission and change into natives until White Rose can save them. They get the Transformation Trinket but everyone agree it was way to early for them leading to a sort of justification on why a mentor might hold back a powerup.
  • Aiko makes her move, transforming Chaki's father and secondary guardian (think sort of witness protection for super heroes) into real women with Aiko's 50 esk outlook on life, this event leaves to Rina, The Leader of the girls to petition the Council and get Aiko replaced. The Replacement has far less power and needs to work with the Council and the girls for every big move including fixing what Aiko did.

Arc 3: Retirement Chaki's powers are waning, the truth is that her magical useage outstripes her recovery, durring battle, as she has come to grudingly like her powers they leave her. She is now forced to fight with her chi powers only, and soon considers retirement at the behest of the The Leader know Chaki never wanted to be part of this and has no reason to force herself especially after all Aiko has done.

Along the way another team arrive in town and detect Chaki's power offering her a different kind of Transformation Trinket to get back to Magical Girl action and Chaki thinks about her options but before much more can happen she is dragged away to Japan to join the team her Father was preparing her form most of her life that has just been Called To Action, which leads into the sequal book.

7 friends, a robot, and a spirit, will find a way to protect us...if it kills them.
It is not necessary to attempt to fit your story into any sort of act-based structure. In fact, it can do more harm than good and result in pacing issues as you try to stretch stuff out or rush stuff to line up in [insert number] chapters. Let stuff take up as many or as few words as is necessary, end chapters where it's natural, and throw thoughts of 'oh God it's shorter than four chapters' to the wind.
"Whenever I feel like I know how computers work, I go to class and leave feeling like I'm wearing my pants on my head, eating paste."
3 NekoLLX30th Sep 2012 06:06:28 PM from Soviet America
Writer: Tokusatsu 5YrWar
the problem is i still have this big plot points and just panting it doesn't leave a good flow in the original draft. the Event run one into another there a Implied impact but we never have buildup or linger on the impact before "onto next set event"
7 friends, a robot, and a spirit, will find a way to protect us...if it kills them.
Slow down. You are thinking in absolute terms; I am not saying that you have to throw all planning to the wind and Write Entirely By The Seat Of Your Pants, nor am I saying that you have to conform to a strict act structure. Writing is, by nature, a trial-and-error-based craft. Since it's obvious that neither of those extremes that you've attempted are working out, that means that you have to try something else and keep experimenting until you figure out what works best for you.

Some people can get away with not planning at all. Some people can take characters and a setting and see an ending, then work backwards. Some people use outlines, or Post-its, or flowcharts, or storyboards, or whatever else. Personally, I like to come up with a general synopsis and continually break it down into smaller details as necessary.

Try using the way you learn as a starting point. Do you learn better through seeing or reading, or can you visualize things well and see scenes playing out in your head? You might prefer outlining, or storyboarding, or flowcharts, perhaps on the computer and with typing. Do you learn through lectures or being read to? Say your plans aloud to yourself. (You may prefer to do this when you're alone.) Do you remember learning best through hands-on labs, or taking notes? Then get your pencil and a notebook and write out your plans. And so on. You'll never know what works or doesn't work until you try it.
"Whenever I feel like I know how computers work, I go to class and leave feeling like I'm wearing my pants on my head, eating paste."
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Total posts: 4