?

If you were a Young Adult would you be interested in this story?

  1. Yes

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. No

    1 vote(s)
    100.0%
  1. ohr_drakonis

    ohr_drakonis Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2022
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Drakonis
    Currently Reading::
    Homer, Farenheit 451

    Synopsis of first part of book one in my YA Fantasy Series, The Color Realms

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by ohr_drakonis, Mar 1, 2022.

    I would appreciate feedback on my novel outline. I wrote this book 10 years ago and am now looking to rewrite it. I have never taken a formal writing class of any kind (other than high school writing), so in particular I would like to know if my story 'fits' the standard 'mold' that publishers are looking for nowadays.

    The books are about a parallel world that exists alongside Earth, The Color Realms. There are seven Realms, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Violet, Red, and White/Light, with Light in the Center and the rest surrounding. In the center of the Realm of the Light is the Citadel of the Light which houses a prism. Every morning the inhabitants of the Color Realms raise crystals in their color, the sun shines through them and all the colorful rays of light meet in the center to combine to form the mystical Light, which provides hope, joy, optimism, and warmth to all Creation.

    Each Realm is ruled by a King or Queen who takes inspiration from that Color, Blue wants to overpower all like the ocean, Green is protector of the environment and rainforests, yellow nurtures like the sun, red destroys for rebirth like a forest fire, and the other two I need to work on.

    Choices that Earthmen and Earthwomen make on Earth influence the Color Realms, the Realms actually expand and contract based on fashion and other choices Earth-dwellers make on Earth.


    Chapter One - introduce the world of the Color Realms. Introduce the villain, Vallidius. Introduce the conflict between the Realms of Green and Blue surrounding the forests and oceans. Vallidius Potestas Kyaneos-Koakh the King is convinced by his advisor Kulnath, originally of the Realm of Red to invest heavily in weapons technology, in particular tanks, in preparation for the upcoming war between the Realms of Blue and Green.


    News arrives from the Earthly Realm of a plan by Edomal Blaize, influential Parisian fashion designer to declare Blue out of style for the upcoming summer season, and Green in style. The choices Earthmen and Earthwomen make in matters of color in turn influence the power of the corresponding Colors in the Color Realms. This plan of Miss Edomal will weaken Blue considerably when it takes effect. Vallidius flips through his whale-skin leather bound book of punishments and declares upon her evilness the judgment of Death.

    Chapter Two - introduce our protagonist, Lukas, and his companion, Katy. Introduce the drab colorless world they exist in. Introduce the primary conflict between Katy and Lukas, nature vs the machine. Lukas acquires a book sent by the High King of the Light, Teltibane, for the purpose of becoming the Champion of the Light (although this is not revealed to Lukas until midway through the story, since he doesn't have time to read the book before being transported to the Color Realms). Lukas and Katy see a rainbow and are transported from Earth to the Color Realms.

    Chapter Three - Lukas and Katy land in a rainforest, the Great Rainforest of Green (because at the time of their teleportation they were thinking about experiencing nature). In this forest the leaves and plants are in all colors of the rainbow, reason will be explained midway through the story when Lukas meets Teltibane (the wise mentor archetype, like a Gandalf/Dumbledore). The book Lukas has acquired, called The Kingdom of the Light transforms into a katana with a foreign script inscribed on it (which is Elvlish but they don't know that yet) and a magical gi robe which is like armor. That night they are attacked by a creature I call Glenvins which are similar to wolves but many legged and with whiplike tales. They climb up a tree with prodigously thick branches to sleep the night.

    Chapter Four - They use the hard fruit growing on the tree to throw at the Glenvins, scaring them away. They descend and wander the rainforest. That night Katy wakes to see eaguars, ferocious blue beasts with the head and wings of an eagle and body of a jaguar tear apart some gorillas limb for limb with ease. They have decided to head west. They come across a ravine, and plan on going around it when they see and hear an eaguar approaching from the forest. Lukas quickly ties a vine around them and they swing tarzan style across the ravine. The eaguar bites on Lukas' arm but can't penetrate the magical gi robe. He draws his katana and stabs it through the skull. Then he severs the vine with the katana and they rocket into the bushes.

