Cafe Session #5: Plot

Discussion in 'Archives' started by Chevalier, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. Chevalier Crystal Princess

    Jan 8, 2008
    Trapped on an Island
    Café Session # 5
    Literate Beans Group: Here

    More beans fer you lot.

    Anyway, as the last session revolved around the ever present setting, we will now delve into the third big topic. So you’ve got your character and know where they live, but now what? What is happening there? What is driving them to do the things they do? And with that, we now enter the fabulous makeshift reality of Plot.

    And as a kick start to discussion, some questions for you lot (YOU DO NOT HAVE TO ANSWER THEM ALL LOL):

    Out of the things you have read, seen and/or played, what do you feel had the strongest plot? The weakest?

    What types of plots do you feel are cliché? Why do you feel this way?

    If you’ve written a story before, think about one of them. What was the plot? Describe it. Do you think it could have been better, what would you change about it?

    Pick a story on KH-Vids. Read at least a chapter and post you thoughts on how the plot is developing so far (was the exposition good, is the tension increasing, etc).
  2. Sumi suicidé

    Jan 12, 2008
    the void
    I feel like the most appropriate way to answer some of these starter questions is as a nanowrimo participant, which is where I currently am. Plot's a really tough thing to both define and discuss because it can be so different or so alike in so many stories. To answer to the third question about stories I've written before I have to say that really, I haven't finished most of the stories I've started. Currently, though, I'm really lost in a sea of PLOT.

    With nanowrimo this year, I feel like I'm being tossed around multiple short stories in my narrative rather than continuing through a set plot. I've been switching up where I am a whole lot, and a lot of my narrative focuses on three or four separate stories at once. I don't know if I should pick one story and stay with it or if I should keep on just writing whatever pops into my head first. The plots I find most interesting are often those that are paralleled through different stories told in one narrative. I can't think of a good example now but I'll add one later if I do. I don't feel like I'm accomplishing that, however, in my story, and I wonder if other people have a hard time sticking to a coherent and singular plot.

    One big thing that I've always told myself while writing or reading is that deep down, everything is some sort of love story. What drives plot is the desire or love of the protagonist and antagonist. However: romance seems way overdone in books. I feel like every book I read ends up being some sort of dissertation on how everybody needs love. At times it's really unnecessary. Once again I'll add one if I get a better example, but since I read it yesterday the first thing that comes to mind is Shadow of the Giant by Orson Scott Card. I was immediately turned off when I read many of the more romantic parts. I felt they weren't needed. Some were, to explain the diplomatic moves of various countries in the books and to describe the loss of the main characters when they split, but overall many of the scenes were there for the sole purpose of including romance.

    I dunno, I'd like to hear some opinions on whether to move to focus on just one story or keep going with all of my stories and also some opinions on overuse of romance as the most prevalent part of a book and how that obstructs plot. Sorry for derailing a bit from the questions as I wrote out this reply ; - ;
  3. Jiku Neon Kingdom Keeper

    Jul 24, 2007
    Moe, Victoria
    Reply in quote.

    @Sumi(if that is Sumi, if not, then whoever you are):

    If you think of them as multiple separate stories you should probably stop. A piece should be at its root. One complete story. Even something as fragmented as Lord of the Rings or The Romance of the Three Kingdoms has only one story to tell and everything else is part of that process. So this is mostly an attitude thing. You should be able to keep multiple lines of plot, but you should make sure that they are all important to telling one story rather than rambling all over the place and doing nothing for you. So tell your story how you want, but just tell one.

    When it comes to romance. It's relatable. I've never even had any actual romantic feelings for someone and I know that. For me it's a sick type of voyeuristic psychoanalysis perhaps, but everyone has some kind of connection to that feeling set. Romance is also something that everyone wants. It's considered bad to die alone and unloved. While I understand that you find the whole thing played out and tired, I doubt that there is a good way to change that. I'll also note that a lot of novels are written for sales and romance sells. You do what sells over what is important to characters or plot. That's the golden rule of commercial media. Just remember it's all shippers' fault. It always has been and always will be that gossipy hen attitude about knowing what's going on between those two that drives up sales because you gotta know how it turns out, amirite?

    Sorry if that was all a bit rambly. Forgive that I've just finished an exam.