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Eicca
August 27th, 2010, 03:59 AM
If anyone's ever heard of the Snowflake method (http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/art/snowflake.php), that's what I'm doing.

So. I started three years ago when I had this awesome dream. It was only one scene, but it was so vivid that I couldn't stop thinking about it, and soon my mind began coming up with an entire storyline. I began cranking out chapters from my old Blackberry (which gave me tendinitis in the thumb, NOT recommended). I got as far as chapter 8 and then realized that my work was thin, weak, unsubstantial, overall LAME.

So I started over. I'm now on chapter 3. And it's taken two years to get there. I've brainstormed in the shower, wrote down ideas from other dreams I've had, thought thought thought. Now I think I've actually got something with some good depth and substance.

But how to organize? I went on a Google rampage and found the Snowflake method. Seems perfectly reasonable, so that's where I'm starting. I've got a one-sentence summary and a paragraph summary that I pounded out tonight in like five minutes. Here they are:


A troubled young New Yorker unwittingly goes head-to-head against Armageddon.


Nightmares. The carefully suppressed memories of his dead family have broken free and threaten to tear him apart. As he struggles against his emotions to adjust to his new life as a security guard for the World Trade Center, his only remaining brother is hunted down by terrorists and shot before his very eyes. After then finding himself caught in a ruthless attack on the presidential jet Air Force One by the same terrorists, he swears on the graves of his parents that he will find the killers and bring them to justice. Along his path to vengeance he uncovers a nefarious plot that will spell the end of millions of innocent lives. It all comes down to the wire when in the end he alone must choose between his blood-sealed vow to his dead family or the lives of the citizens of the East Coast. And the life of the only one he loves.

What think ye?

Jon M
August 27th, 2010, 07:53 AM
How does a WTC security guard find himself in the middle of a terrorist attack on Air Force One? Seems like a bit of a stretch. I like the first part of the long synopsis where the character has to readjust, but lost interest after it became one man's noble quest to find the terrorists and save the world. Too grandiose for my tastes.

But you have the elements for a good story. The character seems to have sufficient motivation, there is conflict, character has to face a dilemma, etc. So keep writing.

Lamperoux
August 27th, 2010, 03:13 PM
Just on a side note, i alwys find a character to be more enjoyable when he/she has more than a one-sided personality. Its somehting you might want to look out for. Try to add soem depth to who he is, unless he's gone totally mad and is obbssessed with just this... either way it's your book and i'm sure it'll turn out great.

Eicca
August 27th, 2010, 10:47 PM
How does a WTC security guard find himself in the middle of a terrorist attack on Air Force One?

Trust me, it's not that hard :)

Seriously though, I really really appreciate questions like that. They help me fill in holes and rethink realism.

And don't worry, I've already thought up a way to make it realistically not-too-grandiose :D I'll post more bits as I get them refined.

Thanks!

copperflyingace
August 28th, 2010, 01:43 AM
One fear (More of a concern, actually) is the use of "Terrorists" as your main bad guy. I'm guessing you've thought this through, but remember to include your villains intentions, motivations, and even emotions. Why are they the bad guys? What motivation do they have for doing evil things? Are they after you protagonist, or is your protagonist after them? Why? All important questions, especially when both the plot and action sequences are rather "bad guy" centric. Other than that, it looks good, and I would be quite happy to read this.

Respectfully,
-C.F. Ace

Lamperoux
August 28th, 2010, 02:10 AM
If you make them evil, give motivation, the only excuse i could htink of where you couldn't do that is if your antagonist is SATAN, but then again even he has motivations in John Milton's book.

Eicca
August 30th, 2010, 02:17 AM
One fear (More of a concern, actually) is the use of "Terrorists" as your main bad guy. I'm guessing you've thought this through, but remember to include your villains intentions, motivations, and even emotions. Why are they the bad guys? What motivation do they have for doing evil things? Are they after you protagonist, or is your protagonist after them? Why? All important questions, especially when both the plot and action sequences are rather "bad guy" centric. Other than that, it looks good, and I would be quite happy to read this.

Respectfully,
-C.F. Ace

Awesome question. "Terrorists" is kind of just a generalization in my summary. While terrorists are the bag guys, I have two specific antagonists set up for the story. One is a professional violinist for his day job :D

Keep up the excellent questions. Extremely helpful.

And I'll post more stuff about my book as I progress!

copperflyingace
August 30th, 2010, 02:57 AM
Oooh, professional violinist by day, badass terrorist hunter by night! I'm liking the sound of this.

Yeah, villains are always the most difficult characters to portray. Its a constant balancing act of making them human enough to be believable and even relate-able, but still evil enough to be the clear "bad guy". For example, in the story I'm writing, the villain is the head of a conglomerate government organization. Its extremely hard to make him human and evil and not a cliche.

Eicca
August 30th, 2010, 03:13 AM
Oooh, professional violinist by day, badass terrorist hunter by night! I'm liking the sound of this.

Yeah, villains are always the most difficult characters to portray. Its a constant balancing act of making them human enough to be believable and even relate-able, but still evil enough to be the clear "bad guy". For example, in the story I'm writing, the villain is the head of a conglomerate government organization. Its extremely hard to make him human and evil and not a cliche.

Making bad guys human is easier if they do something way out of the ordinary (professional violinst :) )

My other terrorist antagonist is a very sarcastic Scottish gentleman who also happens to be one of the most dangerous men on the planet.

copperflyingace
August 30th, 2010, 03:27 AM
Haha, so when are you going to be done again? If you pull this off, it will make quite an interesting read. Just remember not to slip into cliche. Its really easy to do when writing this genre. By the way, you should check out the story I'm writing. You might find it interesting. Its by no means perfect, and I don't even claim it to be good, but you might like it. I have it posted here, and its titled "Blaze of Glory".

Lamperoux
August 30th, 2010, 03:43 AM
this sound....AWESOME.
Also, relaitng to portraiyng evil in bad guys, i believe, to be a cliche in and of itself.

i prefer not to go the way of the hero, but rather the anti-hero, one who doesgood not jsut becuase its the rihgt think to do.
Though my real pet peeve with this liesi n the villian. I usually like the 'villians' to be purely humans. Either misguided, or with a different view on a situation. If you do not portray them with evil laughs, extreme cruelty for no apparent reason (other than revenge, which is a human reaction), you can make very believable characters.

also, what motives drive this violinist and scottish gentlemen? Would you care to tell?

The Love Whale
August 30th, 2010, 04:02 AM
I'd recommend reading up on some books on the CIA, the history of whatever your terrorist group will be "or be based on," terrorist prevention, etc. These type of books need good plots, suspense, and interesting characters, but it also helps to have a realistic frame work to ground things and make them more compelling. Plus books based closely on our world need to reflect that world well enough and all.

Eicca
August 30th, 2010, 04:07 AM
also, what motives drive this violinist and scottish gentlemen? Would you care to tell?

The story is set in 2020, so the motives of the violinist and the Scott are mostly centered on how corrupt they think America has become, always playing nanny and ruining the lives of people of the middle east, filling the oceans with oil, sucking down resources like nobody's business, etc. Of course they're views are way extreme, but hey, it's 2020. I'll also throw in some other stuff as the story develops.

On the subject of cliches, I intent to avoid them entirely, or else make them blatantly obvious. Example:


Before them was a row of gleaming black European cars. The very fast and expensive type. Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Audis, and more that they didn't recognize, all facing the massive garage doors that made of the far wall of the chop shop.

Jeff examined the vehicles, a little annoyed. "Why do the evil guys ALWAYS have the big budget?"

Kind of weak, but you get my drift.