1. callumt2904
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    callumt2904 Member

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    History and Reasoning for my characters and plot

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by callumt2904, Jul 13, 2016.

    I want to write a book in a similar style to Game Of Thrones so that there are multiple story lines that interlink and other peoples actions affect others.

    My world is magical although magic itself is not a big thing as it has not been around for a long time. My world is run by Dragons in human form who can shape shift but these men stay far from humans and rule from their castles or something - I need a little help developing this for some creative ideas that can be revealed later on in the book.

    The MC is a boy who is 10-15 years old - something happened to his family which is also something i need a point in a direction with. His family is said to be able to communicate spiritually with animals and humans not full conversations as such but kind of make them realise something when they are miles away from one another. With animals it is more of a they think of the animal doing something and the animal indirectly does what the person wants.

    I was taking some inspiration from King Henry VIII and the "King" (Not one of the Ruling Dragons) beheads his wife or someone of a family with extreme power. From here there are two paths I could go:
    Path 1 - The family starts an uprising civil war and that's how my MC family die - because they lost?
    Path 2 - The family is not related to my MC and they stop supporting the lands ruled by this king so that the people begin to starve.

    Either way this causes extreme havoc in the world and the Dragon Rulers have to come from hiding to sort things out - maybe releasing their true form to the world. Everyone would be scared of dragons and therefore would let them rule and take all the power until you get the wannabe hero possible one of my future MC's or the MC I have already described.

    - Any help in developing the history of this world to lead to this type of setting would be much appreciated.
    - Any help in developing new MC's that could come from distant places and they somehow all meet up be it through war on sides against one another or another reason.
     
  2. callumt2904
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    callumt2904 Member

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    I cannot edit my post so here is what I was have added.

    The Dragon Rulers are based extremely loosely on the Rothschild family. The power this "family" truly has is unknown as they marry to their own family or extremely close friends of their family (this might be changed) and their wealth is never released, people know they are rich as they own castles and lots of land. However, they lend lots of their money to other families in a way that they gain influence over that family kingdom as their money is what keeps it growing. Without giving it away to the reader they pretty much own the world.
     
  3. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Path 2 sounds as if you've been listening to too much propaganda from the "Remain" campaign! Britain won't starve simply because we've upset Jean-Claude Juncker , and nor will "the lands ruled by this king" starve because a powerful family "stop supporting" them. Especially in mediaeval/fantasy mediaeval times. Most people in such an economy would have been involved in actually growing food; to feed themselves, oh, and to have the top x% creamed off by their rulers, whoever those are.

    As far as inspiration from Henry VIII...he upset the King of Spain by DIVORCING the King of Spain's aunt. Those wives he beheaded were English subjects. Were he to behead "someone of a family with extreme power", he would have been advised that this was probably a cause for war, and only a very autocratic ruler would have gone ahead with it.

    As far as shape-shifting dragons who "stay far away from humans and rule from their castles"...where do you think castles are built? The Normans began the vogue for castle-building in England by planting one at a site of importance. Typically to dominate a town (the Tower of London is the best example). Before them, Alfred the Great had established a network of fortified towns as a means of defence against the invading Danes. Now, the Normans would take a town and build a castle in it to dominate the town, and provide somewhere for them to defend themselves should the townsfolk see fit to revolt. Occasionally they'd build a castle in a strategic location and then encourage a town to grow up under the protection of its walls (Conwy is a good example, where Edward I built the castle and town walls).
     
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  4. callumt2904
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    callumt2904 Member

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    For the "where do you think castles are built?" argument, this is not exactly the real world. The castle could be a ruins in which these dragon type people live.

    For the argument that they produce their own food. Since the "capital" is so big, most of the land has been built upon for buildings and therefore they do not have enough land to grow food which can support such a city and that is why they ask for certain crops from allies. Maybe the dragon people don't stop food directly but instead try to break the alliance between the cities which would result in them stopping food?

    Since I am not writing a history book everything doesn't have to match what happened in the real world and not everything that happens it the story would be possible in the real world.

    Thank you for your reply though.
     
  5. Tomlan
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    Tomlan Member

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    I love the idea of setting a story out in the way that GRRM does in ASOIAF, but from what I've read here that doesn't seem to be the way you are going. Firstly you say you've got an MC of a 10-15 y/o boy, if you're having multiple POVs from multiple important character then I'm confused how you've only got the 1 MC?

    Also, the line between taking inspiration and plagiarism is a fine one. I know your story will likely be very different from ASOIAF, but from what I've read here you have to be careful. For example;
    'world is run by Dragons in human form' and 'marry to their own family'- Targaryen's, which are basically dragons in human form without the shapeshifting who are into incest.
    'His family is said to be able to communicate spiritually with animals' - This sounds the same as the Starks being wargs.
    'The family starts an uprising civil war and that's how my MC family die - because they lost?' - The Stark rebellion against the crown summed up perfectly.

    As I've said, I'm sure your content will be original, but I would just be wary that in taking inspiration from a book you don't copy too much of it else you risk it being conceived as a rip-off of it.
     
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  6. callumt2904
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    As for the MC business I was in a rush to complete the post and I worded it horribly. This is just one of my MC's that I am trying to develop as if I have this story line I will be able to create the other story lines which some how links to this one.

    As for the dragon shape shift thing. It does sound a little like the Targaryen family and I probably won't go with the incest thing. These dragons are going to be conquering or not that I have planned to, they are more of a deterrent and maybe they never show their true form to the world maybe they just want to live in peace in the lands they have previously claimed but humans being humans want to expand and come across this place? Maybe there are different types of dragons, one for each element? This is something I will need a little help from to make sure I do not head to near to GRRM idea.

