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"Thirty Days of Plotcrafting", 1st Jul 2019, 3:17 PM #1
GMan003
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We've done month-long projects for worldbuilding, the art of creating your setting (most recently back in April). And we've done projects on your characters. But I haven't seen any threads for crafting your plot, even though a lot of us find that the hardest thing to get right.

So that's what this is. Thirty days of questions about your plot, one per day for the next month, aimed to help you refine it (or at least figure out what needs refining).

You can do this at pretty much any stage of your story. You can do it when you've just had the idea, or when you're scripting the last few pages, or anywhere in between. You can do it for any narrative medium you're working in: webcomic, novel, film... I'll be doing it for a video game, because that's what I happen to be working on right now. Some days might involve spoilers - if you don't feel comfortable posting something in public, you don't have to, but I do encourage you to at least write your answer somewhere.

Current Question:
#17: If you had to tell your story in half the space, which scenes would be on the chopping block?
Some scenes just re-emphasize points made elsewhere, or advance subplots that would be cut in a shortened adaptation. If you, for whatever reason, had to tell your story in half the length, what would be left on the cutting-room floor?


Past questions:
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1st Jul 2019, 3:29 PM #2
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1st Jul 2019, 3:40 PM #3
Jeremy7
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1. Depends on which story I'm proposing.

LECTRO:
A young boy with a mysterious past and little social skills ends up befriending a girl with a secret - she's a superhero. After he finds out her secret, the boy decides to join his new friend in her conquest against crime - and get revenge on those who wronged him in the past. He's got a lot to learn, but he's ready for it.

PINE HILL CREATURE FEATURE:
Stetson, an alcoholic young woman with a hobby of monster hunting, catches the interest of JackOLantern, a secretive but ultimately friendly vampire hunter. Now, Stetson, alongside Jack, her housemate Alexi, and her friend/coworker Krell, have to prepare to fight the monster menace hiding in the small town of Pine Hill.

One's for Cartoon Network, the other Adult Swim - though they're set in the same world.

EDIT: Didn't read the full thing. Guess I'll be focusing on Pine Hill Creature Feature this month.
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1st Jul 2019, 3:51 PM #4
B.W.K.

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Zoneville: A young woman named Arie, whose out on her own for the first time, ends up moving to a town called Zoneville, and gets sucked into misadventures with detectives, aliens, robots, superheros, and just some fun, strange friends.

As she gets settled in, she slowly becomes wrapped up in a decades old mystery known only as "The Power Out", an event where most of the world's superheros had their powers taken and no one knows who or why.
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1st Jul 2019, 5:44 PM #5
GMan003
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Jeremy7:EDIT: Didn't read the full thing. Guess I'll be focusing on Pine Hill Creature Feature this month.


Hey, if you're working on more than one story at a time, you can go ahead and do answers for both of them. I could do it for like five stories of my own, if I had the time.

If they're separate stories in the same universe, there won't be any overlap in the answers, since they're all plot-based, but don't let that stop you.
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1st Jul 2019, 7:58 PM #6
megamaster

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Feel free to critique

Ignition

In a world where technology is progressively taking over the way we live, there is an orphan boy willing to risk his life to tackle these advancements by becoming the best engineering mechanic! His desire to find out where he belongs and what his purpose is outweighs any other fear.
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1st Jul 2019, 8:36 PM #7
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GMan003:if you don't feel comfortable posting something in public, you don't have to, but I do encourage you to at least write your answer somewhere.

Noted. I wonder how you will stretch this out for 30 days. Aren't plots spoiler city? I'm too protective of my notsooriginal ideas so I refrain from leaking, but I enjoy reading stuff other writers put out.
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1st Jul 2019, 9:05 PM #8
inky
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Here's a different kind of story. The medium doesn't have a name, but it has similarities to the 1997 film The Game. I would venture to call it a manufactured experience. Essentially, it's a hypothetical personalized story crafted by a small group of individuals, executed through a series of events in an individual's life to create lasting positive change. It could be thought of as personalized, experience-focused therapy intended to correct unhealthy thought patterns and behaviours, replacing them with productive, healthy habits. This is done by the consensual (albeit unexpected) manipulation of all areas of the subject's life, though especially through their social interactions.

Hypothetical subject Amy McNeil has been stuck in an abusive relationship with her husband Jack for nearly a decade. Living in a small, unincorporated township, Amy has no job, no driving license, and cannot leave the house without Jack's supervision. Her only access to the outside world comes through the internet. Forty days before her tenth anniversary, Amy discovers that she's pregnant. After a crisis that she does her best to hide, she sends in an application for a life-changing manufactured experience - a possibility suggested over a year before by a chat with an online stranger. That's where we come in. After reviewing her submission, conducting a background check, and initiating a video interview, we've decided to help her out of her seemingly-hopeless situation.
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1st Jul 2019, 9:15 PM #9
snuffysam

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#01: What is the elevator pitch for your story?

