Plot ideas for a Medieval Fantasy book?

Discussion in 'Writing' started by xCelestia17, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. xCelestia17

    xCelestia17 Little Witch

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    Ok so I'm writing a fantasy book, and I have all my characters and research and plan and the like, but I'm having serious trouble with the plot!
    Not what actually happens in the book, but the reasons for what happens in the book and what happened before the book. I keep thinking up ideas but they never seem to work or they've been done too many times before, and I'm kinda getting to the stage now where I can't even think of anything else!

    Its really getting me down, and I wondered if anyone here has any advice or suggestions or just anything helpful at all, if you do then that would be great :)
     
  2. kmtolan

    kmtolan KMTolan

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    Time to head down to ye local creative writing class, or read up on "Plot And Structure" by James Bell.

    Or both.

    If you can't figure out a good story yourself, then you have issues that won't be solved here, I'm afraid. Still, let me toss a few things at you that might kindle your imagination a bit.

    No elves.
    No wizards.
    No vampires.
    No werewolves.

    The result of this might be something original.

    Kerry
     
  3. zachariah

    zachariah Speaks fluent Bawehrf

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    I think you need to give us a bigger hint on what you're after. If you've got your plan and you know what's going to happen in the book, then you must have a plot of some kind already.

    If you're after backstory and motivation for your characters, then you haven't really got them like you said. You just need to spend a bit more time world-building. If you have a bunch of fancy scenes you're itching to write but nothing linking them together, then you really need to have a long hard look at the project.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2009
  4. worldmaker

    worldmaker Producer/Screenwriter

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    Study history.....

    Study history for inspiration.
    Study Tolkien for serious inspiration.
    And dare I suggest you read my little short story to see how I was inspired by Tolkien to write my kind of mediaeval fantasy in January?

    Have you been watching the latest Henry VIII on Channel Four?
    Should be a few thoughts on there?

    (erm, Kerry - I do have elves and wizards and unicorns, and UFOs and men like gods, and the kitchen sink! But forgot the vampires and werewolves!) :D

    As Kerry says, a fantasy doesn't have to include faries, how about Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure into Olde England meeting up with the totally Princess Babes!

    :)


    To clarify: whatever happens in your book has a background, so look first at what you want to happen, then begin asking yourself Why is she/he doing that, what are their motivations, what is the history of these people, their society, their cultural behavioural patterns that drive their reactions to events? You already have the events, now you need to build a world for them to live in, and that world has a history, so look at real history and how it relates to our world as your beginning.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2009
  5. kater

    kater Filthy Assistants!

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    I'm a little confused how you have everything else if you don't have plot, is there something specific you're missing?
     
  6. kmtolan

    kmtolan KMTolan

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    Yes, but at least you threw in the sink - that's the clincher!

    Kerry :D
     
  7. jeff p

    jeff p Registered User

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    Don’t be hard on yourself if you haven’t nailed a plot down in a few days. Writing a decent one can take months or even years to complete.
     
  8. hippokrene

    hippokrene Peckish

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    My suggestion:

    Elves.
    Wizards.
    Vampires.
    Werewolves.
    Jedi.

    The result of this might be something original and awesome!

    You need a plot? You came to the right board! I'm full of plots.

    The reason the stuff is happening is because of a tear between worlds. As the worlds mix, they corrupt and alter one another and the beings within them. Refreshing the barrier between worlds will save humanity the catasrophic change of their mixing, but may also lock the world in a state of stagnation and entrophy.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2009
  9. KatG

    KatG Effulgent Staff Member

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    Well, the reasons things happen in the book are two-fold:

    1) Things that happen beyond any character's control: earthquakes, fire, sword breaks.

    2) Choices that the characters make and their motivations, feelings and reasoning for making those choices.

    You've got the characters, you have events that happen to them and choices that they've made. Are you confused about why they are making the choices they do? It sounds like a character problem.
     
  10. Holbrook

    Holbrook Edited for submission

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    Kerry, having had a two hour telephone conversation with my agent last night, after he had spent last week at London book fair, "original" is not selling at the moment. Strangely the industy has gone very conservative in this period of recession. They want what is "safe" what they know sells, and sells well, escapist fantasy!

