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Thread: How to make a plot that is NOT cliche.?

  1. #21
    Ying Yang Member Saith's Avatar
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    Disney's actually a good example, here.
    I mean, they take fairy tales and reimagine them in ways suitable for children.
    Hell, even though they're cliche as all get out, they're iconic because of how they're made, their themes and... Well, because you grew up watching them.

  2. #22
    Palindrome Member ClockHand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Regantor View Post
    I still disagree. Sorry, but over generalizing, and saying every story with similar themes is just a re-hash, is silly.
    You can disagree all you want, but the fact is that there are universal subjects of stories and those has already been wrote, what we do are re-interpretations. We have Edipo, the struggle between father and son, and we have Luke Skywalker, the struggle between father and son, their motivations are different and how the characters act in the story is also different, but the root is the same, the problem is the same and doesn't matter how many sci-fi shit you put in there, the concept will be still the same, and even the structure of the story is the same (12 steps of the hero YAHY!!!).

    Another example: Naruto has to become stronger to defeat his enemy/Goku has to become stronger to defeat his enemy/hero has to become stronger to defeat his enemy = Heracles. Actually is funny, because shonen comics are the most obvious copy paste of the 12 step of the hero in a Heracles-kind.

    Quote Originally Posted by Regantor View Post
    Coincidental similarities in plots due to humans naturally liking similar themes doesn't just automatically make that plot point an unoriginal re-hash. To say that both the good, the bad and the ugly and cowboy bebop possess zero original ideas between them is ridiculous. Making something original is about the connections you make, the overall picture you build, not the individual pieces or generalized concepts.
    The plot will always be unoriginal because we create what we can know. If I don't know something I can't create something that look like it. If I don't know a kind of story, I will not be able to recreate the story. Which mean I will never be original, because every story I made is based on something I experienced (read, life, saw, etc). Also, when you claim that there is originality, then you are also claiming that if someone made a story that look like the other is ripping off the original, because obviously he wasn't enough creative and original to not being able to do a better story.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenn View Post
    If you strip every human being down to our basic physical structure, we'd all look pretty much the same, just a different shape and size. It's our nuances that make us unique. The same with stories. The detail and the specifics are what adds originality; not the most basic foundation.
    It doesn't matter, when you know the bone structure of the stories you can know if a character will die or not just be his personality and his decisions. You can add what ever you want, but at the end the structure will be the same, which mean I will know how the story is gonna end. I agree, the sweetness of the story doesn't come from the structure per se, it comes from the travel and how everything is done. It doesn't help knowing the 12 hero steps and do them in a story, what matters is the story to be entertaining and complete.

    Again, the discussion is about originality, and that, doesn't exist. We (artists, writers, crafter, etc) steal ideas and we made re-interpretations (as you will want to name, giving a twist), but it will only be good if we can make it good.

    I think for every story there are a good amount of questions you can do yourself to start writing; "where", will help to know the place, time and context of the story (again the example of pirates). "Who", can help you to know who are the ones carrying the story (hero, antihero, team mates, bad guy). "Problem", what kind of problem does the characters or this world have. "How", who are going the character and/or world interact with this problem. And lastly, "Why", why does the characters/world act as they do.

    Also there will be the discussion: Does the character carry the story or is the context? And according of your answer you will choose which one will be more important (still, you shouldn't let at a side the other). And of course you will have to ask yourself: "Who will narrate the story?", obviously you are always going to be the narrator, but, if you chose a character to be the center of the story, you will make more narrow the amount of information that come from the story to the readers (example: in Sherlock Holmes, the story is narrated through Watson, so what you can see, is what Watson see and heard).

  3. #23
    One Thousand Member Regantor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClockHand View Post
    You can disagree all you want, but the fact is that there are universal subjects of stories and those has already been wrote, what we do are re-interpretations. We have Edipo, the struggle between father and son, and we have Luke Skywalker, the struggle between father and son, their motivations are different and how the characters act in the story is also different, but the root is the same, the problem is the same and doesn't matter how many sci-fi shit you put in there, the concept will be still the same, and even the structure of the story is the same (12 steps of the hero YAHY!!!).
    You don't get what I'm saying. You're still over generalizing.

