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  1. JamesFree
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    JamesFree Member

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    Looking to create an intertwining twist of a plot!

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by JamesFree, Sep 6, 2008.

    Hey guys, thanks in advance.
    A. I've written about 40 pages of my latest story without giving much thought to the overall plot and instead working on the initial vision I had. Basically, it's a fantasy story following a few characters and their careers in a large rebel organization dedicated to overthrowing this nasty theocracy. So, naturally :p I want to have this massive internal struggle for my protagonist(s) where all the clues point to this god, that they're denouncing, being real. Scandalous. What's the best way to do this? Characters hearing divine voices in their heads that they ignore at first, then listen to, and find it is helpful? Rebel officers being discovered as total zealots? (BTW, I've named the god Vuota. It's kind of a romance-languages summary of the word 'void,' which is what this god represents in the story.) Clues that point to an eventual huge rift? Internal conflict? Or more literal, such as mysterious storm clouds above a battlefield that open to reveal a dark, blank sky (void) which lightning jumps from to kill enemy vicars? Any input is appreciated, really, anything, I'm quite lost right now.

    B. About magic use in the novel- My own (hopefully original?) idea was to think of magic as like a mental muscle, behaving in all the ways of physical muscle- that is to say, "lightweight" spells are virtually effortless to a strong user and can be repeated many times/held for long periods without fatigue. Overstressing your mental magic muscle ( xD ), I imagine, causes a draining of thought, ie dizzyness, strange feelings, confusion, rapid mood changes, feeling tired. Spells would be learned through instruction from another mage, and cast with willpower/concentration or whatnot. Has this been done? I know it's inevitable that it will be pretty similar to other works but I wish to be original.

    C. What the heck should I name this story/novel? Something contemporary, austere like "Nothing"? That's what I was thinking (except less stupid.) Don't worry, I'll have some epic tie-together theme of blankness that will make the title a quintuple entendre.
     
  2. ABMiller86
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    ABMiller86 Member

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    With fantasy stories i find it extremely helpful to write a... database of knowledge about this world you have created; maps of the kingdoms, history, gods, empires both old and new, important figures.

    You use the word internal struggle... something that i think would be cool is instead of a divine voice have it be either a member of the team or someone that the main character (s) see at pivital moments or scenes that you decide.

    As far as your magic use, and wanting to be original, i havent seen anything like that though given the amount of fantasy fiction out there i would not be surprised if there was... this not to be taken as an insult to your concept. The trick isnt always to find a new idea, but finding a way to execute ANY idea in an original way.

    PM me if you want/need any help or anything.
     
  3. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    I too find the concept of internal struggle to be way more compelling than hearing divine voices, or seeing lightning hit bad guys and such. Internal struggle, especially in terms of faith, is something that a lot of people can identify with. (Also the fact that hearing divine voices, or having lightning hit bad guys, to convince the character that the god is real can be a literal Deus Ex Machina. It seems like the easy way out. "Hey, you don't believe in Me? Well, I'll show you." If only matters of faith were always so simple to resolve!)

    If you're unsure how to do this, you can look at times in your life when you doubted something that was later shown to be true, or you can look into reading stories of other people of lapsed/regained faith and such.

    I apologize I haven't suggestions regarding your other points.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    B: Who cares if it's been done? It almost certainly has! Don't worry about that, just worry about writing well, with imagination, power, humor, and heart.

    C: Leave the title for now. Make a working title if you must, but always, always, always consider the title subject to change. After everything is written, you may very well have a flash of inspiration on a title that pulls together a theme or element that runs through the entire story.

    Stories start off with a title and an opening scene. These are the things you are most likely to put off or redo after everything else is done, so the first read is often the last written.

    A title is like a label on a supermarket product. It's pure marketing. A publisher is more likely to change a title than anything else in a submitted piece of writing.
     
  5. ciavyn
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    ciavyn Senior Member

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    I can't help with direct details, but I can tell you how I came up with own plots twists and subplots. Take a blank sheet of paper, or pull up notepad on your computer. Type in all the questions you listed here - one right under the next. Then start at the top, and take the first question. Does is create even more questions? Write those underneath. And keep going until you have exhausted all the frustrating points of that question. Then look back through - do you know any of the answers to any of the questions? Do this for each main question you have, and before long, you'll begin to answer them.

    When you are done, string your answers together, creating a paragraph, and then you will have a synopsis, and perhaps even a working outline. I do this every time I have an issue with my story I'm not sure about. It's also how I make sure my subplots are fully developed.

    See if it helps! Good luck! :)
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Don't twist a plot too much, or it will surely break.
     
  7. kazel
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    kazel Member

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    I think the key to keeping the internal struggle is to have evidence that may point to the existence of the god, but nothing conclusive. If there are divine voices, or giant voids, that's pretty obvious and you don't have much internal struggle. If you have characters doing slightly more that should be able to do, something that could be explained without miracles, but not easily. A town under siege having food last much longer than it should, oil burning for seven days, an apprentice able to complete an adept level spell then going back to apprentice level, guards not noticing things that they should have, doors being unlocked when by all rights they should be locked, stuff like that. You want many small things that add up rather than one big thing.
     
  8. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    As far as direct evidence of the power of this god, and if that should be shown, I think there is no problem with it. But what about internal struggle? Not sure if you watched the last season of Stargate SG-1. In the show the Orai openly prove and display their power. The internal struggle came into play because of how they used that power. They converted plants. They said convert to our ways or die.

    They asked Daniel Jackson if he doubted their power. He said I do not doubt your power, but I do question how you use your power. I refuse to worship the Orai because you use your power for evil.

    The Orai argued that they bring peace to a planet. That their way, Origin, brings peace. Sometimes you have to destroy the evil to bring goodness.

    The point being that you can have internal struggle, even if the power of the god(s) is openly displayed.
     

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