1. Initiate Jenny
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    Initiate Jenny New Member

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    help with plot, fantasy

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Initiate Jenny, Mar 22, 2016.

    hello, i am new here, i need some help with my plot, lets jump right into it:

    (backstory)

    ok so, essentially, in the medieval times, orcs/trolls/dragons/witches/dwarves/elves/fantasy creatures are very much real and exist in large numbers in many places. they are generally very peaceful and mindful of the environment.

    mankind is coming to power during this time, and for some time have existed in peace and cooperation with the fantasy races. they even trade.

    however a king decides to wage a war on the fantasy races. the fantasy races band together and mobilize armies and whatnot but ultimately lose. man prevails.

    armies ransack villages and kill of thousands of surrendered soldiers and innocents of fantasy races. under order of the king all accounts of any fantasy race's history is destroyed. (this includes sources from the fantasy races).

    the king orders that ALL fantasy races are never to be spoken of/retold, lest incur serious penalties. if you are lucky your house will be burned down, you will be tortured, and your tongue will be cut off. if you aren't, you will be killed outright as well as your family, your bodies put on display as example.

    scholars are closely monitored.

    ^^^the point is that the king wants to erase all memory of the fantasy races, and does a fantastic job. however sometimes the fantasy races are recalled in tales and stories.

    story start---> the story follows Ahanu (name may be changed), a 15 year old boy, son of of a chieftain of a Cheyenne tribe. it is set in the great plains, somewhere in Wyoming, during the mid 1800's (pre wild west stuff)

    some small groups of fantasy tribes are found, and chaos ensues

    its mostly going to be a horror but with lots of story to it.

    ----

    but my question is, i need a very strong reason for the very extreme and violent actions against the fantasy races. i want to avoid the "he was just a crazy bastard/idiot/etc.

    thank you all, jenny :)
     
  2. Rethagos
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    Rethagos Member

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    Reasons? There can be many reasons for why that bastard wants to get rid of all those fantasy races.
    The first thing that popped up in my mind: extreme racism or human supremacy. Good for a smaller scale, not so good for the genocide, but some historical figures would beg to differ.
    Another one: the "vision". Maybe he saw something in his dreams, that forced him to get rid of the possible threat?
    You can play with this one. There are many different visions he could have experienced at some point.
    Another reason: I think nobody, even that king of yours, would ever launch such a campaign against other culture if they were such good citizens. There must have been something off about them. Maybe some of their traditions involve them doing some unsettling stuff? Something else? Think about it.

    To recap, possible reasons for his behavior can be: extreme racism/ human supremacy, some kind of vision that unsettled him, or that something was not quite right about the fantasy races.

    But hey, that is just my thought.
     
  3. AdDIct
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    AdDIct Active Member

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    Hello Jenny! And welcome to the Forums! Glad to have you!

    Now then on to the meet of the issue.

    From what I read of your plot outline I can say a few things 1) The backstory sounds like almost every High Fantasy type I've heard about in recent years. The premise is fairly cliche and that in and of itself isn't BAD, but it means you'll need to work a helluva lot harder to make your piece stand out.

    2) if you are lucky your house will be burned down, you will be tortured, and your tongue will be cut off. if you aren't, you will be killed outright as well as your family, your bodies put on display as example.

    That's lucky? Torture and removal of material wealth is lucky? Interesting view lol. Not gonna lie I'd rather just get executed than go through all that crap.

    3) Your actual question. The "why"

    Here's a thought. You've set your story on our world. On Earth, not a mythical land, use that. For example American Slavery. What justified it? There was a reason it went virtually uncontested for so long. Very specific things need to happen to allow for a society to morally accept and even promote such violence on others. Sometimes it's less of a "they're crazy" then "this is ingrained in them through generations of teaching and acceptance" Perhaps you can use something to that effect.
     
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  4. Initiate Jenny
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    Initiate Jenny New Member

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    hello and thank you! :) okay so,

    1) (plot comment) it was supposed to be a fantasy type, but thats only the backstory, the backdrop. you aren't going to hear much about it too much. the actual story is in the 1800's, great plains, wyoming area. railroads, muskets, steam machines, etc. i want to experiment with fantasy creatures in a (almost) wild wild west backdrop. please tell me if this is cliche, because its supposed to be a new idea, and ill have some work to do o_O

    2) (consequences) oh no no lol, its not lucky at all, obviously. i just wanted to show that there are grave consequences for producing any type of information about the fantasy races. because the fact that such a consequence is considered lucky, it shows that the situation is very bad

    3) i like the "ingrained" idea. though, slavery was a broad, continued thing, not a single action or decision, such as my kings war, which was fairly brief. i need an incentive :)

    again thank you very much!!
     
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  5. Initiate Jenny
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    Initiate Jenny New Member

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    the vision idea is super cool.
    but yeah, honestly its pretty hard to think of a rational reason for all of the continued violence after the surrender and record wiping.
    maybe some religious thing?
     
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  6. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Welcome to the forums!

    Because he's human: Stanford Prison Experiment, Asch Conformity experiment, Milgram Obedience...

    I haven't gotten into this in my sci-fi work directly, but I try to work in the idea that humanity, on average, is a lot more racist than a lot of other intelligent species would be. Would you be interested in one of my favorite strategies for inventing a non-human psychology for a non-human species?
     
