1. Kitbug
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    Kitbug Contributing Member

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    Seven Demon Children, Seven Sins, plot help?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Kitbug, Sep 2, 2009.

    So I just wrote a short story for the contest about the Seven Deadly Sins, it got me thinking about a similar idea to the story I wrote, but also different.

    I'm thinking of writing a story in which "the Seven" are the children of a Queen and a Demon. The king of course thinks the children are his, but as they grow up they start to develop strange powers. The Queen knows the truth, but she tries to keep it a secret. But when each one of the Seven reach their fourteenth birthday, their true potential becomes unlocked. They gain extraordinary powers, as well as handicaps from each of their respective sins. None of them can control their powers, and the Queen knows that they'll destroy the world if they don't learn. Meanwhile, in the neighboring country, the king's magician has learned about them and thinks that he might be able to sway the war in their favor if he can find a way to have the Seven destroy their own kingdom from the inside. Their father, the Demon, of course doesn't care about his offspring.

    Now, I'm trying to decide how the rest of the story should unfold. I'm thinking some of the Seven will master their talents and truly be good, though they'll never be able to entirely avoid the sin which they were born with, while others will wreak havoc on their kingdom, fail to control their powers, and eventually either be killed by others, or become so wrapped up in their powers that they destroy themselves. I'm also wondering why the Demon inpregnated the Queen. Whether it was just for kicks or if there was some sinister purpose behind this whole thing--like he wanted to watch the world be ripped apart by his children.

    I'm also trying to decide on an ending. Of course, a lot of this will change, but I like to get a basic premise for beginning, middle and end, and arrange action as I go. Obviously, the end isn't supposed to be happy. I want at least three of the Seven to be dead, at least one of which will get destroyed by his or her own powers. I want all of the Seven to be both lovable, but some people will hate them depending on their own personalities. I want to make a character that gets destroyed by their own powers to be one of the most relateable of the Seven, so it really rips the reader a new one when they die. And lastly, it's a very morally ambiguous story. I want to blur the lines of right and wrong.

    So uh... can anyone give me suggestions on how to flesh out the plot and how to make the characters? I'm sure I'll come up with lots more myself, but I just thought of all of this just now, and I like the idea, so I was hoping I could get input and advice, at least until it comes together more in my head.
     
  2. Cyrano
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    Cyrano Member

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    I think it would be interesting if half the siblings choose to be good, while the other ones remained evil.
     
  3. Evelyanin
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    Evelyanin Senior Member

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    In which case it couldn't be half, because half of 7 is 3.5. Unless you choose to make one of the siblings have multiple personalities. :)
     
  4. Cyrano
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    Cyrano Member

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    They could all have multiple personalities, a good one and then an evil one that they can't control.
     
  5. Kitbug
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    Kitbug Contributing Member

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    Well what I was thinking is that their human side wants to be good, but the demon part wants to be bad, so they're at war with themselves over whether they're human-esque or demon-like.
     
  6. tcol4417
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    tcol4417 Member

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    Oookie dokie - I'm going to be a bit harsh here, so brace yourself.

    The story you just suggested up the top sounds like the intro for a $20 PS2 game. Like, not even PS3: PS2. Maybe with a port for the PSP.

    See, the main issue (and I suppose the reason you've gotten so few replies in three days) has been because the whole "Seven [noun]s" thing has been murdered, strung up with some twigs and copper wire, paraded around like a puppet, stuffed, mounted, thrown out with the garbage, discovered by a potty antiques dealer, sold at an auction and lost in the house fire four years later.

    This is entirely my grossly cynical opinion: it's not personal, I'm just sick of people defaulting out on some of their ideas. Long story short is that you can do better than this.

    I don't think the whole "ooohh, I dunt kno if I shuld B a bad guy or a gud guy, lol" thing is going to work out, especially because there's seven of them. It'll shape up to be an episode of the new X-men where half the team defects to Magneto or something.

    This is entirely optional - and by optional I mean if you don't do it, I will because I'm rather fond of the idea now:

    Everything you've mentioned could be semi-compacted into a prologue with more detail revealed as the story progresses (avoid info-dumps at all costs). The final result is that after each child gains their respective powers, there is a dispute over ownership of the throne that sunders the kingdom into chunks - some are bigger than others, different kids with different powers have unique ways of taking care of their people with varying degrees of honour/evil, there are alliances and long-standing feuds between each of them, the possibilities are endless.

    Now again this could happen a few ways - and this has actually come up in another thread:

    Idea 1: One person from each of the seven (or less, or more) realms is disillusioned and leaves to find a better life, the lot of them meeting up and realising their common ground before being arrested for sedition and the rest writes itself.

    Idea 2: One person from the most oppressed kingdom is conscripted into the army, is kidnapped by the enemy and defects. A good person in the army owned by the "morally questionable but not quite as bad as the first" faction takes them under their wing and the rest writes itself.

    Idea 3: One person from the best - cleanest, riches, most orderly and honourable - factions is a military leader but takes pity on the surrendered enemy and allows them to escape. They are betrayed by a not-so honourable subordinate who intends to overthrow the faction leader (pick your sin/virtue) and the rest writes itself.

    After much hardship and effort (and with a little subtle hinting), it is realised that the MC is actually the one true illegitimate grandson of the late king, blessed with the eighth power (whatever you want) that they need to overcome their final enemy (the last demon child? The resurrected mother?) and restore peace.

