1. SilentWingsXIII
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    SilentWingsXIII New Member

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    The Nine Pillars - Plot help!

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by SilentWingsXIII, May 31, 2011.

    So, my novel I'm working on is called The Nine Pillars, and I plan on making it into a series of books.

    Here is a break down of what I have thus far, starting with a little background.

    ---
    The nation of En'Ryll is governed by Nine lords and ladies, called the Nine Pillars. Each one of the nine governs a certain part of the nation; these nine sections are military (Governed by the Emperor himself), magic (Governed by the Archmage), money and economics (Governed by the Lord Treasurer), law (Governed by the Captain of the Guard), alchemy and science (Governed by the Head Alchemist and Master Engineer), foreign relations and historical documents (Governed by the Lord Ambassador), agriculture (Governed by the Lord Harvest Master), natural resources and their distribution (Governed by the Terramaster*), and finally religion (Governed by the High Priest).

    Together these nine leaders are in control of the nation, but with this burden of power comes great temptation, and not all the leaders are strong enough to resist the allure of corruption.

    *Terramaster is a Dwarven word I made up that is used as a title for the highest rank of miner.
    ---

    PLOT::

    The Plot focuses around the thief and novice Airship pilot, Devrick Lorciin and his small group of friends he meets along his travels.

    Everything starts off with the uprising of the Merchant's Guild. They don't like the lack of involvement the Legion of Order (Fancy name for the Company of Guards that patrol the nation) has in dealing with thieves and the like. Many of the merchants have had to go out of business because of the thieves that keep stealing their wares as well as ambushing their caravans. Devrick's father, a member of the Merchant's Guild, is one such merchant who has been so deeply affected by the blight of theft and the guards refusal to deal with it. So, the merchant's guild decided to denounce the Legion of Order and hired a group of mercenaries called the Fangs of the West to be their personal guards. The merchants then shut their doors to the Legion, which caused problems for everyone. The guards became angry at not being able to buy goods, and the mercenaries were forced to deal with the angry guards. Eventually, a full blown battle broke out between the Fangs of the West and the Legion of Order, and caught right in the middle was Devrick. Once the fighting was quelled, thanks to the Archmage and her powerful magic, the Mercenaries and all those participating in the uprising were arrested and put to trial, Devrick among them. The boy, not being a mercenary under a contract, and not being a merchant with guild protection, was thrown into prison. Uh-oh.

    Once in prison he meets a girl. (I don't have a name for her yet...I'm trying to think of a name to mean Little Firefly, but I can't come up with anything yet, so for now we'll call her whatsername.) Whatsername says she is a member of the Thieve's Guild and for some reason unknown to her, the leader wants an audience with Devrick. Not seeing much of an alternative, Devrick agrees and together the pair escape into the night.

    This is all I have planned out so far. From here it turns out that the only reason the Thief Guild leader wanted to see Devrick was because of the boy's last name, Lorciin. Apparently Devrick's father has something that belongs to the thief lord, and he want's it back; a broken down old airship. The price for being sprung from that cell is to find the location of the airship and tell the Thief lord. If he refuses, then the guild can just as easily put him back in his cell, or even kill him. And just like that, Devrick finds himself a servant to the Guild of Thieves.

    I don't know where to go from here. I know I want Devrick to become a respected thief, and even manage to keep his father's busted up ship, which whatsername fixes. But I need inspiration on how to tie in The Nine Pillars.

    Any suggestions? Even outlandish ideas such as "An epic scale battle between dragons and robots" can provide pieces to a puzzle that will build the plot.

    If you want to hear more about my novel idea and the character's I'm working on as well as the plot, drop me a PM! :D
     
  2. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    In before Cogito's auto post. :D

    Really, you should plot the story yourself. Others may suggest things that may not work or you will not like. It's your story. Decide what you want to do with it.

    A story idea isn't good or bad until you have fleshed it out and written it.
     
  3. SilentWingsXIII
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    SilentWingsXIII New Member

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    I am currently working on fleshing out the plot, and have made some pretty good headway, but the problem is that I'm pretty set in my plot ideas, and expounding outside those ideas is a difficult thing. The only reason I ask is because maybe someone will offer up an idea that I never thought of, or have an interesting point of view that I can elaborate one.

    Collaboration is the name of the game here. :-D

    And I am prepared to be approached with ideas I may not like, or like only bits and pieces of, and that's okay with me. After all, I know where I want the story to go, its how I get there that's important.
     
  4. Norm
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    Norm Contributing Member

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    I suggest you simplify things by taking it down to the level of your main characters.
     
