1. Master of Shadows
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    Master of Shadows Member

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    Suggestions Please

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Master of Shadows, Jan 4, 2008.

    Well I have a somewhat good plot (in my opinion) for a fantasy novel, but I want to know first off what you people think should be in a good fantasy and second I may show you my plot and if you think it is good or bad please share. I think I'll take suggestions first and show you all the plot later. So if you would: Suggestions Please.
     
  2. Klee
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    Klee Contributing Member

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    Mexico, you got a problem with that?
    Everything has already been done, the way it is done is what makes it good and original. I'm not trying to be rude or anything, but wouldn't it be better to post your plot first and then ask for advice?
     
  3. Tori
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    Tori Member

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    I think Klee is right. It would be more helpful if you posted your plot first. Then we could see what you thinking and give you some useful advice.:)
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    What should be in a good fantasy story?

    First off, the same things as in any good story: an engrossing plot, fascinating characters, and a style that draws the reader into the setting. A plot involves some passage of time, the development of a pivotal conflict (internal or external), and a resolution. There may also be subplots woven in and out of the main plot.

    The fantasy genre in particular needs wonder above al, and a sense of the exotic. The adventure aspect usually should be larger than life, although that is not an absolute requirement. Another common theme, again not required, is a very sharply drawn conflict between good and evil.

    But I also agree with Klee. Rather than having people present frameworks to choose from, or to extrapolate, why not stay with your original concept and develop it to the best of your ability?

    After all, that still leaves plenty of time for you to write other stories afterward.

    Incidentally, I don't often have a strong opinion on a plot in and of itself. Some of the best stories written sound awful if you summarize the plot, and other stories have a stunningly intriguing plot but fall flat in the final work. What matters most is HOW you tell the story.
     
  5. Ferret
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    Ferret Contributing Member

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    I dunno... a world without Magic, abundant in lust, greed, violence and sex that somehow show's that there is a God. Wait, that was Pulp Fiction.

    Either way, I did that kind of story telling. Give the reader a message to hold onto and relate to.
    Why I can't stand the Harry Potter series.
     
  6. Crazy Ivan
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    Crazy Ivan Contributing Member

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    I had an off-topic part of my post that grew huge, so I put it under here to save room.
    Ah, I'd see why you'd hate Harry Potter for a lack of themes to hold on to or relate to.

    After all, it doesn't tell us anything about how love conquers all, or about how friendship is a bond that doesn't break, or how greed and pride are always the wrong road, or how courage is rewarded, or how it takes a great deal of courage to stand up to our enemies, but even more to stand up to our friends, or how the government should never be given too much power, or how death should not be feared, or how it does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, or how a group is only strong if they are united, or how it doesn't matter what someone is born as, it's what they grow to be, or how it is important to 'fight, and fight again, and keep fighting, for only then can evil be kept at bay, though never quite eradicated', or how we must try not to sink beneath our anguish, but to battle on, or how tyrants always fear the people they oppress, or how forbidding something will only make everyone want to do it, or how just because something happens inside your head doesn't mean it's not real, or how it's not our choices that show who we are, but why we choose them.

    Nosiree, none of that is in the books. Definitely no messages in there.

    Now. A good fantasy? Characters, real, involving characters or larger-than-life, truly awe-inspiring characters (Mainly in the villains- see Spike of Buffy fame.) A writer who's not afraid to give their characters real problems that don't go away when the character turns into a dragon or summons the power of <insert element here>. Original problems, original setting, and some genuine suspense and pressure on our heroes. No corny dialogue, no purple prose, and no heaping helpings of exposition.

    If you want anything more specific than that, we'll need to see a plot summary...
     
  7. Master of Shadows
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    Master of Shadows Member

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    Ok I think I get the point you all want to see the plot. Well from what you've told me I can tell that I certainly need to make some changes. But here's the general plot I guess. And if it sounds kind of wierd, well that's because I let my mind wander a lot:D But hopefully it's not too wierd.

    On the night of his fourteenth birthday, Arik is kidnapped. An evil king takes him in for questioning about his magical abilities. Arik has absolutely no clue what he is talking about, so eventually he is sent home. When he comes back, he discusses with his friend (still pondering over a name, sorry) what happened to him. Then he is attacked. His mother is killed, his best friend is taken, and he swears revenge on the attackers.
    His friend ends up a knight in the land that he was taken to, along with a girl (who needs a name because I can never think of any good ones) and three other people. They have a lot of work ahead of them, ranging from Arik's attacks, the evil king's army, and finding out that they in fact do posess magical powers. After an unexpected reunion with Arik, the girl, Arik's friend, and of course Arik set off to find Shawne, an old mage who has sent for them. Hardships await them and on many occasions they near death. But in the end, friendship pulls through and the three of them inherit magic from Shawne.

    And then at the end there's gonna be some big battle thing or something. Well I'm not so confident about this plot but I'll let everyone take a peek at it anyhow.
     
  8. Master of Shadows
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    Master of Shadows Member

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    Well there it is....I hope it's not too out there.
     
  9. Edward
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    Edward Active Member

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    It's rather clear cut and semi-generic at the beginning (that is to say, I don't think it's the same plot as any other story per say but it sounds like it is) but you sort of teeter off there at the end... I'm assuming the Big Bad is chasing them or something? Or they go to the Big Bad to end things. And Shawne is a horrible name for an old man.

    What I'd like to see in a fantasy story is believable magic, based in (psuedo)scientific properties.
    Settings that don't look like Medieval Europe.
    A very large, well developed world, preferably with more than a single homogeneous culture.
    Technology, if you've got magic, how are you going to use it? I'd suggest robots.
    Magic for more than shooting fireballs. I'd suggest Technology.
    Doubling back. Most fantasy stories seem to have the characters travel either in a relatively straight line, or in a circle around the world, usually ending up at something blocked by mountains.
    playing on tropes: Elves that aren't hippies, Dwarves that aren't drunk, orcs that aren't evil
    Nonstandard fantasy creatures, like the Barometz

    and that's just world wise. But then again, I enjoy lore.
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I'd say your plot sounds fine, and there's plenty of flexibility for it to develop as you write it. The friendship theme is a good one for character interaction and development.

    As I said before, the plot is far less important than what you do with it, and with the characters.

    A great writer can make the steps to build a bookcase sound exciting, and inspire the reader to rush to the nearest hardware store.

    Don't sweat the character names. They can and often do change as the story grows.
     
  11. Master of Shadows
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    Master of Shadows Member

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    Well as far as Shawne goes I warned you before I am horrible at names. Actually nobody really knows about the big bad until it happens...It sort of pops up. Yeah that's pretty corny I know. But you all wanted to see it so there it is even though it really sucks. I'm glad you all critiqued it and I hope to learn from this. I might post a little of it someday but I'm not sure you'll like it. It's kind of my first work so I'm making more of a younger person's novel since I lack some much-needed practice. Maybe the kidnapping thing is kind of stupid; I'll see if I can change it somehow. Once again thanks for the advice.
     

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