1. Sarah Everheart

    Sarah Everheart New Member

    Feb 5, 2015
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    Sadly America

    Unusual story type

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Sarah Everheart, Feb 5, 2015.

    I am currently writing a story. I have been writing for many years and battling depression for many years along with bi-polar and aspergers so as anyone who has an idea what all that means, I haven't gotten anything done in all these years but I am a fountain of ideas.

    So the current one I am working on is unusual, and that's saying something coming from me. Human demon lesbian love. Normal. Comatose god delusion dreams. parallel world exploration. This is a typical Tuesday night for me. But this idea I admit might be better suited for a game story line, but I do not make games and I do not know anyone who does so I am left with my one medium.

    The story begins with journal entries, taking a look into the main characters life over the past 3 years 887-890. The world is a fantasy based one with knights and beasts and monsters and witches and demons and etc. During these three years the main character is accepted to the academy, a renowned school that takes on people studying beasts and magical creatures. During these three years he is united with his soul mate, and the character is overall explained.

    At the end of the first chapter he proposes to his woman and leaves on an exploration mission with his older sister's army troop with a promise from his professor to make him his apprentice, and dreams of being a professor one day as well guiding him. The three months go by in a blink before chapter 1 and 2, but it is not until he is on his return that things begin to happen.

    He stays the night in a house on the side of the road. There he meets a young girl who he assumes to be perfectly normal, but in fact is a demon who is strong enough to hold a human form. Intrigued by the protagonist for reasons I won't begin to dive into right now as this message is getting rather long, she decides to hold her own experiments on him. She bites him, and pushes her own energy into him, beginning a process that will slowly turn him into a demon and make him the same as her.

    From there, she locks him three stories beneath her home in an underground labyrinth from which he must escape from. If he cannot, the demonic energy will overtake him and he will change into a demon too and never be able to return to his love as he will be forced to serve her forever.

    The problems I am facing with this story currently are two things, story progression, and protagonist change.

    See, I keep researching and I find it hard to discover a story progression style which fits with this story. This is not a monomyth, I don't understand story mountain, and all of the other ones I've come across just don't seem to work for it. I understand these are just story guidelines and not actual rules for writing, but I would like to have something to go on. I know I want my character to progress and change, grow more demon but struggle to retain his humanity, enter into a bout of despair because of his ordeals and be brought back, but what will he change into, and more importantly, will he be able to return?

    Another problem is I don't know how I want the story to end. Sure it would be nice, he gets out and returns, but I'm tired of a happy ending all the time. Exploring the nexus of endings for this story my mind produces, I find so many possibilities. He escapes the dungeon, but unable to contain his rage he decides to face her, losing himself and becoming demon. He is unable to defeat her, and trapped as one of her servants forever. He faces her and he wins, but now a demon he returns to his love and she cannot accept him and he kills her by accident. Or she can accept him and they both become demons together.

    Or he escapes, returns home. goes to his love and after telling her she cannot accept him for what he is and what has happened to him, her and the entire city shun him, thus causing him to seek out the very demon who did this to him. Does she take him as her servant, or perhaps she isn't there anymore, nothing remains.
    Or he never tells her, or he tells her and she accepts it and he returns to the normal.
    I had wanted to end it with a cliff hanger but I felt that would be a disservice to the readers. Now I don't know.

    Also toying with an idea where each of the three levels represent something, either in the character himself, or perhaps something else. however researching has showed up nothing to do for this. Thinking perhaps it has to do with the character personally or maybe more so growth or change or the things he cares about or matter the most to him.

    Any advice or help would be greatly thanks. I apologize for being so long
  2. 123456789

    123456789 Contributor Contributor

    Jan 28, 2012
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    As tempted as I was to bash your idea (based on your long unnecessary preamble) I think this idea has promise ( and I rarely ever say that here).

    Here's my thoughts.

    Keep the world mystical and mysterious. You like games? Go look up ICO if you haven't heard of it. Stick to your plot , your immediate characteers and setting, and don't try to define your world too much. Your story sounds very claustrophobic and I'd keep it that way.

    Second, time limit. What I really like about this story is the time limit aspect. Make us feel continually like time is running out, and the story is half way there .

