1. Marloy
    Offline

    Marloy Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Messages:
    439
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    A Malevolent Dream

    Real or Make-Believe

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Marloy, Jun 7, 2008.

    So I'm writing this story that I've already drawn out and created a plot for, and I've had it for a while now. It's a fantasy/adventure type novel filled with different types of fantastical elements, but I wanted to instill a sense of realism in them as well, to make the story less out of this world and have the characters and elements still in the realm of believable.

    But as I've been building on that, I can't quite decide whether this story should be set in the real world with all the places on the actual map, or whether I should create the entire world from scratch, and if so, where would I start and why would I name certain places in a certain way? Each present problems.

    Should I create a whole different world for the characters I feel have too much grounding in reality for a different one than mine, or should I leave the world alone for a story that surpasses it?

    If you have any suggestions on how I should do this, because it still is a fantasy novel, I would appreciate it.
     
  2. Kratos
    Offline

    Kratos Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    Messages:
    791
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Maryland, United States
    It's hard to say without any examples. Could you post some of the fantasy elements you want in it?
     
  3. KP Williams
    Offline

    KP Williams Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Messages:
    608
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    My place
    Ask yourself if there's a reason to even specify the names of the locations. If the places are not nearly as important as the events, you can easily get away with just saying something like "the city" or "the village." Heck, in the world I've made up, I've only named one city (I haven't even named the country itself), and that's because the characters are in that city for a good chunk of the story. But "the city" would work just as well.

    If you need to name your locations, and you're looking for believable places, you could also use a real world-type setting, but with made-up towns. I see it all the time in other authors' works. It makes for more believable stories, and you can completely make up what everyday life would be like there so there are no inconsistencies. However, it's usually grounds for more realistic stories, so if you're planning for more fantastical stuff like magic or mythical creatures, you may be better off going for a made-up world.

    Those aren't absolutes, of course. It's just what I think. You can make believable stories set in fictional worlds, and unbelievable stories set in New York. It mostly depends on how you write it. I hope this made sense.
     
  4. Marloy
    Offline

    Marloy Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Messages:
    439
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    A Malevolent Dream
    Alright, in the beginning my main character is living in a peasant-like society that is for some reason myseriously cut off from the rest of the world, and most there have close to nothing. But when she is forced out into the world beyond her confines, she learns that there is a certain sacrifice meant for the desires of men in human form, and that the kidnapping of this person will cause the finder to use them and their enchantment toward their whims - a brief look, did that make sense? I guess you could call it certain things that pertain to mystical places and possibly ones with such powers.

    I haven't really wanted to create any false peoples, only such things like out of this world powers and things of the likeness. Thankyou for the help.
     
  5. Scribe Rewan
    Offline

    Scribe Rewan Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Messages:
    371
    Likes Received:
    2
    You could always do what Phillip Pullman did- set it in an alternate version of this world. His story is set on earth, but has talking bears, witches, Goblin type things and of course, the daemons. Or, Mark Chadbourne turned this world into a fantasy one by having a cataclysmic event take place that changed our world, and brought magical creatures into this world through a void.

    And to be honest, all characters should have a sense of realism anyway, no matter how different a world they are set in. Most fantasy writers would tell you that the key to creating a good fantasy world is to make it believeable, and that in fact, the more unbelievable you want your world to be, the more believeable you have to make it. Hope that somehow helped, although I have a vague suspicion I was actually just rambling...
     
  6. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    nobody can make that decision for you... i suggest you take the time to read a variety of books [by the best writers] that deal with this dilemma in those two different ways, till one of them seems right for you...
     
  7. Marloy
    Offline

    Marloy Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Messages:
    439
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    A Malevolent Dream
    Yeah, I know this is more of a kind of loner battle when it comes to making the final decision, and I have come to consider certain ways of doing it from other authors in particular stories I look to. Thanks for the help.

    I was just looking to see if any one else had a kind of suggestion for the situation. :)
     
  8. Rhapsody
    Offline

    Rhapsody New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    1. Is there any place on Earth you feel you could place this story and have it resonate with the plot and characters?
    2. If Earth is not a viable option for you, you're probably looking at creating a fictional world. This is the point you should ask yourself this: Do you need to create an entire world, or just a handful of sections in it? For instance, do you really need to know the customs, rituals and lifestyles of the people on the other side of the globe if your characters never go there?
     
  9. Nezriel
    Offline

    Nezriel Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    1
    As far as fantastical elements go, I tend to veer towards realism to where the character acknowledges the elements as just everyday things. You can keep it fantasy and still have a sense of realism, like making magic a rare commodity, like Jedis were in Star Wars. In fantasy, I like to make everything as far from real as possible. However, I keep myself within some kind of boundaries keeping it somewhat in a Medieval feel as well.
     
  10. wildflower
    Offline

    wildflower Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2008
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    3
    This sounds like good advice to me. I understand what your going through just now, I had this problem when I was starting my YA novel. I think basing your story in the real world would be a good idea
     

Share This Page