1. Levex
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    Levex New Member

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    Wanna Know A Secret?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Levex, Feb 11, 2015.

    Me too.

    In fact, I really want to know a secret. Problem is I cannot think of a solid one to save my life, or...more appropriately, my character's.

    The basic premise of my story is this:

    When disaster sweeps the land like a vile tempest, Eilonwy was hardly expecting to play the role of a hero. Plucked from the streets at an early age and raised under the scrutiny of royal scholars, she considered her life an unlikely blessing. She would soon learn exactly what her life was worth and what it could cost. Evil is growing, and Eilonwy has to overcome or lose more than her own life…

    There's a prophecy that I have not written down yet, but basically states that salvation will come from the mind of a babe... strong in its youth and blossoming to fruition. Forgive me for the lack of description...

    So, the scholars taking the MC off of the streets was not happenstance. She wasn't the first one to be inherited and taught. The evil that will plague the land is not a new one, and the academics of the land knew it would be coming back... however, the MC is unaware of any previous "students" or children before her - or what happened to them.

    Anyway, I need some type of special training or test that would cause the other youths to fail, or prove that they are not the "babe" mentioned in the prophecy. This world is magical, so anything is a possibility. Any suggestions will be regarded.

    If more information is needed, please let me know... I was just hesitant about writing too much.

    Thanks,
     
  2. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    Some ideas: -
    • Kung fu is downloaded into her brain and she has to defeat some pontificating twat with silly sunglasses in a fight.
    • She takes some sort of magical liquid that leaves her hovering on the brink of death, but survives.
    • She must use some strange power to levitate objects under the guidance of a short, green wizard, in a swamp.
    • She must put her hand into a hollow object with a venomous creature within, without getting stung/ bitten.
    • There is a weapon stuck in a rock that she has to pull free.
    • They pull her hair back, and sure enough, on her forehead is a scar in the shape of a potato.
     
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  3. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's that "Harry Potter, you're a wizard" moment.

    She needs to manifest some mental power, like wishing her chores were already done and it becoming so. (In the same way that the sword in the stone was just Arthur trying to short-cut riding back to camp to get Kay's sword for the tournament)

    The problem is that her tutors don't know what the prophecy means, they just know what the words of it say, so they don't understand how her ability fits in with defeating the evil, and are fighting against her. Scope here for some ambiguous wording in the prophecy, to foreshadow for the reader.
     
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  4. Gawler
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    Gawler Contributing Member

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    Surprised you did not add. She is able to change her own diaper from birth.

    More to the point, if the nature of the evil is magic then perhaps the babe is resistant to all forms of magic and that is used as a test.
     
  5. RachHP
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    RachHP Contributing Member

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    Could the 'evil' be some kind of disease? Maybe particularly children are immune/carry the right antibodies and their blood or magic or their very presence would cure infected people.
    That way, the test can be survival itself (maybe they release the disease into orphanages and see who lives) or a simple blood/magic test?

    The 'disaster' vs 'evil' would be the disease vs the person who wants to control the cure. (Well, that's what occurs to me anyway).
     
  6. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    What makes her the person of the prophecy? What exactly is she going to do to fight off the evil? I would caution against using magic to figure out she's the babe if she doesn't use her magic to stop the evil.

    Make it related. If she uses her tact and logic to defeat the evil, send her and the other students through a trial -- a trial that only the babe will be able to figure out, because she looks at it in a different way than the others.

    If she DOES use magic, then make the trail how she defeats the evil. For example, if she's able to telepathically get inside the "evil's" head, have the scholars test the students telepathic abilities and make the babe the one with the highest score.

    Or, better yet, do the scholars HAVE to know the girl is the babe? Maybe they just don't know -- it's a toss up between this student and her. So the scholars try to listen to them both, but end up listening to the other student instead and things go wrong. Then they realize, hey, maybe that other girl is the one we're looking for. Woops!



    Edited to add: Every time I read "the babe," I get The Labyrinth flashbacks.... "You remind me of the babe. (What babe?) The babe with the power. (What power?)" It's going to be stuck in my head all day now... :(
     
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  7. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hmm. My first thought is that you're a step away from your own answer. You said "the world is magical so anything is possible"...which means before your can work forward you need to further define the laws of your magic system so that you know what makes people magical and then what they'd be able to do as magical or in this case hypermagical people.

    I'm not a fantasy writer but I like Brandon Sanderson's "3 Laws of Magics" and the second one is for me the most important:

    Sandersons 2nd Law: Limitations > Powers

    Magic has to have limits. There are things it can do and can't do. There are going to be big problems that magic doesn't solve - if for instance you have fire-based magic then your ability to affect change is going to be dependent on flammability.

    For a "chosen one" (or "this one was conceived by the midichlorians"), one would have to think that you have someone who is operating within the rules of magic but pushing it past it's normal boundaries. For instance if wizards are trained in manipulating metal, maybe someone who is so empowered that they melt metal subconsciously with emotion rather than with conscious thought like everyone else. If you have time manipulation you could play some really fun games where the kid shows his status by having reflexes that are too quick for even the best magicians (indicating that he's magically slowing down time for himself)

    Either way - the key is to figure out what makes your magic tick...then give this kid more of it than anyone else and extrapolate the results.
     
  8. Levex
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    Levex New Member

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    Thank you for posting this! I didn't know what to call the moment that I needed, but this is it.
    I don't know that I'd want to have the scholars work against her, or become enemies. They used the lives of children in an effort to save the entirety of the kingdoms, but they aren't the true enemy...

    I do need to figure out that prophecy though. I bet if I knew what it said I could get some work done.



    This is a good idea. I'm hesitant to write a character who can actually use magic because I'm not confident in my ability to make it entertaining, rather than outlandish and/or childish. So, having a character who cannot use it, but is resistant to it kinda grabs me...


    ↑ The idea that the scholars sacrificed children in this manner to find "the babe" is what I'm going for. It's terrible, and heart-wrenching to think about, and it tests morals. Thank you! I'll have to try to tweak the immunity to fit a more magical world, but this is very helpful!

    This tip was helpful! I really appreciate the note on keeping the special factor about her related to the outcome and/or victory.

    P.S - You remind me of the babe!

    I really do need to figure the laws of magic in this fictional world. Thank you for this tip. Having the laws laid out for myself will really open and close a lot of confusing doors for me.





    Thank you all so much!
     
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  9. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    I didn't exactly mean the enemy...a bit more like the cop detective whose boss has to pull him off the case, but gets "24 hours to crack it while I close my eyes"
     
  10. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    "Eilonwy"? Sounds Welsh. Run with it. Make her a bard of a very special sort from an early age, though for some reason the scholars don't notice. Have her magic have to do with playing the harp and composing impromptu poetry. Since the salvation is to come "from the mind of a babe," show her picking up a harp and lisping out The Solution when she's barely able to talk, but the scholars don't recognise what it is. Only an old servant or someone like that takes note of it and writes it down. But years later, when she's almost grown . . .

    As for some special test, it could be that the situations the students make up in their songs have to come true.
     

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