1. EurAsianGirl
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    EurAsianGirl New Member

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    Help with a idea for a novel

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by EurAsianGirl, Dec 25, 2011.

    First I'll post the stats of my main character and the whole backstory to the novel will be written in there.

    My character is from an original novel I'm planning on writing called: The Winds Of The East.


    Character Name: Shai-Lang Wei

    Character's Looks: She is a 16 year old girl with dark black hair(or red, I haven't decided yet) that is tied back in a ponytail with a red ribbon. she prefers this style since this way her hair doesn’t get in her eyes and she can fight better this way as she has never been particularly feminine, preferring fighting to learning how to do household tasks most girls her age are doing. She has a very innocent and naive look about her, even though she is almost sixteen. She wears a sleek fiery red Qipao, the traditional dress of her people and around her neck is a triangular shaped blue crystal, a crystal that she has had since her birth which holds the key to the secrets of herself and her people, yet she doesn’t know this yet of course, she has always wanted to know why she has had this crystal though, and what exactly it is, it has become something like a good luck charm to her now though, the sparkling sapphire always mesmerizing her whenever she looks deep within its core

    Height/weight: She is 5'3 and weighs 160lbs

    Personality: She is never without a smile adorning her face, her cheerfulness is contagious to everyone she meets. She is curious, spunky, strong-willed and energetic, yet she can be quite stubborn, obstinate and close-minded. Her stubborness is both a bad trait and a good trait, on the one hand while it is very difficult to make Shai-Lang give up, it also gets her into extremely messy situations, situations where her companions would have to pull her out of. She is highly impulsive with a very short temper and this causes her to charge head-first into situations without analyzing the situation first, thereby seriously endangering herself and her loved ones. She is also very naive about the outside world and thinks only her ways are the right ways, it'll take quite a lot of exposure to other's points of view until she sees that her views are actually quite bigoted. She is quite a racist in the beginning to anyone who is not Asian and is white. Another thing about Shai-Lang is that she has an extreme guilt issue and will tend to dwell on past events even if they weren't her fault. Also when confronted with the darkness of the world, she tends to break down easily due to her extreme childish and naive view on the world.

    Quirks: Shai-Lang is the biggest eater you will ever meet. She is known as the "glutton" of Khazaria and can out-eat anyone at an eating contest. You put food in front of her, and it'll be guranteed that she'll messily gobble it up. Her favorite food are rice dumplings.

    -Likes: Rice Dumplings, food in general, her friends, her grandparents, her pet wolf, animals in general, marital arts, a good battle, her religion and her people.

    -Dislikes: Whites, Jews, Christians, Muslims, People trying to convert her and her people, Wimps, Tuna, people telling her that she's fat, sneaky and manipulative people, having to wait, people talking down to her and treating her like a kid, snobs.

    Fighting style/ Weapon of choice: A wooden Katana that her grandparents got for her from the island next to China, Bows and Arrows, (The traditional fighting item of the Khazars) and her fists.

    Backstory: The girl’s name is Shai-Lang Wei and she belongs to a very ancient people, known the Khazars. The Khazars are a nomadic wandering people that originated from Northern China, also known as Inner Mongolia. Yes, her people have a rich history indeed, they have developed into one of the most advanced civilizations of her time, however they were forced out of their homeland by the Mongol hordes and moved all across Russia, when finally settling down in Central Russia where they formed the Khazaria Kingdom, the greatest trading kingdom of the early Middle Ages. However, her people have suffered as they have been oppressed by the Westerners for being different and not believing in any of the monotheistic faiths. They have been forced to convert to one of the three big monotheistic religions if they wish to continue having a prosperous trading economy with Europe and the Middle East. Their traditional belief in the spirits of the Earth and in Buddism will not cut it. And so, the Emperor of Khazaria, Emperor Bu-lan chooses Judaism out of the big three, and the people of the kingdom are all forced to convert to Judaism, including Shai-Lang’s family. Shai-Lang does not relent however, as she is the head priestess of the Shrine that has been in her family’s line for generations, and even though her family has been brainwashed by the evil missionaries of the west, Shai-Lang is a strong girl and keeps her original faith intact.

    When the Kingdom of Khazaria falls to the native Russians, the Khazar people are forced into Eastern Europe and get confined into ghettos, facing discrimination and prejudice from the white Europeans who view them as “dirty foreigners.” Shai-Lang and her family settle in Hungary, where they have to endure discrimination and poverty day after day..... Shai-Lang can’t help but wish back for those days when she was a little girl in China. How she played in the vast tall mountains and frolicked in the wild plains while chasing adorable baby pandas.