    Katy cries from the experience and says that she has had enough of nature and just wants to go back home (before their purpose it met here. If they go back now they will return to black and white way of life). Then she finds the blue purple and violet puppy who restores her positive emotions. She names her Bella and they continue on their trek with their newly acquired friend and companion.

    Chapter Five - they are sleeping every night high in the trees, safe from the beasts of the forest. One morning on their way down, Lukas inadvertently partially breaks a branch. A scarlet creature with four wings, a mouth in middle of its face containing rows of sharp yellow teeth and six black eyes soars down from atop the tree, surveying the damage. Satisfied that the branch will grow again it returns to its nest.

    The pair encounter a river that has vines stretching across it. Katy at first says that they should swim the river to continue west, but then they see monkeys crossing over the vines eaten by carnivorous fish who leap out of the river to devour them. Swimming is out of the question. Then a tall man dressed in faded green garb emerges from the forest. This man has an axe and has a severe speech impediment, he stutters. Lukas manages to communicate with him, they plan to chop down a nearby tree to create a bridge over the waters. They know that the scarlet flying creatures will attack as soon as the man (Delvish is his name) starts to chop, Lukas is prepared to cover his back with the katana. Delvish begins to chop. The scarlet flyers (which I call 'umlenzi') attack. Lukas covers with the katana. The tree falls, and now umlenzi from all the surrounding trees join the battle. Delvish produces a torch, and they stand back to back, fending off the creatures. They kill all the creatures (which ooze green blood from their wounds), Lukas feels some guilt at the holocaust he has caused but is consoled when he sees their corpses become absorbed back into the ground to continue the cycle.

    Chapter Six - Delvish leaves them with a radiant smile that says more than any words can. There is a path on the other side of the river. They encounter two brothers traveling in a wagon, transporting a special grass from a region in the Realm of Green to the Realm of Yellow. The brothers allow them to ride with them, it is not every day that they encounter people from the Earthly Realm. The brothers tell their story of living their youth under the tyranny of Vallidius, deep in the mines where there be monsters and ghouls. They associate each others, their own brothers faces with the monsters and every three hours have an uncontrollable urge to fight each other because of these deep rooted memories. They ask Katy and Lukas if they have anything from the Earthly Realm, since items from Earth have great power when transported to the Color Realms. Lukas finds an old, crushed candy bar in his back pocket. They say an incantation, consume it, and wait three hours. The time passes without them trying to fight each other. They are healed. In reward, they give Lukas a whistle carved from the breastbone of the male Xelnia horse. When blown, it will summon the flying fire-breathing female Xelnia to the blowers aid, but it must be used sparingly and eventually will cease to work.

    Chapter Seven - Katy is captured by agents of Vallidius, they believe her to be the summoned Champion brought to fight on the side of Green. The brothers bring Lukas to a village near a mountain, where he is invited to stay in the house of a man named Jonah in exchange for helping him in the fields. Lukas works there for several weeks and is introduced to the ritual of the Lighting, the Harmony of Color every morning. He meets a Dwarf named Greybeard in a tavern. Greybeard looks at the card that was formed from when the book the Kingdom of the Light transformed into the katana and gi and proclaims that it is the sign of Teltibane, High King of the Light. Greybeard loves adventure and tells Lukas that he wants to join him in his quest for the High King.

    (note - In the first version I have Men, Dwarves, and Elves. I'm thinking that in this version I will still have three races but to be more unique and original I won't call them that. I just need to think of some traits that are unique to my races to differentiate them from the classic Tolkienesque trinity of races)

    Chapter Eight - Lukas and Greybeard travel to the five peaks, Nenwe, Tonge, Renwe, Bonye, and Erawe, arranged like a pentagon with a valley in the center. Greybeard cracks the code on the door to the ancient mines of Mogworth. They venture through the mines where they battle cursed treasure and Ulthars, grotesque creatures who hate Men (in my mythology there was a competition between Men and Gongoen, Gongoen being fair creatures who proceeded the Ulthars, then Ruyoloth seized the Light and gave it to Men, damning the Ulthars to their current weak and grotesque form, and Ulthars have hated and despised Men ever since).

