1. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Fantasy Fans is this too cliche?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Elgaisma, Jul 18, 2010.

    I was reading a different thread. I have always enjoyed reading fantasy but I am not a huge fan, and I am writing my story in the genre because it works better that way. I think my story is aimed at 10-15 year olds. Not sure just looking for advice from people more experienced with genre than I am.


    My main character is a seventeen year old boy, he is a Prince who is always in trouble. His Father is killed and the Crown Prince runs away with his male lover. As a result he becomes King. The only special skill he learns early on is how to turn into a bird of prey. Although there are prophecies about him being the restorer of balance, a previous ancestor had not been worthy enough to carry out a similar role he had been asked to do, and his son had to do it. It is made clear that my character could have chosen to go a different way, he is given the opportunity early on to abdicate in favour of his Father's twin brothers

    My world and country are at the centre of the universe where the power of the universe is centred. It is where all creatures were created and then sent to where they were needed. As a result all power in the universe was centered here, a small tribe of people were left behind to guard it. They were immortal until they reproduced some of the characters in book are 500 years old

    The religion is an odd mix of buddhist style and Christianity (which a spaceship full of Christian Pilgrims crashing on my planet had brought with them)

    It is set in quite modern times, however the Royal Family and religious leaders wear the same clothes they have worn for centuries but normal attire is pretty much as we wear now.

    The Monks do use magic but very rarely it comes from a meditative source.

    They have electricity but it is supplied through a precious ore only available on the Island. So they have no hydrocarbons - they do have aeroplanes because of a trade agreement, and helicopters and some limited electric vehicles. Transport is mostly horse, bicycle and bus.

    The main theme is black and white with good vs evil, but my good characters and my bad ones have a lot of grey in them. Often why someone has become evil might be mentioned. And I have some main characters that are neither good nor evil, just average doing the best they can. My main King and Queen probably are insanely noble and gracious etc but they become that rather than thats what they are.

    Thanks for you time
     
  2. Donal
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    Donal Contributing Member

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    Elgaisma,

    Your just going to get the template post from Cognito saying that plot doesnt mean anything. Have to say I agree with it. It doesn't matter if your plot is a bit clichéd. How you write it is the big thing. For example a boy who goes to a wizard school is the exact same as The Worst Witch but the plot spawned the Harry Potter series.

    There have been books before about people who can turn into animals but you managed to do a great job talking about your character turning into a falcon in another thread.

    Write your story and worry about what individual parts seem bad. But I don't there there is any such thing as a "bad plot".
     
  3. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I am sure I will get the standard response:) but that's not what I am after. Its a genre I am relatively unfamiliar with my reading has only ever been really popular series like Pern, Discworld, Narnia, Harry Potter etc

    I am unconcerned about the story, its a good story and I love it lol. I know the teenage boys that have been reading it for me also like it and are keeping me on my toes to write the next few chapters lol And I am letting the fact one compared it to Lord of the Rings and one to Eragon give me confidence :)

    But I am curious to hear from people who read the genre, and who were posting to the other thread. I would like to know before I proceed how much of a cliche the basic elements of my story are. I am not asking if the story is good or not:) And I know some of the elements of fantasy are cliched because they make good reading. It will only change the story if someone more familiar with the genre comes up with something that would make it better in their comments. Some of the comments made it clear some elements are very overdone and I think my story has room to not include them.

    Its not so much the plot as the world I am asking for advice about
     
  4. Donal
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    Donal Contributing Member

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    I would say Good v Evil is a cliché in Fantasy but realistically there are only so many kinds of plot. The ideas of prophecy and Chosen One and all this kind of thing are very cliché but why should that mean you should change it. Don't worry. Write your story and if needs be change it. You said two teenagers liked the story and you got good reviews of your opening chapter here.
     
  5. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    actually the story I wrote is more of an epilogue for two series of stories I had planned:) My opening chapter is very different :)

    The story won't change it never has even before it was a fantasy novel:) the same basic young troublemaker Prince becomes King because his Father and Brother were removed from the plot somehow, and we then deal with the killers of his Father's with the same whodunnit twist at the end.

    The other stories are in place but I need to change one because whilst it worked as an adult thriller is wrong for a childrens book.

    However the world around it can take some tweaking and improvement. I am a good chunk through my second draft which is very different to the first. And this is more about improving what I already have than the creation of anything new.
     
  6. JTheGreat
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    JTheGreat Contributing Member

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    It's not extremely cliched. It's good that you added some splotches of grey to the stereotypical black and white, and the "Christian space pilgrims" seem very interesting to me. It could be an amazing story, or a horrible "burn it with fire" story. It all depends on your writing style and execution. You've seemed to have done plenty of research on your universe, so that' a good sign that you have potential.
     
  7. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks JtheGreat :) I am happy with story. Its more the too overdone I am trying to keep out than the overdone because its good:) Just a question does it matter that my planet obeys no scientific laws whatsoever lol? by rights it shouldn't be just like ours, I did astronomy but have used none of it:)

    I have sort of indicated that it is because of the convergence of the universe that the weather is always temperate etc
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A story concept means nothing. I can tell you now, it has all been done before. What matters is how you write it, the characterization, the flow, the imagery, all of it.

    There's no benefit in asking what other people think of the concept! They'll either say,"Sounds great," or, "it sounds like a ripoff of..."

    If the idea stirs you, write it. Then ask people what they think of the final story. After they tell you what they don't like about it, revise it, usually several times, until you're happy with it or until you throw up your hands and say the hell with it.

    Please read this thread about What is Plot Creation and Development?

    Forget the word cliché when it comes to storylines. Just write the story, and make it yours with your writing.
     
  9. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have written it this post was about developing the plot I already have. I guess I put it in the wrong forum. It was more about development than creation. The question is about the flow etc
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    No one can judge flow from a summary. Only from the writing itself. That's the point I'm trying to make.
     
  11. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I appreciate its not about them judging the flow its about me creating it and getting ideas.

    A fantasy reader can tell me if any of the particular elements are too overdone in the genre rather than just a part of it because they are good. I wanted to hear what they were fed up reading and if any of them would be turned off because of it.

    I have to put together a blurb for the publisher I want to submit it to initially. And it would be good to get an idea what will sell the book. I now have an incling that mentioning my Christian Pilgrims might be a good idea;) and I am also now considering making a bit more of that element than I already have. I am also thinking they maybe worth a short story all of their own.

    My story is now at the polishing stage
     
  12. thalorin19
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    thalorin19 Member

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    Most importantly, it's how you write and present the story that is most important, not if the story is cliched or not.

    But it's also important to bring something fresh to the genre. And I stopped reading when I saw "prophecies".

    So many stories have some sort of prophecie in them, that the subject of prophecies has just been ridden down to the dull point. Try something new with that.
     
  13. Fantasy of You
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    Fantasy of You Banned

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    The only things that jumped out as being cliché is the opening line. Young boy, a prince, father gets killed by evil ___. People seem to like homosexual relationships in fantasy; it's becoming quite a popular thing to write, as if it is an auto-originality card. The rest is not cliché, though, I would like to read such a story if it were well-written.
     
  14. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks - he wasn't homosexual deliberately lol he came out the closet on me, and it made sense of the character I had written, but it allows me to keep his brother in the story. I think for another story I have in my head the previous Crown Prince would be useful.

    I will put some thought into what to do instead of the prophecy, I am just not sure how to change it, but if it won't ruin the story I will look into it. I think you are right its more RPG with it than novel.
     

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