  5. SilentWingsXIII
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    SilentWingsXIII New Member

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    I just had that thought too honestly, but I feel if I do that, then my story not only loses depth and steam, but also an over looming threat. The corruption of The Nine Pillars goes deep into the plot line, to the point where everything that happens across the nation is affected.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Holding your hat out for spare ideas is not collaboration.

    A story concept means nothing. I can tell you now, it has all been done before. What matters is how you write it, the characterization, the flow, the imagery, all of it.

    There's no benefit in asking what other people think of the concept! They'll either say,"Sounds great," or, "it sounds like a ripoff of..."

    If the idea stirs you, write it. Then ask people what they think of the final story. After they tell you what they don't like about it, revise it, usually several times, until you're happy with it or until you throw up your hands and say the hell with it.

    Please read What is Plot Creation and Development?
     
  7. SilverWolf0101
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    SilverWolf0101 Active Member

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    Gotta love Cogito's auto post sometimes...

    Anyways, writing out the plot to your story definately will take some thinking power. Especially when you want to bring in the Nine Pillars into the story.
    So I can't give you much for your plot really.

    My suggestion is look at other theif stories perhaps. Maybe something in there will strike up a cord and give light to something new you've never thought of before.
    Maybe even pirate stories will do this. You never know until you try.

    After you figure out something for your boy and his theif girlfriend (not the "dating" type the "she's a girl, and she's a friend" type) you can try and find a way to bring in the Nine Pillars.
    Maybe one of the Pillar heads have something to do with the airship or something. I honestly don't know, the choice is entirely your own.

    Maybe for the while you do need to drop the story down to your character's level just to get the story out. Then when you do have it all written out you can go back again and add in details. After all, you don't write a story perfectly the first time.

    But these are just my suggestions.
    Hope everything works out for you.
     
  8. Norm
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    Norm Contributing Member

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    If that's really the case, you will be able to make plenty of references to it during your MC's adventures without having to work them in constantly. Besides, having to wonder about higher powers and behind the scene action is tolling for readers and burns more steam than anything. If you focus on your MC's journey and development while referencing the bigger scheme that is a much better way to go about it because it makes your story more readable while still giving it deeper value.
     
  9. ena18
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    ena18 Member

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    One potential idea would be a political upheaval occurring in the background of your MC's plot line. Something like the emperor and the military arm try to overthrow captain of the guard and his law keepers. Rather than focussing on this, you should follow the MC plot line, only hinting at it through their travels like coming across stacks of bodies etc.
     
  10. SilentWingsXIII
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    SilentWingsXIII New Member

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    I just started looking at other thief stories actually, and I have to say, it was a great idea. When I write a MC, I'm so used to making him the overly awesome knight in shining armor cliche that I'm finding it hard to write a character with actual development, especially a thief. It is a challenge and I'm loving it.

    What I've thought up so far is that Devrick and Coal (Nickname for the thief girl) is that the item the Thief Lord wants from Marius Lorciin (Dev's father) is an airship called The Firefly, so the first part of the story is going to be Dev and Coal finding out what the connection between the thief lord and Dev's father is, and where The Firefly is hidden.

    Thank you for your great ideas and suggestions :-D and as far as bringing in the Nine Pillars I'll touch on that in a sec.

    This is what I have decided to do. Write out my MC's story line while dropping hints that something bigger is going on (as to just what that is I'm still a bit uncertain, I have ideas, but we'll see what happens). Once I'm done with the MC's story, I'm going to go back and see what I can add, subtract, or multiply to get the effect and flow I want.


    This is a great idea, not coming right out and saying, "Oh, btw, you're standing in the middle of a giant civil war" but hinting at it with, as you said, piles of bodies, strange rumors, even suspicious guild activity. This will allow me to bring in a great new depth and slight mystery to my story. :-D
     
  11. Pythonforger
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    Pythonforger Carrier of Insanity

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    Well, what about this.

    One of the Nine Pillars succumbs to corruption(I wouldn't recommend the Archmage or the Captain of the Guard) and hires the Thieve's Guild to do some job. You can go two ways from here. Either the Guild does the job and Mr. Corrupt decides to hire the Guild for more jobs, which might affect Devrick's mission, or the Guild fails and Mr. Corrupt is now actively trying to take the Guild down. This may mean a general attack on the group, affecting Devrick's mission, or perhaps he learns that if Devrick fails, the leader will be very upset, so he does everything he can to stop Devrick.

    If you choose option 1, the effects of the jobs can be hinted at. Maybe the Terramaster falls ill, or the Head Alchemist finds his warehouse of precious concoctions robbed and looted. If you choose option 2, Devrick might overhear two senior thieves whispering about it.
     

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