    They exit the mines where they find a path carved into the side of Nenwe, the mountain they had just exited. They must walk through fire (which doesn't damage but causes pain), and Lukas battles a shadow-warrior in the mist. They ascend a ladder where they find two great white birds with rainbows extending from their eyes to their wing-tips. They mount the birds which fly directly to a clearing on the side of a mountain where they find Teltibane floating two feet off the ground and meditating, surrounded by butterflies and small pink and purple rodents.

    At this point Lukas believes Teltibane to be evil, and nearly kills him with his katana. Teltibane demonstrates his immense power by chopping down a cedar with the wave of a hand and convinces Lukas to trust him. Tetibane, Lukas, and Greybeard fly to the Citadel of the Light in the Center of the Color Realms to begin Lukas' training as Champion of the Light with Kiara, who was fashioned by Teltibane from the Light (if you want to know more about the Light and the Citadel it is explained in more detail in the beginning of the chapter I linked to you earlier. There you will find more about the spiritual practice of the citizens of the Color Realms) and is a martial arts machine, Teltibane, who is an even more advanced martial arts expert than Kiara, and Finor, an elf, who teaches Lukas discipline and staff fighting. Lukas will also learn a limited form of flight to be used in battle.

    He is given a choice, go home and never face any danger, or drink from The Shimmering Pool of Light and become the Champion. If he is not the true Champion, the drink will kill him. If he is the true Champion, it will give him immense strength and power.

    [There also exists the Society of the Peacock who believe the colors should not be combined and are more beautiful seperate, this is introduced briefly in Book One and will be expanded on more in future books if the Lord gives me strength.]

    End Part One of Book One of the Color Realms saga.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2022
  2. Catriona Grace

    Catriona Grace Search and rescue Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2021
    Messages:
    3,832
    Likes Received:
    3,332
    It's an interesting premise with parts I like. The concept of color realms is interesting; you might consider the implications of secondary colors and how it affects kingdoms whose light is composed of two primary colors. You lost me, though, on the peace and well-being of a world depending on the equivalent of the Pantone Fashion Color of the Year on earth. It might work as satire, but I don't get a satirical vibe from the rest of the synopsis.

    I'm not clear on how or why Katy and Lucas are transported to the color realm world. Is it accident or design? If design, whose design? The obvious parallels to Tolkien and Star Wars are bothersome, even down to the champion being called Lukas. I also have a problem with Katy being along as a flakey female foil who cries and quails at nature's reality and manages to get herself captured so the noble Lukas can continue on his quest to become Champion. Seriously, at this point, I'd drop the book and go find something else to read. It might be more interesting if you continued with the duality of the Katy-Lukas team throughout the book and through them examined the contrast and balance between yin/yang, black/white, nature/technology, brain/brawn, etc.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2022
  3. ohr_drakonis

    ohr_drakonis Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2022
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Drakonis
    Currently Reading::
    Homer, Farenheit 451
    Got it. Maybe I'll keep Katy throughout and they will both be Champions of the Light, male and female, yin and yang, I think that's a good idea.

    They are transported there by means of a magical book sent to the Earthly Realm by Teltibane, High King of the Light. However, they don't have a chance to read the book before they stumble across a rainbow by a waterfall, which acts as a portal to the Color Realms.

    About the fashion, an earthman/earthwoman (in first version I had them as mortals and inhabitants of the Color Realms were immortal but not sure if I will stick with that this time around) has a great deal of power over the Color Realms; every time they choose a color, be it a color to paint their wall at home, a color for their car, or a color for the clothing they place on their body, the corresponding Color Realm actually expands slightly and the rest contract slightly. Also the power and might of the Queen/King of that realm is strengthened in an even higher world, a purely spiritual realm 'above' this world. So it's like this: Earth, mostly physical in nature, Color Realms, hybrid spiritual/physical, then the higher world (which would be Olam Elyon if I go with Hebrew for this, or the corresponding Greek term if I use Greek) above even that.