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  7. AdDIct
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    AdDIct Active Member

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    Ah well I wasn't sure how much of that backstory was actually plot or not. The wild west setting sounds pretty unique. I'd be curious to see how that works out. I just think the backstory itself sounds a little cliche. Still if you're setting it as a sort of western, you could totally use some of the american ideology of the time to make sense of the situation. For example Western Expansion forced out and murdered many of the Native American's in the name of progress and "adulthood". Perhaps there was a similar though process behind encroaching on the fantasy creatures territories
     
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  8. doggiedude
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    doggiedude Contributing Member

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    You could always try blaming those races for spreading disease among humans. You could even make it true. Maybe one or two of those races are actual carriers for something deadly and the rest just got tossed into the lot for prevention or out of ignorance.
    You could pretty much use any threat to human society as a justification. Maybe some of the races use up waaaay too much food supply causing shortages. Maybe dwarfves are just assholes about keeping the water supply clean. Witches have a penchant for the taste of BBQ human baby feet.
    Don't get me started on dragons. They can never put the lids back on jars properly.
     
  9. Initiate Jenny
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    Initiate Jenny New Member

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    sure id love to hear it!
     
  10. Initiate Jenny
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    Initiate Jenny New Member

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    good point (the threat to human society)! and i like the disease idea!
     
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  11. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Re-arranging Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. I originally got the idea from a TvTropes article "So You Want to Design an Alien Mind," but I later found a post on a D&D forum that made me re-think the specifics in a far more cynical way.

    On this site specifically, I went into a good deal of detail in the "Craziest group/race in your story?" thread:

    I have since finished my Doctor Who fanfic if you want to take a look at how a "Relationship-Contribution-Food-Specialness-Security" Malmooth character would think differently from the "Food-Security-Relationship-Contribution-Specialness" Human characters ;)
     
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  12. IHaveNoName
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    IHaveNoName Active Member

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    If you want to erase mankind's knowledge of the fey, there's a far easier way. I had to deal with something similar in my story: long ago during a war, some members of a powerful organization did something really bad (like, almost destroyed the world bad). After things recovered, the leaders of said organization quietly started destroying accounts of the war and altering records, basically retconning the history. A few thousand years later, it's all become myth and legend.

    In your story, it could work the same way. The victors write the history, after all - after the fey are driven into hiding, the king can easily gather up and destroy records pertaining to the fey, rewrite accounts, and generally leave humanity with a bunch of books that are full of nothing but hearsay and outright bullshit.

    Keep in mind: The more you push people NOT to do something, the more they'll push back and want to do it anyway, just because. A king who's fantical about expunging knowledge of the fey will prompt people to keep hidden repositories of knowledge, pass myths down through their families, and generally do the exact opposite of what he wants, just to spite him. I'm not saying his tactics wouldn't be effective, but they will leave their mark in history, which kind of obviates the point.

    OR... if all you're looking for is an excuse as to why the fey have disappeared: the increasing industrialization and spread of humankind. It's a bit cliche, but it works; iron is anathema to fey, and as human technology advances, they use it more and more, which drives the fey further and further into the wilderness away from human habitation.
     
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  13. Seraph751
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    Seraph751 If I fell down the rabbit hole...

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    We fear that which we know naught of.
    1. We demean other cultures/subjugate other people
    2. If you have seen any documentaries on ancient modern humans, it is theorized that we were the cause of the neanderthals being wiped out due to basic needs to survive (food, water, shelter)
    -What if we had to defend ourselves? What if we as a species were being driven to extinction? What we do then as a species to survive?
    3. Our sheer toddlerism as a species. "If you it, then I want it."
    4. Power/Control
     
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  14. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    As long as the basic concept isn't too familar that it feels like it's kind of copying, then it's the details that make it feel original. Who are your characters? What is the society like specifically? How does the fantasy lore function and look? What happens? How does it affect the characters and society? Don't answer those questions here, TMI, but know that it is those answers that primarily decide originality and more importantly quality.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2016
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  15. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    Religion is very powerful motivator for violence and even when others are reasons are in play, if a strongly religious society believes commonly in a controversial ideal they'll try to apply their faith just to make sure they can deny everyone else. (I sound so cynical :p)
     
  16. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    Look at what happened in pre-WW2 Germany. The belief in being part of a master-race worked so well because people wanted to belief they were better. It helped their self-esteem, united them against the others. Made for a strong national identity.
    And it all went overboard in a quite horrible manner too.

    And for good measure.. in China I believe (but I only dimly remember it, keep watch!) to have been a period of time when almost all traces of Confuzianism have been purged.
     
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  17. croak3r
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    croak3r Member

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    I think it may be unrealistic for men to be able to defeat all those groups of fantasy races by themselves, unless the other races are quite small in comparison.
    You also need a good reason for doing it. Religion would be pretty good i think. The 'master race' kind of thinking may work too, but i think it needed to go deeper than that. Even Hitler didnt just comit genonice solely because he thought they where superior.
     
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  18. tonguetied
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    tonguetied Contributing Member Contributor

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    Do you really have to explain the past? Think of the myths surrounding Atlantis, just folklore these days and maybe always were but it can still be used in modern stories effectively. Native American Indians have a lot of their own legends and it appears you are trying to create one with a European flavor to it which sounds original enough to me. For example simply saying "legend was that those creatures were wiped out in the great non-simian wars" would be enough, no real reason need apply.
     
  19. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    So, in terms of plot, this is not so different from, say, Lovecraft's Mountains of Madness, or any such story where remnants of an ancient (and hostile) civilization are found and attack narrator. My advice to you is to figure out what makes it important that your civilization consists of "fantasy races" and not just aliens or some subterranean species that evolved in secret alongside and similar to humans.
     
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