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Having trouble with my plot?


Hey, so I think I've figured out why I'm having trouble. I used to write fan-fiction before I think it was even called that. I used to take characters from one story and put them into another that all ready existed. I'd take fables and change them – like make Snow White a horror story. So I never created my own characters and plots, just toyed with existing ones as a youngster.

Now I'm trying to create my own work it's really hard. I have ideas but am struggling so much to mesh them all together. I've tried following the three act strucutre, the hero's Journey, the Snowflake method and a few others but I keep getting stuck. I know my character pretty well I just can't find the right story for her. I know I'm not a panster so I just wanted to ask how to go about doing this? Or maybe I'm just someone who needs to play with existing stories, maybe I'm not good at creating things from scratch and should go back to that, it has been months and months of trying to work on this. I have writing experience but putting a story together and coming up with my own ideas is new.

I appreciate any feedback and advice, thank you.
Snow White wasn't a horror story? Anyways, that aside.

It may be you have to continue with other frame works for stories. I'm perfectly fine twisting tales or using the old stories to be built new in a way. If you aren't getting anything that you think is normal story wise, then yeah. Keep with what you know. Or maybe you just haven't struck something that works with you yet either. Not gonna count out any sort of factors for it. Could try story prompts and the like too, if only for practice. Or as you have characters, do shorts involving them. Plenty to do until you find something that works for you.


Try applying something of your fan-fiction mindset to original writing. Ask yourself what your character would do if they were in exactly the same situation as a character from something you love. See if their path can wildly shoot off at some point. Be okay with dropping it if you can't make it its own thing. There are a lot of situations, both broad and specific, that shouldn't be used up by the first person to do it. Use it as a jumping off point.

And of course keep going. Months and months is good but do more months than that.

Miles Lacey

Write the fan fiction story then create original characters with similar characteristics to the characters you borrowed and change some names and details of places to avoid those copyright infringement issues.

For example if you do a Harry Potter fan fiction change the protagonist to a girl who has the looks of Ariana Grande, the personality of one of the Kardashians and the politics of Margaret Thatcher. Have her attend the magic world's version of a boot camp where she faces challenges not unlike those faced by Harry Potter.

Even with original fiction someone will point out "Meh that's pretty much another [insert popular movie, book, game or TV series here] story" so you can't win anyway. Or so it seems.