1. chacotaco91
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    chacotaco91 Senior Member

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    fellowship vs. Separate character stories.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by chacotaco91, Feb 24, 2011.

    Hi everyone. I'm having a problem deciding on plot direction for my fantasy novel.

    It involves following multiple character, each with wildly different personalities and backgrounds. Through fate and mutual interest, I planned for them to have to come together to take a mentally challenged child with special powers to an important place. Basically, it would be like the lord of the rings fellowship (common theme I suppose), where a group must work together for the common good, though the forces around them and even their own personalities seem intent on stopping them.

    However, the only problem is that as I write the beginnings of the story, consisting of what were supposed to be the backgrounds of the characters, it seems like all of them coming together seems hokey and unbelievable. I've already fleshed out the relationships with the people involved in their own stories, and advanced their plot-lines so much that I'm starting to wonder if I should scrap the whole fellowship thing completely. It just seemed so awkward for them to suddenly leave their important lives to go run off on some adventure. Also, I'd rather not have them awkwardly forced together, like make up some prophecy as an excuse to throw all the characters together.

    Would you rather read multiple stories of people who lead separate lives that have some overlap? (for instance, two generals on opposite sides of an army: they effect each-others lives, but don't actually personally know one another).

    Or when you read a fantasy style book, do you want the kind of classic fellowship adventure? Does it sound more interesting to have a gladiator turned revolutionary, a warrior-monk, two knightly half-brothers and a Mage who wields forbidden magic become forced to work together for a greater good, and even their own selfish desires?

    Or would you rather here about each of their lives, their problems and triumphs separate from the other, Individual stories to express their aspect in the world but to fit into a common theme of my novel.

    Thanks a bunch!
     
  2. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    You should write the story you want to read, not tailor it to what someone else wants. Naturally, different people are going to give you different answers You won't be abe to satisfy everyone. Attempting to do so will only pull the story appart and make it difficult to write.

    The first thing you may want to consider is learning why this child has special powers and why he needs to be taken to a specific place. Then figure out why the other characters in your story are motivated to help him. Not everyone will have the same motivations. Some may even conflict with one another. What's to stop one person from murdering the rest and taking the child to the special place on his own?
     
  3. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Like Ellipse said, it's up to you, not us.

    Honestly though, I prefer the fellowship version, but you don't need a corny prophecy to bring them together. Why not have them meet at a common place, like a meeting of some kind, or give them all a connection to the child?
     
  4. chacotaco91
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    chacotaco91 Senior Member

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    thanks for the posts. and y'all are right, I can sometimes forget its my job to come up with the plot myself.

    So far, the fellowship idea sticks to the main outline I have. So I suppose it would be best to try and work with it, though I've found what I've written so far to be fairly lengthy with no sign of the actual characters joining anytime soon.

    Which of these ideas seem to spark your interest? If they do, please help me brainstorm.

    1. They meet because they are all interested in the supposed powers of the child. They decide to work together out of necessity at first (due to a mutual and present danger), and then realize that accomplishing all their individual goals coincides with taking the child to the important area.
    2. The child, through his powers, draws the characters to him. He selects the characters because they all have significant importance in the world to him, or seem capable of doing what he needs.
    3. Or perhaps characters will join the fellowship over time, not altogether at once? So the more difficult characters that I could see actually joining the fellowship could slowly be eased into the group.
    4. Or, skip the fellowship/journey as a group thing. Continue with separate stories, but then have them all suddenly come together in a certain climax in the plot?

    Thanks a billion!
     
  5. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Have you read Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell ? Might be worth a read before you continue.

    Why not create a reason why they are all travelling to the same place - are they refugees etc ?
     

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