i didn't mean for this to happen with your prompt

anonymous asked:

I've got a whole manuscript, and just now come to the realization that I don't have an overarching conflict. There's a protagonist who appears at the beginning, disappears while a new minor protag comes in, and then returns at the end--but that ends up creating more questions than answering them. Any suggestions? (I know I didn't give very much detail, sorry ): )

I think you’ve prompted a great topic anon :)

The Overarching Conflict

You talk about a lack of an overarching conflict. Let’s break that down to what that actually means. When we say a story has an overarching conflict, we’re talking about a conflict that is present throughout the whole story and contains all of the “plot stuff.” The plot stuff includes all your characters’ actions (protagonist, antagonist, and any and all minor characters), and any plot events. All of this “stuff” should be happening within your story’s main conflict. 

Our anon is suggesting that their story breaks in the middle so that the overarching conflict is split momentarily, before it continues on down to the end, so that it looks like this:

The black rectangle is this interruption from the overarching conflict. It’s divergent plot information that leaves the main conflict and goes off somewhere else to create a brand new arc. Imagine if the black line disrupting our arc here goes straight up and then expands to become the bottom of a new arc. So you basically have a story that branches off into another story and may come back or may not come back. 

This is what the anon thinks is going on, and yeah it’s not a great situation. But this may not be where you’re at, at all. Because there’s a difference between an interruption to your plot and an interruption to your conflict. So I’m suggesting that perhaps the anon is dealing with the situation in the graphic below. And if not, this is what they should strive to get to. 

You can go off on as many tangents in your plot as you want, so long as it still is contained inside your conflict. What does that look like? Here’s an example. 

In the Sherlock Holmes novel A Study in Scarlet, the book begins from Watson’s perspective, as we usually expect. This is the first novel, so he meets Holmes and they begin investigating a case together. But about halfway through, the story suddenly flashes back 30 years to a setting we’ve yet to see with characters we’ve never met. It seems tangential, unrelated, and distant to the plot at hand. And yet, by the time this diversion comes back around to the present day, we now understand the context and motive of the story’s murder. The “tangent” worked because it was contributing to the conflict - the murder that Holmes and Watson were investigating. 

It’s okay to switch points of view halfway through, and it’s okay to delve off into plot points that seem to go off on tangents, and it’s okay to completely turn your story on its head to pursue something unexpected. The key is keeping it within your story’s defined conflict. For all of these black rectangles that try to disrupt your plot, don’t let them break through the conflict boundary. They might form new mini-conflicts, and they might run amok inside the smaller circle under the arc, but as long as they stay inside that blue area in my graphic, you should be okay. 

Cleaning up a Messy Ending

As for your concern that you’re raising too many new issues without resolving old ones, that’s just a matter of problem solving. As you’re heading into the downturn of your story’s overarching conflict (around the climax area), list everything that you see as unresolved. Don’t be afraid of how long this list is. A long list doesn’t necessarily mean that the story’s a mess. It just means it’ll take a little more thought to bring it all together. And you can bring it together!

For each item on your list of unresolved issues, think about a specific solution for each problem. Your goal is to develop solutions for each issue individually. Break it down piece by piece. Hells yes it’s overwhelming to plot an ending when you’ve got so many loose strings tangled up together. So isolate them. Try to untangle each string one at a time. 

Then, once you’ve figured out how to tie up each loose end by itself, you can start to look at the bigger picture. And at this point, you might be able to see points where you can tie up two ends with one knot. Two unanswered questions may be resolved in one idea. 

It’s a lot of work, so be patient with yourself. Immerse yourself in the process, and enjoy it! Working through these problems can be challenging, but also incredibly rewarding. 

Good luck!


anonymous asked:

I will seductively lie next to you on your couch and aggressively whisper figure skating terms into your ears

It’s a common proverb, to think before one speaks.

(Perhaps Yuuri’s issue is that he speaks, then thinks.)

“Please forget that I said that,” he begs Victor, burying his face in his hands in a desperate attempt to keep his coach from seeing his flushed cheeks. “That was… It made sense in my head, I didn’t mean it… Um, I didn’t mean it like you think that I meant it.”

“You don’t have to be embarrassed,” Victor promises. “I’ve been told that before, you know. Plenty of times.”

Yuuri peers at him between his fingers. “You have?”

“No,” he admits, then chuckles. “At least, not so directly.”

If Yuuri could shrink, could disappear, then he would. He considers making a beeline for the door, but that might only worsen the situation, so he stays where he is, hopes that Victor will drop the subject.

Victor puts a hand on his shoulder and the touch is so unexpected that Yuuri jumps, but doesn’t move away, meeting his eyes and searching desperately for any sign of mercy. He knows by now, though, that Victor seems to have a selective memory, and that he’ll never forget this. “I’m flattered, though. That you think my accent is so sexy.

