From this day forward I will not include the month or the week in the titles of these posts. To be honest I kept on forgetting how to format the titles with the months and weeks in them so I had to keep going back to the post of the last week. It was annoying and the titles look nicer this way anyways. I may even go back and change the earlier posts to this format.
Anyways on to this weeks topic. The setting of any story can easily be in of itself a character which changes as the story progresses in the same way a person would. If you think about it in terms of a city which is about to have a municipal election then it can be easy to see how this can be. There are two mayoral candidates each with their own ideas of how best to lead the people of the city. In order to be elected mayor one of these candidates must have over 50% of the votes. All the people who live in this city are kind of like a personality. They all have ideas and people with similar ideas and standards of living tend to clump together. No matter what happens there is almost always going to be a main idea of the city which is represented by the mayor since the voting process in this city makes sense. The main idea can change if the mayoral candidate with the other idea is elected, however up to that point the voters are all contemplating who they want to vote for and as a whole they are already deciding ig the main idea is going to change or not.
Now I just explained how the setting can be a character using a long tedious metaphor which may or may not actually work. Anyways what I was trying to say was that settings change like characters do as the story progresses. Maybe the setting even has its own personality. This is something that you should probably think about before you write your story, however you don’t need to think about how your setting changes until you get to that point in your writing.
Now for the activity, all you have to do is ask yourself this question, “how does the plot affect the setting in this story, and is there any perceived personality?” Remember you don’t actually have to do this activity, nor do you need to do it. The whole point of this is to get you thinking about your own writing.
alone in the alley
waiting for her hero to come,
but no one ever comes.
She is alone,
truly and completely alone.
No one is coming.
She has become the only character
in her tragic story.
But she gets up
and leaves the alley behind
to search for her hero herself.
She is still alone
but now she lives for something.
Maybe she has a hero,
maybe she doesn’t,
maybe she never needed to wait at all
and she is her own hero.
I see you
but the true question is
do you see me?
I walk near you,
greet you with joy
but you don’t look up
you don’t smile.
It is as though I’m a ghost
trying to converse with the living.
But when you do notice me
it is not for long.
You look upon me with a look of pity
and ask me how’ve I been
when that is a question
you would already know the answer to
if you hadn’t ignored my presence.
What is love
but something that all people feel
but many people still find it difficult
to find in the world.
keeps people’s hearts far apart
what is it that brings
them back together again.
What eases pain
when a gentle melody of kindness
brings one back from the brink
What is love
but something that all people have,
something that some people cannot find
and something that can save and heal.
In real life people have many different beliefs and philosophies which often clash and cause problems to become much more complicated than they would be otherwise. If this doesn’t happen in a story it tends to be less realistic than if you include characters whose beliefs and philosophies clash. Of course this doesn’t mean that you absolutely have to include different opinions, beliefs, and philosophies in your story, it just means that they will make your plot more complex than it would be otherwise.
Differing philosophies can also be used as the main conflict that drives your story. For instance one of the biggest conflicts in my WIP A Faerie Alone is between people who believe that magic is a good thing that is natural for people to have, and people who believe that magic is nothing but evil. There are also people who are in between these two viewpoints. Remember that in real life not everyone is at the two ends of the spectrum of beliefs, there are some people who are in between as well. This will help make your plot more realistic.
Now for the activity of this lesson. Simply take a look at your story and see if there are any clashing beliefs or philosophies in the people of your world. I already did this activity and wrote about it above. Remember you don’t need to post what you do if you do anything anywheres. You can simply keep it to yourself.
For this month I’ve decided to go over different forms of plot complexity. I’m sorry that this post is a week late but last week was weird for me. Whatever the post is here now and I will be posting the second lesson on Friday so that I don’t lose a week for this.
Many factors go into making a plot complex. These factors include character backstories, philosophy, scope of events, setting, and subplots. Basically imagine that you are making a quilt. Sure you can make beautiful quilts using only a couple of colours and a repetitive pattern, but they tend to be easier to make than quilts with more complex designs and these more complex quilts have more potential to be absolutely beautiful. Stories are the same way. They don’t need to be complex in order for them to be thought provoking and/or incredible though complexity can help.
A story is usually made with several plot threads and each thread combines to make it. A plot thread can be a character, a place, a subplot, or anything else. The way that the plot threads of a story combine and interact with each other is what makes a plot truly complex.
Now for the activity of this lesson, simply draw a plot map. The main plot thread will be straight and the others will interact with it and each other. I have decided that I won’t be posting my attempt at any of the activities for this month because of spoilers. You can do this activity of you want but you are not obligated to post what you make anywhere.
Remember the true post for this week won’t be posted until Friday since I got caught up in Valentine’s day and figure skating.
She suddenly found herself completely alone in the subway. It was as though everyone had vanished without a trace in the cold grey light. Behind her she heard a sound that interrupted the silent buzz of the lights, she felt a prickle on the back of her neck.
This is a story written for Three Line Tales week 106. The goal is to write a story that is three lines long using a photo prompt. You can find the challenge post here.