    Third, man vs the demon. You've got a lot of potential here especially if youre good at characterization. You can get some really awesome interplay between captive and captor. Great one liners. Make it a constant game of one trying to out smart the other. I'd keep the demons motives cloudy, maybe even add in a hint of sexual tension here and there, but make it clear he hates her. Obviously it's not just the man vs the demon whose captured him but the man vs the demon in himself. This could be a past demon(maybe he did something bad) a present denon( maybe he's slightly attracted to her) or a future demon (the things he does to try to escape). I would strongly strongly suggest making this a psychological thriller.

    There's several ways I see the ending happening here. He could murder the demon, thus metaphorically becoming one himself. He could sell something to the demon for his release , be that another human or his own soul, thus becoming the demon metaphorically again anyway. You could throw a twist in there where it turns out the demon is taking vengeance on him, and he finds out why . No matter what, I would live to see the novel end with these two things. One, some profound understanding between the demon and the MC, preferrably something that also has a philosophical nature. Two, have him making his way back to his wife's house just as the sun is rising. He's nearly home and slowly changing into the demon. Then he reaches the door and the story ends.

    Might make a better movie honestly.
    Jenurik Name likes this.
  3. Malisky

    Malisky Malkatorean Contributor

    Apr 11, 2012
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    Your story seems to be involving many interesting symbolic elements (which you chose either conciously "you already had an idea of why you chose these elements and specifically what you wanted to say about them" either subconciously "a matter of taste, something that intrigues you about them but never got fully examined), that can be used as the core of a philosophical and/or a psychological mind-bender. I won't give a straight answer to the question, because I find it irrelevant to do so, but what I can do, is break what you already mentioned down into pieces (at least the key concepts and elements that got my attention) and briefly examine their complexity depending on which way you could approach their value.

    1) Your MC is studying about beasts and magical creatures. This implies that he is curious about and dedicated into finding answers that have to do with beings that are beyond the regular physical spectrum. Although magical, these creatures tend to be primitive and in their behaviour they don't seem to be any different than regular animals. They make the contradiction between life (i.e: the graceful unicorn whose tears can heal anything) and death (the terrefying cracken that when awakened it can consume any number of sea creatures and ships only of its' yawning). It's not a matter of evil vs. good though, because although their actions may have great impact on anything they "touch", their intentions and reactions are in context to survival and natural reflex (it's not the crackens fault it yawns and the unicorn sheds tears only when it's sad). They don't have an alternative cause and non can be given to them, because of their nature. There has to be a human intervention to manipulate and make use of their abilities. Human has motives that surpass his survival. Human is the observer and manipulator of natural forces; the restless natural being that always seeks for more and is never contempt with its knowledge. He is the one that fears the most (either living, either dying) and goes against his conventional surroundings.

    Before nr.2, I'd like to highlight just in case...

    These scenarios are not meant to guide anyone towards any religious beliefs neither vandalize nor undermine your faith in any way. It's only creative imagination based upon the examination of different philosophical approaches, that have to do with the moralistic symbolism that such matters can be perceived as, by the average mortal thinker. Nothing more, nothing less and nothing to bitch about. I'm willing to prove my sincere intentions by choosing a friendly pink text colour. :angle:

    2) What is a demon if not a fallen angel. It's the otherside of the same coin. The one that rebelled against its' almighty creator, perceived as "the evil one" in human folklore. But how can a loving angel transform into a hateful demon? Do angels have a choice? What is a demon afterall?

    Scenario a: After many millenia serving happilly bound to gods willing the angel one day finds itself questioning it (for many-many reasons which I'm not going to examine because I might end up writing a whole book about them. You already know them, I'm sure). So, if we play with the idea that the angel had to rebel against god in order to become a demon, it means that it had to make an action that deviated from his will. But why would an angel risk doing such a thing if it already knew the consequenses? This is a paradox theory. God created angels and gave them mission to care and look after people. So, an angel would only deviate from his will, in order to do what it was supposed to do, which is protect the human. Even if the angels' action was a mistake, he wouldn't know that, because it would only do it with its' own reasoning, believing it to be good. It would be because of love and not hate. So, if god ostrasiced it and made it a demon, only because of that, without explaining (because his will is unknown), wouldn't the fallen angel deviate even further from his "father" feeling shaken by the new harsh and unfair image that he portraited? Wouldn't it feel used and betrayed?

