I don’t consider myself good at creating characters, and, though I try to make a good fictional world, I don’t think I am that good at creating it. But the basic element of fiction that I am worst is probably the plot. It seems that I try to create a fictional world and characters and hope that somehow a good story will be born from this, according to the themes and tone planed. I’ve come to realize it’s not that simple.
Of my big projects for fiction, I think that just one has already a proper story goal. Others are still resumed to their characters, world, and themes, and the plot may turn out to be just an excuse to explore these. Maybe I am better creating a collection of short episodic stories than one complete story, but I still want to write some longer continuous stories.
Don’t they say that art shows many things about its creator? Maybe the lack of cohesion in what I create reveals how the lack of cohesion in myself and in the world as I see it. Or maybe I am just trying to find excuses for my lack of talent or effort.
One factor for me delaying plot creation is because reconstructing it may be more difficult than recreating characters and world. As the plot is a sequence, damaging one of its parts may disrupt all the logic of events, while the details of character and world would be more easily amended. I end up giving up on establishing the plot or just having a vague idea of what would happen, waiting for me to become a greater story creator. But maybe I should make more effort since now.
When I was younger, I used to write random scenes, usually very dramatic, instead of a sequence of events. I had the plan that somehow the story would lead to this scene, so basically the story would be filler to the melodramatic scenes. This certainly is not a good way to construct a story, and I would have to abandon these ideas because they conflict with its internal logic.
The beginning was also something that I would struggle with. The end would be something worse to create, but I am still far from the end of my projects. Before I would start making a long exposition before something happens in the story until I realized how boring this could be. It would be good if the beginning already holds the audience attention. I will probably use prologue in some of my stories, as it makes reference to old literature and may be convenient, but I don’t want to use it too much. Another way that I may use is starting mid-action. One trick that I often see is the jumping to a scene of climax and then come back to the proper beginning, but for now, I want to avoid as I found it a bit cheap.
One thing that I am unwilling to do is creating a big villain. It is an easy way to create conflict, but I don’t wish to use it that much, as I found it a bit simplistic and unnecessary. I prefer to use more temporary antagonists or characters that may help or go against the protagonist depending on circumstances. I will see how much I can or should avoid using a more fixed antagonist character.
In my biggest project, the “contemporary fantasy/cultural reference”, I planned to create novels limiting them by the time and place, including different characters and subplots of characters that would somehow interconnect by some big event. But if it is indeed just a piece of the life of the characters, it may be very difficult to create a sense of unity and story goal. What could connect the plots without forcing too many coincidences? The plan is that the individual stories
In my “epic sci-fi”, the plot seems like an excuse to justify a journey between the different societies. And this excuse isn’t even well planned. I thought about abandoning the idea, but for while I will try to maintain it. The obsession with maintaining a specific number of planets may also be a hindrance. The subplots concern the specific planets, in which I would try to explore the world characters.
The story that supposedly has already a story goal, the “high fantasy/inhumans”, is also about a journey. This one is a bit of a depressing journey. One idea that I had was having another journey story with one of its character happening before, being happier. The contrast between them illustrates the difference between characters and how their world has changed. Let’s see if I’ll have the will and ability to pull it off.
One project that I thought about abandoning, the “medieval reference/destine and curse”, has at least a vague idea of what would happen. There is a big threat to humanity, so it must be solved. It’s probably the one that is the most melodramatic if I maintain the backstories and events that I’ve already created. I wasn’t really liking how exaggerated it was turning to be, but at least it has some story.
For the other projects, I have barely any idea what plot to make for a bigger story. I may update if I create some.