1. Gholin
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    Gholin Member

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    The epic tale: beat or greet the saving the world cliché?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Gholin, Mar 21, 2011.

    Hey there.

    I am writing a YA novel and the thought has occurred to me (through various readings and reviews of books) that we have way too many fathers going missing and boys saving the world. Unfortunately, my story is about a boy from our world who saves a fantasy dream world but whose main goal is finding his father (who was lost in said world) once he discovers his father was lost in it.

    So, now I have a dilemma. Is this kind of story overdone to the point that I don't have a chance of success? I could mix it up a bit, maybe. Maybe make the boy a guardian to someone else who is supposed to save the world, or maybe change the father to a mother or some other superficial change, but that might take the heart from my story. I have a wonderfully creative world and idea, but it now seems marred by this widely-used story arch.

    Do you think treading the all too-familiar plot grounds will make my novel "just another boy fantasy cliché" or do you think great creativity, characters and story can help me rise above the cliché?

    Thanks for any insight!
     
  2. KillianRussell
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    KillianRussell Contributing Member

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    Well written characters (the kind that jump off the page) can carry a story thru a familar plot. Although there are many variations and twists , there are only 7 basic plots everything has been done before.
     
  3. MLKerrick
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    MLKerrick Member

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    What I look for in a story is, in this order,
    1. Will the characters be relateable, likeable, and well-developed enough to support the plot? Do I have a favorite?
    2. Is the plot unique or in any way interesting?
    Obviously, number 2 is a very general rule. A plot can't really be unique because originality seems to have run its course. For me, the characters make a story. In your case, since this plot is used often, I'd recommend you make the dream world as interesting and unique as you can possibly make it. Give the story lots of twists and turns. This sounds like it could be very suspenseful.
     
  4. Gholin
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    Gholin Member

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    What both of you said definitely rings true.

    MLKerrick, it is definitely one of my main goals to create great characters. I really like my characters so far and I'm working on making the boy who saves the world not just another Harry Potter.

    As for number two, my dream world is very unique from what I have seen out there so far and I've done a lot of world-building to make the culture and people very interesting. The world itself has it's own unique take on several myths and cultures in our world. So far, when I describe it to people they really want to read about it, so i think we're good there.

    I think the characters all stand out, but the ones I need to make sure are unique enough are my "ordinary" protagonist and antagonist from the real world that make the plunge into the fantasy one. Thanks guys. I guess having the same plot structure is ok... I just need to make it my own, eh?
     
  5. MLKerrick
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    MLKerrick Member

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    I believe that every writer's goal should be to make the plot of their story their "own" and, at the same time, making it relateable enough that people will want to read it. It seems like you've been spending a lot of time and effort creating your story. I wish you lots of luck, fun, and minimal writer's block. :)
     

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