1. Eurlo
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    Eurlo Banned

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    I want my book to be different than the usual, "predictable" book(fantasy)

    Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by Eurlo, Mar 17, 2011.

    Ok so I'm working on my book idk how far I have got but I do know I'm kinda lacking originality in most of my book. Yeah I have a few tricks up my sleeve, but idk if just those alone will be enough. I am writing about wolves in a fantasy style with maybe some reality in there somewhere.
    So my question is, "How do I combine made up worlds,magic/elemental powers, love, Fighting into something original? I mean I have my own world(s), some bits of a made up language, elements, a secret power and I think it's all turning up to (non-original)"
    I have an idea to twist this story up like no other but, when it comes to writing it I seem to think it will confuse my readers, so how do I make it less compilicated? And it also is being written for young adult(13-19) and between adult (19+) so there is some cussing issues I seem to stumble across. I read on the forums here that someone said, "write what you want and let your editor handle all the cussing." is this good advice?
    Any help would be great! Thanks in advance!:)
     
  2. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Make up your own fantasy races, magic rules etc. It's not going to be original if your races are humans, elves, dwarves and orcs; similarly, it won't be seen as original if everyone's powers are connected to their swords or to a jewel.

    Make sure everything is your own.
     
  3. Eurlo
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    Eurlo Banned

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    -_- well there goes that idea out the window!
     
  4. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    It starts with your characters - they will be what makes your story unique and different. With a fantasy unless it is set on earth the world is also a character in it's own right.
     
  5. Eurlo
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    Eurlo Banned

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    Umm pm me buddy regarding this...
     
  6. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    As far as the editor thing. This seems to be a common misconception. It's your job to make sure you have researched the genre you are writing for and to know what parameters you need to fit into. When it goes to an agent or publisher it should be 100% final copy. Although your editor may suggest changes, you cannot expect them to rewrite your cussing issues for you. Furthermore, you'll only be hurting yourself, if they have to choose between 10 books and the other 9 need very little changed while yours needs language changes throughout to fit into the genre you've chosen, you're out. If you don't know what you're doing enough to get that right, they're not going to waste time working with you.

    I don't mean that to be harsh, but realistic. You owe it to yourself to do the best you can, before submitting and that includes research.
     
  7. Untold
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    Untold New Member

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    I once read, not to draw the whole story out and stick to. Create the characters, begin writing and let the changes be made as you go. One character, i.e. a world will change as you write. Not everyone ends with what they started with. As far as the magic goes, between books, video games, and movies there should be something that could strike up an idea.

    As far as cursing, you could always just insinuate that a person cursed instead of actually write the word.

    Have fun and enjoy your new world.
     
  8. KillianRussell
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    KillianRussell Contributing Member

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    I am not real sure how much power I have in so far as what I want the story to be.Well developed characters dictate the tone and direction, even the target market.I wanted to be Steinbeck but My female MC grew so train wreck loveable that she took control steering us toward a "chick lit" genre feel.

    Knowing that was the new direction, I invested energy to reading the penis-less genre to get a feel for the "sound."

    Current contemporary authors in 'chick lit ' are masters at developing character empathy , I let them be my teachers.

    My goal is to make the reader fall in love or fall in hate with my MC.
    Confusion a cumlative result of both love and hate. Once the reader is hooked, the confusion morphs dramatic tension ....ya dig
     
  9. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    How do writers combine elements of the real world to make something original? What will make your novel stand out isn't some quirky fantasy element which will only be new for a few paragraphs anyway. It's all down to the story you tell and how well you tell it.
     
  10. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Do something that has never been done before, or do something new but add a new twist.
     
  11. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    One way to have something a little different is to simply ask a few "What if?" questions that might take your story in a direction you hadn't anticipated, and the reader might not have.

    If 'it is complicated,' give the reader only what they need to know and it context within the story to allow the reader to learn and understand as they go...not a long 'as you know or should know' type of presentation.

    As far as cussing, it's up to you. Check out books that are similar to what you hope to write and have published. See how those authors dealt with the issue. It will also provide some idea with repect to possible publishers/agents that you would want to target upon completion of the novel.
     
