Creating a Plot

I am struggling to create a plot for my story. I have a summary or blurb but I’m struggling to use that to create a plot. Any feedback, questions or ideas on how to develop it into a proper plot would be really helpful.

It is a fanfic crossover of Miraculous Ladybug and the CHERUB series by Robert Muchamore. CHERUB stands for Charles Henderson Espionage Research Unit B.


Gabriel Agreste is a well-known fashion designer who lives in Paris with his son, Adrien. After his wife disappears under rather suspicious circumstances the government started keeping an eye on him. They struggled to pin anything down on him but there always seems to be unusual activity at his mansion before every attack, this leads to the government believing he is somewhat involved, in the distribution of Akuma.

With the French press and government suppressing the spread of news of the Akuma attacks that are haunting Paris little is known about them.

The British Intelligence Services has heard rumours of these attacks but the details are sparse. Akumas are thought to be drugs but it is unknown how it is being distributed or how it works.

Then there are the rumours of something about Ladybugs and Black Cats. Oh yeah and Hawkmoth. What these words are meant to mean nobody knows. It is thought though they might be codenames. But nobody has managed to find proof.

Mainly they have managed to pin it down to happening to the school kids at Collège Françoise Dupont, Paris.

Due to it being mainly school kids it put upon CHERUB to send agents to investigate these incidents. The safety commission is wary of sending child agents with so little details they are aware that afterwards there seems to be no effects or consequences and there have been no deaths during or as a result of these incidents.

The aim of the mission is to get more information on Akumas:

Who is selling them?

What does Akuma do? What are the side effects?

What are they?

An agent is to get close to Adrien Agreste in hopes of planting bugs in the Agreste mansion in hopes of finding out how Gabriel Agreste is connected to the distribution and creation of Akuma.

Hey there! I hope you don’t mind me throwing some advice into the ring. I used to write for the ML fandom… a lot. Oh God… so many fanfictions…

But anyways, it sounds like you have your plot pretty well outlined. Or at least the first part of it. I think you mainly need to focus on building your “Child Agent” characters to really buff out the rest of it. Who are they? What connections do they have if any? How do Marinette and Adrien react to them? How do these agents interact with LB and CN? How do their adult agent counterparts react to the news that they bring back? Do these agents somehow end up akumatized? Are LB’s and CN’s identities compromised during the investigation and if so do they work together with the agents?

Hopefully that helps some.

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Advice from someone from the fandom is great. I’ve tried groups on Facebook for ML but I haven’t gotten anywhere :slightly_frowning_face:

Okay. My plan so far is to have Ember going to Paris but I think I need someone else to go with her around their age as well.

Connections? Like back to CHERUB - such as mission control staff, hackers and that?

Well, I’m hoping they would become friends but I’m not exactly sure how to go about it yet. Not sure if Marinette and Adrien will find out about them being spies or not?

Not sure yet really but good question.

Shocked. Surprised. Annoyed.

Maybe

I’ve been thinking that Ember figures it out but I’m not sure if anyone finds out yet.

Thank you so much. I think these might really help. I’ll go over them again when I get a chance tomorrow.

No problem!

Check out Tumblr. There’s a pretty steady and large fandom there that even I still see despite the fact that I haven’t been engaged/involved for about a year now.

When I said connections, I meant something along the lines of who do they know? Do they have friends in Paris that can give them first hand information or something similar? They may have been doing the teen internet thing and chatting with individuals who go to Paris schools or have maybe been directly involved/akumatized. Heck! Maybe they’ve been chatting to Adrien… chatting with Adrien… get it? Cuz he’s Chat Noir?.. sorry.

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The first flag I would consider is that “Akuma” is Japanese, but it looks like you’re not using Japanese characters. Why not use a demon that’s more appropriate to the ethnicity of the characters? I say this because you may be accused of appropriation. It also causes other issues along the way if you take “akuma” from Japanese culture, but nothing else… so it’s probably better to clean up and find another word for “demon” that comes in line with your characters. He’s in France–why not use French monsters? It would be a lot more beleivable than some demons from Japan flew on a plane and went all the way to France. Plus there is quite a rich history, it seems and hierarchy for the demons in France, so half your work is done for you. (Plus I gotta pick on you for the random plural of akuma too… Japanese doesn’t have plurals)

I’m confused while MI6 would be involved in France. Why not the French Intelligence service?

If you smooth those things out, then the questions you have should answer themselves. French culture, French demons, and the school system of france through research would give you the rest of the plot bunnies you need to finish.

When you borrow willy nilly here and there and don’t have the research backing it it is much easier to get lost, but I think if you condense it, not only will it be more clear to the reader, and what system you’re setting up, but also will help you figure out where the plot needs to go. More than half of writing is research sometimes. The problem is the more you try to borrow from this or that culture without understanding why, the more difficult it is on you to research and more difficult it is on the reader to understand how you’re putting it together. Since you set in France, why not lean on the culture to dictate your rules of how the demons come to be, etc?

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You bring up some really good points here. A lot of what @EmmieFinefaerygirl is talking about is specific to the animated show Miraculous Ladybug. I’m not super familiar with CHERUBS but from what I gather it’s a book series. I think they’re looking to write a crossover for the two fandoms.

That being said, I think you have some great advice about letting French culture and school systems filling in for some plot bunnies.

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For fan fiction to be really good, though, you need to research what the creator most likely researched and usually that’s massive. This, extensively would mean having to research French, British, and Japanese culture well and thoroughly in targeted ways in order to keep up. It’s the holes that the creators didn’t take from their original drafts that a fan fiction authors should take advantage of. It’s the things that other people didn’t think or consider that makes it popular.

That would be fairly difficult to get through all three cultures in a meaningful way. It helps to have things like notes from the creators, etc to help figure out what they researched, and then research it.

BTW, Akuma probably was used in the manga and anime because that’s the Japanese word for demon rather than because they were referencing their own culture. Still, no plurals on akuma. The plurals in Japanese work like sheep. I say it because English is an arrogant language that thinks everything needs to work like it, (as well as the other Indo European languages), so it’s always a good idea to acknowledge at least you did your research beyond the surface.

BTW, sometimes fan fiction can also work more like a seed for a new type of story. Though I hated the book, 50 shades of Gray did start out as a fan fiction. Something also to consider.

Not necessarily, at least not in my opinion. I was in the fandom for a long time and I learned quite a bit about several things about French school systems, the Chinese influences on the Miraculous, and the symbolism of the different Kwamis. However, I didn’t feel it super necessary to delve very deep into the world building aspect. The show takes care of a lot those things which is one of the beauties of fanfic.

Research like that can definitely be useful and lead to some cool discussions and plot ideas/headcanons. Some really cool analysis on ML have come from the research into the Chinese zodiac and whatnot. One of my friends has some really fascinating headcanons and stories on some of them.

Fanfic is more about having fun and sharing ideas with other fans than sticking to the letter of research. If research starts to feel like a chore and is taking up time from the story that you’d rather be writing, then it’s time to let it out. If all else fails, AU is fun to write too.

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@RachelUdin CHERUB is a subdivision of MI5. They work all over the world. And I am British so I’ve got a head start there.

So Akuma can only be written like that for both plural and singular? Ok thanks for clearing that up.

I’m going to try to rewatch the series and see where it is best to fit the story in. Obviously that means some of season 2 will have to change but I will deal with that when it gets to that.

Um…anything else we need to talk about will need to be later for me anyway - reply if you want but I won’t be around for till late. This is just a rushed reply because I’m not exactly sure why started this anymore.

Thanks for the advice. Bye for now