    Let's take Blame!; You could say at it's very core that it's a typical quest plot about a guy trying to find a macguffin. But that doesn't just automatically make it a re-hash of Jason's search for the golden fleece. It's not a re-hash of western stories just because the main character uses a pistol. Character development-wise it doesn't resemble anything.

    Components are components. You don't call the jet engine an unoriginal invention because it uses a few rivets in it's construction.

    Why am I taking this so personally? Because people can and do use this excuse just to use cookie-cutter boring ass plots all the time. I'd even concede that there are shades of original and non-original, but to say that originality doesn't exist at all just because people have made plots which draw on the same experiences as others is just absurd...

    Quote Originally Posted by ClockHand View Post
    Also, when you claim that there is originality, then you are also claiming that if someone made a story that look like the other is ripping off the original, because obviously he wasn't enough creative and original to not being able to do a better story.
    If he uses more or less the same components in basically the same combination, yes, it is being unoriginal... But to overgeneralize exactly what components he uses and how (Like saying both stories contain a young hero, and are therefore ripping each another off) is being petty. Differences in the combination of ideas that the person uses count.

    Quote Originally Posted by ClockHand View Post
    It doesn't matter, when you know the bone structure of the stories you can know if a character will die or not just be his personality and his decisions. You can add what ever you want, but at the end the structure will be the same, which mean I will know how the story is gonna end. I agree, the sweetness of the story doesn't come from the structure per se, it comes from the travel and how everything is done. It doesn't help knowing the 12 hero steps and do them in a story, what matters is the story to be entertaining and complete.
    This is assuming that all characters behave exactly like their stereotypes, which is just... Yeah. Overgeneralizing. It's fair enough that we can assume he won't permanently die half way through, but that doesn't mean the entire component is bootlegged just because nobody else does that either.

    Basically, what I'm trying to say is, the actual story itself is the combination of components, not just a straight list of what components are present.

  4. #24
    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/arti...0-Trope-a-Dope

    Though the point being made isn't wholly on topic, the prologue of this article is something worth considering. Basically it's all been done before, and it no doubt plausible to break it all down to a sequence of generic XYZ statements, but originality is not the key to entertainment, sure unapologeticlly using thee same cliches and what have you won't make a good story, but not using them doesn't make it better.

    Which is to say ClockHand is right, but Regantor isn't wrong. I won't say there isn't such a thing as a completely original story, but it will likely take a person smarter than all of us to write it, but rather that a story is good based on how each of the 'already been done' variables mesh and how they all come together with the writers ability to make them seem interesting regardless of what they are, and how often they have been done before.
    Last edited by Bardic-Dragoon; 10-17-2011 at 07:38 AM.
    I have no problem with you spanking me. However, I have a huge problem with you not spanking me...

  5. #25
    Fenn
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClockHand View Post
    You can disagree all you want, but the fact is that there are universal subjects of stories and those has already been wrote, what we do are re-interpretations. We have Edipo, the struggle between father and son, and we have Luke Skywalker, the struggle between father and son, their motivations are different and how the characters act in the story is also different, but the root is the same, the problem is the same and doesn't matter how many sci-fi shit you put in there, the concept will be still the same, and even the structure of the story is the same (12 steps of the hero YAHY!!!).

    Another example: Naruto has to become stronger to defeat his enemy/Goku has to become stronger to defeat his enemy/hero has to become stronger to defeat his enemy = Heracles. Actually is funny, because shonen comics are the most obvious copy paste of the 12 step of the hero in a Heracles-kind.



    The plot will always be unoriginal because we create what we can know. If I don't know something I can't create something that look like it. If I don't know a kind of story, I will not be able to recreate the story. Which mean I will never be original, because every story I made is based on something I experienced (read, life, saw, etc). Also, when you claim that there is originality, then you are also claiming that if someone made a story that look like the other is ripping off the original, because obviously he wasn't enough creative and original to not being able to do a better story.



