1. GrottyStatute74
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    GrottyStatute74 Member

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    Care to evolve this idea with me?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by GrottyStatute74, May 11, 2016.

    I'm an unusual writer.
    I never write outlines. I never plan what's going to happen. I just write what pops into my head. And it's fine... Until I get bored. Then my masterpiece turns into a dumb model. Pretty at the beginning, but complete and utter rubbish at the end.

    So I decided to do things right! I'm going to plan my every move, no matter what. That's where I need help. I get my beginning inspired by something else, but then, I get inspired by my own work, as I write. So, care to help me write the first act of the story I've been planning:

    First, I write dark fantasy, Witcher, and, more recently, Game of Thrones style. I try to mix those two, and then throw in my flavor of unnecessary and poetic description. All my stories are set in one world. I always make sure I write my stories in one country, continent etc. To evolve that area. So, here's the story so far, it takes place on a Peninsula:

    The Regnumese Peninsula is home to three countries, one if which just has a part in there. It's the biggest Peninsula in the known world, by the way.
    The first country, Regnum, is the powerhouse in the area. It takes up at least 75% of the land. It's your, you know, medieval England.

    The second one is the Savandry Duchy. He's your Switzerland, neutral as... You know, that thing that's called "neutral" when turning on your car... Cut me a break, I'm not even an adult yet. Anyway, they're small, but also very important, because of a certain, supposedly, neutral faction having their headquarters there... There's also something about international court, but you're already getting bored.

    Next one is big. The Thelion Empire. They have just a small amount of land there, but, holy hell, they're strong. Imagine them bring your medieval France. And just like medieval France, they hate England (Regnum) over there.

    Now that you know what's what, time to catch you up to speed:

    Regnum marches their troops into Savandry, whiteout any reason. They take the capital, Raven, by storm, effectively declaring a war that would be called the Tear War. Everything is well planned. As expected, Thelion won't stand for this. They launch an invasion, with the rest of Savandrian forces to take back Raven. No matter how well prepared Regnum is, they simply cannot combat an army that outnumberes them at least 2:1. So they have a plan. They call all of their allies back on the mainland to raid the hell out of Thelion. To destroy and kill everything they find. And that happens. Thelion's defenses didn't hold back a massacre after a massacre (thus the name "Tear War"). With that move Regnum have won. The Thelion troops will have to either take Raven, or return back to their lands. They will suffer a defeat either way, letting the enemy to reinforce Raven, or let their economy on the mainlands cripple.

    And that's where my story starts. On that choice. To be more exact, a few days on that choice, in a fight.

    As I am looking for characters here, I was wondering if any of you had any ideas for this story? I am planning a multiple protagonist story, and certainly wouldn't mind any ideas... Plus, this thread I consider as kind of a motivational thread to help me plan the story, cuz' I lose motivation pretty quickly.
     
  2. Komposten
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    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    It's not unusual to not plan and outline as a writer! Probably 50% of the members here are "pantsers" (i.e. people that write without planning), and there is nothing wrong with that. You can write books using that method that are just as good as planned and outlines books.

    Just wanted to say that. :)

    (Ps. I'm also a pantser, btw.)
     
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  3. DeadMoon
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    DeadMoon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I am kinda a planner. I know that it is best for me and what works. I am just lazy at it and want to get to the writing part right away.
     
  4. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    This isn't my genre so I won't be much help with ideas but this worries me: "Regnum marches their troops into Savandry, whiteout any reason."

    Characters should never (or hardly ever) do things for no reason. Especially not huge things like invading a country!
     
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  5. GrottyStatute74
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    GrottyStatute74 Member

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    I guess what I mean is without any obvious reason. There is a reason of course, but, if course, hidden!
     
  6. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    You're asking us to help you with your plotting and planning...but there's this big chunk of information that's called the HIDDEN REASON FOR THE INVASION that you're concealing from not only your readers but also your co-authors? I'd have thought the hidden reason was practically the whole point of the book.
     
  7. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    I mean, it would be insanely hard to muster an army, recruit, train, discipline, and get all the money lenders and profiteurs on board a war that they don't know the reason to.
    Troop morale would be incredibly low with probably a huge deserter issue, entire towns would be at odds against a war they don't want to be a part of (no reason), those in the highest of social hierarchy wouldn't easily join, and money lenders wouldn't feel comfortable giving money toward a cause with a dubious chance of success due to a very unhappy populace.

    There has to be a fake reason at least that is spread around that can get everyone up at arms.

    Only the top brass would most likely know the truth and perpetuate the falsehood.

    Otherwise, it makes absolute no sense.
    Anyone with any basic human understanding would realize this is a giant plothole because it's so unrealistic.
     
  8. GrottyStatute74
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    GrottyStatute74 Member

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    It's hard to project the idea from my mind onto people, sorry. I have the whole history of the world in my head, I sometimes forget that people have never seen this world before.

    But that's why these posts exist.