Super Galaxy Knights Deluxe R is a comic with bright colors, snappy comedy, and punchy action. It follows a young woman named Mizuki as she goes on a journey of self-discovery through a strange and bizarre world.
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1st Jul 2019, 11:33 PM #10
Chernobog

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1. It's basically Mad Max meets Alice in Wonderland with a focus on the characterization, centered on vermin themed shapeshifters and survivors following the end of the human civilization. Also, there's world building elements throughout and a disembodied talking hand with a face.
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2nd Jul 2019, 12:37 AM #11
SarahSophia
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Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets the X-files, but written by Grant Morrison.
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2nd Jul 2019, 1:23 AM #12
Sikyanakotik
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Oh, this is absolutely something I should be part of!

Question 1: Elevator pitch

Spider Pizza: A group of employees at a small pizza shop gradually band together to find the truth behind the mysterious and deadly Empire of Light. An urban fantasy conspiracy thriller set in a dark Animal-Crossing-inspired world.
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2nd Jul 2019, 1:23 AM #13
JammyTheBirb
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#01: What is the elevator pitch for your story?

Beyond: A fantasy/romance about two reluctant pirates trying to avoid letting the secret of immortality fall into the wrong hands. Also there are skeletons, that's pretty cool.

S&S: A story in two halves that converge- one about a group of petty criminals doing their best to get by, the other about a princess raised far from home, who suddenly finds herself thrown into royal life for the first time. It's a story about how a country changes over the years.

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The Rose Thief: It's Beauty and The Beast if Beauty's dad didn't make her live with the beast, and ended up trapped there himself.
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2nd Jul 2019, 1:58 AM #14
swamp
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Elevator Pitch - Left to Rot

Allie Penkin likes animals better than people. Vanya Reid likes the dead better than the living. After years of staying under the radar, Reid’s attempt to put a murdered sailor’s spirit to rest hurls them into Allie's life, and into a world of magic and intrigue they never knew existed. The story combines horror flavored mystery with a broader intrigue plot.
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2nd Jul 2019, 8:40 AM #15
SpiraPhantom

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#01: What is the elevator pitch for your story?
"Adventures of Arth and Tech" - two stories of two heroes, one of fantasy, one of sci-fi, based of videogame genres. Action, adventures, humor, mysteries, some drama and videogame interface. All for your enjoyment!
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2nd Jul 2019, 1:14 PM #16
BMR

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#01: What is the elevator pitch for your story?

The story focuses on a little girl raised by a village of necromancers, assassins, elite warriors, vampires, liches, and the sort. Throw in a lost imperial prince, a war of succession in the empire, and two hapless bandits in the wrong place at the wrong time and Ashface's Daughter is what you get when all those collide into one another.
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2nd Jul 2019, 2:15 PM #17
GMan003
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Glad to see so many people interested in this. Let's keep it up and dive into day two:

#02: What is the overarching theme of your story?
Every story has some kind of theme running through it. What is yours?

My answer:
"That which is done cannot be undone" is the central theme of the story. Actions have consequences, and not always those you expect. And no matter how good your intentions, it is the effects that *happen* that you will have to live with. Even with the ability to literally go back in time and change the past, you still can't control the present or future.
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2nd Jul 2019, 2:30 PM #18
TheStrangerous

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#02: What is the overarching theme of your story?


Everyone's affected by that one obsession, valued above anything else. Both who over-admire it or oppose it, civilized or not, it causes both great harm and great good.
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2nd Jul 2019, 3:03 PM #19
Jeremy7
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2.
...I'm not that deep.

I guess Pine Hill Creature Feature is going to deal with maintaining a healthy life balance, and not forcing your friends into things they don't like. Stetson gets obsessive over monster hunting - an obsession that Alexi and Krell start to grow weary of. Jack, at one point, would even have to force her to sit a few hunts out, for her own sanity.

Also, just because some members of a group are rotten does not mean that the whole group is. Jack's vampire hunting team has a few morally bankrupt members, which winds up causing a lot of trouble (and a possible non-canon Pine Hill/LECTRO Crossover featuring ZOMBIES). However, Jack, a founder of the group, is still a hero, and most of the team will stick with him because he knows what he's doing.

And the inverse is true. At various points in the story, Stetson meets and befriends a siren, demon, and vampire. All of these are monsters she'd generally seek to destroy, but the Siren doesn't do anything evil and is in fact targeted by vampires, the Demon is the reformed and free Krampus who fights evil by his own volition, and the Vampire is a (drug-addled slacker, but a damn good) cop in a city of benevolent monsters. All of them are against the supernatural menace in their own ways. So, don't judge books by their covers.
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2nd Jul 2019, 5:54 PM #20
B.W.K.

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Huh... never thought about it before. I suppose it would be on how to roll with what life gives you. Do you go with it, try to improve it, or just let it go and move on.
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