1. KaSherr
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    KaSherr New Member

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    Unavoidable Cliché?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by KaSherr, Mar 31, 2011.

    It begins with the background of my story. In it, the human race is threatened and their creator is unsure of whether to save them. He regrets creating man, as they have become evil themselves, and they have forgotten him (sound familiar?). Two gods accept his task, which is to prove that humans are worthy of life. To do this, they are re-born on Earth and must destroy the evil themselves while facing all the trials and temptations that humans do. If they succeed, man’s existence will be ensured forever.

    Well, that's about as much as I can give without giving away my story. Feel free to ask me for more details if you need them, though!

    My dilemma:

    Obviously, how are mere humans meant to battle complete evil and actually win (this chick is really bad)? I’m wondering if it’s too underdog. I’ve thought about having them retain some of their godly powers (on a small scale), but wouldn’t that conflict with proving man’s worth who have no powers at all? They will receive help from other deities, humans, and creatures, of course. Still, how are they going to manage this? I’m just afraid that their being without any powers of some sort and just running around with swords could be a bit blaaaaah. I guess when it comes to this there is no avoiding something that has already been done or clichés. It’s killing me! Any ideas? I'll take anything, even a cool power. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    I would suggest working out the details as you write. In the meantime, focus more on creating interesting characters that people can relate to. Everything is cliche to one degree or another.
     
  3. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    One danger of using religious-based parallels (or parallels with any type of famous tale) is that anyone who's read the Bible will A) pick up on it and B) be able to figure out what will happen next because they know what happens next in the Bible. To avoid this, I'd really, really recommend you try to make this 100 percent your own....
     
  4. Ion
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    Ion Senior Member

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    Mankind always does the impossible. That's why they're special.

    Maybe they do the one thing a being of absolute justice never could. Maybe as they triumph over adversity throughout the course of the story, stuff that just keeps getting worse and worse, just whatever the villain throws at them, your antagonist begins to respect their resolve and determination.

    Then, at the very end of the story, when your heroes are laying on the final assault with all the help they've got to back them up, they get seemingly close to winning, but then get flat out beaten into the ground. Your protagonist tears their plans up like they were tissue paper and proves that they will never be able to bring her down.

    And then, in that moment of despair, have your heroes step up and keep trying anyway. The villain, who has come to respect these tenacious characters through the story, and who has grown confused as to why these people never give up, finally grasps the value of life in a critical moment.

    At the end, the triumph isn't a physical one. It's a redemption of your big bad.

    TL DR; pull a star wars and have Vader realize that some things are more valuable than power.
     
  5. Bay K.
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    Bay K. Contributing Member

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    Tactical reasoning, technical know-how and good old luck.
    Also, the power of choice --to do good. (After the chance of learning from mistakes, of course. To err is human).
     
  6. Louis Farizee
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    Louis Farizee Member

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    Quoted for truth.

    Being human means having options. All animals are programmed with instincts which they must follow. Humans are programmed with the same instincts, but have the ability to choose to act contrary to their programming.

    Traditionally, angels cannot act contrary to their programming either (in at least some religious traditions). They are beings of pure justice, and must act Good all the time. An angel being sent to earth, being given all the opportunity to choose good, bad, or indifferent, being subject to all temptations humans are, and choosing to be good anyway, would make an epic story. Because it's so bloody unlikely.

    The fact that some humans are dicks doesn't make a good story, because it's not surprising. The fact that not all humans are dicks is, frankly, astonishing.

    Have a scene with your angels indulging in the temptations of this world... gluttony, drunkenness, what have you (go as dark as you dare to, here), in order to draw as big a contrast as you can to their ultimate redemption.

    Also, I don't think anyone would blame you if you ended off with a great big duex ex machina, after the angels decide to keep going against overwhelming and hopeless odds. It'll work well if you play your cards right.
     
  7. KaSherr
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    KaSherr New Member

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    guamyankee:

    Yeah, I realized I had to get this darn story down on paper a few years ago. I'll pull it out maybe once a week, and I'm at a part where it get's pretty tight for the main characters and there will be some fighting, but I'm wondering how they go about it, ha-ha. I'll try and work more on the characters. I think that's the hardest part. ._.

    Mallory:

    Yes! I do dislike that the bare bones of the plot resemble the Bible so closely, but hey, it's a great one! I've added a lot more levels, however, which I left out of the post. I was afraid of giving away too much on the internet, you know? I'll try and keep what you wrote in mind. Thank you!

    Ion:

    You're right! Mankind always does the impossible. I guess I get so wrapped up in making things believable that I forget a few unbelievable things are what spark strong human emotions. Ooh, and thank for the Vader idea. I also thought about the antagonist being in love with one of the protagonists (him being her only weakness), and in the final moment she can't bring herself to kill him, and he does her in instead. Sounds a little cruel, though!

    Bay K.:

    Yes, the power of choice is a running theme!

    Louis Farizee:

    That is a lot of the story! The protagonists meet wonderful people who make them want to stay, like a perfect family, and forget their mission. They also run across horrific things that make them wonder if their god isn't just as evil as the one who has taken over Earth. The female protagonist is especially weak without her counterpart for the first half (that whole Belly of the Whale thing). It's to prove that even though we are not angels, we can still live as righteous as them... but there will have to be some indulging! I hadn't considered that deeply enough. I'm feeling some light bulbs coming on. Your post really helped me out. Thanks!

    I appreciated everyone's replies! Got me eager to write again. ;)
     
  8. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    It seems a little illogical that angels posing as humans should somehow make humans themselves worth saving to this deity figure who doesn't like them. Shouldn't it be the humans proving him wrong, for it to have any meaning?
     
  9. KaSherr
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    KaSherr New Member

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    They were "angels" but were re-born on Earth as humans. Sorry if I didn't clarify.
     
  10. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Have you ever seen God, The Devil and Bob ?
     
  11. Kairos
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    Kairos New Member

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    So I'm wondering, and I could see you were stuggling with this question as well.

    How much power do these gods in human form have. And if they were Gods aren't they still in essence Gods. To draw religious parallels (as I agree should be avoided, but its hard with this type of incarnation discussion) Jesus is said to be 100% but also 100% God. He had powers, but the point is that he is still man. Just something to ponder. He was a human, but also in essence still part of God.

    I have the same problems as you. I get bogged down in specifics before I can even get started. I think that you should focus on really fleshing out the two incarnate Gods so that you can get a sense of the world they live in. We are a product of our surroundings.

    Things to consider: Do they remember their previous lives as Gods? Do they have any powers, and if so to what extent? Strong ideas of your protagonist will help you flesh out your setting which will put you on the road to really living in your story till it just flows from you.

    good luck!

    -Kai
     
  12. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    It's probably long since out of print, but Taylor Caldwell wrote a wonderful book entitled "Dialogues With the Devil", a series of correspondence between Satan and Michael the Archangel. If you can get your hands on a copy, it might be a good read for you.
     
  13. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    If you're going to do a parallel to the bible and Jesus, it would seem that the power they would have would be in sacrificing themselves to save the world.

    Cheers.
     

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