Re: New Here, Could Use Some Story Help

Hey, I'm new to this site. What's up? And I have a story that I've been working on, but I feel like I could use some extra help with it. I have most of the plot figured out, it's mostly with conflict and some themes I'm struggling with. 

To give a simple description of the story I had in mind, it centers around a former bounty hunter who decides to go work for an organization that specializes in tracking down and receiving magical items that are scattered throughout her country. Also, the main character isn't human, but she is a humanoid cat creature, I thought that could make her a little bit more unique. Most of her conflicts include her running into old bounty hunter enemies from the past and a secret group who plans to use some of the magic items for destructive purposes. The setting is steampunk but it has some traces of magic in it with the help of the magic items and energy within the land. I do have more details about this story, but this is just the main idea behind it. 

If this sounds interesting to you and you know how to do good story structure, then please let me know. I could really use the help. Thanks, and it's good to be here! 

Re: New Here, Could Use Some Story Help

Hi there! I'm also new here, so I figure I'd help you out.

If it's help with Story Structure, then I can give you a tip that I learned off SkillShare that helped me. It's a basic idea on how to write a scene:

Goal: You start with the Goal, usually of the main character. What does he want? Why is she here? Where are they going? What is the primary objective of the Scene? This is where you usually describe the Setting, people in it, the tone, and give the audience an idea of what it means for the rest of the story.

Conflict: The thing that gets in the way of the goal. If the character wants something, what's stopping them from getting it easily? A physical obstacle? A person? A character flaw? What is the main thing that needs to be overcome here? This is where you establish the stakes and why this scene is important to the story. It can also be where you introduce a new enemy or item for the story.

Disaster: This is when something terrible happens that makes the conflict worse. The bad guy just pulled a cannon out of his coat. That wound from the last fight has opened up again. The bomb was a dud. This is when you up the stakes and the tension in the scene, which will also force the main character into the next part.

Emotion: This is when you take the time to show what the main character feels when the Disaster happens. He feels dread at the sight of the bad guy's cannon. She feels annoyance that the wound is slowing her down. He sighs in relief that the bomb didn't go off. This is when you get a chance to show off your character's human part. Don't be afraid to show off their Fatal Flaw here, or at least make them seem vulnerable. This will make the audience want to root for them more.

Decision: The main character decides what to do about the Disaster. This can also be considered the resolution. The main character acts to try to overcome the Conflict and Disaster, and either succeeds or fails. He decides to kick the cannon away, making it fire in away from them.  She decides to press on, but can't because the wound is too serious, forcing her to let her target go free. He decides to run now that he knows the bomb won't go off, getting away safely. This is where the main character either gets in trouble/fails due to their Fatal Flaw or where they overcome their Fatal Flaw and succeed. Or they succeed in spite of their Fatal Flaw. However, you want to spin it.

Action: This is where you set up what everyone's going to be doing for the next Scene. You can ignore this one and go straight back to Goal, but it can give a bit of flow to have your characters finish their Action then move to a new Goal.

If you want to write a more cohesive story, then I suggest looking at the Premise Line. You can find a detailed description here, but the main idea goes something like this, using Jaws as an example:

Clause#1 = Character, Constriction
Clause#2 = Desire, Relationship
Clause#3 = Resistance, Adventure
Clause#4 = Adventure, Change 

A fearful, “outsider” Police Chief [Clause#1] of a small, coastal vacation town is asked to investigate the possible shark death [Clause#1] of a local swimmer, and his worst fears are realized when a marine biologist confirms the cause of death, prompting the Chief to hire a crusty local fisherman[Clause#2] to hunt down and kill the beast [Clause#2]–forcing the fisherman to take the Chief and biologist [Clause#2] along on the hunt; only to find himself caught between the town’s greedy mayor [Clause#3] demanding a quick kill so beaches can be reopened to make money again, and the controlling, resentful fisherman [Clause#3] who thinks the Chief is a wuss, and who doesn’t need or want the Chief and biologist on his boat–leading to the three men bonding as a team as they battle the monster; where the Chief proves his value and courage, overcomes his fear of water, and secures his place in the community when he saves the town by killing the beast [Clause#4].