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Sarah Daffy

Help with plot, please

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I'm planning on writing a new novel/novella, as the screenplay was too advanced for my experience. Ditched that for later, which I will at some point finish when I have the experience.

So basically I have a very faint outline for my new book, which I hope to finish by the end of the year. I will write out the summary that I have and see if any of you have suggestions to make a full plot.

 

"Life is happy for the Ashton family as the the years roll by. But when Zac and Charity have just reached adulthood, tragedy strikes. A storm visits their home and destroys everything, taking their parents with it."

 

 

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand that's all. Any ideas for the rest of the plot/book? Please let me know. They would be greatly appreciated.  :D

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You seem to have a great plot right there. Grief recovery for the parents and the loss and uncertainty that comes with losing everything. It would be an amazing opportunity to show how we can rely on and trust God! 😊 

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7 minutes ago, Alley said:

You seem to have a great plot right there. Grief recovery for the parents and the loss and uncertainty that comes with losing everything. It would be an amazing opportunity to show how we can rely on and trust God! 😊 

Aactually, the parents die. That's the point 

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Grief recovery is how you handle the grief of losing a loved one and are having a hard time dealing with it. Sorry, I should have explained that better. 

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Just now, Alley said:

Grief recovery is how you handle the grief of losing a loved one and are having a hard time dealing with it. Sorry, I should have explained that better. 

Oops! Sorry! My bad. I misread the sentence.  😳

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One thing that I always think is interesting is how many people seem to falter in their trust towards God when horrible things happen to them. Everyone is generally aware that atrocities like the holocaust, Rawandan genocide, child slavery, soviet gulags, poverty, etc. exist in the world but it isn't until something unfortunate touches their own lives that they get angry at or lose faith in God, as if they were supposed to be the exception to human suffering because they believe in Him. I know that actually experiencing the pain of loss can change your perspective on what it means that that and worse pain might exist in the world. 

I do think though that it would be interesting to explore what it means to trust in God especially if we are not exempted from life's suffering. And maybe even how the suffering of God's people can function for a redemptive purpose. It may not be the cup of tea desired by an American audience but it may be one they need.

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Sounds like a wonderful and intriguing plot, Sarah! I'll be more than happy to help you in whatever way I can. :D

 

It could be an awesome idea if later on in Zach & Charity's life they might come to realize that God had a special purpose for taking their parents home when He did; they might discover that their death really was not in vain, and maybe something even worse might have happened had it not turned out the way it did. They could end up seeing God's miraculous works through them in other people whose lives were touched by them in some way. 

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I hate to suggest this, because I don't seem able to do it myself, but you might try to make a brief outline. Perhaps something like

 

life is good

Zac and Charity's birthday(s) (are they twins?)

tragedy strikes

people offer consolation

funeral

people expect Z and C to return to normal

struggles with grief

anger with God

Z attends grief group

C does not

Z begins to accept

C cannot

wherever you want to go from there

 

better, make up your own

 

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Just now, carolinamtne said:

(are they twins?)

No, they're not twins. Zac's a few years older.

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1 minute ago, suspensewriter said:

Zac has to develop an almost fatal illness.  Sorry, I know that seems cruel, but Charity has to go through one more trial.

Really? Seems like the poor guy has gone through enough.

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By the way, Zac and Charity are children in the prologue, but adults, 20s, in the actual book.

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Posted (edited)

 

Quote

has gone through enough

Nope. Not always. You want to pile it on. That will help push toward the climax.

Edited by Sophie
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2 minutes ago, suspensewriter said:

Zac has to develop an almost fatal illness.  Sorry, I know that seems cruel, but Charity has to go through one more trial.

Good idea, though. Thanks. Maybe I'll use it.

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8 minutes ago, suspensewriter said:

Zac has to develop an almost fatal illness.  Sorry, I know that seems cruel, but Charity has to go through one more trial.

I guess Charity's name suits her, then.

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The biggest way to make the audience empathize with your characters is to really put them through lots of bad things.

 

1 hour ago, Sarah Daffy said:

Anyone else have any more ideas that can help the climax?

My idea would be to have the climax somehow stem from the original event (storm) that started the story. Something directly related to it physically, like a legal battle over property damage or overcoming an injury sustained in the storm.

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1 minute ago, PenName said:

The biggest way to make the audience empathize with your characters is to really put them through lots of bad things.

But how do you evoke emotion in your readers and characters?

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I don't know if I should post this here or not. I realize you are looking for a plot line but your story arc has an eerie similarity to our own family's real life journey. If I could quote a paragraph from our book....

 

"Later in November, after we had returned home, the Lord gave me the most significant dream I had ever received from Him. In this dream, Wanda and Fanny were at our house in Sherwood Park; my eldest daughter Ida was in school. The day was bright and sunny. I was working in the garage, with the door wide open. As I looked to the northeast, there was a huge funnel cloud in the sky. It was heading towards our house. Running inside, I told Wanda and Fanny to hide in the downstairs shower. They obeyed, and I joined them. Soon there was a tremendous roar, like a thousand freight trains bearing down and descending over our house. The tornado consumed, and destroyed, our home. In an instant everything went. 

 

I was sucked into the vortex and taken high into the sky. I was so high in the heavens I knew that when I fell down, I would die."

 

Now although this was a dream, we did end up losing all that we owned and going down the road of homelessness. My daughters were 16 and 11 at the time and they lost all they owned, their friends, beloved pets and extended family.

 

My point is that the drama that affects young people will be different than an older married couple. I guess it depends on how big do you want to make the scope of the plot. For character development I would suggest an arc of trials that Zac and Charity have to work together on, in order to survive. I know from our own story that basic survival in homelessness is far greater than most understand. Poverty, separation and loneliness to me seems a more daunting trial before your characters as the grief gives way to the reality of survival.

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