  12. Eurlo
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    Eurlo Banned

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    Re:exactly.....

    That was my idea like example:Cinderella, everyone knows the story front and back but what If one wrote it like the other way?

    Like instead Cinderella is like this bossy person and the others are her siblings but they don't stay together instead is transferred to different families and they have a ball cominging up? So they have to band together to get back to their original family and make it to the ball in a timely manner?
     
  13. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would go read some norm breaking fantasy:

    Neil Gailman is a writer you should check out. His biggest epic is in comic format "The Sandman", but changed the fantasy genre when it came. "American Gods", "Anansi Boyse boys", "Coraline" is modern day settings. "Stardust" (as in the movie) got a bit more traditional fantasy setting.

    Jim Butchers "Codex Alera" got an interesting magi system and is set in a roman like society.

    Robin Hobbs "Shamans crossing" got an interesting american colonylike setting, and yet again very interesting magic.

    Jaqueline Carey has the renaissance setting close to Europe, yet with cultural twist making it unique in "Kushiels Dart".
    But an even more impressive work is her sort of homage story to Lord of the rings, and all other Heroes Journey stories, yet totally different. "Banewreaker" A Tale about the shades of grey rather then the black and white told from the dark side. Showing how much about fantasy can be changed by a slight shift in perspective.

    Brandon Sanderssons books can also be both taking a look at, known for their good magic system. I would go for either the stand alone book "Warbreaker" or the "Mistborn" series.
     
  14. Eurlo
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    Eurlo Banned

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    I Will take a look. I think I have a new twisted plot to the "use of magic" !:D
     
  15. Eurlo
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    Eurlo Banned

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    Hmmm...just come up with a even more twisted "use of magic" idea:D
     
  16. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I never understood the logic of 'Fantasy = Elves, Hobbits, Magic, Epics, Journeys, Wars'. This whole line of the genre is such a beaten old cliche it turns people, like me, away from it.
     
  17. Allegro Van Kiddo
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    Allegro Van Kiddo Contributing Member

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    I used to hate fantasy, but in the last few years I'm getting back into it. What hooked me were several writers who invented new races, but more than that, they inserted personality into their characters.

    I find new races fascinating but after the initial description of how they look, how they act and think is what's interesting. So, you can have a gray skinned elf type guy and I will write him as having one type of personality and you will do another.

    Unless you write a straight action story without much personality, your wolf story is going to be different from the other guy's wolf story.
     
  18. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    If that is the picture you have of the genre, then you haven't read the right stuff.
     
  19. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    What about Eragon? That's a recent bestseller.

    It's not that I'm saying that's the whole genre, I know for a fact it isn't. H.P. Lovecraft is described as fantasy and up until last year he was my favorite writer. I'm just stating it's unwise to think fantasy novels are all about the same things - and I see a lot of people who do think this way.
     
  20. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    The cheap mass produced soft pornographic romance novels found at supermarkets with a manly glamor model posing in dim lightning in the cover is the type of romance novel that sell the most. Yet no one would judge the whole romance genre based on thous books.

    Yet I find it interesting that even experienced readers judge the whole fantasy genre that way.
     
  21. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I'm not bashing Fantasy - I'm bashing this weird idea a lot of people seem to have about it. That it's just about Elves and Dwarfs and Magic. I see it on here, and I seen it in the school I helped at last year. I've seen it a lot and I'm just warning against thinking this way.
     
  22. JeffS65
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    JeffS65 Contributing Member

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    Write a story first that tells of something relatable to all. Fantasy stories are still, in the end, about the human experience even if experienced through characters that are not exactly human.

    What I find with fantasy writing is that writers get to caught up in the world they create and the mechanisms and twists etc...pitch all that.

    Tell a story first.

    Once you know what drives the human interest part of your story, the rest of the things that make it a fantasy can easily be wrapped around the core human story.
     
