1. Rebecca54

    Rebecca54 New Member

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    Conflict at a magical university

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Rebecca54, Jul 22, 2018.

    Hi, I am trying to plot a novel about 1st Year students at a magical university in an Asian/Japanese inspired 21st-century country. I have four main characters and I want to find some conflicts for them through character, setting and plot. I want a budding romance between two of the characters and I know there will be some sort of exam pressure conflict. However, I am struggling to think of one/two more. I want one which involves all of the characters coming together but I can't think of an idea (especially when combining fantasy and modernity). Any ideas or links to websites would be most welcomed.
    Thank you.
     
  2. DK3654

    DK3654 Almost a Productive Member of Society Contributor

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    The most obvious kind of conflict you are lacking is conflict between the MCs and some antagonist. Perhaps some kind of evil magic user or magic creature turns up. Or perhaps there is conflict amongst the staff at the university.
     
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  3. Rebecca54

    Rebecca54 New Member

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    Thank you, that seems really obvious.
     
  4. Nariac

    Nariac Contributor Contributor

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    Just put in an Asian Voldemort and you're good to go.
     
  5. DK3654

    DK3654 Almost a Productive Member of Society Contributor

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    A futher suggestion- it would help make the villain interesting if they have some relation to the main characters or the other major plot lines. A random evil guy is less interesting than one with a history and it’s easier to make one if it's part of the story at large. Darth Vader is Luke's father, Green Goblin is the father of one of Spiderman's closest friends and often associated with the accident that gave Spiderman his powers, Voldermort killed Harry Potter's parents and tried to kill him, etcetera.
     
  6. S A Lee

    S A Lee Contributor Contributor

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    I think one question that might solve this is what is it that holds the group together? What do they like about their friends to call them friends? Or do they just hang out as a 'friends of mutual friends' situation? What would bring them together at all? If you answer that, you might have an answer to the kind of conflict that would do the job.

    For example, Ron and Hermione didn't like each other for a chunk of the first book/film. Ron was raised in the magical world but is not particularly gifted or motivated academically, while Hermione is. I would say Harry serves as the glue between them on multiple occasions, and as a character is a middle ground (he's a natural flyer, and struggles a bit with academics, but seems to put more effort in than Ron. Ron and his family act almost like the loving family he never had before he goes to Hogwarts as well), but they are always willing to put their differences aside and their strengths forward in times of strife.

    On the other end of the spectrum, Samurai Champloo has two male lead characters who barely tolerate each other, but their designs overlap enough to force them to work together.
     
  7. IHaveNoName

    IHaveNoName Senior Member Community Volunteer

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    Conflicts with other students. Some of the upperclassmen are harassing the juniors; someone's dealing drugs (or other prohibited substances, like magical whatsits); or maybe they uncover a cheating ring (you know, students who steal the tests).
     
  8. Alan Aspie

    Alan Aspie Banned Contributor

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    You told about story world & plot, but nothing about theme or personality traits.

    You have two main types of conflicts.
    1. Conflict of interests. (Booooooring.)
    2. Conflict of values, identities and cultural structures. (Interesting.)

    If you don't know your characters or if they are "paint by numbers" -characters, you must fabricate conflicts.

    If you do know them and they are rich and multidimentional, they will tell you where the roots of future conflics are.

    So my advice is to focus on character development until your characters tell you how they will clash.

    What is inner essence of a character? How does it differ from his/her identities? What is in that gap? What/who threatens to reveal that gap? Why? How?
     
  9. Subject24

    Subject24 Member

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    problems with a Asian magical school...

    A few I could think of..
    - Getting complicated spells right. possibly one goes wrong in one incident and some wacko ordeal is caused(a demon monster is summoned, somebody alters the space time continuum, somebody gets a magical disease from a magical plant while working a potion)
    - there is some sort of threat by an antagonistic force. A crazy student, or group of students(some cult of magicians bent on some terrible end)
    - a call to greatness. possibly the teacher, magical principle, chooses one or more of the characters for a special division of magicians.
    & finally
    - the subject of magical occupations. What are these characters going to be using their knowledge and skills for? what sort of troubles are they going to be going through to get to their magical careers?
     

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