1. Radix
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    Radix New Member

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    Help with my Plot

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Radix, Apr 12, 2011.

    Ok so Im working on a modern fantasy but I cant seem to get it to go anywhere. I was hoping maybe I could get some help brainstorming or even just some advice on how to put everything together. I have basic idea but I cant seem to tie any of my thoughts together. Heres what I have so far:

    The setting is sometime in the not so distant future shortly after the third world war. The world is now united under a single governing entity and enforced by the (possible name) United Global Army or UGA. Recently a new race of humans has appeared known as "mages" or "magi" (havent decided). These "mages" came about either through genetic mutation and experimentation or evolved somehow (still working that out as well) and are currently shunned and viewed as outcasts by society. The UGA has also recently declared war on them and the "mages" are being hunted down like animals and exterminated in an attempt to wipe them out.

    There are four known races of "mages" and each has control over a certain element. The only physical difference between mages and humans is that each race of mage has a different eye color determined by their element. The personality of the mages are also determined by their element.

    Pyromancer - fire, red eyes, ex. personality: angry, hot tempered, etc.
    Hydromancer - water, blue eyes, ex. personality: caring, nurturing, emotional, etc.
    Areomancer - air, white eyes, ex. personality: fleeting, carefree, jester, etc.
    Geomancer - earth, yellow eyes, ex personality: calm, stoic, etc.

    The plot follows the main character who is a member of the UGA. Hes a SGT on a special operations team known as a Tactical Assault Group or TAG (similar to modern day Special Forces). His team is currently on missions to hunt down mages and kill them and the story opens with them raiding a mage safe-house. Eventually he begins to show powers of his own mysteriously that have never been seen before (Im thinking some kind of telekinetic power) and his eyes eventually turn black. He becomes hunted by his own friends and becomes what he had been hunting. He becomes close friends with two mages one a male the other a female and eventually falls in love with the female as they try to escape from the UGA.

    I also have two other factions the Red Lotus (not sure who they are yet) and the Dragons (Im thinking they are going to be a mage terrorist organization who conducts attacks to make it look like their are real dragons to scare people but are later discovered to be mages.)

    Thats about as far as Ive gotten so far like I said cant seem to put anything together and Im not sure how the story should end or what exactly the Main character and his friends are doing other than running. Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Hi there!

    First of all, I love your idea of a one-world government "UGA." Very fascist, dystopian theme that you could make really creepy if you wanted to.

    I also like the aspect of a shunned human race/species, but I'm not buying into the whole mages/4 elements thing. First of all, call them something original. Second of all, the air/fire/water/earth personality thing has been done to death.

    Hope I helped.
     
  3. KillianRussell
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    KillianRussell Contributing Member

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    dystopia rocks..................
     
  4. Piankhy
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    Piankhy Member

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    About the eye colors, I like the ideal but have you thought of one major problem? If their eye color gives them away, why can't they just wear contact lenses? You could solve this probelm with two different ways. 1. Add another physical difference or 2. The goverment could forbid the use of contact lenses to tell whose a mage and who isn't.

    Plot Ideals

    1. UGA could be corrupt and the mages band together to kick their butt.
    2. A group of super mages start reeking havoc on UGA and the only people who can help them is the main character and his friends.
    3. The UGA breaks up, chaos becomes widespread, the people look to the mages to become their heroes.

    Those are just a few off of the top of my head.
     
  5. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    Good idea, but it could be too limiting to let someone's magical powers determine their personality. It'll be harder to make the characters unique and nuanced.
     
  6. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    Yeah, I agree with what others have said about the four elements. It just automatically makes me think "Ugh, not another Avatar: The Last Airbender" Try to think outside the box as to what other powers people can have. Keep the four but push yourself to come up with new powers that are much more unique.

    You should also watch "Push", an anime called "S-CRY-ed", and maybe the first season of "Heroes" to 1) make sure you're not accidentally copying what they've done and 2) it might inspire you to write something really original.

    As far as the rest of the plot, I think it's really good and original already. Keep in mind a story should have four parts
    1) The introduction: Where we see the MC in his natural setting before things go haywire
    2) The response: When your character is on the run, in response to his getting new powers
    3) The attack: The MC starts to do things against the antagonistic force, even though he keeps failing
    4) The resolution: Where the MC finally beats the bad guy. All loose ends must be tied up here, and no new information must enter.

    So it sounds like you've got the first half of the book, through #2 down. Have your MC do something to try to take down his antagonistic force, and have some kind of win for the second half. You need a clear antagonistic force, perhaps a particular person from the TAG or whatever, maybe even a best friend or his father.

    Good luck!
     
  7. Wasp
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    Wasp Member

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    Instead of this being set in stone, it should just be stereotypes that aren't really true.
     