    She also remembers her beloved grandparents who are still back home in China, they were always doting on her and training her in the ways of Martial Arts, they even got her a long wooden sword from the island across, the sword is known as a Katana and to this day Shai-Lang treasures her sword with all her life and is never seen without it. And so, with the sweet memories of her homeland and grandparents beckoning her, Shai-Lang sets out on a journey throughout Europe and the world in order to get back to China. During this journey, she will encounter many friends and foes, battle evil monsters, encounter bigotry and hatred, experience love, and battle the institutionalized religions of the west which threaten to destroy her people and culture.

    She will learn many lessons along the way and will grow out of her simple naive thinking and discover that the world isn’t so black and white like she thought, that there are shades of gray in everything and nothing is ever what it seems. She will also discover a dark and magical secret about herself and her people, which to that blue pendant she wears around her neck. And it’ll be up to her inner strength to face this mysterious secret. And so, with nothing but her trusy katana sword sheathed in her bright red Qipao, her pet wolf, and the mysterious blue crystal pendant around her neck which holds the many secrets and mysteries of her people, Shai-Lang sets out for the adventure of a lifetime, the adventure that will change her from a young innocent girl to a strong and independent young woman. This is the coming of age story of a young girl in the Dark Ages, This is Sha-Lang....

    Equipment: The Katana that she always carries with her and a Bow and arrows. At times she also dons her priestess outfit which is red pants with a loose white blouse. This outfit has spiritual powers and can lessen the damage taken against attacks.

    Abilities: She is quite skilled in martial arts, however this is not unusual since girls in the Khazaria empire were trained in the ways of the warrior and grew up being just as battle savvy as the men. She still has a lot to learn however, as she will continue to grow in her martial arts skills as she goes about her journey, learning new techniques along the way and basically "leveling up" like a typical Shonen or JRPG protagonist. She will also later on gain the ability to use Fire Magic, and her blue pendant also has a secret power which shields her whenever her life is in grave danger. (This shall be explained later on in my story.)

    Personal Quote: "Like Grams and Gramps always say: Never give up when the going gets tough, just keep on treadin!"
    --

    Well that's about it, what do you think of it? Do you think it's original enough? Basically the whole story will be about three girls and their travels around the world during the Medieval Ages. At the end of the Journey they'll learn many lessons and also discover the truth about a Mysterious Ancient Civilization. Though this will be Historical Fiction it will also be Fantasy due to there being monsters and magic. It might also have some Sci-Fi elements as I'm maybe thinking of having the Khazars originally come from Outer Space... I don't know tell me what you think of the story idea and my main character. Hopefully it's better than Twilight, lol.
     
  2. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Woah, long post is long.

    Okay, here's a suggestion: write the thing. It's probably a fine story, but you're not exactly going to grab our attention by showing how much you've written about it. You're more likely to grab our attention by telling us how much you've written of it.

    If you really want opinions, summarise the story (just the story) in a paragraph or two for us.

    In other news: originality is rare. Everything has been done before, it's more about how you write it, blah blah blah. If you write it, you've got something that is very likely original. If you don't write it, you don't have anything. I'll let you decide which is better.
     
  3. AmsterdamAssassin
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    AmsterdamAssassin Contributing Member

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    A wooden katana is called a bokken, and while they can be used as a weapon, they're primarily for training purposes.
     
  4. Ettina
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    Ettina Active Member

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    Another comment: I don't necessary think a list of categories like that is really helpful to character development. It runs the risk of you getting a mishmash of traits that don't mesh well. I prefer to do character development by thinking of my core idea for the character, or the most important role they serve for the plot, and spread out from there. For example, if I want a character to try to rescue her best friend, she needs to be someone who takes things into her own hands and protects those close to her, so maybe I'll make it that she has a history of getting friends out of scrapes. If I want her, as an ordinary human with no powers, to take on an emotion-eating mindreader and succeed, she'll need to be smart enough to figure out a good plan of attack. And given the context this story takes place in, she has to be teenage prostitute living on the street, so how did she end up there, and how has living that life shaped her? Notice that I've got a clear sense of this character, but I haven't got it in a list of categories like likes, dislikes, quirks, etc.