    It doesn't matter, when you know the bone structure of the stories you can know if a character will die or not just be his personality and his decisions. You can add what ever you want, but at the end the structure will be the same, which mean I will know how the story is gonna end. I agree, the sweetness of the story doesn't come from the structure per se, it comes from the travel and how everything is done. It doesn't help knowing the 12 hero steps and do them in a story, what matters is the story to be entertaining and complete.

    Again, the discussion is about originality, and that, doesn't exist. We (artists, writers, crafter, etc) steal ideas and we made re-interpretations (as you will want to name, giving a twist), but it will only be good if we can make it good.

    I think for every story there are a good amount of questions you can do yourself to start writing; "where", will help to know the place, time and context of the story (again the example of pirates). "Who", can help you to know who are the ones carrying the story (hero, antihero, team mates, bad guy). "Problem", what kind of problem does the characters or this world have. "How", who are going the character and/or world interact with this problem. And lastly, "Why", why does the characters/world act as they do.

    Also there will be the discussion: Does the character carry the story or is the context? And according of your answer you will choose which one will be more important (still, you shouldn't let at a side the other). And of course you will have to ask yourself: "Who will narrate the story?", obviously you are always going to be the narrator, but, if you chose a character to be the center of the story, you will make more narrow the amount of information that come from the story to the readers (example: in Sherlock Holmes, the story is narrated through Watson, so what you can see, is what Watson see and heard).
    LOL fine if you're gonna be so adamant about it, originality doesn't exist! I'll just have to come up with a new word that means "putting together a new story by taking different perspectives, details, etc. and applying them to the basic foundation of stoytelling to differentiate it from other stories and make in interesting!" Because we totally couldn't use the word "originality" for that definition and have everyone except you understand what we meant.

  6. #26
    One Thousand Member Regantor's Avatar
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    THE INTERNET = SERIOUS BUSINESS

    But yeah. Fenn is basically right. We are arguing over terminology here. The absolute basic concepts of most modern stories have been used a gazillion times before (which I think is what you are saying), but the twists, changes and combinations that form a stories' own specific merits haven't necessarily.

  7. #27
    Fenn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Regantor View Post
    THE INTERNET = SERIOUS BUSINESS

    But yeah. Fenn is basically right. We are arguing over terminology here. The absolute basic concepts of most modern stories have been used a gazillion times before (which I think is what you are saying), but the twists, changes and combinations that form a stories' own specific merits haven't necessarily.
    Yeah, it's pure semantics at this point. Y'know, I've noticed a lot of arguments on this forum end up boiling down to semantics. Screw semantics.

  8. #28
    Moderator Psy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenn View Post
    LOL fine if you're gonna be so adamant about it, originality doesn't exist! I'll just have to come up with a new word that means "putting together a new story by taking different perspectives, details, etc. and applying them to the basic foundation of stoytelling to differentiate it from other stories and make in interesting!" Because we totally couldn't use the word "originality" for that definition and have everyone except you understand what we meant.
    Passive aggression ftw!

    It shouldn't matter if everything has been done before because some one somewhere will read it. The more you try to fend off cliches the more likely I think you are to fall pray to them. Make it interesting and something that makes sense and you've done your job. Even a stupid plot could be potentially interesting and good right?

  9. #29
    Zeta Members ram's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenn View Post
    Yeah, it's pure semantics at this point. Y'know, I've noticed a lot of arguments on this forum end up boiling down to semantics. Screw semantics.
    I agree so much to the point that I wish this comment should be in reminder to the whole main page in the forum! With a super sticky! or something. I think I'll put this as my signature.

  10. #30
    101 Dalmations Member GAbRieLWrIgHt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenn View Post
    LOL fine if you're gonna be so adamant about it, originality doesn't exist! I'll just have to come up with a new word that means "putting together a new story by taking different perspectives, details, etc. and applying them to the basic foundation of stoytelling to differentiate it from other stories and make in interesting!" Because we totally couldn't use the word "originality" for that definition and have everyone except you understand what we meant.
    so true...so very true...

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