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  1. Bright Shadow
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    Bright Shadow Member

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    Does this plot work for an adult fantasy novel?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Bright Shadow, Mar 7, 2011.

    Hello all.

    So, I have had this idea for a fantasy novel for some time now. My big issue with it is that it just doesn't seem like an adult fantasy novel. Considering I will never, EVER write YA or childrens books, it puts me in a dilemma...not that I have anything against YA or chilldren's books, it's just that I have a hard enough time writing for my fellow adults, let alone writing for children. If you can pull that off, good for you, but I know I can't do it.

    Well, the story is about a thirteen year old boy who gets hit by a truck in the first page, and dies (or so he thinks). His spirit is trapped and can't cross over to the other side because, unknown to him, he is brain dead but his body is on life support.

    He is in the "etherverse", the place where spirits live. He can see the real world but, like a ghost, he can't interact with it. He speaks with the spirit of the street he was on when the truck crashed into him and is chased by this horrible Cthulhu type thing that corners him. The monster is ridden by a alien creature with an incomprehensible appearance. He manages to kick a necklace off the rider, and when he grabs it he realizes he can control the Cthulhu type beast it was riding. He kills the rider and explores the monster, finding that he can turn it into what ever shape he desires. He turns it into a foo dog and gives it a name.

    Once the foo dog has a name, it thinks that it has always been a foo dog and the boy looses complete control over it and it changes from being, essentially, a mentally controlled machine to his companion and his protector.

    The boy soon meets up with a ghost and a girl who projects herself astrally every night while she sleeps.

    They end up joining a group of spirit beings who live in an alternate plane of existence, but soon discover that they are their prisoners. They escape with the help of one of their wizards, a hexsmith, who goes renegade to join them, and the girl gets killed, becoming a ghosts and unable to return to her body while the ghost they were traveling with sells them out.

    As it turns out, the cthulhu thing turned foo dog was a Chimera, a dream that was snatched from someone on the verge of dying in their sleep, and the alien riders harness them to aid in the capture of human ghosts. Since the MC gave it a name, the chimera became what he thought the being he had told it to become (a foo dog) would be exactly like and it didn't remember anything else.

    At the end of the novel they learn of a God like entity at the edge of existence that can bring the dead back to life and decide that that is their only hope, while the MC discovers that he isn't even dead or astrally projecting, but is a little of both and hence is more powerful than either ghosts of projectors of most spirits, because he has the powers of all of them with few of the weaknesses.


    Basically, I want to do a grown up version of the whole "kid goes to another world" story, like Alice in Wonderland or Peter Pan or Narnia. Difference is that this wonderland is home to Gods and Demons, the restless dead and Cthulhu type things. Kind of hell and wonderland rolled into one.

    My only concern is that no matter how I do it, I still have a kid talking to a street (that talks back) and riding on a foo dog. It just doesn't seem very adult fantasy to me.

    I could raise the age of the MC, but than it would just seems weird. A grown man riding on the back of a flying foo dog just doesn't have the same look of a kid riding on one.

    Anyway, I was wondering if there was anyway of salvaging this high fantasy* story, or if I should just scrap it and come up with a better idea.






    * By "high fantasy" I don't mean the subgenre, but rather the state of mind the author was in when he came up with the plot ;)
     
  2. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why can't/don't you want the MC to be an adult? That would appear to be the simplest solution.
     
  3. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why not just write it and see what it turns out like - if it turns out to be YA clearly you can write YA, however you can have a child protagonist in an adult book.

    With my first fantasy I set out to write and adult book and ended up with a YA. With the book I set out to be YA I ended up with an adult one.

    Or have someone who had visited the world as a child returning - kind of like if the Professor and Polly had been in Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe instead of the four children.
     
  4. tiggertaebo
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    tiggertaebo Member

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    It actually sounds like a cracking YA plot to me - why not run with it a bit and see how the tone comes out? A fair bit of YA works end up having crossover appeal to 20-something adults as well.
     
  5. Smoke
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    Smoke Contributing Member

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    A teenager that's written with the transition angst in mind might appeal to adults if done in the right way.

    I'm not sure what the right way is, but in involves a reminder of that horrible insanity without summoning back all of the torment involved.

    See where it takes you, and who it appeals to. Some kids' books appeal to adults that lack the nostalgia for them.
     
  6. Bright Shadow
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    Bright Shadow Member

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    Thing is, most adults would just completely break down in that situation. I'm writing it as fantasy with horror elements, and not horror. If an adult found themselves in a spirit world, they would just be horrified and it wouldn't be fantasy, but if a young teenager found himself in that situation, it would be a completely different story.

    For example, I can have a much easier time understanding why a thirteen year old would command a rideable HP Lovecraft type monster to take the shape of a foo dog, but I just couldn't imagine an adult doing so.
     
  7. Bright Shadow
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    Bright Shadow Member

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    I'm just afraid I wouldn't be able to effectively write a book for a YA audience. I mean, I was one WEIRD thirteen year old (I was/am bisexual, I hated the world, I started reading HP Lovecraft and Stephen King at that age etc) I'm not sure I could really create an effective world for a ya audience.

    I do enjoy some ya books myself, like The Hunger Games, but all and all, I'm just not sure I can pull it off.
     
  8. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ever read Catcher in the Rye? Even Harry Potter ?
     
  9. Patrick94
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    Patrick94 Active Member

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    What you could do is change the foo dog to something else and raise the MC's age

    Also, it does sound very like a children's book plot, but a good one - also, demons and gods are in children's books too
     
  10. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    Write the novel first, worry about genre later. It'll all come out in the wash.
     
  11. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ever read His Dark Materials?

    They're meant to be children's books and children read them, but I'm in my thirties and I was glued to the pages all the way through and spent a weekend in my bathrobe reading from dawn to late night.

    It didn't matter to me that the protag was a 13 year old girl. She was a smart one and full of all the hopes and fears that people have, regardless of age. Futher more, the story had several adult characters that were central and explored deeper through the narrative. Mrs. Coulter was downright frightening, both prior to and after the book dived further into her psyche.

    Maybe your story could end up having appeal for all ages. Not a bad thing, that.
     
  12. Saturnfly
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    Saturnfly New Member

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    Try not to restrict yourself to what you think you know how to do and just write and deal with the end result.

    Unless I'm doing a complete novel break-down/ outline, my novels almost always end up on a completely uncontrollable and unpredictable route, you just have to write and not worry, then edit and revise and figure things out when you've finished. If your story turns out to be compatible with YA's then that's probably the way it was supposed to be written.
     
  13. StoryArt
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    StoryArt New Member

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    Ok, actually iy is a good a children plot, I will suggest a rewrite for from the beginning to will will have to cut off most of the things.
     

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