    I can change the name of the male protagonist. Originally I had him as Andrew which means 'strong man' maybe I'll revert back to that. Lukas is "light giver" which is why I chose it.

    You say 'the obvious parallels to Tolkien and Star Wars...' can you elaborate on that please.

    I appreciate the feedback immensely.
     
    Catriona Grace likes this.
  4. Catriona Grace

    Catriona Grace Search and rescue Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2021
    Messages:
    3,832
    Likes Received:
    3,332
    One example:

    "Lukas and Greybeard travel to the five peaks, Nenwe, Tonge, Renwe, Bonye, and Erawe, arranged like a pentagon with a valley in the center. Greybeard cracks the code on the door to the ancient mines of Mogworth."

    Greybeard=Gandolf the Grey. Peaks=the mountains the fellowship was crossing before being forced to take the route through the mountains after Greybeard/someone in LOTR (I don't recall who) figured out how to get through the entrance of the mines of Mogworth/Moria where they battle grotesque creatures/(were they orcs?) who hate men. I'm not a fan of LOTR; if someone casually acquainted with the series picks up on the similarities, you can bet True Believers will.

    Lukas as the Champion with all his training for The Light closely parallels Luke with his training for The Force. To be fair, this is a common theme with heroes from Cú Chulainn to Grasshopper; a change in names might help a lot. You might be interested in reading Joseph Campbell's work on the hero in literature.
     
  5. ohr_drakonis

    ohr_drakonis Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2022
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Drakonis
    Currently Reading::
    Homer, Farenheit 451
    In my system becoming a Champion of the Light involves drinking from The Shimmering Pool of the Light, which is formed from the fragments of the Light (the Light is a metaphysical entity that is formed from all of the dwellers of the Color Realms shining their colored crystals to a prism in the Center, it provides hope, joy, warmth, and optimism to all of creation, the Earthly Realm and the Color Realms alike. It does this by connecting to Olam Elyon, which is Hebrew for 'higher world, which is the spirit realm that exists 'above', or more accurately, above, outside, and beyond, the Color Realms. Fragments of this beam of 'Light' break off from the main shaft, some collect down in the Shimmering Pool, while additional fragments are harvested for use by the dwellers of the Realm of the Light, which is in the center of the seven Color Realms.) If one is not the True Champion, s/he will die outright from the immense power of the Light. Andrew/Lukas (and Katy) is given the choice: go back home safely and let Blue implement his plan to destroy the environment and raise the seas to cover the lands, or drink, risk your life, and be our Champion to battle Blue and restore the forests.

    So it's not like in Star Wars where it depends on your midichlorian levels, I believe this is quite different. Also there is no lightsaber, no teleknesis, or any of that. Lukas/Andrew's training is primarily in martial arts, incorporating various systems with some staff fighting. Now that I'm considering adding Katy as his co-champion perhaps she will train in magic (which I call cesem, Hebrew for magic in my book) while he trains in the martial arts. What do you think of that?

    When I first wrote the book 10 years ago I was quite concerned with the journey through the dwarf mines and that it was too similar to LOTR. But its not a major part of the story anyway, so I'm not sure if I must remove it or not.
     
  6. Catriona Grace

    Catriona Grace Search and rescue Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2021
    Messages:
    3,832
    Likes Received:
    3,332
    My perceptions are not Holy Writ, to say the least, and please understand that I'm referring to parallels rather than thinly disguised rewritings. For example, Lukas being trained by "Finor, an elf, who teaches Lukas discipline and staff fighting" is parallel to Yoda, a kind of a weird little gnome, teaching Luke discipline and lightsaber fighting.

    The magic/martial arts training is an intriguing idea. I'm sure you'll develop it beautifully as time goes on.
     
