Friday, June 29, 2012

Battle Reportification Part 10 - Plot

Now we arrive at the first post about the different parts of your Battle Report, this one focusing upon why you want to decide if a scene focuses upon Plot and how to do it.

Excuse me if this post looks strange, fiddling around with format so that I have photos like other blogs do for each post and have posts with text before a jump and after (may need help for the photo thing, will comment if it does not turn out as I wanted). In any case lets get to the real part of this post. Why is it that you might want to allocate some moments specifically towards advancing the plot? The usual suspects of inspiration, guidelines, and checks and balance are in effect. In addition to these is also how setting a moment aside specifically for plot is that you have the opportunity to go wild creatively. You don't have to worry about whether or not the characters are evolving, there is no need for concern over how you are going to portray a certain theme for the setting, this is when you can have that fun in regards to making awesome stuff happen. You need more than plot to make a good story, but character development accounts to nothing if the audience can't get past what is going on! People read stories to put themselves in another world aside from their own, make sure that this experience is one that is unlike anything they've experienced! Some books are nonfiction and designed to make big points out of everyday material but lets be honest: people aren't going to read your Battle Report for that. They want to see the fantastical things that can happen as only a universe involving aliens, space ships, and magic can or if warmachine is more your thing those gargantuan robots that dominate the battlefield and are unlike anything that exists! If you are enjoying yourself as you are revealing to the text was is going on then likely others will as well. Make no mistake, making a good plot is hard work, but it should end up coming out as something that you enjoy doing even with all of the investment that you have to put into it. I'm sorry if that paragraph was a bit obvious, I just felt it was necessary to lay down that little framework so we all have a clear understanding of each other. Now we get into the how of plot development. Remember that what you are doing is advancing the plot, changing the scene from one thing that was happening to another. It is alright to continue with a few things that were already going on (keeping the antagonist hidden from view and the plot is still about finding him for instance) but make sure that there are parts that are different. Adding twists to the plot is fine so long as it entails moving on from what the situation was before. Look over what you have created and try and identify what has actually changed, have the characters gotten any closer to their goal or changed their methodology to try and achieve it? Or did you simply add something new and make it more complicated while in reality changing nothing about the situation. People want to see things advance, whether that means that the situation has taken a turn for the worst or greatly enhanced the probability of victory they just want new things. Stagnant situations are dull and people gloss over them, keep that in mind. But that was just a piece on making sure the plot changes as a result of the scene, now we can introduce the idea of going crazy and letting your imagination run wild as I mentioned earlier. What got you excited about all this, what are the crazy moments in your war games that you remember for it seems like forever because of just how ridiculous, hilarious, or just plain awesome they were? When imagining your Battle Report how did you see things unfolding when translating the tabletop game into a detailed narrative? What was it that first struck you about your Battle Report, what are the best parts of it? Look at books and see all those cool scenes again, what thrilled you in a movie, which paintings gave you the most inspiration? A way that you can develop a new plot direction is by taking the characters that you've created and imagined what would happen if something happened to them. This could be something good, harmful, or evil, but in any case just imagine if they suddenly stumbled upon new equipment, a deadly assassin, or a chaos artifact that corrupted one or several of them? Take all of those potential events that are whirring through your head and jot them down for use. Remember that ultimately this is a story that takes place in a huge universe and anything is possible, no matter how absurd it may seem. Just keep in mind what I already said about keeping the plot moving and trying not to make things too convoluted.

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