1. Gfire
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    Gfire Member

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    My Opening and Concept

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Gfire, Nov 14, 2011.

    Hello, everyone. I am working on a plot, and I wanted to see if the concept is good. It is a fantasy story with some "hero" characters (comparable perhaps to mythological heroes.)

    This is the opening to it, I was planning on using it to start the prologue but I think it works standalone (being by itself before the first chapter.)

    They didn’t know it, but their land was on the verge of war. There would be not one living thing in the region with a life unchanged. None would return to their former lives after what was about to occur. A shadow was on the horizon. A great foe was about to emerge. A foe which could not be defeated but by a hero, and a war which could not be won without a few.

    The story follows three students at a college of magic (they aren't learning how to cast spells so much as learning about magical things and how to deal with them, light stuff) whose old professor gives them heroic ability without their knowledge. They graduate soon after, and their power begins appearing bit by bit getting them out of all sorts of trouble. The exact things they go to do and what ends up happening is a bit complicated, but obviously a war starts and they start playing a pivotal role while discovering their own powers.

    That is, I have some good plot which I'm happy with and don't really want to change (or post) but I don't know if I ruin it by taking the hero thing too far.

    I don't know if this is a good concept overall, I fear making the main characters too powerful could be a pretty bad thing.

    Alternative:

    I'm thinking of changing things somewhat. They'd still be heroes (not necessarily the only heroes,) but not superheroes. I'd cut out the part where the professor gives them the magic enhancer stuff. Rather, they'd become heroes based less in some physical advantage but in character, which the reader can relate to more. They might not be as strong in battles, but my plot wasn't based around a lot of battles they needed to fight it. You can save the world during times of war without fighting the battles, after all. The professor will still be there, but probably to give them advice.
     
  2. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    The concept sounds kind of concept-y. In fact, one might call it an idea, or a notion even.
    My point is that we're not here to validate your ego. If you think it's good, good for you. If you don't think it's good, make it better or don't write it. But make your own decisions.

    However, I do have to say that yes, making a character too powerful is a pretty bad thing.
     
  3. Gfire
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    Gfire Member

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    To be honest I was debating on whether to post it, but I figured there's no harm in asking.

    I also do have more of a plot idea beyond this "concept", but I wasn't sure how much detail I wanted to go into. The plot was supposed to be more important than this whole hero power thing, and I didn't add that in until later. This is the part I'm really questioning, the plot stuff I don't want to post because I'm pretty happy with it. But I guess just posting this concept alone doesn't really let you give any helpful suggestions.

    I updated it with a little more information.
     
  4. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    The way you describe it, it's very Harry, Hermione, and Ron, with Voldemort as the great foe and Dumbledore as the old professor.

    You may write it very differently, but the summary you've given sounds just like the Harry Potter stories, and I want to caution you against being thought of as just an imitator.

    If you care at all about being original, try to stay away from magic schools, or vampires and werewolves falling in love with humans.

    Sorry, but the prototypes of these ideas are already extremely successful, and there are already many imitators.
     
  5. Gfire
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    Oh that's true. I guess a school of magic is rather Harry Potter isn't it? Although they would have learned completely different things, and my characters would have graduated the school in the very beginning. Considering how many fantasy works include magic, I think it's fair that more than one are allowed to have magic schools. As long as they are different enough.

    I really don't wish to be an imitator... I haven't even read Harry Potter. I wasn't thinking Harry Potter at all, I was originally going to make the main character attend a school which his parents had wanted him to, and I arrived at a magic school in memory of a picture I once saw called "the college of magical knowledge" which I liked. In theory, I could go back and change it to a completely non-magical school and somehow work out the plot, if it seems necessary.

    However, I'm thinking of changing things somewhat. They'd still be heroes (not necessarily the only heroes,) but not superheroes. I'd cut out the part where the professor gives them the magic enhancer stuff. Rather, they'd become heroes based less in some physical advantage but in character, which the reader can relate to more. They might not be as strong in battles, but my plot wasn't based around a lot of battles they needed to fight it. You can save the world during times of war without fighting the battles, after all. The professor will still be there, but probably to give them advice.
     
  6. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    I think this opening paragraph is Ok.
    I think it is solely based on negation meaning there is a lot of information relying what is NOT there.

    ''They didn’t know it, but their land was on the verge of war. There would be not one living thing in the region with a life unchanged. None would return to their former lives after what was about to occur. A shadow was on the horizon. A great foe was about to emerge. A foe which could not be defeated but by a hero, and a war which could not be won without a few''.

    so I think may be changing the style of how you introduce the concept.
    I would rely on POSITIVE information ONLY to draw the reader in. Too much NEGATIVITY can lead to switching off.

    I would just put it this way, Ihope you do not mind me altering it the way I see it.

    ''the land was on the verge of war. the region would become deserted and life untouched.
    returning to former life would be an impossible idea/task. A shadow was on the horizon.
    a great foe was about to emerge. an undefeated hero and a war about to be won with many.''


    the reader is clear on what to expect because you have introduce using a POSITIVE INFORMATIVE style.

    I hope this help a little.
     
  7. SnappyUK
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    SnappyUK Member

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    I prefer your second approach, but given the revised view, does it need to be a college of magic? The philosopher and author George Santayana is quoted as saying, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Could your students be in a class of ancient historians, taking an unpopular course? Their advantage in the forthcoming war may consist of both their strength of character and their knowledge of something from history - perhaps something "magical" - or maybe just relatively mundane such as a secret network of tunnels under their city that allows the resistance to pop up unexpectedly and ambush the aggressors.
    Another thought might be to look at the era in which your story is set. rather than being contemporary, is this a world on the cusp of technological advances where the 'old' ways of doing things are unfashionable? Your aggressor may have technical superiority and so underestimates the foes he is facing. And so on...
     
  8. Gfire
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    Cacian:

    I would think that the paragraph in it's current form would intrigue the reader, because it is mysterious. I guess I don't really want it to be that clear in what to expect. It's hard to know whether that would work. Overall, my story is wrought with far too much negativity, so it is something I'm worried about. Perhaps if I added hopeful sentence at the end like "But a few heroes there would be" so it could end on a more positive note.

    SnappyUK:

    That's good thinking. I do want what they learn there to be of some significance, and it certainly does not need to be magic. I was thinking, though, it could be a fairly useless study in day-to-day life (considering magic is fairly weak.) I could keep the magic concept but stay as far away as possible from any "spellcasting", and keep it to the study of magical knowledge. I think it would include a lot of history, from a perspective of what to and not to do when encountering something involving magic. It would seem totally useless until the need arises.

    The enemy doesn't really have a technological advantage. At least, the forces which must be dealt with have been locked away for hundreds of years, to be set free by the more current enemy in the land.
     
  9. Patrick94
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    Patrick94 Active Member

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    '"region" seems a small word to me, I like how you weren't trying too hard with the writing, have you gone any farther into it? :)
     
  10. Gfire
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    I don't know, "land" might flow a little better.

    Yes, I've written quite a bit. I wrote some basic for the plot up until nearly the end, and today I started in on the first chapter. I wrote until it felt like a good endpoint for the chapter, around 2000 words, which seems short to me but there's a section in the middle which I have yet to write because it will take more thought and planning since it involves some details about the setting. I'm now about 500 words into chapter two.
     
  11. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    2000 words for a chapter isn't really that short. Hell, 2000 words can be an entire short story.
     
  12. Gfire
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    Yeah. I suppose you're right. Just by fleshing it out some and adding the missing section, it can certainly be in the 2500-3000 range, which is totally enough. 2000 is a little short for my taste, but it's really not something to worry about, especially at this point.
     

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