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Oh, what a door!

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Guys,
I'm stuck in a plot.
I created two characters I like, a father and daughter, who are adventurous and have a wonderful relationship. The parents are separated and they only see each other at the weekend, at the father's apartment. He's only just moved in.
It's cliched, but I was writing in the coffee shop, noticed a red door in the wall and my mind went racing. Before I knew it, I had the characters created, a problem and the plot was drafted.
Is it too cliched to write something like this? Or too old-fashioned? :badidea
#1 - March 24, 2016, 10:53 AM

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Can you give us a little more detail, Thundering? What do you think might be old fashioned? The characters? The plot? (I know you probably don't want to talk too much about the plot, but we don't really know what it is.)

And how cool that it came together so fast and so well! (Delivery of your new idea)> :truck2
#2 - March 24, 2016, 11:03 AM
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How does the red door fit in? Is it a portal to another world? If so, you might have an issue, but, hey, an other-world-portal worked for Neil Gaiman in Coraline. I personally love the idea of a dad and daughter having adventures together on the weekends, and the door portal wouldn't bother me. I like the idea. I think a book like this would resonate with many children.
#3 - March 24, 2016, 11:22 AM

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It sounds lovely, Fiona! I love the idea of the red door being in it. It sounds like a promise of something wonderful.
#4 - March 24, 2016, 11:33 AM

It isn't a portal to another world:I know all of that has been done before. It's an undiscovered room in a house:that's all I'm giving away, for now. Mainly because I know there's a room but I don't know what's in there. I also want to develop the relationship between the two main characters.
#5 - March 25, 2016, 08:11 AM

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Nothing is new! Your story will be unique because You are writing about new characters in a new adventure.
#6 - March 25, 2016, 08:33 AM
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It's great how things just fell together for you. When I'm drafting a story, I don't worry about what others might think. There's nothing new under the sun, but only one ThunderingElephant so it is your voice that will carry the tale. And no, I don't think it's cliché. A secret room is tops and a red door even better!

Vijaya
#7 - March 25, 2016, 08:35 AM
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A red door (in the apt?) would be quite obvious and just about begging to be opened--if doors could beg. So maybe, to built suspense, there is reluctance to open it. Mind games v hidden reality on the other side.
#8 - March 25, 2016, 11:07 AM

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Maybe only certain people can see the red door.  :grin3  I agree, though, if I saw a red door, I'd want to open it.
#9 - March 25, 2016, 02:51 PM

It isn't a portal to another world:I know all of that has been done before. It's an undiscovered room in a house:that's all I'm giving away, for now. Mainly because I know there's a room but I don't know what's in there. I also want to develop the relationship between the two main characters.

Anything can be in an old room--A secret, a mystery to be solved, old photos and letters from a previous-tenant girl who had a similar problem years ago...
We're not going to write it for you!   :poke
#10 - March 25, 2016, 08:08 PM
Know the movies.  Show the movies.  Start the revolution:
http://movieactivist.blogspot.com

I haven't worked on it over the past few days because I have been celebrating Easter. The door, in reality, is situated in the chocolate shop where I go for a coffee every day. It's situated in the wall, upstairs and when I saw it, my mind just went into overdrive. Before I knew it I had characters and a plot in my head that I started writing.
In summary, what Eric has said is probably what I am thinking and that, to me, is a bit cliched for today's market. It has all been done before.
Or am I wrong?
#11 - March 28, 2016, 09:48 AM

The door is located in the coffee shop you go to every day, but that one day is when you first spied the door? Sounds like the universe was talking to you, especially if the characters and plot immediately synced. Good for you! Sounds very intriguing.

Ditto what Vijaya said, that nothing is really new except voice. And perhaps how we use elements of our stories. Like a door.

