Multiple plot lines?

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  1. #1
    Woof Thabet's Avatar
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    Default Multiple plot lines?

    Hey guys, so I'm planning a fic and I was wondering what you guys think about mulitiple plotlines. Seeing as my new fic is going to have some, I'm hoping to get advice and what you guys think.

    So, do you think multiple lines detract or add to a story?
    If so, how would handle them. As in to juggle two or three while still giving justice to all of them?

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    ◓Gypsy Vanner Horse Kyuuketsuki's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multiple plot lines?

    I think that multiple plots in one story is the best way of telling a story. If you do plan on using them, having them cross at one point, or come together at the other, is going to make the story much more exciting to read. It's even better when, inside the plots themselves, are character story lines.

    For example, my story has current three plots, there are more, but they are hidden from the reader as of now. On one hand, Galen is searching for his past. The second plot takes place a few years before that, with another group trying to hide the past from Galen. Back in the present, for Galen to find the past, he must work for Oak. The first and third plots are coming together, while the second one is happening on it's own, without any of the main characters of the other two appearing in it (yet).

    Inside them, Galen wants to uncover the past, Seer has an unrevealed goal, and Oak wants Galen to finish his job. In the past plot, Raven wants to starts a manhunt, Mr. Yarlott disagrees, and wants to keep the circus going.

    Eventually, I plan on having these three plots clash, with a fourth one joining in soon after one or two of these plots have been resolved.

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    One lost to time boondockArtist's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multiple plot lines?

    All of the spinoffs I write will have some major effects to the main books or vice-versa, and the point of views in the one I'm writing usually have an effect on another too.

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    Default Re: Multiple plot lines?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godo-kun View Post
    All of the spinoffs I write will have some major effects to the main books or vice-versa, and the point of views in the one I'm writing usually have an effect on another too.
    But what about a single story? Does any of them (single stories) have multiple plots in them, or do you only have one plot for each story.

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    Default Re: Multiple plot lines?

    Although having a bunch of plot lines in one story is a really cool way of telling it, it can get out of hand at times. Two to four plotlines are good enough. Any more will overload you, although the readers may or may not enjoy the many intricacies layered upon the collective stories.

    A good example of these on our own forums would be Dragon Days or Stray.

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    Lighting Things on Fire Sarcastically Insane's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multiple plot lines?

    Noob is right. Multiple plots are good if they are handled well and aren't way overused. For example, the book Holes: it has three plot lines that each continue on their own, until the end where it all comes together (brilliantly, in fact) with foreshadowing from each of the plotlines affecting the 'main' plot.
    Currently writing Hoenn Wars, a Travelsverse fic that needs no prior Travelsverse knowledge to understand. Chapter Seven, Sacrifice, is up.



    That's interesting; I might have a look when I have the time. Thanks!

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    Default Re: Multiple plot lines?

    Indeed, as the other two have said, multiple plotlines can really enhance a work. It allows multiple perspectives. In fact, it can really make a world come to life.

    However, I wouldn't say that you have to connect all your plotlines together. Sometimes, especially for thematic works, it can help if you conclude certain plotlines without connecting them. In my fic, for example, several plotlines are going to carry out, but the ones in the present show several different perspectives, that of the soldiers out there doing the fighting in the war, that of the commanders who aren't on the battlefield making decisions, and that of the civillians who try to ignore how bad the fighting is going, the ones who have grown cynical and distrustful, and the ones who have to make sacrifices and suffer so that the war effort can go on.

    Two of these plotlines will come together, but one will conclude separately since it would be bad for the main character if all three connected.
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    Default Re: Multiple plot lines?

    Since I specialize in shipping, my plot lines are a main couple, then a beta couple, and so on... *fails hard at plotting?*

    Either way, even in romance stories, something else must happen. Only-romance stories are kind of boring, after all... So, in the end, you handle as many plots as you have couples, and at least one plot that is not shippy at all, which, in itself, can have many other plots hanging depending on the quantity of main characters or concepts.

    ...the conclusion is, I guess, that there's no such thing as a single-plot story. I'm sure even your other stories had multiple plot lines, even if you didn't notice them. However, giving each plot line a priority is something that depends fully on you and on what kind of story you want to tell. There's no such thing as "giving them all justice" either; each plot has its own place in your story, depending on the priority you give them, and respecting that priority is giving them all the justice they need.

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    Default Re: Multiple plot lines?

    I don't really see the point of concluding a plot without it at least affecting the story, because then, it may as well be an entire story on it's own. If it is there to give perspective to the reader, and not affect the main plot, then yeah, it served a purpose. But if it's just two plots in their own separate way, then it serves no purpose.

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    Default Re: Multiple plot lines?

    Well, one can always use a plot for world-building. That can't be a bad thing most of the time, I think. Especially for authors who have their own universes that they want to build on. Though, admittedly, it would help if they were used for more than just that.
    "I never sleep, 'cause sleep is the cousin of death." - Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones, N.Y. State of Mind

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    Default Re: Multiple plot lines?

    That's interesting... I never thought of it as world-building material. I guess that does make the plot of use to the story.

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    Gym Apprentice Data_Error's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multiple plot lines?

    Multiple plot lines going on at once can be very interesting to read, but difficult to manage in prose form. I would recommend that you always keep one subplot as the main focus at any given time, save for the few points where they overlap, and for the sake of avoiding confusion, stick to less than five active plots at any given time. Just make sure that all of your plots are relevant to the overall course of the story - they either have to have a significant result in character development, help in world-building, or have an impact on the overarching plot. If your subplot isn't doing any of these things, consider removing it from the main story entirely and making it a spin-off or separate (but related) story.

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    Default Re: Multiple plot lines?

    In Magic of a Melody I have the main plot (the quest to assemble the Necklace of the Mystical Rainbow and save the world) plus:

    --Brock wanting to avenge his fallen mentor
    --Dawn wanting to find her mother (this one is going to be wound up very soon)
    --Misty wanting to find her comrades and bring them home
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    Default Re: Multiple plot lines?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyuujux View Post
    But what about a single story? Does any of them (single stories) have multiple plots in them, or do you only have one plot for each story.
    Umm..., wouldn't the series just be counted as one big story?

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    Default Re: Multiple plot lines?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godo-kun View Post
    Umm..., wouldn't the series just be counted as one big story?
    If they were direct sequels, yes.

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