Have you ever been writing a story, and you know the basic plot, but you feel there's SOMETHING that could make your plot not only less mundane but really unique and interesting? Like you're looking at your writing and there's a light just out of the corner of your eye and you know it will make your book from bleh to brilliant? Right now I'm writing a murder mystery, but although I know the murder victim and his assailant I feel like the story is fairly typical (well, except that it's in Ancient Sparta). It has the potential to be an international consipiracy of sorts, which would be far more interesting. Yet I just can' quite make the connection. I've read all the historical facts (it's fantastorical) and wrote up several scenarios but can't seem to make the puzzle fit. It would be easy to just write a simple straight novel, but I feel like I'm ON to something. Any suggestions on how to make the pieces fall into place?
BTW, I haven't posted in a long while so hi to everyone who recognizes me! :p
March 5th, 2006, 01:27 AM
I can understand that.
It sounds like you've got a pretty down-to-Earth plot to work with. I always think that really good characterization and storyline in a well-planned and rational (if 'mundane') plot is always better than trying to put too much into a story and letting the characters' suffer (you wouldn't know that from MY current work, but still...)
Out of curiosity, is your murder mystery based on any specific historical story?
March 5th, 2006, 02:42 AM
Okay, perhaps this sounds silly, and perhaps this won't work at all for you, but if I was in your situation, I would just let it sit for awhile and let my subconscious figure it out. You've given yourself all the tools you need to take your idea one step further, so let your subconscious (which has been scientifically proven to be useful in decision-making and weighing out pros and cons, I found out recently) do the work, put the pieces together. This usually works for me.
March 5th, 2006, 05:06 AM
It often takes ages trying to find a way to approach a project. I know what the story's supposed to be at the core, but unless I find the proper approach I won't get far writing it.
A "current" project has gone from a RPG-party-based approach to a disjointed-domestic-man-in-the-street-PoV approach to a framework-mystery-thematic approach (where it's currently stuck).
I experiment around a lot. That's probably why - up to now - I've only ever finished short stories. ;)
March 5th, 2006, 08:30 AM
It seems to me that world-wide conspiracies require motivation. The bad guys could be trying to corner the market on cotton; convert the world to their religion; acquire ancient talismans of power; or are just spurring man up the ladder of civlization; all of which I have read.
So, would it help to answer what the world-wide goal is and then why this guy in Sparta is an obstacle to that goal? Maybe his mother doesn't subscribe to the whole coming-home-on-the-shield mystique because she knows how difficult it is to clean blood and guts off the damned things and they haven't invented bleach yet. This wouldn't be global but it would certainly upset the powers-that-are in Sparta.
March 5th, 2006, 05:57 PM
Wow thanks to everyone who replied so quickly (keep the suggestions coming)! The story used to be part of my Owl and The Eagle series, but didn't mesh and had merit enough to stand on its own. It's about the death of King Cleomenes (ancient history buffs will know who HE is), and it's rather suspicious circumstances. I was surprised nobody even touched this murder mystery, but hey--works for me. I like all the suggestions so far because I really need the plot points to tie in well, so a common goal for all my international suspects is a great idea! What else should I consider?
March 5th, 2006, 06:02 PM
Just kidding--nice to hear from you again.
I've had a little experience with the story on one level, and knowing there is a twist, or curve or new thread to add which would bring the story to a new level. (Or, in some cases I'm writing a story, muttering to myself, 'this is stupid.', but I just can't give it up because there is the glimmer of something good somewhere it all that muck.)
Yeah, it's usually in there, keep looking for it, and keep writing. Sometimes it's just a few words that come out of the end of your fingers before you realize it's one of those eureka sentences, and if you follow it, the story will go to some amazing places. Like they say, good stories aren't written, they're rewritten.