  23. Eurlo
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    Eurlo Banned

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    Trust memines going to give "New" an all newmeaning I have come up with the best twists ever :D
     
  24. katica
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    katica Senior Member

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    Except that I've heard a lot of people judge all of romance based on just those books. In fact, my boyfriend was complaining about how romance sucks for this reason to me the other day.

    Anyway, the fact is, that all genres are repetitive. For books to all be able to fit in a certain category, they must have something in common. It's shallow for people to take those similarities and judge the whole genre based on those things.

    It's like saying:

    I hate horror. People are always getting murdered in it and its usually by either a psychopath or something supernatural. Obviously all horror books must suck.

    I hate sci-fi. The majority of it is about aliens and it often takes place in outer space and not on earth. Or scientists who have gone mad and wrong and destroyed the world as we know it in some way.

    I hate comedy. It's never serious. The characters are always doing ridiculous things and the intent is usually to make you laugh. It has too many exaggerations and scenarios that no one in real life would get into.

    I hate action. The stories are never peaceful. There's blood and always a hero (or group of heroes) standing at the top of it and slaying everyone. It's just glorified violence and all stories are the same. They all involve slaying and fighting a bunch of people to get to fight for what is good and right.

    Etc. Etc.

    My point is, I could criticize any genre of literature by pointing out the similarities inside of it and claiming that its all the same and therefore cliche, but it's a poor criticism.

    The thing about fantasy is to take old things that people are familiar with (elves, dwarves, fairies, magic, etc.) and make them your own. People read fantasy to get a new twist on the familiar, although inventing new races and things (if you can make them work) is awesome as well.

    Let me give you some examples, by showing several popular versions of vampires out there:

    In world of darkness: Vampires rarely kill humans. To suck a human dry of blood is to make them into a vampire and it's actually very difficult to finish a human off. They live in a modern day setting where they are divided into five different clans, each clan contains vampires with very differing characteristics. Vampires are killed through decapitation and fire and under certain other special circumstances.

    Vampire Diaries: Vampires kill humans quite often. You can only make a vampire if you drink enough blood to kill a human and they have the venom of another vampire already circulating through their blood. They have a weakness to the sun and running water. They can only walk around during the day if they are wearing a special kind of stone.

    Twilight: Vampires almost always kill humans. If they don't, the venom travels to their heart, makes them stop bleeding and become vampires. Their skin is made of a marble like substance that glitters in the sun light. They have to be burned to be killed. Vampires have been ripped to shreds and still the little pieces of their bodies have come together and reformed over time.

    Vampire Academy: Vampires are born, not made. They are generally peaceful and do not kill humans. It's the half-vampires who are violent. They drink blood from only willing subjects and they are very beautiful.

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Vampires are made through some kind of ritual (I forget) which ends with them being buried underground and digging their way out to life. They have two forms: their demon form and their human-like form. They lose their soul when they are made. They are killed with stakes or through decapitation or fire. They have a weakness for holy water and crosses.

    All these examples are vampires. They are similar. They all drink blood. They are all horror-like creatures with similar weaknesses, but each author took vampires and made them their OWN. They tweaked them just enough so they weren't all the same thing.

    So take all these "cliche" races in fantasy and make them special to you. Give them background stories of how they were created, cultures, and special features that make them resemble similar races, but aren't a cliched copy of them.

    Most elves are thin and tall with large pointy ears. What if you made yours short, for example? (Obviously it would be more detailed than that.) Most elves know magic and love nature. What if your elves were forced to serve nature because the earth goddess had taken them into slavery, but they actually hated it? What if your elves were addicted to magic and being destroyed by it (like the blood elves are in world of war craft)?

    If your characters gain their powers through jewels or swords, what makes those jewels or swords special or different than other stories about jewels of swords? Can they only activate them under special circumstances? Maybe they are all actually trapped souls who empower the people they chose? Or whatever you can come up with!

    Add an interesting plot line surrounding all of it (involving the conflicts within their cultures and with others, tension between characters, and an overall adventure storyline for example) and you have your fantasy story.

    This is what I do at least. Fantasy isn't about creating something absolutely one hundred percent original. It's about improving what is already there.
     

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