My plot seems vague.

Hey, I have a story idea--an epic plot, if I say so myself and I know how I want the overall story to go over the course of 3-4 planned books.

However, my problem is that for the first story, I just can't seem to straighten out the various threads to make the plot seem less vague. Anything to help out with that?

Sorry if my question itself seems vague. :3

Answer: Yes. Be less vague.

You might start with the 8 Basic Elements of Plot ( and look for concrete ways to illustrate each of these.

What specific Goal will your protagonist pursue?
What specific Consequence will occur if he/she fails?
What specific Requirements must be met for him/her to make progress?

For each one, try to imagine if the story were made into a silent film or comic book. What picture would show each element to the viewer?

Even better, what action or event would show each element?

For example, in the film Casablanca, the goal is to escape the city and find freedom. The alternative (consequence) is to die in Casablanca.

So the story starts with shots of people being arrested by the police and killed for not having the right papers. We see a man at a cafe moaning that he'll never get out, that he'll die in Casablanca.

The main character, Rick, shifts from isolation to rejoining the world, opening himself up to new possibilities. So we see him in the beginning playing chess by himself, refusing to drink with customers, sticking his neck out for no one, etc. And in the end, we see him walking into the fog with his friend Renault, talking about how he is looking forward to their beautiful friendship.

It may take some time to find the right illustrations for each of your story points, but it will be very worthwhile as the story will become far more clear in your mind.

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