What is a plot? A plot is, in short, the plan for your story. What you want to happen, what you want the characters to do, how you want to develop them and the journey you put them through. In this brief and (I hope!) informative guide, I will show you how to create your plot (and story) so you end up with a fan fiction that you can be proud of. :)
Part One-Starting Up
It's always hard to come up with a good first chapter. You can't suddenly leap into the middle of the story yet you don't want it to be boring either. The opening to your story should hook the reader in and make them want to read on.
A great way to lead someone into the story. 'Bang' and 'crash are a way to get the reader's attention. For Example:
Crash! The kits smashed into each other at high speed.
Make sure you use warrior cat 'language'. Cats wouldn't refer to human objects like metals or jewels (more on that later!). Try to avoid the boring 'said' or 'mewed'. Active verbs like 'cried', 'roared' or 'screeched' are much more exciting! And remember: ALWAYS USE SPEECH MARKS! Example:
'Quick!' Dovewing roared. 'Save the kits!'
Plant the reader in the middle of the action. This will suck him/her in and make him/her turn the pages. Don't, however, be an idiot and include ridiculous weapons that cats would never use (knifes, swords etc. I even saw someone use lightsabers in one story). Example:
Lionblaze looked round frantically. There were too many warriors! Where was Ivypool's patrol?
If you feel you can't use any of the above, resort to description. It will not be as powerful as any of the other examples, but when done properly it creates a really great picture and makes the reader think, 'wow, she can write!' For example:
The milky moonlight burst through the trees, illuminating the camp in a starry glow.
Make sure that when you begin, you use metaphors, similes AND alliteration where appropriate; it will boost your writing further.
Part Two-Make your Characters!
So, you have an idea that there are three kits in the nursery that are part of a great prophecy. However, there are two other apprentices from other Clans that despise them and want to get rid of your heroes. Well, what can you call your characters?
Is their fur ginger or brown? Are they black with a white tail tip and paws? What colour are their eyes? Answer these questions and see if any of them sound like a suitable warrior name. Remember-if you plan on making your character a warrior, see if you can find a suffix that will match the prefix and not sound ridiculous, like Brownraven, or Fishwing.
Ginger Brown Golden Light
Blue Dark White Flame
Raven Spotted Black Dappled
Warriors are often named after prey or animals in their territory. If you have cats from different clans, make sure there isn't a Fishkit in ShadowClan and a Rabbitkit in RiverClan, because they don't have those for prey.
Sparrow Squirrel Mouse Minnow
Frog Fish Bird Badger
Snake Rabbit Mole Lark
Warriors are often named after their surroundings or elements of nature. There are lots of prefixes and suffixes to choose from in this category, so it's a good one to go for if you're stuck for inspiration.
Lake Stream Storm Oak
Forest Pebble Sun Willow
Tree Stone Leaf Hazel
My guide is quite brief, but if you want loads of helpful name ideas, try Arti's Guide to Names.
REMEMBER: Never give your cats the prefixes THUNDER, SHADOW, RIVER OR WIND if your fanfiction is based in the Clans with those names. STAR is one that cannot be used in any Clan (even if it was a made up one like SunClan or something).
Part Three-The Drama
Some of the best bits in any story are the dramatic scenes. Bluestar's death! Hollyleaf running away and dying (sort of) at the end of Sunset (STILL NOT OVER IT)! Here are a few tips:
Kill off a minor character. Or a major one, if you really want to cause impact. Whatever you decide, a death will make a moving and emotional scene. However, should you kill someone off, make sure you NEVER use the following methods:
Lightsabers (seriously guys, stop.)
A cat is most likely to die of the following causes:
In a battle Killed by fox/badger/snake
Here, is an example of a death scene, traumatic and moving:
'No!' Lionblaze roared. 'Cinderheart, don't leave me now!'
'It's too late,' she murmured. 'The StarClan is calling me.'
Lionblaze watched in horror as his mate writhed in her nest, spasms shooting through her body. She was too ill, Jayfeather couldn't do anything. 'Please!' he turned to his brother, pleading.
The medicine cat shook his head, puzzled. 'I've never seen a sickness like this. I've tried everything.' He gazed deep into his brother's eyes. 'She must go.'
Thrilling, don't you think? Brief note: DON'T FAVOUR YOUR HEROES. Just look what happened to Firestar. The greatest cat (at least in the original series), from kittypet to leader, gets hit by a falling tree of all things, instead of getting killed by a Dark Forest warrior or something a bit less stupid than that. It's a bit sad, how the Erins favour him.
So this is something that usually happens within a warriors book. It's all about the fighting. Before you start writing, what's the backstory to the battle? Is it over stolen prey, territory or a disagreement?
Battle's (I find) are very hard to write. Try to plant yourself in the middle of the scene, imagine you are a warrior, fighting those cold hearted enemy warriors. What emotions are running through your head?Are you scared, worried, or eager?