    Right, so Regnum isn't the BFF with the Savandry Duchy. The war is, of course, a way to get land, but the fake reason is basically revenge. Savandry has always taken in refugees from many countries, even Regnum (Even though the border control on Regnum is very strict, and patriotism is very common). However, there was another war (Regnum vs Thelion) a few dozen years back, where everything and anyone was raped, destroyed... Basically the cruelest kind of wars. Years before that, these two people hated themselves, and this certainly didn't help it. It also doesn't help that Savandry is Thelion's bitch. The only way to get to Regnum, on land, is through the Duchy... Who graciously granted the Thelion. A bit of backstory.

    Savandry was actually founded by Regnum, and inhabited by people of Regnum culture. Regnum is a country very well known for its history of aggressive expansion. And releasing that little Duchy, then making it independent, and basically neutral... It was a gift to the world saying "Hey, we're not that bad."
    Who'd say that releasing an independent country was a bad idea?
    Thelion found a loop in Savandry's law. As this new neutral force, they had to accept all immigrants as long as they had correct documents. Slowly, but surely, Thelion migrated thousands of people in the Duchy, making the Thelions majority. A Thelion duke found his way to the throne (a story for another novel), and he acted in interests of the Thelion Empire. With some clever politics, Savandry drifted away from Regnum's sphere of influence to Thelion's, without compromising it's neutrality much. And after the war where Regnum was destroyed, Savandry became a very dangerous zone. Fights would regularly break out between Regnum and Thelion people. Thus the hate towards Savandry.

    The reason for attack was "Oh, our people are heavily oppressed in Savandry. We need to liberate them.". Truly, a noble cause. The soldiers wanted to get back to Thelion for that war a dozen years back (and, of course, find some money while attacking & plundering), and the king just wanted his land back.

    And if you are wondering how Regnum managed to recover in just a few dozen years... They have friends. And they are smart. They always have money in the bank, and with the help of allies, and a lot of work, they could be up and running in 50 years easily.


    Again, my apologies for not explaining the reason, I didn't think it would be necessary, because we're focusing on the war, not the beginning of it... I guess every detail counts


    P.S: Is this any good? Can a good story be formed around it, or...?
     
  9. theoriginalmonsterman
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    theoriginalmonsterman Pickle Contest Administrator Contributor

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    If you really want to get into outlining your story may I suggest some different outlines.

    -Plot Overview: Gives a summary or as long as you're willing to write explaining the whole story. Including plot elements that you would need to make apparent to the reader, so the story makes sense.

    -Settings Description: Gives a summary of different settings in your story. This can include different characters from said settings, shops, landscape, and really anything else there. Works better if you're building your world from scratch then using real life locations.

    -Character Descriptions: Gives a summary of your character's appearence, personality, abilities, backstory, role in the story, character relationships, and so on.

    These are the main one's I focus on when writing. It may seem like a hassle but if you're writing a longer story or series of stories it can really help out having all the information already written down. Hope this helps.
     
  10. GrottyStatute74
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    GrottyStatute74 Member

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    Thanks for answering. I am just doing a plot outline right now, and it was all I planned to do. Character outline is surely useful, but I wouldn't write a settibg one. I already have a map in my head and everything... It's too much to put on a paper.
     
  11. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    The big problem is that your OP suggested something mediaeval in setting (a la Game of Thrones) but the summary above is more reminiscent of 1930s Europe, with Thelion taking the place of Hitler's Germany and demanding fair treatment for ethnic Germans in Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland.

    One problem with the scenario you're proposing is the notion that a country would "release" a Duchy as an independent country just for good PR - look at the grief it took for the USSR to release all its subsidiaries! Or, on a mediaeval scale, the struggle that Switzerland had for independence. Even a country as large as India didn't regain its independence from the UK without a good deal of trouble.

    Another problem is the notion that Savandry had to accept all immigrants as long as they had the correct documents...if Savandry is really independent, how can anybody else impose that law upon them? They'd make their own laws and only accept the immigrants they wanted - typically those with skills that were wanted. And if a nation basically, say, African found its immigration policy being subverted by, say, Mexicans (who are trying to become the ethnic majority) sneaking in until they outnumber the locals, it's likely the locals would notice long before this plan worked. Plus, sneaking in a large enough army (5th column anybody?) to take over a country by peaceful means would take a very long time before you outnumbered the locals, unless the locals are so few in number that you might as well just march your REAL army in. In the period of the late Roman empire, Europe was settled and re-settled by dozens of migrations, where whole nations upped and moved on; largely because their "homeland" (the notion of a nation being coincident with a patch of ground is a very modern concept) had been moved into by some other - more hostile - nation. Genghis Khan's mongols were probably the last successful migratory nation, taking over both China and India.

    As for Regnum recovering in just a few dozen years... They have friends. And they are smart. They always have money in the bank, and with the help of allies, and a lot of work, they could be up and running in 50 years easily. Where did they get this money in the bank from? Trade? Hard work? If you don't explain the economics of it just a little bit, you're hand-waving such a huge part of your plot that it becomes incredible.

    And Again, my apologies for not explaining the reason, I didn't think it would be necessary, because we're focusing on the war, not the beginning of it... I guess every detail counts. You may want to focus on the war, but few readers will find it that engrossing. Back to GoT...there's precious little about the war and the battles, it's all about the reasons for the war, and the reasons why the characters are stabbing each other in the back. The reason is not a detail, it's the whole point.
     

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