1. BrinkofDawn
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    BrinkofDawn Contributing Member

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    Help critiquing fantasy story

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by BrinkofDawn, May 31, 2008.

    Hi^^ I've been working on a story in my head for the last 8 years and in recent years I've gained more and more inspiration from various myths, folklore, and the media and I think I've managed to create a decent story...but that's not what I want^^
    I want to create a truly great fantasy story. I don't want it to be anything like LOTR (as I believe it's too much fantasy) but original like the Star Wars saga (which is a great inspiration to me). I want to establish a Final Fantasy feel to it set in a world like The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan.
    Because my story is so huge I'm having somewhat a hard time putting the pieces together and I would appreciate it if someone help me critique the basic plot of my story:D
     
  2. Lucy E.
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    Lucy E. Contributing Member

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    I'm happy to help in any way I can.
     
  3. Marcelo
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    Marcelo Contributing Member

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    That's why this forums are here, right? We'll help you, as they helped me and I helped them. This is called a community, you take my meaning? :)
     
  4. BrinkofDawn
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    BrinkofDawn Contributing Member

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    That would be awesome!^^ Ok let's see I think I should start with the basic story so...yeah^^

    The basic plot is Good vs Evil set in a world called Venesca, a post-modern fantasy world similar to Earth but with two moons. The main plot involves three coming of age teenagers named Shay'd, Drake, and Zion who live in a forest town secluded from the rest of the world. The three of them dream of one day leaving their home to travel Venesca and experience what it's like in the outside world. They get their wish when a horde of dark creatures attack and nearly destroy the whole town. The town manages to cause the creatures to flee but not after killing a lot of people. Shay'd and Drake were two of many people who helped fend off these creatures, having trained once with a wandering swordsman prior to the attack. Feeling he's let down his home, Drake decides to leave and travel to the capitol of Percadia (the kingdom in which they live in) with his friend Zion to find a means to rebuild their home. Shay'd eventually catches up to them and the three journey together to Percadia where they end up being drawn into a deeper ordeal involving a evil curse, a plot to overthrow a kindgom, and a consuming darkness called Pandemonium threatening to engulf the world in darkness.


    That's the basic plot, but it gets bigger and more complicated after that and I just need help in direction and stuff like that. How does it sound?
     
  5. Kratos
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    Kratos Contributing Member

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    It sounds a bit cliche with the whole 3 friends living in a town that becomes destroyed. Maybe if you make the main characters, or at least, some of them, morally gray, if you know what I mean. Fantasy these days sells better with publishers when the characters are complex, and not just good or evil.

    Also, apostrophes are sort of unnecessary. Shay'd could just be Shayd, or Shade.

    But, it sounds interesting. :cool:
     
  6. Lucy E.
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    Lucy E. Contributing Member

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    It actually sounds very promising.
    One thing, straight off the mark, I'd suggest, is this: I think you should change the name 'Shay'd' to 'Shayd' or something of the sort. I found that upon reading through the plot, the apostrophe was very distracting and I kept getting the feeling that I'd missed something upon reading it. Just a small suggestion you may want to take into account.
    I also have one question: is the first part of the plot (the creatures) significantly linked to the curse and the plan to overthrow the kingdom? If not, you should link them up in some way so the reader doesn't feel as if he/she is pressing through a series of unlinked events.
    I like the plot so far, but I'd also like to know something more about the characters. I believe that they're what really make a good story, so if your MCs aren't likeable or if the reader isn't drawn to them in some way, your plot is pointless. Characters are, IMO, the most important part of a story, full stop.
    Also, I wasn't particularly fond of the 'pure good, pure evil' take - plots and characters require further complexity, as Kratos stated above.
     
  7. Al B
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    Al B Senior Member

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    Like every other tale of this nature, it really comes down the writer to make it good. After all, Star Wars, which you mention, is your basic fairy story when you strip away the window dressing: A young kid goes on a quest to rescue a princess with an old guy who is a mentor to him.

    Substitute 'Attack Death Star' for 'Kill Dragon and untie Princess' and you can see they are the same. The difference is all in the twists and to some extent the window dressing.

    Al
     
  8. BrinkofDawn
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    BrinkofDawn Contributing Member

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    You know I never thought about that. Shayd does look better but yeah the three friends actually have deeper desires and goals than just adventure (mainly Shayd and Drake). Shayd and Drake are both actually orphans.

    Shayd was found in the woods and Drake was brought to the town as an infant in the arms of his dying mother. Shayd was a boy around 7 or 8 who suffered (and still suffers) from a case of amnesia, not being able to remember who he is or where he came from (plot device later). He is brought in and raised by his friend Zion and her family and given the name Shayd after the wind spirit of the town. He develops an interest in swordplay after hearing stories from a former blademaster and is taught how to fight and stuff from him. He develops a drive for competition and dreams to challenge the best of swordsmen from across the world. The raid on his home actually gave him sort of an excuse to travel.

    Drake, like I said, was brought into town as an infant in his dying mother's arms. He is about the same age as Shayd and Zion and was raised an orphan too and became friends with them. When Shayd came into the picture though Drake grew a bit envious of his free nature and was at first his enemy. They became good friends later and he developed the same interest in swordplay like Shayd. Unlike Shayd however, Drake doesn't want to compete but become a blademaster, the highest, most renown class of swordsmen in Venesca. His ambitions are a bit personal because of the jealously as I stated before and he wants to become better than Shayd (kinda like a Naruto-Sasuke friendship). What's interesting about Drake though is that he doesn't want to be jealous, seeing Shayd and Zion as his only true family in the world and fears that his envy may overcome him. This is also partially the reason he wants to restore his home to break that sense of envy.

