1. UnkindledNate

    UnkindledNate New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2018
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    1

    Presenting Dragons and Demons without cliches (or plot holes)

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by UnkindledNate, Feb 3, 2018.

    So, I'm in the process of writing a fantasy novel, and I want dragons and demons to play a big role in this one. One issue I have, however, is that I don't want them to be TOO overpowered, but at the same time, I want to introduce catastrophic events that devastates the both of them.
    So what I have in mind for the plot is this: Something happens that plunges dragons and humans into a war, dragons effortlessly crush them, humans use a couple of trump cards that delivers a huge gut punch to the dragons, although the dragons still ultimately win with their own trump card, and at the request of a certain human, the dragons grant the humans a chance to make up for their transgressions in exchange for the humans worshiping them. This war between them predates the time I'm setting my novel in, and in my novel, the demons are causing a conflict because of an artifact that is a negative influence on their king, and humans have made this artifact.
    I want my readers to believe that the dragons and demons, compared to humans, are like comparing a puddle with a lake, but if humans can cause big problems for both of them then I worry my readers would see the dragons and demons as mere fantasy fodder, a cliche, so to speak. I have a certain idea in mind for this, but it may be too far past the line between sci fi and fantasy.
     
  2. Azuresun

    Azuresun Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2017
    Messages:
    374
    Likes Received:
    521
    Some suggestions that spring to mind for making them feel impressive:

    --Though very powerful, the creatures have unique limitations that usually stop them from exercising it to the full. For example, maybe demons can't stay long in the world, unless they are fed with magical power / souls / blood, or given a body or vessel to possess, etc. Discovering and exploiting these weaknesses are much better ways to defeat them (or force them to back off) than a straight fight.

    --Have the influence of these creatures felt long before they actually turn up. Maybe the mere rumour of a demon on the prowl is enough to throw a city into panic. Perhaps the story goes through a place that was the site of a battle with a dragon, and even centuries later, the landscape bears the scars and bears testament to the power of these monsters--strange rock formations created where dragon-breath made the stone melt like wax, for example. Minions, lesser spawn-creatures and cultists of the creatures can oppose the heroes and make the audience wonder; if the pawns are this tough, what's the actual demon going to be like?

    --Make the victories against them Pyrrhic ones--even if the heroes or backstory characters triumphed, it might still have been at a steep cost. They might have lost hundreds of followers, major characters might die in the battle, the forces unleashed in the battle might turn fertile plains to wastelands, etc.
     
    Stormburn likes this.
  3. UnkindledNate

    UnkindledNate New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2018
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    1
    Although a couple of your suggestions won't hold up with the way I plan to present these two, your suggestions still helped, especially the Pyrrhic victory one. Thanks. I have an idea for a unique limitation for both of them now.
     
  4. TheRealStegblob

    TheRealStegblob Kill All Mages Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2016
    Messages:
    611
    Likes Received:
    291
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Well, I'd look at it like this.

    If dragons originally pooped on humans in their original war at some point predating the start of the story (perhaps far predating it? How long ago did this war happen and how modernized are humans at the start of the story?), and dragons accepted humans as some kind of 'slave race that worships us', would the dragons be inclined to not see humans as a threat and to want as many humans as possible? Slave owners often had the problem of underestimating their slaves to the point that once they realized the slaves outnumbered the masters 5:1, it was too late to stop the violent revolt.

    Perhaps the relationship between dragons and humans has turned out to exist in the same way. Dragons have nonchalantly allowed humans to reproduce into large numbers and leave them to their own devices. Maybe humans have developed weaponry such as large pike launchers and other things that most dragons either assume is nothing to worry about or don't take notice of at all. A dragon doesn't necessarily have to be overpowered by its typical definition, and if humans have gotten to a point where they have developed more modern technology (whether it's modern-day technology or simply technology that is 'modern' for the antiquated time period your story happens in), perhaps the dragons aren't aware that the tables have started to turn and that the slaves are starting to outnumber the masters.

    The point about demons having restricted powers is also a good idea to explore, if it fits what you're writing.
     
  5. UnkindledNate

    UnkindledNate New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2018
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    1
    I want the relationship between dragons and humans in my story to be mutually beneficial, the start of the story is in the year 255, the year representing how long humans have existed on this planet (and how long it's been since the war), whereas the dragons and every other sentient race in the world are ancient. To put it in basic terms: Earth humans reach their technological apex, but have become abundantly divided and skirmishes and wars are a daily occurrence, heroic scientist tries to save humanity with device that "rewrites" their nature, makes things worse, teleports himself and device to very distant planet occupied by mystical, science defying beings (dragons being the most powerful of them), humans follow him, provoke the dragons, get crushed, use last ditch effort (basically an atomic warhead but futuristic-like), most powerful of the dragons takes action, Earth humans are gone except for heroic scientist and fetuses contained in not so sci-fi technology (I forget the name, but I recall a video about some device that acts as an artificial womb for a fetus, currently in development) and start over on new planet, but heroic scientist decided to obscure the past to them by erasing all traces of the evil nature of their ancestors.
    My concern is that this bittersweet victory the dragons have might make them look weaker than how I want my potential readers to see them. I'm also contemplating whether or not the humans in my story should have the truth revealed to them, and how exactly it would change the way they feel, as well as putting a limitation on the dragons.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice