1. Honorius
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    Honorius Active Member

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    Childhood gift

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Honorius, Jun 19, 2008.

    i need a gift that my protagonist (a guy) received from a childhood friend (a girl) when they were young that would be made of crystal or have a crystal in it. (in a fantasy setting by the way) but im having trouble thinking of anything that wouldn't be to girly for him.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A talisman for luck, a chess piece, a puzzle box (he could finally solve it when he gets older and find a carved crystal inside...), an old scabbard for a dagger (as a child, he might use it for a play sword), a carved piece of crystal that glitters in colors in the sun (we might call it a prism).

    That's just a few ideas off the top of my head. I assume the crystal has a significance he should only discover as he gets older.
     
  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Complete non sequitur, but could not help noticing that your avatar is a Therizinosaur. Very cool. :D
     
  4. Honorius
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    Honorius Active Member

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    thank you for knowing that it is a Therizinosaurus (many people have that "in english please" look on their face when you say the name. and yours is momo.

    anyways my brother recently suggested a scabbard, and the talisman and puzzle box are great ideas.

    and your assumption is correct. do to certain events he forgets the friend and the gift is what lets the friend recognize him many years later. at which point she thought he had been dead.
     
  5. Moira
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    Moira Member

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    If you'd want it to be something not to girly but obviously from a girl I would say a small crystal rose. It would be something he could easily forget about, but when he sees it remember in great detail how close they were. I also liked the chess piece idea though I think chess pieces are used a lot in stories. The Count of Monte Cristo, for instance.

    -Moira
     
  6. Kratos
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    Kratos Contributing Member

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    I have to agree with Cogito; I think the puzzle box is a cool idea, or maybe a ring.
     
  7. Samswriting
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    Samswriting Senior Member

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    if the fantasy setting is the traditional sword and horses, why not a brooch of some kind to hold his cloak closed (from childhood to adult it would be obvious and usable) or it could have been just a crystal he later had fastened into a brooch.

    I would find any decent crystalline charm while obvious would work fine as a necklace of some sort.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    does it have to be a crystal?... they're everywhere!... why not go for something at least a tad original?
     
  9. Honorius
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    Honorius Active Member

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    the crystals have a special significance in the stories world. and the girl is supposed to come from a long line of mages who specialize in crystals. so yeah must be crystal. the brooch to fasten the cloak with sounds good.
     
  10. Samswriting
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    Samswriting Senior Member

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    the cloak brooch is obvious and common, but it is so because it simply works, from JRR Tolkien to "The Green Rider" it just makes sense.

    Hopefully things work well into your story. Crystals are common and cliche' when attached to magic but I think its because of the mystery of it all, crystals are wonderful and truly in a setting like that, it would not be overly easy to come up with a truly fine crystal.
     
  11. Cpn. Anon
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    Cpn. Anon Member

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    I still agree with mammamaia.
    An abundance of cliches can ultimately degrade even the best of writing.

    Also, why does the girl have a crystal and why is she giving it to the boy?
    What is it's significance later in the plot?

    You could always try and ground it in some form of reality (in terms of social expectations); for example, in reality, an adult may give someone jewelry as a gift, but for a child to do that would be odd. Why wouldn't the same be true in your fantasy world? Why would a child be giving another child a crystal?
     
  12. Honorius
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    Honorius Active Member

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    i know crystals tend to be cliche but if you put a twist on it its no longer cliche. correct?

    i assume you've never had a childhood friend. i have. and i personally know that childhood friends give each other gifts. be it for birthdays, Christmas, one of them is moving away, etc. and the reason the post exists is to bring up ideas of a gift that isn't jewelry (little boys don't like rings, bracelets, etc.)

    the reason its a crystal is because the girl comes from a family of mages that specialize in crystals (which i already said) so she would be raised to learn how to work with crystals and the magic thats involved with them.

    and like i said earlier the significance in the plot is that the girl recognizes him many years later due to that gift. and depending on the gift (i have good ideas flowing with the idea of a puzzle box) it would have more significance later on.
     
