1. Brandon P.
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    Brandon P. Senior Member

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    Need help with finishing a fantasy short story plotline

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Brandon P., May 20, 2011.

    My story is set in a parallel world where humans and dinosaurs coexist, and the characters' culture is based off the Yoruba people of Nigeria. Here's a single-paragraph summary of what I've got so far:

    What's got me stumped is how to complete the story. I want Babajide to redeem himself and win his way back into the Egbe Ode, but how would he go around doing that?
     
  2. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    Hrm, maybe he is a bit nuts. A lot of contemporary science believes T-Rex was actually mostly just a scavenger, not the great hunting killer first thought, and training a team of scavengers wouldn't make for very healthy or tasty meat in most cases. And even still, trying to control, feed, train, and house a beast of that size? Doesn't seem smart, overall.

    What they'd want is perhaps a group of Deinonychus (what the velociraptors in Jurassic Park actually were, basically). Or, maybe a bunch of actual velociraptors (much, much smaller than in the movie) would work if the humans also had their own ways to hunt, too, to use the velociraptors kind of like hunting dogs to help track and bring down prey, but not solely.

    A t-rex though would be like getting a grizzly bear to help you fish, sure, they can fish alright, but is it worth trying to train and control a giant bear when a fishing pole would do?

    As to your other question, sorry, but you'll probably just have to figure it out on your own. Spend some time thinking through the story and writing out early scenes, maybe even writing a final scene where he IS redeemed, and eventually it will all work itself out as it needs (meaning from you, not from someone else who can't know the story only you can tell). Just keep working it out, it's what writers do.
     
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  3. Brandon P.
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    Brandon P. Senior Member

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    Actually the only paleontologist who has argued for T. Rex being only a scavenger is Jack Horner, and he's not taken seriously by most of his colleagues. The general consensus among paleonotologists is that T. Rex was a predator, albeit an opportunistic one that would scavenge if need be (as most carnivores are). We've even found healed T. Rex bite marks on Triceratops and hadrosaur bones that show that this dinosaur attacked still-living game.
     
  4. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have to agree with Popsicle on this. Using a T-rex to hunt is overkill. For one thing, something that big would require a lot of meat just for its own needs.

    I don't know much about Jack Horner, nor am I a dinosaur-nut :), but there are scavenger species today, such as hyenas, that do turn to hunting dangerous game when times are desperate. My point isn't to disprove Horner's collegues, but rather to prove that Horner's idea is still plausible.

    Besides, if your dinos have been around for a few additional million years, they should have evolved somewhat more than the ones we know. You can take a few creative liberties, if they are plausible. Michael Criton did it with some of his dinos when he wrote Jurrasic Park.
     
  5. Brandon P.
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    Brandon P. Senior Member

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    You guys have persuaded me to go with raptors instead of a T. Rex. Thanks!
     
  6. youbetterwork
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    youbetterwork New Member

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    Redemption as a theme can be quite powerful. Try a subplot where another character is redeemed for some small or trivial thing. Then you could draw parallels to the main plot.

    Babajide sees that the side character can do it, and uses the lesson for his even bigger, more heroic redemption.
     
  7. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    The main character finds an abandoned dinosaur young, tames it, and uses it to rescue the village from some danger.

    Btw, are you using names like "T. Rex" and "velociraptor" in the story? If this takes place in another world and culture, they'll probably have their own words for the dinosaurs. Unless you have an explanation for why they're using the latin names.
     
  8. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    ^ Yep - as Islander said, they're going to have their own names.

    Also, what's going to stop the dinosaur from eating the people in the tribe? This was my first thought reading the OP. Whether it's a T-rex or a raptor, you'll have to find a way to address this issue so it doesn't become a huge plot hole lingering in readers' minds.

    I've read a few books about prehistoric tribes and exilement, like the "Clan of the Cave Bear" series. It seems like typically, when someone is exiled, they have to spend a ton of time alone, like in some cave far away from the tribe where they have to do their own hunting, foraging, making their own shelter, etc. Perhaps if he excells at this, he can get to come back.

    Or, what if there was someone else in the tribe who had malicious intent and stalked them into the woods so he could kill Sunbola and frame Babajibe? maybe even the tribe leader. Then Babajibe, while in exile, would have to sneak back to the tribe and do some detecting to uncover the mystery.

    If there is another hostile tribe (or seveal, depending on how complex you want to make this), and the tribes engage in dinosaur warfare, this could add other layers of complication to the situation as well.
     
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  9. Brandon P.
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    Brandon P. Senior Member

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    I admit that I'm focusing on a different project now (actually this one has roots predating the idea in this thread's OP), so it'll be a while before I return to this, but thanks a lot for your suggestions anyway.
     

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