1. Ruloris
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    Ruloris Member

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    A Sacred Bond; A Resolve Unbroken

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Ruloris, Oct 15, 2009.

    With my manuscript just recently finished, I've been going back through and trying to tighten up a lot of the loose ends. One major problem I've been wanting to pick at for the longest time is probably the second-to-best climatic scene within my entire story.

    I should give a little background information before I go any further.

    It's fantasy. There are two heroes. One is a mercenary, the other his trusted seven-foot tall wolfish companion. The animal is a legend; a sacred beast that can fight back the corruption slowly taking over their world. In order to make this come to be, the two must complete a ritual with one another. It's a sacred pact that links them together in both mind and spirit.

    My ideas are fairly thorough for the first manuscript, but it will continue on to a second (and hopefully third). Already the beast can harness the life of the land around him in order to attack. My problem is what "abilities" I should give to them as their bond grows deeper with one another.

    While trying to keep away from the cliche 'fusion' methods, I thought about having them be able to link their sights together. The mercenary can take on the vision of the beast, allowing him to see things that weren't visible in the human spectrum. (Although I feel like it's a pretty big rip from Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Cycle). But after that, my brain fizzled out.

    So in conclusion, this bond is probably the most important piece of the entire plot. Yet I'm having a rough time explaining why exactly it's so important. It's not my intention to just simply take someone else's ideas and use them for my own, but a mere opinion would do a world of good for me. Why should anyone care of this pact? Any thoughts would be appreciated. :)

    EDIT: I do feel that my characters are compelling enough that the reader will understand its importance. But I might've digressed from my original point. I'm curious to know what others would think a mighty oath would grant to someone. Considering only the hero and his companion are able to make such a thing, I feel obligated to grant a greater "gift" with it. Hence, my problem.
     
  2. garmar69
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    garmar69 Contributing Member Contributor

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    If your characters are compelling and you make your reader care enough about them, then your readers will want to know why without you having to go to great pains explaining it to them.
     
  3. Ruloris
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    Ruloris Member

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    I can understand that, and I do feel that my characters are compelling enough that the reader will care why they think it's important. But I might've digressed from my original point. I'm curious to know what others would think a mighty oath would grant to someone. Considering only the hero and his companion are able to make such a thing, I feel obliged to grant a greater "gift" with it. Hence, my problem.
     
  4. garmar69
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    garmar69 Contributing Member Contributor

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    The idea of linking their sight together seems like a good plot direction. It's kinda hard for me to make more suggestions with the limited information I have. For me, answers to these sort of things come from the story itself as the characters grow into their roles. If you have the MS finished I would imagine you have the best insight into what would be right for your characters.
     
  5. Ruloris
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    Ruloris Member

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    Yeah, I do think you're right. I suppose I've only been flustered with walking the fine line of being unique, yet expected.

    I'm not entirely sure if there's any other information that would really give more insight, unless it was basically everything. It's set in a limited view, so as the story progresses, the reader finds the information as the heroes do. It's introduced fairly early in the story that the animal is something special, and many of the minor characters describe it as "a physical manifestation of the life of the land". Something I gave to the villain (who is another of the beasts), was the power to bring the land to life. It just so happens that he does so in the middle of a volcano.

    So basically, the lore and the plot focus primarily on the balance of life and death; of the ability to manipulate the primal life and spirit of the world. At least, that is the goal, anyway.
     
  6. garmar69
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    garmar69 Contributing Member Contributor

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    That sounds like an interesting read.

    Best of luck with publishing it!
     
  7. Never Master
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    Never Master Member

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    I'm attempting to clarify in my own mind what your quandary is exactly.

    Your two main characters have reached an extreme level of bonding and you are wishing to devise some sort of intriguing bonus that is a result of this close bond. Right?

    If so, then here are a couple of options that may be workable:

    If they don't already possess the power of telepathy, that could be an interesting way to show how closely bonded they are.

    If you would like to go a bit more subtle you can make them very empathic with each other. If one is in danger, the other knows it. During dialouge, they can't "read" each other's minds but they can sense at a very intimate level what the other is feeling or going through. Empathy has many sensible applications that are easy to keep from becoming too over the top.

    I would stray from having any necklace, weapon, or worn item that have unique properties when in the proximity of each other. This is a determinedly over-practiced concept that I'm glad to see you are not seriously pondering.

    This is of course, my meager advice. I hope you find it helpful!

