1. alangarcia98
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    alangarcia98 New Member

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    Plot story in ancient China

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by alangarcia98, Jun 27, 2011.

    Hi,
    I just recently started a novella called The Diao Jo. It is set in an made-up ancient china with made-up religions and places.

    China has been at civil war for almost half a century. Admist the chaos a natural catastrophe hits one of the major cities of China. Thinking it is a "message from the gods" the war is ended leaving the country without a leader. Two religions emerge and try to take over the country culturally. The two religions start an epic quest of conversion. The spreaders of both religions (or the Diao Jo in chinese) collide in a small rundown warrior town. They both try to convince the stubborn leader of the town to convert but tension builds up until the situation becomes more than control it becomes a study of the treachery and greediness of man.

    So what do you think?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A story concept means nothing. I can tell you now, it has all been done before. What matters is how you write it, the characterization, the flow, the imagery, all of it.

    There's no benefit in asking what other people think of the concept! They'll either say,"Sounds great," or, "it sounds like a ripoff of..."

    If the idea stirs you, write it. Then ask people what they think of the final story. After they tell you what they don't like about it, revise it, usually several times, until you're happy with it or until you throw up your hands and say the hell with it.

    Please read What is Plot Creation and Development?
     
  3. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Sounds cool, but if it's made up religions and places (not actually researched) than you may want to consider inventing a fantasy setting that's just based off of China.
     
  4. joanna
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    joanna Active Member

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    I agree with Mallory. When I read the title of the post I thought, Ooh, I'd love to read a book about ancient China! But this isn't ancient China, it's a new fictional land. It would take me out of the story because the whole time I'd be thinking, Hey! This didn't happen in China! This problem is easily remedied -- just call the place something else.
     
  5. Ashrynn
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    Ashrynn Active Member

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    Cog is right, though I will say you do have a rather unique idea to build on.

    In the end, I wouldn't say that it has to be "made-up" so much as a history that has been lost.

    I believe back in China's history one emperor or Mao(?) or someone burned all historical records in China and then massacred scholars in order to bury the history of his country so that nobody would worship the old regime or follow it.
     
  6. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    You may want to look into the history of ancient China a bit, especially during the Three Kingdoms Era. Several civil wars broke out, some over the much the same thing you just described.

    Also, you need to define what those rival religions are. Their beliefs and what they represent will be the deciding factors that make them controversial among the people.
     
  7. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think that the characters should be asian.

    I think that it seems a little bit clich├ęd that two missionaries are just going to rock up in a "small warrior's town" at the same time. From your description, I also don't think you've really understood the power and idea of conversion.

    Why would they try to convert the leader? Conversion is about getting the sway of the people. If every one of the people there converts to one religion, the leader can either follow, or slaughter them all and get new land tenants.

    Really, it comes down to which of the missionaries has better sway with words when s/he stands up and speaks to the masses.
     
  8. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    It's either China or it's not - you can't say it's China and make up your own major national historical events.

    Btw, does Diao Jo mean "Eastern region" or something? Now I don't speak Mandarin but I do speak Cantonese. If it's meant to be a religion, make up something else 'cause any Chinese person reading it will get annoyed.
     
  9. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    So Red Son didn't happen in the USSR? Watchmen didn't happen in America? Any alternate history novel ever did not, in fact, happen in the place that it was said to happen in?

    Really, what you're saying there is kind of stupid. So yeah. The OP can actually say it's China and make up their own historical events. That's definitely within the realm of things they can do.

    Whether it's a good idea to or not is a different story.
     
  10. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've read several fantasy novels that were heavily based on asian cultures. They were done very well.
     
  11. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Well if he does it, then he'll have to really research into Chinese culture to call it China, at least.

    As for the national event thing... I concede, you're quite correct. Forgive me but I am currently very, very sleepy...

    Maybe I'd just find it weird cus I'm sorta meant to be Chinese... For some reason I am thinking of The Independence Day after reading your post. I can't decide whether I like its usage of Independence Day or not lol.
     
  12. youbetterwork
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    youbetterwork New Member

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    As someone who lives in Asia, I can tell you that people are very sensitive to this sort of thing.

    The first reply is correct. If you write it well, people will forgive the liberties you take. If not, well... They will hate you...
     
  13. alangarcia98
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    alangarcia98 New Member

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    Thanks, you are completely right.
     
  14. alangarcia98
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    alangarcia98 New Member

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    I did think of not making it in China. Various times, but when I use the word a flood of images and culture rush into the mind of the reader, making the setting much more easier to describe. But you are right, I will change it to a fictional land.
     
  15. alangarcia98
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    alangarcia98 New Member

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    I could research about a civil war that did happen in ancient china and turn it into an alternate history. But I do want to include my made-up religions for I know their traditions inside out. The first religion is Feicuilong. The people of that religion believe that an emerald dragon called Feicuilong created the universe by breathing fire/life into the void of Heaven. The second religion is Jenthwarta which are similar to buddhists, not the same similar. They believe in a universal soul which is represented by a tree. Both religions come down to two basic foundations. Feicuilong is instinct, and Jenthwarta is wisdom.
     
  16. Cloudless
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    I agree that it's either in China or not. Saves confusion and unnecessary analogy making.
    Having read a few asian adventures my pet hate has to be the choice of character names. It's all very well having contemporary and accurate names but keep them readable and memorable. Maybe I'm simple but I get bogged down and confused with clumsy complex sounding names which are hard to remember and ruin the flow of the story.
    Chinas a big place and there's plenty of room for another story!
     

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