1. Mapleheart
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    Mapleheart Member

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    Issues with story line

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Mapleheart, Jun 9, 2008.

    I am writing a story called 'ancient prophets'.
    Summary: Long ago, an ancient evil plagued the lands of Sagoia. When five beings, wielding magical powers and weapons, appeared out of no where, the evil was sealed away, never to rise and wreak havoc again. Or so it was thought. Thousands of years later, it has risen again. Will warriors rise again, or is Sagoia doomed to be destroyed?

    I got as far as the first three chapters, now it's just dead.
     
  2. Scribe Rewan
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    Scribe Rewan Contributing Member

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    Put a really big twist in. Prophetical warriors with fabled magic weapons and an ancient evil that was sealed away is a bit cliched. (I'm not saying it's not good, just depends how you do it). So put a big twist in.

    For example (assume this is middle earth, for a minute, as I know nothing about your actual fantasy world): How about, one of the heroes was an Orc? Shock, horror, Omg etc...

    Or: Say for example it was five good heroes fighting five villians, and that's what people thought. Why not have it turn out that it was actually 4 good guys verses 6 bad ones, and one of them turned halfway through. So actually one of the revered heros was actually evil?

    This probably can't be used in your story, because of your world and whatever you've done with it so far, but these are just examples of how you can twist the narrative/ readers perceptions. A huge twist would add a huge amount of possibilities.

    But that's just a suggestion. Hope it helped, sorry if it didn't!
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Clearly, the central conflict revolves around banishing the evil permanently. But have you thought of individual conflicts/barrirers/conflicts for each of your five heroes? What about personality clashes, and inner doubts? Each conflict generates its own subplot and story segment, and helps develop the characters as well.

    To Scribe: I'm not strong proponent of "twists." Too often they simply come out of the blue as a gimmick to try to liven up a faltering story.

    However, I do appreciate a few carefully sprinkled in reversals.

    But wait! a reversal is just another word for a twist, you say. Absolutely correct. But reversal is a more subtle term, and that's what I think they should be in your story. A reversal might be a cliche setup for a scene, like shuffling footsteps in the darkness behind your characters on a foggy night, then you hear a friend's greeting instead of the expected attack. Or two people getting increasingly angry at one another, and about when you expect them to start swinging fists, one of them laughs, and the tension just falls away.

    A major surprise in the flow of the central conflict isn't something you want to simply throw in at the end. Instead, it should be an integral part of the story from the start, so that it follows naturally and doesn't look like an afterthought.
     
  4. Mapleheart
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    Mapleheart Member

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    ....I was with you up until you started talking about reversals.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You don't have to use reversals. They are just one technique for livening up a story. I raised it because Scribe Rewan spoke of "twists."
     
  6. kisonakl
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    kisonakl Member

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    I like the idea of paradigm shifts, where basically you do something totally unexpected to pull away the carpet from under the reader, but still make it mean something important, and for good reason. Example: LOST season 3 finale.
     
  7. Scribe Rewan
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    Scribe Rewan Contributing Member

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    Yeah sorry, I didn't mean just throw a twist in, and it didn;t have to be a major one. I assumed you were making the plot up as you go along, and so you could shape the story around the twist, rather than trying to just stick it in.
     
  8. Mapleheart
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    Mapleheart Member

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    I usually do make my stories up as I go. So I'll keep the twist/reversal thing in mind!
     
  9. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Who is telling the story? Is it being told through the eyes of a mortal...or one of the beings with magical power...or by a narrator...how is the history being explained so that the present conflict unfolds? Is there a protagonist who can "discover" how the original super beings were summoned?

    For example, an unassuming peasant might take a short cut through an old ruin (or hide there during evil attack). He/she played among the decayed stone walls as a child, but never before noticed the very old sage who lives there in secrecy. Now, with the rise of evil, the sage (who is actually a keeper of the ancient knowledge) takes the peasant under his tutelage and a newly trained evil-fighter is born. Of course, there are tons of plot possibilities as the new hero "learns" from the ancient one...or perhaps he fails at his training but his younger sister finds the "parchments" under his bed and inadvertently they discover that the magic works for her.

    I'm not suggesting this example as "your" story line, simply giving you a sample of how vivid themes can be derived from what you've crafted so far.

    .....NaCl
     
  10. Mapleheart
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    Mapleheart Member

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    ....Perhaps I should just...put up what I have so far in the novel forums...It might be easier for you guys to get what I'm doing.
     

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