Try to use different moves of battle, not just the same old paw swipe. I'd recommend looking on Warriors Wiki for a list of battle moves. For example:
The death bite (to the neck) Choking
The belly rake Jump and twist rake
If you are trying to add romance to the plot, try not to use cliches like Medicine CatXWarrior or WarriorXWarrior from another Clan. They've been used already by the Erins, so try to be a little more original than the generic 'forbidden love' plot. :)
If you don't want a 'twist' then try to add a little backstory, like SandXFire. Sandstorm hated Fireheart at first, but they ended up in love. Or BrightXCloud, when Brightheart was ravaged by the dogs yet Cloudtail still loved her. And SquirrelXBramble, where Squirrelflight lied and distrusted Brambleclaw due to his relationship with Hawkfrost
Part Four-Adding Depth To Your Writing
So you want to develop your writing even further? Want to push the boundaries? Then LISTEN UP! Use similies, metaphors, alliteration, assonace, personification and onomatopias. Lost? Then keep reading.
What I often find is that writers on here don't use enough of the above, and it's just useless descriptions and dialogue. I try not to do that, and lots of users are very good at description. You want to really plant the reader in the forest/moor/twolegplace.
These are pretty easy to create. Sometimes, it is difficult to describe something foreign or unfamiliar to the reader, and similes compare one thing to another. Here are some examples:
'The sun hung like a glistening gold eye against the pale sky.'
'The warrior was so tired, he felt like his legs would snap off like dry wood.'
Similies are probably the most used of all of the things on this list, as you can dream up anything in your imagination.
These are hard. This is where you say something IS something, the (word) was a (word). E.g:
'The trees were birds, their rustling a pretty melody'.
'The rouge was a dog, he was so mad and angry'.
Alliteration and Assonance
Alliteration is easier. It is where you pair words that start with the same letter, i.e:
'The Bee Buzzed Brighty'.
'The Snake Slithered Silently'.
Get that? Assonance is similar except it is the SOUND that pairs them together, for example:
'It was the SeaSon of miSts and Songs'
This is where you give something non-living (the wind, tree branches etc) the characteristics of something living (whispering, snarling etc). e.g:
'The wind brushed the leaves softly'.
'The branches scratched his fur.'
This one is basic, it is where you write sounds down. Instead of, 'He heard the slash of claws', you'd say:
'SLASH! Owlwing felt the claws slice down his back'.
'CRASH! Weedkit flew into the fresh kill pile.'
See how easy it is to enrich your writing with a few literary devices? :)
Part Five-Cliches and Bad Mistakes
Ok, so no one wants to make a character THAT tom/she cat where he/she is perfect in every way. Take Dovewing for example, she's excellent at everything and always seems to be morally right all the time. Even if someone she hates dies, she'd be sad. Here are some cliche characters from the warriors series (in order from most cliche-y to least)
- Dovewing- too perfect
- Firestar- amazing in the original series, cliché in the others
- Bumblestripe- hopelessly in love etc
There are also very clichéd plot lines. Try to add a twist, add another layer to your story and be creative. Try not to use the same storylines that have been done before. Here are some clichéd plots (I've mentioned a few already):
- Kittypet joins the Clan, no one likes him, yet he becomes the hero and after the first arc (in which he was epic) he becomes a deadly boring leader who ALWAYS does everything right
- A ragtag team of cats go on a journey to 'save' the Clans, and meet strange new cats and creatures along the way.
- A warrior/medicine cat loves a warrior from another Clan, has kits and has to give them up to save herself.
Some of the worst things I see on here are cats doing/saying non-feline things. Cats CANNOT:
- Kiss-they rub muzzles/entwine tails instead
- Laugh-they purr!
- Smile/grin-they purr, they PURR!!!
- Grab things with their paws-its their claws or teeth.
- Groom themselves with their paws-they do it with their TONGUES
Cats CANNOT SAY:
- Call people by their prefixes-like 'Hey Grey' or 'Hi Lion!'
You may use the above if you are writing a spoof fanfiction, but if it is a serious story, them AVOID THEM AT ALL COSTS!
Cats CANNOT BE CALLED:
- After jewellery - this is a twoleg thing and (with the exception of kittypets) do not know of rubies, pearls or diamonds.
- After natural disasters-they would not know the proper names, so no 'Tornadopaw' or 'Tsunamiwave' please.
- After our seasons-they call them greenleaf and leafbare, so do not name them 'Winterwish' or 'Summerstrike'
- After food and spices-no 'Strawberrydream' or 'Cinnamonswirl'
- After GLITTER/SPARKLES/SHINE!!! (unless you are a six year old girl)
- After their past-'Badluck', 'Luckypaw' and 'Twilightshine' are unacceptable unless you want to look like a pretentious idiot.
Part Six-Writer's Block
It's the thing everyone fears-you have an amazing story yet for some reason you've run out of amazing ideas. I get, it, you get it, most writers get it. So here are some tips:
- Listen to music-doesn't really matter what, perhaps that one song lyric will give the creative spark you need. :)
- Think about what happens in the future or the past- Who's ruling the Clans? What new rules have been made/what old ones used to exist? This always helps me think of twists and turns within stories.
- Look out of the window when you're bored in the car/bus/train or when you're on the way to school. Countryside always seems to throw storylines in my face, or give me ideas for a new Clan territory.
- Have you been anywhere amazing on holiday or with school? Try and incorporate it into a plot.
- It doesn't have to be a story-you have other options. Is there a song you've listened to that you think goes really well with a warrior's story? Why not try a songfic? If you're really good at poetry, why not write a poem? It doesn't have to be a novel!
- Enter a contest-other people's ideas might get your brain whirring. :)
If you need more help, then I'd reccomend:
Leave any other tips/advice you have in the comments, and good luck with your story!