    (Actually my favorite aid to character development is to ask myself a bunch of questions and reply as the character would reply.)
     
  5. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    This. This. This.

    I've said it before, I'll say it again. Base your character's personality on what their role is in the plot.
     
  6. Morgan
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    Morgan Member

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    I don't see anything wrong with making a character outline. A lot of writers do that and it's up to the writer how they develop characters.

    It sounds like an interesting story but may need to have more focus rather than just traveling around. Since it's a fantasy novel, I also think it might be better to have the religions be fictional rather than using existing faiths.

    Despite being long, your post was well thought out and well written.
     
  7. EurAsianGirl
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    EurAsianGirl New Member

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    Thank you for liking my story idea! :) Do you think it's original enough? Have you heard of the Khazars? Also there is going to be a plot, that plot will involve finding out the truth about Shai-Lang's pendant and the mysteries of the Khazar people, as well as battling against the evil religious people of the West who seek to destroy their culture.
     
  8. Kallithrix
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    Kallithrix Banned

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    This isn't really a story idea - it's a character idea. A story has a plot, which there's no evidence of here.

    Come up with a plot, something with a beginning (exposition, introducing problem/goal to be addressed), a middle (complication) and an end (climax/resolution). Then write it.
     
  9. EurAsianGirl
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    EurAsianGirl New Member

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    There is a plot, I described it in the middle of my character description. Go look at my character's backround and you'll see the plot.
     
  10. ClusterChuck
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    ClusterChuck Senior Member

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    You have the plot in the character outline.

    Some stories unfold from an event. Some from a character's history overtaking them. Just remember where a character's going in a story is more important than where they're from.
     
  11. ClusterChuck
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    ClusterChuck Senior Member

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    Oh and as far as originality goes. There are only two hemispheres (or dimensions) of literature. They are Shakespeare (horizontally dealing with all things cultural and psychological) and Dante (vertically dealing with all things divine and man's place on the infinite ascent). With emotion being a common vien between the two.

    Not to mention the dackdrop of oral history preceding these two which mostly dealt with man vs. the dark beast in the forest. (beowulf)

    Everything falls into thier folds. So yeah, no worries. Just have fun and have emotion.
     
  12. EurAsianGirl
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    EurAsianGirl New Member

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    Thanks! :-D I meant though is the subject matter original? Since it's centered on the Khazars and you barely hear of them... Have you heard of the Khazars?
     
  13. iabanon
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    iabanon Member

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    Never heard of Asian people with red hair. but, hey, i'm not asian. your character outline is not really just a character outline. don't mix it up. your story is not really a story idea. yes she's going to find out about her crystal. how is that a story? what is so important that she needs to know what's in the crystal? why wouldn't she know about her people from family and education? what's the catalyst for the story beginning? why would she start looking at what's in the crystal? why does she fight? who do her people fight? where is she going to go and what is she going to do through out the story? etc etc etc. also a ponytail does not make a girl unfeminine, but that's how you wrote it.
    i think you have the start of a potentially good story. i doubt it's original, far from it, but that's not really an aim for writers anymore. it's all been done. you just have to tell a story in your own way. that's where the originality comes from. good luck and start writing!
     
  14. ClusterChuck
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    ClusterChuck Senior Member

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    Never Heard of them but this has definately piqued my interest. I love the chaos of cultural origins.
     
  15. ClusterChuck
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    ClusterChuck Senior Member

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    Never Heard of them but this has definately piqued my interest. I love the chaos of cultural origins.
     
  16. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Story matter isn't really what matters to originality. I mean, I write about pretty much regular humans who live on Earth every time I write, but it's not unoriginal story matter.
    It's what you do with the story matter that makes it special and unique, and it's avoiding clichés like crystals, which are goddamn everywhere in jRPGs and fiction.
     
  17. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    Nice ideas and all, and I don't want to be a nit-pick or anything, but Shai-Lang Wei is a Chinese name, and Khazars were not a Chinese people!!! They were Turkic, and if not much did survive of their language, both spoken and written, there is at least enough evidence of their personal names! Byzantines and Arabs had extensive contact with the Khaganat and a quick google search revealed this page:

    http://www.khazaria.com/khazar-names.html

    Now, I know it's cool to mix up history, and not many have actually heard anything about Khazars, and you can go on and write about them being Chinese, but nowadays a quick wiki-read would reveal to a casual reader just enough he can think to himself: why the author didn't do it herself/himself?
    :rolleyes:
     

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