1. WithPipeAndBook
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    WithPipeAndBook New Member

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    Struggling for the motivation for a central plot point

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by WithPipeAndBook, Mar 22, 2012.

    I'm writing a fantasy story in which two young magicians are tasked with escorting a princess to a city. However, I haven't quite figured out why. I'm planning for this to be a larger story, so I'd like for this reason to tie into a conflict that goes farther than the province's borders. Perhaps this king is planning an assault on another kingdom and doesn't want his daughter to be caught in the crossfire. Or that he doesn't want her to find out his darker plan to conquer other lands for his own power. This might lead to political troubles between the magician's university, as well as the princess's decision to rebel against her father. Is this plausible? Are there better motivations? Currently, the princess is about 14. Should I make her older and put her on a diplomatic mission? I could still have the political dealings; the king could be sending her on an unnecessary mission to get her to leave the castle. Thought I'd put my ideas out here and see what you guys think. :)
     
  2. Nakhti
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    Nakhti Banned

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    There are all kinds of reasons for escorting a princess to a city - without more than the vague background detail you've provided, it's hard to say what the most plausible would be.

    If she's 14 I would imagine it is more for her protection than anything, but you miss out another really obvious reason - to get married. If this is a mediaeval setting, 14 would not be too young to be betrothed, especially a princess who would be married off for poltical reasons. Perhaps her father needs the help of a powerful lord in whatever war he is currently fighting, and the best way to secure that lord's military and financial support is to ally him by marriage. There's ready made conflict right there, especially if the lord is a lot older, the princess is unwilling, and the wizards perhaps don't feel right about the arrangement.

    Just a thought.
     
  3. AmyHolt
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    AmyHolt Contributing Member

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    I really like your idea about the father having darker plans. I can see the princess being not very happy about the escort. Or maybe it's sort of normal to have an escort but the king has really been over the top recently watching what his daughter does and the king is using the premise that he's trying to protect her as an excuse. I also like the idea that the daughter is being betrothed. It would be even more fun if she fall in love with one of her guards and then as she finds out about the evil plots her father and this lord (the one she's betrothed to) she could be even more detrimined to do something. Then the guard that she's in love with could end up killing the lord and become wanted (of course he would have to kill the lord for a good reason, like maybe he was coming onto the princess or he could overhear the lord's plans and the lord sees him and attacks him but the guard wins. I think this plot line that you've suggested has lots of possiblities.
    I'd make the girl just a pinch older maybe 15-16.
     
  4. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I hate to say it, but it's a central plot point, you need to come up with motivations yourself. In every story there are many options, and you have to make the hard choices and be responsible for them. Imagine I tell you this or that is better and three months down the track you write yourself into a corner and then think back about what a crap piece of advice I gave you.

    It is very important for the story to be meaningful to you, for you to craft it out of nothing so the choices you make will come from within, and have the best chance of surviving writer's blocks, fatigue, and all other challenges we encounter when we write a novel.
     
  5. Jowettc
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    Jowettc Contributing Member

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    There are a wide variety of plots out there and you are going to have to work this one out for yourself as Jazz suggests.

    BUT - and I stress this because it was a huge hole in your opening statement. Two young wizards are charged with....really? Then the princess is certainly not that important or you would put your BEST people on the job unless....the king had secretly set-up an ambush where the princess dies and he can use the death to wage war against....and so on....
     
  6. WithPipeAndBook
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    WithPipeAndBook New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback!

    Right now, I'm just in the kicking-around-ideas stage. I fully understand that this is my story and I have to be in control of the plot. I have an idea of where I want my story to go (for the time being), but was having some trouble figuring out why the characters would get there.

    Jowettc, I was actually planning on them getting ambushed, but by troll-like creatures, not by the king's forces - though I like that idea. Also, by "young", I mean more like graduate students: skilled enough so that they should be able to escort the princess to a nearby town on a mission that wasn't supposed to be dangerous, but not so important that they might draw attention to the escort.
     

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