View Full Version : plot?

11-26-2004, 11:47 AM
I had posted this once, but lost it to the www. Lucky you, I will shorten it.

I have a story about ten pages long; I started it eight years ago when I was in high school, and I haven't worked on it in 5 years.

The (half assed) plot: A girl, J, is trying to choose between two step-brothers, M and I. M is an ass and has a sometimes girlfriend. I is single but too nice. There are other characters, but I won't bother you with them. I am deciding whether the major characters are still in h/s or not. I am intending to make it a "teen" story. It's somewhere between 1/4 and 1/3 finished.

My Q: Does anyone think I have anything resembling an interesting plot? I know it's banal, but I was 16! and it's all I knew then. I was "angst-filled" then as well, and I wanted to take it out on someone. Also, I think all the original romance plots are taken already. I have things I can do to my major characters, but I suppose I am just looking for reassurance that maybe, possibly, I can make this romance story work and come to an agreeable ending. The beasts of self-doubt, indecision, and insecurity are biting my knuckles.

Am I just thinking about it too much?

Writing Again
11-26-2004, 02:28 PM
Ummm, sorry, but you don't really have a plot. You have a situation.

I'm going to assume the girl, J, is the protagonist. Conflict is needed. This could be an antagonist or an opponent. It can be a person, a thing, a situation: Whatever it is it must put her in a position where she must react to it.

For instance why does she have to choose between them? Why can't she search for someone new? Does this story take place when women were not given choices? Is her family going to lose the farm if she does not marry someone with enough money to save it?

What pushes her into the arms of one step-brother over the other? What causes her to fall in love with one over the other? What causes her to change her mind?

A romance, by definition starts out with single people who resolve their conflicts by becoming romantically involved at the end of the story.

What you need is a conflict that can be solved romantically.

11-29-2004, 03:06 AM
I am working on a young adult novel plot/outline/details at the moment.
Pretty much like yours except I'm sure the twists and turns we give our characters will vary.
with the "plot" you gave the story can either succeed or flop depending on those twists and turns. I have learned this after many attempts. A simple "boy meets girl, boy looses girl, boy wins girl back" is like a frame. What goes into it is what matters most. Is there enough for 200-300 pages without boring the reader? Does every scene have a purpose? Does every scene move the story forward?

I'm am in the process of reading numerous writing books as well as young adult novels similar to the kind I wish to write. I find it very helpful :)

12-01-2004, 05:31 AM
Here's something I'm sure would be raised in someone else's mind, too.

You said she's trying to choose between two step-brothers. Are they her step-brothers or are they just step-brothers to each other?

If they're her step-brothers, some people could well think it'd be too close to incest, so that's something you might want to think about too.

Writing Again
12-02-2004, 03:25 AM
Did not even cross my mind they might be her step brothers.

12-03-2004, 11:37 AM
I only thought of it for two reasons.

1) I saw a commercial for a Brady Bunch rerun where Marsha decided she might like Greg.

2) I was a member of a writers' group for a short time where one of the members had a situation where the girl falls for a step-brother and the incest thing was brought up in one of the meetings there.

12-08-2004, 04:58 PM
'A romance, by definition starts out with single people who resolve their conflicts by becoming romantically involved at the end of the story.'

well, obviously this statement needs tweaked, lol. the people don't have to be single by any means. indeed, one of the big reasons i've found married people to leave their spouses is because they desire that romance at the beginning of a new relationship. that's why, by law, people should be allowed to have two spouses.

i was wondering about why she felt she could only have either of the brothers and no one else. in this case you'd obviously have to establish good pros and cons for each, a young age for the girl which only seems appropriate, or some damn good reasoning behind things. getting back at the birth parent of them by stealing one away seems plausible if you want to tap into the cinderella crowd. i guess it would abut on the sin-derella bunch, eh? lol.

i agree with wa, it's not a plot, per se, but plots are born out of just situations. i think you've got a pretext and the plot is there waiting to be dug up. the brady bunch or no, i've actually known a person who married her step-brother. it was kind of... icky to be around her. when she walked by it was just like, 'oo,' followed by a slight shudder. she was an attractive gal, too, it was just the fact of the matter. i mention that as a real-life experience and something to consider if they're her step-brothers. that's how people honestly react to people like that.