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I have a novella going nowhere! (1 Viewer)

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JJBuchholz

Senior Member
I'm not sure how in the hell I lost some of the plot elements, but here's the deal thus far:

The story revolves around several characters from different universes being brought together to find their way off
a strange planet that they all found themselves on. I'm borrowing a few characters from friends of mine that also
write, and have combined them with two of my own from a couple of series I write.

Characters:

- SkyStorm. Cybertronian with powers akin to a demi-God, who is also very analytical
- Darius Darksword. Master swordsman with the elemental powers of fire and water at his command
- Cheetor. Beast Wars character and Transformer (My friend Kim's main character)
- Pink Ranger. (Based on the original pink ranger from MMPR - another borrowed character)
- Raven. Humanoid feline than can hover and use empathic powers (borrowed)

All five characters have begun to explore the unknown world they have been placed on, with each of them experiencing
something that resembled a storm of shimmering red energy (looked like a massive cloud) that 'kidnapped' them. At
this point, they have found an ancient monument (sort of like a futuristic Stonehenge), and unearthed a huge circular
shaft leading down into the planet's crust.

They reach the bottom of the shaft to find an artificially created horizontal passageway (big enough for a Transformer
to walk in), and are following it.

Problem is, I completely forgot where this goes, and how they'll all combine their powers/abilities to overcome it and
return to their respective homes. I'm not sure where to take it from here, and I have a few options I can think of:

- The group follows the passageway which leads them to an alien being who brought them to his world, but is unable
to send them back
- They find remnants of alien technology, working together to put everything back together so they can use it to go
home
- They find an alien timer that is counting down to the self-destruction of the planet they're on

Any thoughts on what else I could do with this? I've left it for the past month, but I'm not sure which way to go or
what to do. Not very often I get this stuck.

-JJB
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
The timebomb isn't a bad mechanic. It'll give the plot a sense of urgency, and you're free to play loose with the time as the writer anyway. RESULT.

I'd personally go with that. Keep the first revelation simple and then layer in a couple more when you get a handle of where it's going.
 

druid12000

Senior Member
Assuming they want to find their way to their respective homes. I don't know the characters, but perhaps they have reasons to want to stay a while.

Were they were brought there for a purpose, by a being/beings who saw their potential to help with a dire situation on the planet? Was it a random event that leaves them all stymied to figure out the cause? (that could be a tough sell, but has far reaching potential)
 
How about the idea of alien technology to take them back to their worlds with the threat of ticking time bomb accidentally set off by one of characters? A premise that when your gang landed they all suffered partial amnesia thus it is trying to locate and figure out the pieces of the jigsaw to rebuild the technology that can take them back home knowing the big bang has been set.
 

JJBuchholz

Senior Member
Here's a little more to give everyone an idea of the mechanics of the story and what I'm thinking:

1) They all were 'kidnapped' from a different dimension (parallel reality, so to speak). The main thing they all have in common
is that they have no idea why they were brought to this place, nor by who.
2) Each member of the group has a distinct personality, and were initially alarmed at running into the others, but rational thought
prevailed, helping them to work together.
3) The 'time bomb' idea could work, especially if one of them trips it. I'll still need to have an alien being there to explain why
they were all brought to said place (I'm even thinking that the alien was a scientist doing a study by bringing different species
from different dimensions, but the experiment went awry. He lost control of his technology, and became trapped on said world.

Possible outcomes:

1) They make it back to their own realms, but have to stop the energy cloud one by one and push it out of their respective
dimensions.
2) The energy cloud is the result of the time bomb and starts to consume the planet/realm they are on/in, and they all need
to put their abilities/powers together to stop it.
3) They fail to stop the energy cloud and are overcome, but wake up back in their respective realms.

-JJB
 

thepancreas11

New Writers' Mentor
WF Veterans
I actually think I would leave the reveal of why they were brought to the planet for the end, not for the middle or beginning. I also feel like it can and should be a discovery, something they piece together over time. Whatever it is, it should be directly related to the personality of the characters involved and should be something that challenges their beliefs as individuals. It could be related to the health of the planet or the survival of the dimension they've been brought to, or even related to a collective fear that all of these characters have in their source material. Whenever there's an element of a team brought together for mysterious reasons, I feel like there is an opportunity for it to feel like wish fulfillment--like the author only brought these characters because they wanted to see these characters together, not because they were the RIGHT characters to bring together.

I don't mind the idea of a time bomb, but I would prefer the tension to come from them as a group. I love the idea of these heroes all suddenly becoming villains to each other. That's a really interesting idea and provides for a really interesting way to examine thematic elements. If the time bomb is the thing that's going to kill the planet, or if there's a storm that might destroy the planet, that should specifically be the reason why they were brought to the world.
 

JJBuchholz

Senior Member
I actually think I would leave the reveal of why they were brought to the planet for the end,
not for the middle or beginning.

That is the plan, for the most part. I had always wanted that reason to be near the end, as it fits in better as a whole.

Whenever there's an element of a team brought together for mysterious reasons, I feel like
there is an opportunity for it to feel like wish fulfillment--like the author only brought these characters because they wanted to
see these characters together, not because they were the RIGHT characters to bring together.

I was originally going to write a crossover utilizing two MCs from my own universes. When I was discussing it with some of my
friends (also writers), they expressed interest in having their characters inserted into the story to add more of a dimension to
it overall.

I was able to get character outlines from them, and made special outlines for my two MCs so I could have everything on a
special page to write the story. The plot started to come together, but the main issue has always been WHY they specifically
had been brought to a strange realm. Each character is quite unique and brings their own skill set and personality to the
table. The strange realm also suppresses some abilities, so there's no quick fix to be able to just leave prematurely.

I don't mind the idea of a time bomb, but I would prefer the tension to come from them as a
group. I love the idea of these heroes all suddenly becoming villains to each other. That's a really interesting idea and provides
for a really interesting way to examine thematic elements. If the time bomb is the thing that's going to kill the planet, or if
there's a storm that might destroy the planet, that should specifically be the reason why they were brought to the world.

None of them are villains, per se. A couple are what you would call 'super heroes' to an extent, one is a troublemaker, and
the other two are almost anti-heroes. It's the dynamic of all the personalities that made me want to write this.

-JJB
 

bazz cargo

Retired Supervisor
Riffing on the news. Why not give them a mysterious run around only to return them to their homes carrying a plague? You could get five sequels...
 

acatchynick

Senior Member
"They find remnants of alien technology, working together to put everything back together so they can use it to gohome" looks good. There is also a computer game called Trine. You can have a look.
 

JJBuchholz

Senior Member
I've managed to continue writing said adventure, and I'm at the point where the group of five main characters have made their way
into a chamber with a single alien being who is dying, and will explain (still figuring this part out) what the purpose of the planet and
it's tech was, and how it malfunctioned at brought them there.

A timer that is counting down until the planet's self-destruction is also present, and the five will need to find a way to use the alien
technology to either just leave, or save the planet (with one of them staying behind).

-JJB
 
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