    ~Never
     
  8. Ruloris
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    Ruloris Member

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    Thanks Never.

    I can understand how difficult it may be to grasp the concept with the lack of MS information, but you pretty much hit the nail on the head. The empathy topic is one I really hadn't considered. And I also agree with the 'unique item' idea. It seems so cliche and worn-out with so many books in the fantasy realm.

    But then again, there will come a time (the absolute final conflict), that all the stops will have to be pulled out. The epitome of the bond. Yet my only idea... is a lack-luster fusion with one another. You know, like they combine together. It seems rather cheesy and very predictable.
     
  9. Never Master
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    Never Master Member

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    To be honest, it was difficult to grasp! But I am very glad that what I said was helpful.

    I suggest that if you want to fulfill the bond even further in the end that you list out what might be the evolutionary form of Empathy. Simply combining minds or each other's physical bodies is most certainly not enough to surpass the concepts already presented in fantasy.

    Let me know what you come up with!
     
  10. Never Master
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    Never Master Member

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    To be honest, it was difficult to grasp! But I am very glad that what I said was helpful.

    I suggest that if you want to fulfill the bond even further in the end that you list out what might be the evolutionary form of Empathy. Simply combining minds or each other's physical bodies is most certainly not enough to surpass the concepts already presented in fantasy.

    Let me know what you come up with!
     
  11. Tall and Weird
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    Tall and Weird New Member

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    Instead of limiting yourself to sight, you could expand that to include their other things as well. A normal dog can smell things and hear things no human can.

    Can your wolfish creature use weapons? I just had a thought that perhaps it could become something more human-like to enable it to use a large weapon that no man can wield.

    Or you could go the werewolf route. Or both maybe... the two friends swap species for the final battle... weird. :p

    Alternatively, if the bond is a gift of the Gods, perhaps they can fuse with the land in some way? Use the land itself, rather than merely harnessing its life, as a weapon.
     
  12. stavious5
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    I read all the posts, and maybe I misunderstood but it seems that in the story your protagonist attacks by sucking the life out of the earth and the antagonist can give it life. I think that is a genius conflict and if you are clever enough can develop into a real mean deep plot about the balance of life and death, as you mentioned. That idea just opens it to much possibilities and conflict, wondering whether it isn't better to let the nemesis live so he can be good, or kill the hero because he kills stuff.

    As for additional powers, having the human become possessed by the wolf instincts for a while which he has to control before he can return to normal (thus later he will understand his friend better) seems like a decent idea, I think someone mentioned it before.

    My input would be that maybe the human will have super tracking skills, making him able to follow his enemies easier, possibly adding more battles to the plot. Maybe another twist can be that if the wolf takes life from a human then he is much stronger, making him always debate within himself when it would be for the greater good, adding a whole philosphical level to your story. But I'm sure you already thought about this, just wanted to say I really like these ideas, even if they are not all mine, I can still be a fan right?
     
  13. Ruloris
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    I have to say I did read all of these posts, and many of them pretty much opened the door to many more ideas. So thanks guys!

    But one in particular I wanted to address, which was Stavious.

    To be honest, I never actually thought about the situation that way. How the conflict is currently set up, there are only two of the beasts in existence. One was the protagonist, while the other had been taken and corrupted by the antagonist. The power that the Ant. possesses was pretty much a neutral concept I wanted to give to the race in general. (Land coming to life, and all that.)

    Making the Ant. bring the land to life for destruction, and the Pro. just using the sheer essence to battle, was my roundabout way of making the two "life/land" beasts different from each other. While one was more melee/aggressive, the other caster/passive.

    Now not to throw another gear into the clock, but I do have other things planned for both of them. If I do end up converting the Ant. back to a good guy, the difference between the two was that the Pro. uses life, while the Ant. uses corruption to battle.

    Either way, I'll mess around with these and see what I can come up with.
     
  14. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    What about the ultimate bond? Their life force becomes bonded. This could mean that if one gets hurt the other feels it, or he even shows physical signs of being hurt. Perhaps the closer they get the stronger this bond. So at first they only start to feel each other's pain, but in time they start to show physical signs of each other's pain. By the end they are completely bonded. If one dies, so will the other.
     
  15. Ruloris
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    That might be a little harder to pull off, especially the "physical signs" thing. I mean, if the tail of the beast gets hurt, I can't really say that anything on the guy would.
     

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