    Zion is a character to balance out the other two. She cares deeply for them and comforts them along their journey. She's cheerful, up-beat and independent but sometimes a bit demanding where in she won't take no for an answer. She actually joins Drake as he sets out towards Percadia against his will.

    The creature thing is actually related to the curse. The curse, known as the Arkane curse, infects an individual whose heart and soul dwell in darkness and has existed for over 100 years. The curse, if not contained within the mind, could consume the body and soul and transform the person into a demon-like creature bent on consuming the souls of others. There are those born with this curse as well and they are called Arkana. Arkana have somewhat better control of this curse and the stronger ones can sometimes even manipulate the darkness in their heart to their liking. This curse actually caused a war 100 year between kingdoms prior to the events in the story and hasen't been a problem till present times as more creatures suddenly appear and ravage the kingdom of Percadia.

    So, does that sound compelling at all. I know I need to fix a few things but these are still the basics. The story actually gets much deeper than this and I will gladly explain more but first, I you guys would be so kind as to critique further^^
     
  9. PipeandPen
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    PipeandPen Senior Member

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    I really like the idea of the curse and its affects on the people, but if the darkness can be manipulated, is there some sort of off-set for the good?
     
  10. Marcelo
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    Marcelo Contributing Member

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    I think the plot is great, I especially liked the Pandemonium bit. However, as many people use to say around here, what really counts is your writing skills. Go on and post some chapters here, I'll be interested in reading your story.
     
  11. Lucy E.
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    Lucy E. Contributing Member

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    The characters sound interesting and their stories unusual - very good. As Marcelo suggested, you should post a few chapters!
     
  12. BrinkofDawn
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    BrinkofDawn Contributing Member

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    Yeah, the writing part will be the hardest for me. My influences are Robert Jordan and Terry Brooks so I think I should study the way they write a little more before I decide to write anything though.

    The curse actually does affect some of the characters they meet along the way. The infection will actually show in three of, what I'd like to call, the "party" characters.

    One character they meet is named Kaii who was born with the curse and threatens to overrun his mind unless he wears these special braces around his legs, arms, and neck to prevent the spread although the curse can still be seen in his features as do all Arkana.

    Another character is named Aemon and is actually a plot device and, in his own rite, a hero on his own in my story because his background is based on a prophecy that never ends. His exact age is unknown and he's known to be a legendary swordsman, a blademaster of a group called the Seven Swords, and once the savior of Venesca. Little is known about him at first but the main characters and the reader learns more about him as the story progresses. I'm thinking about telling the story about him on a deeper note in another book, going backwards from this story.

    Does that sound interesting? I'm going for a deep story with a mytho but a modern feel to it. It's going to be for adults and teenagers without any sexual references and little vulgar language. It also has a comic feel to it between the main characters and a tragic-romantic feel in the end.
     
  13. Marcelo
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    Marcelo Contributing Member

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    It does sounds interesting, and if you want to make it even more, I suggest you add more the depth to Venesca. How? Religion, Flora and Fauna, all these things. Hey, don't worry, take up all the time you need before starting to write.
     
  14. BrinkofDawn
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    BrinkofDawn Contributing Member

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    Oh yeah I'm also having trouble with the world of Venesca. I want to make it huge but whenever I draw up a map or something I end up butchering it up and making it smaller because I don't like certain things in it. I know I want two basic kingdoms in one region:

    Percadia
    Garnencia
    Magysta

    and another region of vast desert with an endless storm that guards a forgotten advanced city like atlantis in which the main characters have to journey through during the story.

    I would appreciate help in this part because this is one of the only places I'm stuck on^^
     
  15. Marcelo
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    Marcelo Contributing Member

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    Well... First off you have to tell the readers why there's an endless storm. And why this advanced civilization wants to be isolated from the rest of the World. And why the "party" wants to travel there. And how many years does this civilization has been isolated. And if the other people believe it a myth or legend. If so, how many people set in search of it? Does this civilization guards something special that other people may want? riches, wisdom, an object, etc.
     
  16. BrinkofDawn
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    BrinkofDawn Contributing Member

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    Yeah I have an idea on that part actually. It's just the rest of Venesca I guess.

    The ancient people were immortals called Aurahs. The were the first beings to step foot on the soil of Venesca and were around during the time the humans appeared. They were advanced in that they used a sort of magical technology run by crystals mined from the soil of Venesca. These crystals were of various shapes and sizes and served a unique source of energy that did not pollute and never ceased to work. The crystals were later called Emblem Crystals because the Aurahs used to engrave markings on the outside the crystals to give each of them meanings.

    Anywho, the Aurah are immortals in the the case that they stop aging at a given age and so some of them could even be children but be older then your grandfather. They look and act like humans except they are more mellow and mostly look younger. The city in the desert they live in is called Aurah Maza and wasn't always secluded just hard to get to. They shared their knowledge of the Emblem Crystals with humans but they didn't tell them how to use them, seeing as they should acquire that knowledge on their own. One would think the humans were the cause of their downfall when really it was a legend stating they would be destroyed by Pandemonium.

    A religion is kinda involved in this, there is divine intervention and fate plays a role with virtually everyone, hence why I first stated a Good and Evil plot because the more the story unfolds the more it involves the battle between Good and Evil and fate to balance it all. Something I picked up from the Norse myth of Ragnarok and the Greek myth of the Three Fates.
     

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