    That makes god (from the human moral point of view), either a cruel and uncarring creator (at least towards the angels) whose patience is limited and he himself is imperfect due to these facts, either the perfect enygma he is, because we fail to see his masterplan that goes beyond our understanding, or even the immortal angels' as a fact. Maybe damnation is only a human concept (and angels are much like humen when they come to reason, leaving faith aside) and suffering is nothing more than a phase of transition. Maybe god send that angel down in order to answer its questions that could not be answered otherwise. Sometimes questions are burdensome and may drive us mad, and there is not an reasonable answer that can be described by words for them to get solved. We need to experience in order to understand and so do the angels. See things from another point of view.

    Scenario b: After many millenia serving happilly bound to gods willing the angel one day finds itself questioning it. Only this fact, is enough to turn an angel into a demon. Questions; feeling restless. The angel starts transforming into a demon by itself, and not by gods doing. If god is the source and angel is the receiver, then maybe, faith is the means that connects source to receiver. So, if faith is shaken, so is the connection. It was inavoidable that the angel transformed into a demon. You can't have your faith sincerly intact, when you stumble upon things that question it, even if you have the purest intentions. That leads as a result, that the angel had no choice than to become a demon and that this had nothing to do with gods direct will. It is a possible transformation due to its' own nature. Lets say that the angel panicked, experiencing the defective connection. That lead it to deteriorate even further, as fear built up into the angel, and with fear comes hate. Hate is only a manifestation of negativism, caused by fear, which is caused (in many cases if not all) by "the unknown". And so, connection gets lost, the angel falls, and ends up wandering, for the first time devoided from its creators reassuring feeling, on earth, amongst beings whose suffering is causing the already panicked - demon now - more sadness and burdensome feelings. The demon from then on, becomes hateful. How hateful, depends on its character mainly. Maybe somewhat, maybe a lot, or maybe it totally lost it and turned berzerk. But, even terrifying fires, fade out and get quenched, after they run out of fuel. Emotions change as we evolve, especially for immortal beings that have all the time in the world to fall from one side to the other. It's a matter of time and pacing really. How much time does a demon need to become an angel again (if that is his objective)? How many phases lie ahead of it, as its focusness gets distracted by the more human, than divine, nature of its new world? How does it get influenced by this ever changing, ever battling for ballance, mortal world, in contrast to its perfect paradise it used to live in? Is reconnection attainable and if yes, then how?

    Scenario c: After many millenia serving happilly... blah blah blah, the angel however gets thrown on earth or even it choses to go (whatever). It likes it there. People love the demon, because it helps them and the demon loves the humans. It wants to help everyone, which turns out impossible, because it figures that by helping one person often lead (by chain reaction) to the harm of another, and although all of its wisdom and good intentions, all of its masterplans concerning their better living, would fail, sometimes catastrophically. The demon would start experiencing guilt and regret for the first time, that severely and unnoticeably, start to spoil its inner equilibrium, while even more, as time passes, it developes more human personality traits, one of which is vanity. The demon loses its patience and ends up enforcing its will upon the humans, and where love would fail to convince them, there would be fear to set them to the supposedly right path. It sees that for such mortal beings, fear is a strong enough motive to get the job done and loses focus from its initial aim. This results in rebellions against it and human wars. The demon now, is a tyrant that favoures its beloved followers that already adore him. However, its actions are not unnoticed by the "higher forces", that after trying to reason with the demon, they fail to come to an agreement, so they end up fighting. Angels win and contain the demon somehow, demon has time to reflect upon itself and its actions. (Maybe that's when it gets to meet with your MC).

    In this scenario, the demon is trying to deal with the suffering of the humans. But as the humans fail to grasp the wisdom of an immortal being, due to their limited nature, so does the demon fail to grasp their mortal suffering. It sees it as an error that can be corrected, while wishing to bring joy and in need to be loved as well. It gets in contact with its more human nature, but ends up getting sucked by the darker traits, without realizing it. It creates its own cause. Only when the angels force it, does it start to re-examine its actions and review its progression.