Keep reading

What if Cas had called? Extended scene from 9x12: “Sharp Teeth”. 

“Oh, hey, Cas.”

Dean almost breaks his neck in his haste to look at his brother. Cas?

A thousand sensations bubble in the pit of his stomach, the first being all-encompassing excitement and relief, immediately followed by a gut-wrenching jealousy. Because why in the hell is his angel, calling Sam? Dean clenches his jaw as his nerd brother chuckles at something—chuckling, really? And the older hunter tries to reach into his pocket inconspicuously, craning his neck to not-so-subtly look at his phone.

Keep reading

ramblingredrose  asked:

Yang and Blake sparring, for a prompt, or if you'd rather record, can you do Ruby explaining to Oobleck why she brought Zwei on their mission? (Feel free to ignore the prompt if it's too silly. XD)

Ahhh, this is great! I want to do both of these things!! Let’s go with the writing prompt first!

Yang is ready to fight.  Or, well, play-fight, as it were.  She keeps her eyes on Blake, a bright and crooked grin on her face as she rotates her arm in a warm-up stretch.  Her other hand braces her shoulder.

All this for a match that hasn’t even been agreed to yet.

Blake eyes her with her normal unimpressed look, usually reserved for those not on her team.  She guesses it’s really Ruby’s fault, if one wanted to get technical.  She’s the one who had put the idea into Yang’s head.

It had been very off-hand.  Ruby had remarked on how well she and Yang worked together, something both girls had been proud of.  But with a curious hum, she’d added that she wondered what it would be like to see the two of them fighting against each other rather than alongside one another.

Never one to turn down or turn away from the idea of a fight, Yang was immediately set on making this happen.

Blake was less enthusiastic.

“Come on, Blake.”  If it wasn’t already abundantly clear that the blonde was eager to get to sparring, her tone would settle any uncertainties.  “You gotta fight me sometime.”

Blake answers this easily, no less unimpressed.  “No - we’re on the same team.  Technically, I never have to fight you.”

Yang gives an impatient roll of her eyes.  “Technically.  But we should do this!”  She will not be put off.  “I don’t get it! What are you afraid of?”

‘Afraid’ would be the last word anyone would think to use to describe Blake at the current moment.  Her expression hasn’t budged a bit.  “I just don’t really think this would be a fair fight.”

“What?! Oh.”  Yang is taken aback for a moment, but then she seems to grasp what Blake means.  Or, what she thinks she means.  “I get it.  Are you worried about my semblance? I won’t hit really hard if you’re nervous! You don’t have to be scared!”

Blake looks no more scared than she had a second ago.  “Um.  I meant for you.”

This really throws Yang off.  She blinks.  “Huh?”

Blake stays mercifully quiet.

“But.. super strength.”

Only now do Blake’s lips quirk up into a subtle smirk.  When she speaks, there is laughter in her tone.  “That only works if you can actually touch your target.”

For a moment, Yang actually looks stunned.  But it doesn’t take long for her to recover her lost grin and cool tone.  With a cocky laugh, Yang takes to leaning on her hip, both hands resting at her sides.  “You think you’re that fast?”

Blake’s smirk stretches.  She closes her amber eyes and gives a nonchalant shrug.  “I know I’m that fast.”

“Well you know me.”  Yang throws her arms out before crossing them over her chest.  “I’m always up for a challenge.  Bring it on!”

She might as well at this point.  Besides, now the whole thing seems like it could be sort of fun.  Blake wastes no time.  A shadow clone is left in her wake, and soon it’s hard to keep track of her.

It’s hard to keep track of the fight at all.  Both Yang and Blake move so quickly.  Yang misses every hit, but some of them almost barely.  It’s enough to get Blake’s heart racing.  

Eventually, however, it’s Yang that finds herself on the ground, pinned by her teammate.

Blake had wanted to say something, had planned to say something suave.  “I told you I’m that fast.”  Or something.  Something playful, just to put a cap on things. Or- well, whatever.

It doesn’t matter.  Now she finds herself silent.  They’re both quiet.  It’d be much easier if Yang made some sort of move, some sort of face.  But she stays looking just as stunned as Blake feels.

Until, that is, she snickers.  She’s grinning again.  “Did you actually just pounce on me?”

Somehow, that ruins it.  Blake returns to looking unimpressed.  Her cheeks, however, flare a bright red, and she gets herself off of Yang to begin walking away.

Yang sits up and stays right where she is.  “What! You totally did!!” Nothing  seems to wipe the grin off the blonde’s face.  (Secretly, there’s a hint of a smile spread across Blake’s lips as well.)