  13. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Not really. twists on plot devices are merely stunts, bandaid fixes. If a plot device is overused, it reinforces the "cliche factor" of the entire story, giving you more to overcome in your writing.

    If he has been raised with a special focus on crystal magic, it makes it that much harder to believe that he didn't see the potential in the childhood gift, unless the crystal component were fully concealed from him until he reaches the point in tim ethat the story begins (or even well after the beginning).

    Consider the possibility that the crystal is so powerful that it has cloaked itself to appear an ordinary stone, or even something non-mineral in form. Then the revelation that it is indeed a crystal of great power can be a key discovery moment in the course of the story.
     
  14. Cpn. Anon
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    Cpn. Anon Member

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    You missed my point. It's not that children don't give gifts, it's that the magnitude of the gifts change. Children often make things for each other, or give things that they find; often more with symbolic meaning than anything else.


    I agree with cognito aswell.
    A fantasy done well should be innovative. I'm sure there are many books that are accepted as good, that just take parts from a cumulative lore that is accepted in (or even as) fantasy. However, such works will be branded with a stigma, will seem flat (and remind me of those shirts people buy with drawings of dragons on them).
    Fantasy shouldn't be like a period drama, where you take class systems/roles and throw them into a book. It should be about exploring the depths of your imagination, creating a time and a place that is truly yours, that makes the reader interested in exploring this world through reading your story.
     
  15. Honorius
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    Honorius Active Member

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    The girl was the one raised with crystals. so naturally shes going to be able to work with crystals from a young age. (both children are prodigies at their families specific magical prowess. and children from a long line of specialty mages [such as mages specializing in fire magic, summoning golems, shapeshifting, etc.] are taught early. while people with regular family lines usually learn little [basic self-defense, starting a fire for the fireplace, just simple things to help with everyday life or their job.] to no magic.)

    also like i said the protagonist forgets who the girl is. (part of a post dramatic stress type thing; the percise problem is i the works) so he ends up with this cool talisman/ broach type thing that he keeps just because its something from his past which he can only remember certain parts of. or an interesting puzzle box to keep him from getting bored (im really liking what ive been brainstorming with the puzzle box; plus he would never notice the crystal inside until much later)

    as to the crystal cliche; as long as im careful from using to many cliches or using cliches as major plot devices i should be okay; correct? and i think ive done a good job at staying away from other cliches. im not using elves or dwares or the classic races. instead im using dragons (never actually apear in story) half-dragons (only 1 natural and 2 characters who gained the power to change into one) and another race i developed on my own. im not using the standard continent/entire world that has magic but rather an archipelago type formation thats not conected to the outside world. rather than using mana as a name for magic, or just calling it magic im using aether, leting it have a direct connection to "life force", and have what i think is an original set of rules in for it.

    so i think ive avoided most other cliches (elves, mana, evil overlord king, etc.)
    and can we get back to the topic of childhood gifts. i can always just make a "Are these cliches?" thread
     
  16. Samswriting
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    Samswriting Senior Member

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    Oh I am enjoying the forums, hrm maybe I shoudl be working though.. NAW!!!! :)

    Seriously the Crystal is fine, though you may wish to define it more, what kind of crystal, there are many many kinds. Perhaps "he clipped the amethyst brooch once more to his cloak as he had so many times before, a trinket from his past he was loathe to let go of"

    For those that have an issue with "crystal" i've just transformed it from a crystal to an amethyst, sure its still a crystal but we are not stuck seeing this glowing glass globe.

    From what I get, your speaking of Crystals as a group of solid see through rock, that in your story has special powers which some can manipulate or create. Sounds reasonable to me.
     
  17. Honorius
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    Honorius Active Member

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    thank you for understanding. i haven't decided which type of crystal to make it or even to make it a specific type of crystal or its own unique kind. but yes basically a solid clear/semi clear (amethyst isn't always clear but who cares) crystalline stone. which in my story can act both as a catalyst for magic, a subject to use a spell on (crystals hurt when chucked with a magic spell or grown into golems), or a sort of "Battery" to hold extra aether with.
     

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