1. BecauseIWasBored
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    BecauseIWasBored New Member

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    Character Help

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by BecauseIWasBored, Jul 7, 2010.

    Hi, I'm a new user and was hoping that I could get some help concerning a few characters in a plot I have.

    There's a couple characters in that story who are immortal through a substance in their bodies that humans can't identify, but I don't really know how to explain how they became that way.

    The thing is, they aren't exactly main characters, so I don't want to go too deeply into their pasts other than how they cause a few of the conflicts in the main plot. I was thinking that maybe I could leave their exact origins a little unknown so it can be left up to the readers, but I'm a little worried that it might end up sounding like a cop-out.

    Thanks. :)
     
  2. Legacy1306
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    Legacy1306 Senior Member

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    Are you familiar with norse mythology? One of odin's sisters tends a great tree, which grows a fruit which makes them immortal. Several times loki/other-bad-guys attempt to steal the goddess, leaving the tree without a tender and depriving the gods of their immortality.

    I would write it like this:
    The gods were immortal, by such means so wonderful they are beyond the comprehension of man...

    Or some such :D
    Good luck!
     
  3. BecauseIWasBored
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    BecauseIWasBored New Member

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    No, I didn't. That's really cool about the norse gods, though I've been wanting to research some of that mythology for awhile. I should probably go to the library soon, there's only so much you learn from Google.

    That's kind of what I was thinking of doing actually. My idea was that humans weren't really sure where the immortals came from so they saw them a gods and deities, but after awhile started to grow afraid of them.

    Also, immortals are able to remove the substance that makes them immortal and put it in other objects or living things. Since the substance also gave them great power, people started to hunt immortals down to take it forcefully in hopes of gaining their 'magic'.

    Long story short, immortals weren't happy.

    Thanks, that helped a lot. :D
     
  4. Legacy1306
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    Legacy1306 Senior Member

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    wow, that sounds like a fantastic story. Kind of Highlander meets... Big Game Hunter. No, just joking. "Highlander" meets "The Most Dangerous Game" maybe.
    You're gonna have to email that to me when you're done, now. Hahaha You've got me hooked already.
    EDIT: I was just thinking about your story, and how are the people killed off if they're immortal?

    Norrse mythos is actually incredible. In fact, the end of the world isn't a peaceful one. The gods are killed off by loki's treachery, and the Earth is devoured by Fenris, the great wolf. In the book Mythology (which you should def check out) THe author describes it as this:
    The norsemen didn't exhibit ravery or heroism by overcoming their evils, but by fighting bravely to the last breath in the face of hopelessness.

    I've actually been planning to write a novel about the future, during the actual war between the gods and loki, in which the humans are caught in the crossfire. This is actually the background; the plot is much more interesting and surprising, but I can't give that away ;)

    Note: To continue on the topic of Mythology, please PM me. I do not wish to derail this thread with irrelevant topics.
     
  5. BecauseIWasBored
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    BecauseIWasBored New Member

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    Aw, thanks. Glad that you like it so much. You'll be one of the first people I'll contact when I finish it.

    To answer your question, immortal people can die if you remove their "power source." The substance that makes them so powerful is embedded inside their chest cavity, practically inside their hearts.

    If an immortal person doesn't want to be immortal anymore for whatever reason, they can remove it from their bodies through a very slow process and place it in either an object or a living thing that would be big enough to contain it. (If they don't put it in something, it would be released in the air all at once in a dangerous burst of energy) The substance can also be forcefully be removed by ripping it out of them physically. Once the substance is out, they're mortal and can therefore age and die, however their aging process is faster than a normal person's. They can also put the substance back and become immortal again, but any damage they've sustained such as scars or signs of aging stay.

    Hope that makes sense.

    Your story sounds like a lot of fun too. I'd like to read it when you finish. Send me an email when you do.

    I do love the Norse mythology I do know about. I remember reading about the Ragnarok, it sounds like such a cool way for the world to end. I'll be sure to send you a message to continue, I don't want this to go off topic either.
     
  6. theSkaBoss
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    theSkaBoss Member

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    It could be any number of things. What if they were each given the immortality energy by other immortals who, as you say might happen, got bored with being immortal? That way, they don't necessarily know the source of the immortality, and their history is as simple as "we were given the power, and over the centuries/millenia/ages discovered one another." That's my immediate thought.
     
  7. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Of you cant explain it the explanation itself probably isn't central to the story. So skip the explanations. The unknown is scary and mysterious and interesting.
     
  8. Fantasy of You
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    Fantasy of You Banned

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    Please steer clear of such pseudo explanations as 'beyond the comprehension of man.' You are writing a story and it's your job to be concise and accurate. When someone tells you a story and says, '...it was so awesome, I just can't describe it,' that should be the difference between a normal guy and a writer. Not to mention, it's cliché.

    In answer to your question, even characters that are not integral to the story should be made real. You don't have to do a Tolkien, but small details definitely make the difference between reading a book and being immersed in another world.

    - Andy
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You don't need to explain the past of any character, and should rarely do so.

    Stick to story, not backstory.

    If the past of a character is important, bits of it will naturally seep into the story.
     
  10. Legacy1306
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    Legacy1306 Senior Member

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    Maybe you can give the substance a name, like the eldunari in the inheritence cycle. Then it would be simple to explain that the gods used it to maintain their immortality, but that it was highly treasured by others who sought immortality for themselves...
     
  11. BecauseIWasBored
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    BecauseIWasBored New Member

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    Oh no, of course not. I wasn't planning on using that line in the actual story. You're right, it's cliche and corny. :p

    I was thinking about just using the idea behind it. More along the lines that immortals came around the time when there wasn't any technology to make a scientific explanation of how they became that way, so people just made up stories as to how they came around so that their true origins were unknown; if that makes sense.

    That's exactly what I was thinking. I really don't like going into great detail with the past of a character unless it's essential to the plot - and it rarely is. I like to focus on character interactions/development and moving the story forward and adding the details that are really important when I make a plot.

    It sounds like it wouldn't be too much of a cop-out though. Thank you everyone. :)
     
  12. BecauseIWasBored
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    BecauseIWasBored New Member

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    Yeah, that's what I was thinking too. But I like to get things sorted out first before I get into names - it's always easier to come up with a name for me when I do it that way. I'll probably be looking into names now.
     

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