    As for the rebellion thing I am not sure how I want to do it. Maybe the MC family didn't start it and they don't all die and just get trapped in the centre of things.

    As for the Warg thing I didn't think of it like the Start one, clearly that must have been where the idea came from but I was wanting to go in the direction of them whispering rather than visions.

    Overall, I am not really sure what I want to do I feel like it probably is heading a little bit too much towards GRRM ideas and I am not too sure on what I should add to stray away from that.
     
  7. taariya
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    taariya Member

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    Personally, I like Path 1 the best:

    Path 1:

    Civil war is great for destruction and chaos because it can last for decades, involve international relationships (i.e. the French egged on and supported warring HRE princes during the religious wars to keep the empire divided and weak), and spell enormous consequences for the losers and the country as a whole. Some immediate questions I have, though, are: why would the Dragons awake for a civil war? Is war so uncommon in this world that the war is notable, or is the internal conflict what makes it notable whereas other wars aren't? When specifically do the Dragon's awake--while the war is happening and the outcome is yet to be decided (so do they take sides and rule against the MC's family for some reason) or after the MC's family has already lost and the new government has done something particularly heinous? Personally, I think it might be interesting/"good" if the war has a peculiarly high death toll attached to it, as happens when a new weapon or combat method is devised which allows death at a far grander scale than ever before witnessed (i.e. during World War II) or the war somehow goes completely against the traditions/values/etc. which the Rulers desire most to protect. I think that kind of a thing is a good enough reason for ancient(?) hidden creatures to want to reemerge.

    Path 2:
    Not as keen on this one. It seems comparatively boring. Now I'm sure your idea for this path is more detailed/fleshed out that that one sentence, but I can't see starvation as the kind of thing that would cause enough drastic, widespread chaos to warrant these rulers from waking up any more than some other economic problem would, unless you go down a few specific roads. A) Hungry people are weaker and sicker--famines within Europe due to crop failure and bad weather contributed to the spread of the plague, because malnutrition = weakened immune systems = susceptibility to disease. Now maybe the starvation is a prelude to some biological weapon or general epidemic that wipes out a big part of the population, which can of course cause massive economic problems that get blamed on the family who started it all. B) Hungry people generally want food quite badly. During the French Revolution(s), a lot of peasant support and one of the most notable events (angry women storming the palace at Versailles, attacking Marie Antoinette, and taking Louis XVI captive) came in part from their literal starvation and anger at the government and reformers alike for not doing enough to fix the problem. You could even spin this into an international affair easily.

    General things:

    How do people feel about the Dragon Rulers before they expose themselves and take power? How long has it been since any human (presuming they are so) has seen a Dragon Ruler in the flesh? Do people believe in them--are they an accepted part of history, are they some myth that people like to tell for the sake of teaching values/instilling fear but few actually believe, are they some kind of God-like figures that some people believe in and worship but others mock the existence of, or are they completely unknown to human beings to the extent that mentioning their existence would get you branded insane?

    Why did they decide to hide? Has any human being ever tried to take advantage of the legend/accepted reality of their existence and absence for their own means, what were the results, did it affect how people felt about the Dragon Rulers? What kinds of misconceptions are floating about in the populace about these beings?

    To be clear, those aren't necessarily questions you have to answer in this thread, just ones I thought could help you develop the history
     
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  8. Tomlan
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    Tomlan Member

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    You shouldn't be actively avoiding his ideas, just write what you want to write and what feels best to you. This is your world that you're creating and thus you can have free reign over it. All I would suggest is looking at the parallels between other works, because people will always make comparisons between that and the big sellers in the genre, that is inevitable, just don't give them any more ammunition than they already have :)
     
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  9. callumt2904
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    callumt2904 Member

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    For your points given in General things, I like the idea that they are stories of teaching values/instilling fear and maybe this story hints at why they disappeared for so long. Maybe their shape shifting abilities reply on some greater power maybe an object lost in this mythical world and/or maybe they have to be near this object for their powers to work, maybe the closer they get the stronger their power. I also hinted at something towards a dragon for each element which I guess could link to some kind of Godlike abilities although I will probably stray from the idea of them being gods as well as having a dragon for each element otherwise it will be like the Greek Gods if I am thinking along the right lines.

    Maybe their reappearance is all part of a prophecy that does not have anything to do with the civil war but it is just a coincidence that this happens at the same time or during the break out of the war. Maybe their is an island somewhere in this world, most likely the centre, that people have tried to explore but once they go their they never return which could possibly link to some form of sacrifice?
     
  10. taariya
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    taariya Member

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    A god for each element doesn't really sound reminiscent of the Greek gods in my view. As far as I remember, there was a Greek god for everything, not just the elements, and the extents of their power or concerns was never really clear.

    The downside of making their reemergence a coincidence is that you then have to put in more effort to make the explanation of why they would happen to show up during a civil war believable to avoid the appearance of mere contrivance/plot convenience. The upside is that it could become interesting, entertaining, and tragic (depending on your storyline's bend) in the same way that many of the tales of the Greek Gods are. They have emotions and lives and flaws and personality the way that humans do, and sometimes the fate of a human being or of humanity as a whole comes simply as a result of internal conflict or the Gods' own chance actions and not intentional interference or destiny. In some way it emphasizes the powerlessness/irrelevance of human beings when beings can have such a large impact without really intending it or caring about it.

    When I read your post, especially of the island sacrifice idea, what immediately came to mind is the misconception among the populace that these ancient beings have emerged during the civil war to save them or something whereas it was just coincidence and these beings really only want humans for sacrifices, but go along with the idea of them being benevolent and omnipotent or something for their own benefit. Don't know if that goes with the image you're trying to set up of these dragons (good or evil) but yeah.
     
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