  8. Radix
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    Radix New Member

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    Thanks guys alot of really good ideas. This is just a really rough draft and ideas that I jotted down, but I like what everyone is saying about the "mages" (working name probably gonna change) have different personalities. When I wrote this I guess I had a better understanding in my head then how I conveyed it I didnt mean for there to be only a set personality for each person, such as if your fire you have to be angry, more like the element brings out certain traits in different people like fire would be more inclined to start a bar fight but not necessarily define them as a person.

    Also I know it seems cliche to have 4 elements but I was trying to bring a medieval fantasy feel to a modern world with this story.

    As far as the contact lenses thing goes I didnt think about that but I would say that due to the magical energy in the mages it would cause their true eye color to bleed through any attempt to mask it seeing as how the eye color is due to magical energy and not natural. Maybe it would be possible to hide it for a short time, allowing for some kind of undercover operations by the hero and his friends but would eventually bleed through.
     
  9. Rhysirl
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    Rhysirl Member

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    Wow, I really like what you have so far. Good stuff!

    I think that these "mages" should definitely be renamed. The idea of bringing medieval stuff into a modern setting is fun and I would so totally read it, but your story might stand out more if maybe everything was zapped with a "future" theme (yeah, my metaphors suck). Military stuff tends to be tagged with acronyms and stuff. POW, MIA, etc. so it'd be cool to go that route when the UGA is referring to your "mages"? PYRO-> Pretty Yellow Rolling Oats (joking!) But you get the idea.

    Anywho, I would say in regards to the personality issue, maybe something about your characters' personalities triggers their powers? Short temper = big explosions, Deep thinker = move stuff with your brain, etc. Just a thought.

    Someone once told me that the first thing you need to do is sit down and decide what the ending is. Once you have that, it'll be easier to frame your story and herd it in that direction. Me? I tend to just uncover my stories as I go along, which is probably why I do so many rewrites... Haha. But maybe you need to find a bigger conflict than your main dude finding out that he is one of the people he’s hunted all his life, something that doesn’t leave the MC fighting against his friends the rest of his life, but motivating him and the UGA to join up and save… something.

    Good luck! Great start!
     
  10. Piankhy
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    Piankhy Member

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    Is that you in the avatar? If so, sweet another army member ^.^

    Yeah, your explanation sounds pretty solid. To add to the uncover operations thing you was talking about, perhaps they could wear shades too to cover their eyes for short periods of time. Although I expect UGA would be suspicious of such actions though?
     
  11. Radix
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    Radix New Member

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    Right it would draw attention but at least by some time possible from what Im thinking.

    And yes that is me lol from basic.
     
  12. Safinr
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    Safinr New Member

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    I love the dystopia theme I also want to do something similar to that but in a different tone.
    Personally I see this plot to be pretty linear, at least from the rough notes. (I'm sure that you can add plenty of interesting twists). I recently was fascinated by the stories that follow the protagonist, maybe something like District 9. Where you build up this character to be some kind of a well respected vicious hunter, and then you play with the morality of humanity and racism. Think American History X type stuff
     
  13. lbragg202
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    lbragg202 New Member

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    I like the story, but I agree with the elements being so cliche. As soon as I read that I almost went to a different thread.
    Some things you can think about to either help clarify your elements or help come up with "new powers" would be to explain how and why some people have different powers. Was there different types of warfare? Did the people take refuge in a certain environment that affects their powers? Also, how were these people created? Were they mutants born of normal people, or did they grow from alien seeds etc.?

    You could also throw in the Hitler twist and learn that the main leader of the UGA is actually a mutant (there is speculation that Hitler was of Jewish decent).
     
  14. slyfox
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    slyfox Member

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    Magical eyes and scanners

    I like this idea, but rather than having the energy "bleed" though anything they could cover their eyes with (e.g. contacts) could you bring in more technology? We have scanners at airports now that can see through our clothes and we have anti theft scanners at shops, why not something like that? It would really help with the dystopian/fascist way this story seems to be leaning. If you don't wabnt to have these scanners everywhere because that might restrict your character's movements and thsu hinder the story, make it hand held and give it to a "special forces" element of the military. This could work like the motion detecters in Aliens in that it can create the constant tension that you need if you have an outsider hero.
     
  15. GStohl
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    GStohl New Member

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    I think it's a really interesting idea. Writing it should be fun.

    As for your question regarding a common thread to tie it all up:

    One technique is to give your character a choice that he doesn't want to make, but ultimately he has to make that choice due to the things going on around him. Think Maverick getting back into the dogfight to save Ice Man.

    Since your main character has started to become something weird, maybe the theme is his struggle to embrace his change? He started as a member of the dystopian UGA, but the moment he changes outwardly they turn against him and reveal the unjustness of his cause? His struggle is for acceptance or to reconcile his new state of being with the world he's used to inhabiting?

    I'm just thowing stuff out there.
     

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