1. Tashanel
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    Tashanel Member

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    Key Item Development

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Tashanel, Mar 12, 2012.

    Hello,
    Now I'm working on my novel. But, still i have need more research about my detail. Let say, in my novel I have key item that related to whole plot. But, I'm stuck with "why key item always being like this?"

    Well my reference is a book from "Spiderwick's chronicle" that tell a lot of thing in there. But, that's kinda too often. I need some inspiration for my key item. But, suddenly I start to thinking, maybe I won't need a key item after all.

    My question is, how bout you? Do you have sacred key item that connect the whole plot (like book in spiderwick or ring in lord of the ring)? How do you manage to start tell this key item are sacred and the most important thing in the world (in the beginning, middle of conflict or in the end. Or maybe too important so put in every plot)? What should be considered in order to remain united the plot with this key item?

    If your work are doesn't have a sacred item, how's your story goes?


    Sorry, for asking too much.
    thanks before,
    sincerely


    Tashanel
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't have a key item as such, but I have energy streams made up of small insects/creature/fairies (no one really knows) they are what supply the universe with energy. My story is set in a universe that is inside god's body and they are the key to universal health. One of my character's has them as 'pets' or 'companions' they live in his pocket and seem to protect him in times of crisis and help keep him sane. They are just mentioned and there is a brief scene in my first fantasy.

    My urban fantasy my wizard has a parrot familiar that I guess would be like the key item. He is the source of the wizard's power/magic.
     
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  3. Tashanel
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    Tashanel Member

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    Wow. This is I call genius. I envy you to found such a thing :D

    This is kindly new, using living thing as the source (first time i heard). If it's a key item, how do you manage his divine talent (key item in my thought is an item that the most powerful in the world) too keep the story goes? Are you putting some weakness or everyone want his power? Do you have any suggestion what should and what should not to keep key item still a fancy item?
     
  4. Nakhti
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    Nakhti Banned

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    Wow. This I call CRAZINESS - what meds you on, hon???

    hehe

    Fairies that supply energy to a universe inside god's body - whatever next? A world on the back of 4 elephants balancing on a cosmic turtle?? :D

    I don't have a 'key item' in my novel, which is historical fiction. My characters have goals but they are not tied to any specific object - although my MC does have an amulet which he thinks protects him. It's the Eye of Horus, and he becomes identified with Horus when he defeats a hippo that kills a couple of people at a river festival (in the myth, Horus defeated Seth who took the form of a hippo). So it is kinda tied to the themes of the novel. Also, when his wife is pregnant (and being terrorised by someone trying to make her think she is cursed so she'll miscarry) he gives the amulet to her. When she finds it smashed, she thinks her curse has spread to her husband because she has destroyed his protection too.

    I don't know if that's the kinda thing you mean though. The way I slip it into the story is just by having him kiss the amulet when he escapes a dangerous situation, or touch it for luck or to ward off evil. When he defeats the hippo he checks the amulet is still there, and then makes offerings to Horus in thanks.
     
  5. Tashanel
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    Tashanel Member

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    Sounds like a key item for me. Do you mention it a lot? What is your exactly thought about a key item should or should not? Do you have a plot that make those charm in danger and the main character go to the rescue?
     
  6. Nakhti
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    Nakhti Banned

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    It's not powerful, at least not intrinsically, but it is a powerful symbol for the wearer which makes them feel protected and invulnerable so that they might take more risks. I've only mentioned it once in the first 5 chapters, but I might mention it again in the next one - a priest of Horus has been murdered and my character goes to investigate. I might make him start to fiddle with the amulet as he enters the shrine to Horus where the murder took place, as if he is more conscious of it in that place. The statue of horus has also been decapitated, so it makes the MC wonder if there is any real protection in the amulet at all - if the god could not even protect himself, how can he protect others?

    I guess that is what an item of power has to be - anything that someone believes holds power. Once there is no belief in it, it has no power.
     
