How do I create an interesting plot with all this existing stuff?

by Ashton

Question: So I've got a bit of a problem. I've created a rich, complex world, and unique characters, but there is one problem: I don't have any interesting ideas for a plot. I really want to do something with this world because I've spent a very long time developing it, but I can't think of anything that could reasonably work with the setting and the characters without being too overused (like "battle between heaven and hell: version 2" or "who will become the next god, and how do we stop this evil person from taking this opportunity to screw up the entire universe" or even, "my brother's ghost wont leave me alone so I guess it's time to do increasingly questionable stuff to get rid of him because he's gonna screw up a bunch of stuff if I don't").


Also, would having maybe two or three POV characters each dealing with differing situations, and have their stories intersect? For example, if the characters are a young witch wants to get rid of her brother's ghost, and a demonic social worker is trying to get one of his clients into a better situation before she gets killed by demonic authorities, could they be told together with them remaining separate to a point, and then intersecting? Maybe with the young witch bringing the demonic's client back from the dead with some illegal necromancy (because she might have knowledge that could be useful with the whole brother situation) and now the supernatural police are getting involved because they hecked up really bad?

Sorry this question is long and complicated and confusing but do you have some thoughts on what I could do about this?

Answer: I have a feeling that if you just kept going
with your question you would find the answer on your own. You may be almost there now.

Sometimes it's just a matter of writing out the problem (to gain clarity and perspective) and letting the answer come to you.

I think you are onto something in the last paragraph. Having several interesting POV characters whose stories merge is a perfectly fine approach, especially if they all have interesting and different stories. But if you still feel stuck, here's what I suggest...

1. Keep writing about the problem -- how you feel stuck, why you feel stuck, what cliches you want to avoid, and all the possible ideas that come to you. Eventually, it will all coalesce into a solution.

2. Remember that there are very few original plots, but an infinite number of variations. So just look for twists that seem fresh and interesting to you and don't worry if something similar has been done before. What makes a book unique is your voice, your characters, your style, etc.

3. Use the Force. You will know you are on the right track by your own feelings. The more excited you are, the more emotionally moving the story seems, the more interesting the ideas are to you, the better.

4. It's perfectly normal and okay to also have periods when you feel frustrated, stuck, or bored with your story. This is your critical mind taking over from your creative mind in order to help you take the story to the next level. The critical mind reveals the shortcomings in your work-in-progress. When this happens, go back to #1 above. After some time, your creative mind will have another turn and generate the next wave of ideas that will be even better.

Best of luck.

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