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Writers block

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#1 MarvelFan15

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 05:08 PM

Guys, I need some major help. I've racked my brains* all week, and I've got nothing to show for it. So, I turn to you, compatriots. I need help formulating a basic plot outline for my short story I need to write. The stipulations (read: very strong suggestions) are as follows:

--Story must be under 15 pages (Times New Roman font, double spaced, so not more than 3,500 words).

--Story must be mundane (no fantastical elements like aliens or superheroes); set in the real world.

--Story must demonstrate the main character to have a noticeable character change. By character change, I mean that the lead has learned something about him/herself, the world, and/or what it means to be human.

EDIT:
--Story must take place within a short frame of time. Backstory is fine, but must not be allotted much narration. What backstory there is must be gleaned from the prose's description of the environment (what kind of books are on the shelf, posters, etc.) or form the dialogue (allusions, but not exposition).

So, yeah. If you could think of a basic idea that'll allow me to adhere to all of the above, I'd be grateful.
---

*Sat around lazily hoping inspiration will strike.

#2 kainboa

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 05:25 PM

Soldier coming back from a war, notices the difference between himself and his civilian friends.

#3 MarvelFan15

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 05:32 PM

That's...a very good idea. Kinda like what happened to J.D. Salinger. Only problem is, I'm not sure I'd be able to write PTSD realistically.

Again, though, very good idea.

#4 Nova Force Nova

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 05:35 PM

Ethan suggests: Have him take a little trip into the wild to do introspection.

#5 MarvelFan15

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 05:39 PM

Is Ethan too lazy to log on himself? :P

#6 Nova Force Nova

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 05:42 PM

Sleeping.

#7 MarvelFan15

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 05:45 PM

Added a stipulation; this is a major one:

--Story must take place within a short frame of time. Backstory is fine, but must not be allotted much narration. What backstory there is must be gleaned from the prose's description of the environment (what kind of books are on the shelf, posters, etc.) or form the dialogue (allusions, but not exposition).

#8 Nova Force Nova

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 05:46 PM

BROMANCE!

#9 silversurfer092

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 05:48 PM

The storyline of Chuck. I just got done watching the whole series. Lots of character changes there.

Or some guy who's grown up solely surrounded by music and always a loner. Then finds some best friend or a girlfriend that makes him realize that there's more to life than previously thought.

#10 MarvelFan15

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 05:48 PM

@ Nova: I'd try and avoid that. But anything can work, I guess.

@Surfer: I haven't yet watched Chuck, but I like your latter idea.

#11 Nova Force Nova

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 05:51 PM

:angry:

#12 silversurfer092

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 06:08 PM

@ Nova: I'd try and avoid that. But anything can work, I guess.

@Surfer: I haven't yet watched Chuck, but I like your latter idea.


Chuck is my idea, except take out music with ordinary nerdery and replace best friend/girlfriend with hot girl and spy life. It's a good show.

#13 Sincere Poet

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 06:17 PM

BROMANCE!


I second this.

#14 sirmethos

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 08:08 PM

3 suggestions.

1. A devout religious person, loses his faith. Additional things that can be put in: Confrontations with family and friends who shared the religious beliefs. Seeking, and possibly finding, something to fill the hole. Possibly a time-skip, followed by the same person going through an experience in which he regains his religious faith, and attempts to restore his relationships.

2. A story split up in two parts, with a time-skip. Part 1. A patriotic soldier goes off to war, possibly even the first day or two after arriving. His thoughts and impressions, as he gets ready, leaves, and possibly arrives. Part 2. The same soldier returns from war. Not PTSD, but disillusioned by his experiences and having lost his patriotism. How many tours he has had in a row, is entirely up to you. Did he become disillusioned after just one tour, or did he take several tours back to back.

3. A blind person goes through cutting edge surgery, and becomes able to see. The first period, in which he experiences Sight, for the first time in his life.

#15 force_echo

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 12:12 AM

How good of a writer are you?

#16 MarvelFan15

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 01:32 AM

3. A blind person goes through cutting edge surgery, and becomes able to see. The first period, in which he experiences Sight, for the first time in his life.


I like this one.

How good of a writer are you?


Subtle...

But, to answer your question in all seriousness: It varies with how much inspiration I have, or how invested I am in whatever I'm working on. And I have virtually no inspiration for this particular assignment, nor am I emotionally invested in it. I've usually waited until the last minute for most assignments like this. An encroaching deadline is a great impetus, usually.

#17 kainboa

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 06:28 AM

That's...a very good idea. Kinda like what happened to J.D. Salinger. Only problem is, I'm not sure I'd be able to write PTSD realistically.

Again, though, very good idea.


Doesn't have to be PTSD, could just be that he entered the armed forces relatively young, and his experiences has forced him to mature beyond what his civilian friends have, since they've been partying and pretty much staying the same.

#18 Nova Force Nova

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 08:26 AM

Well Force has called me a great writer so I guess you're great as well MarvelFan15.

#19 force_echo

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 09:45 AM

If I have ever said that (I doubt it), let me take care to rescind that statement now.

I'm asking because some ideas require different levels of skill with writing. The sight idea for example, if not well done with very good writing, would suck.

#20 Nova Force Nova

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 10:05 AM

It's okay, Force. We've all said stuff in the past that we disagree with now. However, there is no doubting facts, so yeah, you can't doubt you said it.

Rescind it, sure. I'm still good enough to win a challenge. Good enough for me.




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