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Need some help with plot - what do you think (long)

(4 Posts)
Bumperlicioso Tue 23-Jun-09 22:46:37

Ok, my first foray into writing as an adult was the NaNoWriMo challenge that I completed successfully in November. I haven't gone back to edit that novel yet as I am too scared too, it's a big job.

I have been mulling over another idea, completely unintentionally inspired by catching a glimpse between a couple of shops in London of a beautiful block of flats in a gated courtyard. Of course I can't remember the street annoyingly, but it gave me an idea, as follows:

Young adult girl, Cher, maybe 21, bit of a tearaway, moved out of home because clashed with mum (not sure what her problem is, maybe some childhood trauma or something to make her misbehave), been bumming around, crashing with friends.

She is left a flat by a spinster aunt in London in a will. They are beautiful flats, well looked after and inhabited by lots of colourful people.

She goes to live in the flat and quickly alienates herself from the other residents by being disrespectful, immature, loud music etc.

Cher ealises that she will need a job to pay her bills even though the flat was free so she gets a job cleaning in the nearby Tate Modern.

One of the neighbours in the flat, an elderly matriarchal Italian woman, falls over and is rushed to hospital with only Cher to accompany her. Cher stays with her and starts to show a more mature kinder side. The woman is very grateful, and through talking she sees that Cher is troubled and needs nurturing. She also gives Cher a stern talking to about being nicer and more mature and respectful. The Italian woman has a quiet word with the other neighbours who also start showing Cher kindness which she responds to. This is the essence of the story, it is about a community, full of different characters who all have different things to give, but who are also flawed. Cher starts to engage with them, and to take pride in herself and her flat.

Meanwhile, at work cleaning in the evenings she is starting to take an interest in art. She starts experimenting at home and appears to have a natural talent. Cher, egged on by a mischievous friend she has made at the museum place one of her painting on the wall for people to see the next day. She gets pulled up by the manager but he also sees some potential in her.

And this is where I get a bit stuck really. It's a kind of cinderella story, poor girl makes good, but I'm not sure what the path to her 'making good' is. There needs to be some kind of pitfalls along the way. I also want the manager to perhaps become a love interest, just to round the happily ever after part off, but the path to true love can never run smooth and I feel that they need to disappoint each other in some way, but not enough to make the relationship irretrievable. I also feel like something more dramatic should happen within the community of the flats that makes Cher realise what she has got and for them all to show their strength and sense of community.

How does this sound? Complete tripe? Any inspiration for how I can jolly the plot along a bit. It's all very bad girl makes good with lots of lovely people, but there needs to be problems along the way.

Litchick Wed 24-Jun-09 11:31:41

I tink you are making a very good start in that you have a great MC ( main character ). For me. this is always the start of any good book.
Then I think any good plot needs all the elements of a classical story or legend. There are some very good books on this subject by Cambell, Stein and the ever bonkers but truly inspirational Robert McGee.

Bumperlicioso Wed 24-Jun-09 21:39:44

Thanks Litchick, I'll check those out.

Bumperlicioso Wed 24-Jun-09 21:44:51

Do you have 1st names for those authors?

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