Since you haven't said much about where you are and the direction, I'll take a quick, silly shot in the dark at using the door as a tool: the door could be the temperature gauge between the father and daughter (and/or others), changing color as their relationship changes, but they don't know what it means, and the door can only be opened (or opens itself) once their relationship overcomes an obstacle they didn't know existed yet surfaces between them, blah-blah-blah.  :hiding

#12 - March 28, 2016, 10:28 AM
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Mysteries are always good, Fiona, and a mysterious red door in a chocolate shop gets my attention. I say go for it!
#13 - March 28, 2016, 01:09 PM

Thanks, guys.
I thought it might sound too much like Alice In Wonderland, but since my character doesn't actually fall in through the door maybe it isn't. She just has an over-active imagination, for now.
I took a break today anyway.  :sick2 However, I still found time to visit my chocolate shop! It is a daily routine these days and I have a cat to feed! :cat
#14 - March 29, 2016, 09:04 AM

Just a post script here: I was thinking about making a new selection of flavours today whilst buying chocolate (no surprise there) and ransacked through the internet for "different" types of truffles. Sadly, like writing, there isn't much which is unique. But it also got me thinking: perhaps that's what could be undiscovered behind the door: a room full of recipe books written by an alchemist which sends my character's mind racing and she strives to become an alchemist herself by incorporating them into making truffles of her own with "unique" flavours. Her problem is convincing people to test these sweets and the reaction she gets is both expected and unexpected.
See, I told it might be too clichéd and old fashioned!
BTW: John has asked me to make him some tabasco and jerk seasoning truffles. He's as bonkers as me!
#15 - April 02, 2016, 09:35 AM

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I don't think it's cliched, and kids often love cooking or at least experimenting with food. I know my sister and I used to go into the kitchen and cook something when we got bored - usually fudge, so truffles, cooking, mystery: it works for me. :)
#16 - April 02, 2016, 11:37 AM

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Just an aside. I read an article sometime ago about the Monty Hall Effect. It was about the TV game show where there is a prize behind one door and goats or something like that behind the other two. The contestant chooses a door. Then Monty opens one of the other doors, showing a goat. He then invites the contestant to keep the chosen door or switch to the other unopened door.

Don't ask me how, but it has been proven mathematically, after much controversy among mathematicians, that your odds of winning a prize are better if you switch doors. Monty's knowing which door the prize is behind, and that he's not going to open that door has something to do with it.
#17 - April 02, 2016, 02:41 PM

Wow! That definitely reads extremely surreal. I'm in the coffee shop & noticed that a steep stepladder is required to get through that door & my character is young which makes it intriguing. This place reminds me of my dad's apartment & he created a fictional character when I was a child who sent me on treasure hunts whenever he bought me a book. I might tie them in.
Or maybe it could be a converted book shop.
I think I'm drinking too much coffee!
That said, I have just returned home from the coffee shop and discovered that door leads to a library which contains a catalogue of cookery books from past centuries and mc is about to embark on a session of discovery.
I have one of those books and some of those recipes are revolting. I'm sticking to chocolate!
Hopefully it won't be too bad. I wrote six hundred words today. :chocolate
#18 - April 03, 2016, 06:09 AM
« Last Edit: April 03, 2016, 08:56 AM by thunderingelephants »

In my attempt to locate yesterday I reached up to a book shelf and a very old recipe book clocked me on the head. Very painful but also inspiring. Some of those old fashioned "delicacies" read truly vile.
I won't be trying them but mc has gone on a cooking frenzy and there are a few books of mystery hidden in that attic. I've yet to discover what they are.
Does that sound crazy?
#19 - April 05, 2016, 08:18 AM

Whatever is behind that door should represent a conflict for your main character.  Whatever she fears most on a deep emotional level should somehow be connected to the door. The reader will only care if there is a stake.
#20 - April 05, 2016, 10:48 AM

Whatever is behind that door should represent a conflict for your main character.  Whatever she fears most on a deep emotional level should somehow be connected to the door. The reader will only care if there is a stake.
I agree totally. The first thing I do when plotting is to find a "problem". Something that the character must solve in order to gain a kind of gratification or sense of accomplishment but there should always be a link that a reader can identify with. Mystery and empathy on the part of the reader is important, in my opinion.
#21 - April 05, 2016, 11:51 AM

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Whatever is behind that door should represent a conflict for your main character.  Whatever she fears most on a deep emotional level should somehow be connected to the door. The reader will only care if there is a stake.

Yes.

I agree totally. The first thing I do when plotting is to find a "problem". Something that the character must solve in order to gain a kind of gratification or sense of accomplishment but there should always be a link that a reader can identify with. Mystery and empathy on the part of the reader is important, in my opinion.

Yes.
#22 - April 05, 2016, 12:32 PM

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