1. terrwyn
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    terrwyn Member

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    Trouble with writing fantasy

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by terrwyn, Apr 1, 2012.

    I'm writing a fantasy novel and when I think about how it looks I see something like from the video games Fable, Final Fantasy, or Guild Wars, except there's no magic in my book and anyone who fights uses the standard weapons. Swords, daggers, bows, etc. Nothing like staffs, magic books, axes, you know. But for some reason, when I write my book and I think about how someone might see what the cities look like, it feels more medieval than anything and that's definitely not what I'm going for. Anyone know how to make it feel the way I'm trying to portray it?
     
  2. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I don't know what those PC games look like (except some Final Fantasy characters) but having done a brief google image search, both Guild Wars and Fable have medieval settings. How could medieval setting NOT be what you're going for if it looks like those games?

    Perhaps stop playing or watching western fantasy films/PC games and start watching some anime. The Japanese are very good at making everything futuristic AND still have everyone use swords and shields. Final Fantasy looks like this cross hybrid. I'm sure there're plenty more.

    Or type some key words into google search and do an image search, see what kinda settings come up and see if you could get inspired.

    Another thing is, it might feel medieval because of the mood of your writing? Futuristic types - perhaps because they're usually dystopian novels - tend to have a very dark, cold voice. I don't really read sci-fi so I don't know about them.
     
  3. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've played Fable, and I agree, the architecture is very medieval and down-to-earth, except for being a little cleaner and brighter than I imagine the real medieval world was.

    I think you need to nail down what feeling it is you wish to capture. Is it the feeling of grandiosity, like in The Lord of The Rings, when they pass the two huge statues by the river that hold up their hands in greeting? Or maybe the feeling of fairy tale and child-like innocence, like at the start of Fable? Or the feeling of magic?
     
  4. lycanman
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    lycanman New Member

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    Well this might seem a little harsh but maybe you need to start over, if your not happy with the setting then rather than trying to make it feel like a particular game movie or book before you could try to start from scratch. You haven't mentioned any problems with characters so you could work back from them. Try imagining what types of places would they be used to, or grow up in?
     
  5. Kaymindless
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    Kaymindless Contributing Member

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    What aspect of these three things are you truly going for then?

    Fable = Medieval to me Guild Wars was the same but I played very, very little of it. Final fantasy... what number are you going for? This is the only one that's odd one out to me, because the earlier ones had medieval feel to them, then you've got very different settings in each separate final fantasy.
     
  6. CarterE
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    CarterE New Member

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    I have the same problem, I must admit. My Fanasty stories always seem Medieval even though I do not want them too.
     
  7. Cyrus
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    Cyrus Member

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    If you want to separate your lore from a medieval theme it's a simple question of technology. You only have to look at how cultures around the world uplifted themselves from medieval culture. Everywhere, No matter the culture it's technological advances that end it, and will do it for your story.

    I mean look at some of your inspiration. Fable does it throughout the games. Gunpowder is released into the game world, and industry takes over. Fable 1 can me considered Medieval in theme, where as Fable 3 is more closer to Steampunk, lot's of goggles, uniforms and guns whilst still retaining armour and swords.
    Final Fantasy jumps between Medieval, Steampunk, Cyberpunk and Sci-fi themes. Again it's all about what technology the game makers include.

    With almost every culture in our history it's coal and industry that changed our culture, and gunpowder that changed how we waged war.

    My advice is think of some sort of technology that will fit well into your world and play with the culture more than you do weapons and warfare it should help you get the mood you want, and distance your world from the medieval mood you seem to be stuck with.

    I hope that helps.

    Cyrus
     
  8. Taylee91
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    Taylee91 Carpe Diem Contributor

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    Very good point, Cyrus. I agree.

    Terrwyn, maybe you should also think about architecture. What kind of atmosphere are you trying to create? Is it more dark, or more clean and lit up? Instead of castles, peasant shacks, and dirt roads, replace them with different structures. Like looming walls to confine the inhabitants, watch towers shrowded in mist, thick forests, etc.
     
  9. W. E. Burrough
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    W. E. Burrough Member

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    Honestly, I'd try a kind of colonial thing. It's not something you usually come across, well not me anyways. It's low-tech, but at the same time not as swords and sorcery as a typical medieval setting. Fable 3 has a beautiful colonial setting, and if you're looking for a Final Fantasy type thing I suggest making your own world.

    I love drawing out the way buildings and environments look in my stories, they're strange though. Read up on architecture, world history, geography and biology, let your mind wander. Just remember, be descriptive and take notes.
     
  10. michaelj
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    michaelj Senior Member

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    Look at george martins novels, theirs not much magic in them tbh... When there is magic, its done in a way that appears realistic. You don't need tons of magic to have a good fantasy story.
     
  11. cuetip29
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    cuetip29 New Member

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    I agree with what has been said about using technology and architecture to change up the setting. I've used both those things to purposefully distinguish my setting apart from the "typical" medieval setting. And don't forget the mannerisms of your characters and their clothing, etc. Small details can set it apart.
     
  12. molly16
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    molly16 Member

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    All three of those games I'm familiar with, and if you want a setting like that, there's going to be medieval overlap. What keeps those games not just medieval is magic. You could make the setting "magical" without magic users. Floating trees, islands. Weird monsters.

    Also, which fable are you referring to? From Fable 1 to the latest Fable, there has been some big change. Industrialization! Not sure if you want that in your book, but you could make it somewhat Victorian or steam-punk.

    Good luck!
     
  13. marcuslam
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    marcuslam Senior Member

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    If you enjoy Final Fantasy, perhaps look into VIII for inspiration? That game's setting is definitely not medieval. If you're going for a pixelated setting, maybe check out FF I and II. Oh, man, I need to sleep.
     
  14. names
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    names Member

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    Don't fall into traps such as putting in too many cliches in the description. Use emotion and tone to depict it and I would just try to see if the plot can help you with the setting.
     
  15. simplyrachel
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    simplyrachel Member

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    what works for me is reviewing your work as a reader, unbiased. and if it doesnt appeal to you as a reader, write in some changes. ps i love your display pic :p
     

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