  7. Idiosyncratic

    Idiosyncratic Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2014
    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    225
    Currently Reading::
    Six of Crows
    While I quite like the worldbuilding with the prism/color kingdoms and the way it interacts with earth, I do think It needs a bit more direction/backbone. It feels very much, now they meet character A and fight creature X, oh now they meet this guy who helps them cross a river and fight creature Y, now they heal some brothers in exchange for a magic item. It almost feels video-gamey, just going through the world exploring various side quests while you figure out the controls, with no real sense of cause and effect. As a reader, I really want them to have a clear goal from the beginning (It doesn't have to be their final goal, it can just be 'get home' or 'find the person who summoned them' and later once they learn more they can gain a new goal like 'rescue Katy' or 'Stop Vallidus') and then see exactly how each action they take connects to that goal and how each scene moves the overarching plot forward.

    It isn't until chapter seven that you hit upon the main plot, and even then it's not all that goal-oriented, Katy's kidnapped but they don't rescue her or even seem to be taking concrete steps to rescue her (indeed, she stops existing at that point and is never mentioned again, also seconding the weak/kidnapped female foil thing but it sounds like you're already planning on changing that) they do some more traveling and questing; environmental hazards that have nothing to do with the villain who kidnapped Katy. He thinks Teltiban might be evil, which is cool but didn't have much build up and is easily resolved and continues to not be connected to your main villain or the rescue efforts. Then the book ends with what sounds like a training montage (not particularly climactic, training montages normally happen early on in novels/movies with the character getting to put their newly learned skills to use in the climax.) The choice is good, but not enough on its own.

    Basically, it sounds like you have a whole bunch of elements that are cool individually but haven't quite found a way to tie them all together cohesively yet. I would really focus in on what your character's wants/goals are, and what steps they can take to achieve those goals (even if they fail). Also, think about what the stakes are if they fail, and how those stakes get bigger as the book progresses.
     
    evild4ve likes this.
  8. ohr_drakonis

    ohr_drakonis Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2022
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Drakonis
    Currently Reading::
    Homer, Farenheit 451
    I see your point, so, the main goal from chapter 3 (which is when they land in the Great Rainforest of Green in the Color Realms) is to figure out why they had been brought/summoned there, and by whom. At this point in time they believe that its for an evil purpose, or for no purpose -- i.e. to fulfill some entity's whims and quirks (kind of like this entity is playing a video game with them, to borrow from what you said), and they continue with this belief until they finally find Teltibane, when Lukas nearly kills the old wizard in revenge for taking them from their home (and also for Teltibane getting Katy captured in the first version, but this will likely be changed in the new version, and Katy will be there at the meeting with Teltibane, Greybeard, and Lukas and be one of the two Champion's of the Light). Their secondary goal is to find their way back home.

    Does that satisfy your requirements, or are you still of the opinion that its too 'video-gamey'?
     
  9. ohr_drakonis

    ohr_drakonis Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2022
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Drakonis
    Currently Reading::
    Homer, Farenheit 451
    I'm trying to contrast it with Harry Potter which was my favorite book as a child. In those books there was always a clear structure, living through the school year. In my story it seems to be more a series of unrelated events as you say, that climax in a meeting with Teltibane. However, everything will tie back together in the end of the book (meaning the second part of book one of this planned 5 part series), the Xelnia will come into play, the umlenzi tree guardians will be a major part of the story....
     
  10. Idiosyncratic

    Idiosyncratic Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2014
    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    225
    Currently Reading::
    Six of Crows
    I think I see what's tripping you up; you're working hard on setting things up for the future, but it's coming at the expense of the narrative arc/early story. Remember, if people give up on chapter 5 , they're never going to know how good it gets in book 2. Try just making this book as good as it can be. Think about making a good, cohesive beginning, and worry about the next bit afterwards.

    The goals of finding the summoner and getting home work, but I still need to see how their actions relate to those goals. A sense of progress is what keeps the story moving. If there isn't progress, if it's just random encounters, then it feels like the plot is spinning it's wheels in one place.

    The good news, you can still include much of this worldbuilding/setup, while having a narrative arc. Start with your story/backbone, then add back in those worldbuilding things as obstacles that make it harder for the characters to reach their goals.
     

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