    I mean, I could go on. On and on and on. There is so much more you can do with a seven-faceted civil war than there is with seven teenaged mutants getting angsty and introspective over their powers and how it will affect their allowance.
     
  7. Mystery Meat
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    Mystery Meat Member

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    How about having none of them bad or good? They may be representative of the seven deadly sins, but perhaps not all of them are destined to cause pain to themselves or others. Perhaps only six of the children survive to this mystical birthday and the lack of the seventh leads to a twist in the story.

    Maybe each of them not only represents a particular sin, but also a (non-opposing) virtue. Gluttony might be paired with Grace, Envy with Chastity, and so on.
     
  8. Joran Selemis
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    Joran Selemis Member

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    I like the idea of the Sins being represented as characters, and personally I would take the following approach: 3 are good, 3 are evil. That much is set. Along comes a seventh they never knew about, and suddenly there's a war over him/her with all the children unleashing massive armies against the opposing side. That gives you the nice war climax that every fantasy book MUST have while also allowing you free movement with your characters and settings.

    That's my take on it, but I'm not a fantasy writer. I've dabbled in it but decided instead to go with science fiction, and in sci fi whenever anyone turns good or evil it's usually because of a chip in their brain or seeing their homeworld destroyed. The thing about fantasy, though, is that you have to be more similar to the other writers out there than in many other genres but with your own personal twist on things. So it doesn't matter if we've seen it a thousand times before, because people still want to see it.
     
  9. B-Gas
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    SKIPPABLE SOAPBOXY BIT.
    This is a demonstrably bad idea.

    First off, the children of queens? Do you realise how bad of an idea that is? They will be in line for the throne. They will become kings and queens one day. They start out as princes and princesses. THIS IS BAD, CLICHE FANTASY. It instantly means that the royal family is inherently special, since only queens were selected to have special children.

    If the concept involved any of them being sent away to be farmboys or barmaids, then I will break my computer desk with my forehead.

    Second off, the children of demons? This instantly ties you to a pseudo-christian good-versus-evil belief system, and it involves demons in any way, which means you'd better have a good accounting of how demons work in your world. They'd better have a damn good reason to be there, and they'd better have a damn good purpose. Plus, it means that there is absolute evil in the world, which is never a good starting point- because I don't care how powerful that evil is, it can always be killed off. And that means that evil, instead of being a black heart in the core of the human creature, is an external force.

    If the purpose of the demons in your story is to be the necessary evil in an otherwise good world, then this computer is going out the window.

    Third, the idea of having good sins versus evil sins in a battle royale- which I know wasn't your idea, but it's been suggested a couple times- is also a bad idea. Because there is no such thing, in the judeo-christian belief system, as good sin. Note: Murder is not a sin. Wrath is. Killing someone can be justified, but doing unnecessary harm cannot. That's what sin means. Greed means wanting more than you need, gluttony means taking more than your share, lust means obsessing over posessions or pleasure. None of the sins can be justified. None of them can be good.

    If the main character ends up being the son of a demon who rebels against his evil inner nature but is empowered by it in the moment of absolute need, then you, sir, have lost all of my respect.

    Fourth, and most importantly, starting with the origin of the characters is a terrible way to begin. Why? Because you start out by making the characters special by nature rather than by deed. He's SPESHUL. He is inherently better than other people. He will win more easily, and his victories will come at a lower cost. This is why people dislike Superman, and why his villains either have kryptonite or threaten his friends- because you can't threaten him.

    If the demonic side gives him superpowers that are fuelled by indulging in the sin in question, and that sin is Lust, then what you've got isn't a fantasy novel, it's the latest Anita Blake novel (zing!).

    SOAPBOX BIT IS NOW OVER.
    A PLOT FOR YE.
    There is a way to save this. Use the sins as a backdrop. Costumery, if you will. Have the characters be influenced by them, but not ruled by them. Make sure that there is more to each character than "Is the son of the demon of Lust and is, um, sexy and lustful and stuff." Think it through. Make the demonic side a weakness and nothing else. Use the demonic heritage to cause trouble, rather than solve problems, for your main character.

    Let the plot unfold, driven by the main character's demonic side- say it's Greed, and it drives him to do insane business deals across the world. It makes him supernaturally good at getting the lion's share of stuff- he can get people to sign their souls over to him, he can barter a guy down to two pennies for a block of gold- but is useless at getting him out of trouble. Let him meet the others as he pursues his own goals, some of whom have surrendered utterly to the demonic essence inside them and live a sad life of decadence and luxury, some of whom fight it and live a life of solitude and inner happiness if not inner peace, some of whom have died either indulging or resisting. Have the journey turn him away from his natural inclination to indulge, or drive him toward the next deal.

    But for god's sake, get rid of the Queens. The last thing fantasy needs is more princesses.
     
  10. tcol4417
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    tcol4417 Member

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    Hahahaha, awesome.

    A little over-reactive, but generally right-minded
     
  11. Kitbug
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    Kitbug Contributing Member

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    Haha, thanks guys. Looking back over this, I see what you mean. Well, it was only an idea on the spur of the moment. If I become motivated, I may try writing a chapter or two with some of your various suggestions thrown in and see how it turns out. If it's half-way decent, maybe you people can review it for me.
     
  12. B-Gas
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    Good luck, man.
     

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