    Demons are really inrtiguing, dramatic characters that for some reason, get so poorly involved or described in a story. There's so much into them, that I find it a pity when they only end up personifying pure, mindless evilness. (They used to be loving human-caretakers for an inconceivable amount of time, people! Show some respect! :p)

    3) By your story, I get that the demon seeks for something that involves the MC. She is the one in need of something. Observing him upon his reactions and sufferings, giving him an ultimatum, although with some hope of atleast escaping it. Now why would she put him in this miserable position? What could she possibly gain from it? Further more, her "punishment" in case he fails to escape within the time he is given, has a good side to it, from a more human point of view, which I'm going to explain in a few minutes later.

    Lets talk about the demons' possible gainings first. He might have chose the MC, because she saw something in him that reminded her of how she used to be, and felt that it was time to use the right ginea-pig, to extract a test, in a manner that symbolically at least, resonates with what she's been dealing with. She wants to put him through her replicated story and observe his reactions, in an effort to distance herself from the problem and view it more objectively, as the observer, athough she might still be very emotional about it and sometimes goes overboard. She wants to understand his decissions, but also gets mad when she fails to, because she is desparate. The result she wishes can be contradictive. She wants him to escape, because that might give her a deeper understanding of the mistakes she made and got "condamned" and thus, may also obtain the answer of how she can escape her fate, and return to her original state. She might also impulsively "cheat" and punish him, whenever she gets emotional from mistakes he makes that resemble hers (her inner self punishment and self-loathing obtains form through him, he is just the punch-bag), or even when he makes correct decisions (as a means of denial and self justification upon her actions).

    Now, from the MCs point of view. As I mentioned earlier, there's something in it for him as well. He would become a demon, which is quite terrifying in matters of his soul (I suspect), but on the other hand, another primitive, terrifying burden, the one concerning his mortality, would be lifted away. He would become immortal. We are dealing with a bargain between soul and matter if such could ever exist, but!... This is a tricky one... If he ends up losing his soul, would that make him an immortal being? What is a soul and how can it be lost? What would losing it mean to him? Would he become someone else? Isn't that the same as dying anyway? Then who would become immortal if not him? On the other hand, if he choses to escape the labyrinth, it's like chosing death, as he is destined to die as a human creature, by default. Maybe live a few more years, but then what? Ashes to ashes and dust to dust, would that even matter? What if dying meant nothing at all other than disappearing? What about his soul then? Wouldn't it disappear as well? Isn't it better to be in some way, than not to be at all? In the whole run, isn't he a condamned being anyway?

    In a complex system between mortality and immortality, is there a truth that can reassure a thinking being (mortal or immortal)? An escape from itself? If there is, then what would that be?

    4) A cliche concept maybe, but that might be the place where the love interest comes into play. Maybe not... Just a thought.

    5) The labyrinth is the system. Any system. Upon realising the system you end up traped in it, when before realising it, in your obliviousness, you were free. But does the system really exist by itself or does it take form out of your fears of the "unknown"? It's nothing more than deceiving paths that lead to dead ends, except for the one that leads outside. But is there really just one exit (exit/truth), or is this just another concept of our limited understanding?

    I'm tired. Hope I gave you some ideas and inspiration upon the subject. What makes a story interesting to read is it's meaning, and what makes it interesting to write is the meaning you want to express. So, what is it that you want to say?

    Just felt philosophical today.
  4. BookmarkUnicorn

    BookmarkUnicorn New Member

    Aug 7, 2014
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    It sounds a bit like a fable or myth where the setting doesn't matter as much as the interactions between the characters and what they stand for. Myths aren't often as long as other forms of story so really I could see it being fleshed out with strong characters. If the setting is kind of blurred into the background you could do a lot with showing over telling (since a lot of myths are heavy on telling that might be refreshing). Maybe those months you skip where nothing really interesting happens actually have some meaningful weight to why the demon wants him? Demons are often tricksters and good at making deals in most cultures, so even a made up one might have its own rulebook...

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