  7. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    LoL inside god's body was my childhood explanation of how there could be one god and he be everywhere - it was obvious we were in his belly ;) So Earth is kind of his intestines, and my planet is his heart/kidneys where the firefly fairies are cleansed/balanced - they are like blood cells and come in orange/red and white. I'd be dangerous on meds ;) When my planet becomes imbalanced it is like god has heart diease and it can kill him, when Earth is wrong he gets indigestion. The fairies came from insectshifters. It made sense a human or pre-mortal (a race that is a variation on immortal) in insect form who has an 'incident' with an insect would produce a little human with wings. These are fireflies with pre-mortal fire person DNA - at least I think (they have yet to tell me otherwise but I haven't written the fire element story). This all started because my action adventure story character needed to observe something, but no one else recognise him, so I changed him into a bird. (I then needed to explain how that happened)


    The main weakness is it belongs to a human. Gus (my wizard) is more subtle than my not quite high fantasy stories and the parrot is just a variation on the black cat. I wanted something more portable and a parrot can sit on his shoulder. So similar to Lyra's Daemon (From Dark Materials) etc The parrot is a previous family member reincarnated who was the original source of the power, his grandson Johnny has a small black kitten that was his mother and is guide.

    I think keeping the key item to simple everyday items makes it more special in a story, like Aladdin with his magic lamp or the ubiquitous black cat. Any person can own one and it helps with imagination and bringing the story alive. So maybe a shoehorn, coat hanger, cruet set, vacuum cleaner, doorbell etc.
     
  8. Tashanel
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    Tashanel Member

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    That! (the one I bold) That give me a idea! Sure, i will write about key item, that everyone can have it! My previous key item is a book. A book that write by human (this human is "santa claus of hollow earth" you can tell :D )for fairy, then fairy give it to every kid at Surface earth. But the problem is, the book are not source of magic. My theme was "magical creature" without magic (Like tolkien explanation about magic; The hobbit called it magic but the truth is just advance invention that hobbit doesn't know at all. My magic are something that you can explain from logic, but no one ever know about it. So they call it magic).

    But, when the stories flow, I feel like it is similiar to spiderwick. So, i change the purpose of the book. And thinking about another key item. This key item, must something that can attach to my main character (which is have Autism spectrum Disorder) so she have courage to explore (this is the hardest part to make her colaborate with my plot) and also something that everyone can have :D (this is from you)

    Now i need to make it reasonable and thinking what was that key item? hmm. I kept thinking, without a key item my MC doesn't have any purpose to explore the hollow earth :(
     
  9. Afion
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    Afion Senior Member

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    Your key item could be some sort of figurine that your MC carries everywhere with her. Then she meets someone who recognises it as a object from a temple, that has immense power. :)
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Google MacGuffin.

    One of the most well known MacGuffins is the Maltese Falcon.
     
  11. Tashanel
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    Your two are genius! I really can see, my MacGuffin and the motive. It help a lot in my work!
     
  12. Phoenix Hikari
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    Phoenix Hikari Contributing Member

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    This is actually a very cool idea, living in God's body. I wanna read. :D

    I think my story has more than one key item. First a black and golden Swiss army knife, my MC carries that everywhere with him and in the end it reveals to be holding a secret code which will lead to another key item. The main key item is three holy/sacred books, they teach people how to use imagination to manipulate reality. It's a bit complicated and I haven't figured out much of how these books actually work but one of them is very dangerous and the MC has to find a way to destroy it. It gives the user/owner the ability to manipulate and command shadows. Not dark arts though, it's not magic.

    I'm not sure any story should really revolve around the key item, your see even in LOTR, the focus was not entirely on the ring but on many other things as well. The ring was merely a point that connects the beginning with the ending. The key item will make the purpose of the story but it has an expiration date on it. Once this item is found/destroyed/saved the purpose of it ends and what's left is how much the story evolved, how much the characters have influenced the reader... etc.
     
  13. Tashanel
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    Tashanel Member

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    Well that's fine too. What i mean is, not an item that focus on the item point of view. What we agree is, key item are the motive for protagonist (even antagonist). I can say, key item is the plot itself and in physically is real.
    But, you remind me what i mustn't do (just my analyzed from what i learn here and quote you). Not adding more to the story if the key item reach the limit. Key items have the out of date is true! Knowing "the trigger" of the story is more necessary.

    Is really helping :D
     

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