    That is trolls, goblins, fairies, elves, wizards, dragons, and in parnormal fantasy (Romance or otherwise) VAMPIRES and WEREWOLVES! Despite the rumour that such are fading away, the industry are buying as much as the can at present and the sales in the books stores are still rising. One of the few growth areas in the business. Ok, they are looking for twists and turns, but the above are still selling.

    Besides, if you are writing for your self, put whatever you want in, and see what happens!
     
  11. worldmaker

    worldmaker Producer/Screenwriter

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    Not if you've got an elf by your side with a magic sword - they never break.
    And a wizard to wave his wand around and prevent any of these pesky earthquakes.
    And of course everyone's favourite friend - a fire-fighting fairy, they hate anything messing with their forests!

    :)
     
  12. Warzoo

    Warzoo Registered User

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    I've been thinking about this seriously for awhile now...This world is crazy. We have wars, swine flu, somali pirates, internet pirates, global warming, etc.

    The only solution I can think of, would be to send in the innocent farm boy. I don't mean an army of them, I just mean one. We could kill his parents, and tell them a great magical force known as the swine flu did it. Innocent farm boy would then seek out the source of this disease like a surgical strike cruise missile. I've read lots of fantasy novels, I know it works. Innocent Farm boys always hit their target. So in retrospect, not all cliches are bad ideas, and perhaps we should look to their path for a greater way.
     
  13. kmtolan

    kmtolan KMTolan

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    And folks wonder why the industry is tanking....

    Thanks for the heads-up.

    Kerry
     
  14. JHerzog01

    JHerzog01 Registered User

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    scene 1: a princess holding a relic of power is being pursued by evil forces. she sends the relic away to some random location (Not smart considering that generally fantasy planets are earth like in that they are 70% water.)

    scene 2: enter nazi poster boy farmer.

    scene 3: While out taking a leak poster boy farmer's entire family is destroyed.

    scene 4: white farm boy meets up with strange old man who lives alone out in dessert but has a strange fondness for young boys.

    scene 5: old pedophile teaches nazi farm boy whatever skills he needs

    scene 6: Nazi and Pedophile rescue princess, pedophile dies in process.

    scene 7: Enter...the rebellion!! Young Nazi goes to war and is the only one capable of finding the enemies G-spot.

    scene 8: Nazi finds the G-spot.

    scene 9: Princess gives Nazi a medal and has a big ceremony to celebrate the Nazi finding the G-spot.

    scene 10: roll the credits and claim it was all original. It's happened before.
     
  15. worldmaker

    worldmaker Producer/Screenwriter

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    Hmm, but on my world - wars get rid of archaic governments, swine flu kills off the weak, Somali pirates are just misunderstood entrepreneurs wanting to earn a living for their families, internet pirates are just bugs in a computer operating system called Microswift(TM), global warming is a good way to reduce your winter fuel bills.

    :cool:
     
  16. tdnewton

    tdnewton The Ninth Avatar

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    Keep in mind that what you're doing is not set in stone.

    That being said, the best way to come up with new ideas is to think of how best you can complicate your characters' lives. Think of big events in your own life (births, deaths, marriage) or events that endanger you and your close ties (war, plague, famine) and imagine how they would change your story. Kill a character. Introduce a new character. Try everything and see what you like best.
     
  17. KatG

    KatG Effulgent Staff Member

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    Oy, Holbrook, did you have to do that?

    Two things: what publishing people say they want in terms of content and what they actually end up acquiring are not always the same thing. What's going on is that all fantasy is selling, which has been the case since the mid-1990's. Historical fantasy is slowly expanding. Paranormal romance is moving into SF, etc. Shifts occur. We can rejoice that the genre is healthy. If you're going to go with the idea that publishers are conservative, we would never have had the growth in contemporary fantasy, because no one would have dared to write anything but alternate world fantasy which was selling great guns. I'm not calling them liars, exactly, but they don't always know what they want until they see it.

    Second, publishing people are often wrong and frequently disagree with each other. They also frequently change their minds. It's entirely up to you what you are going to do -- go with elves because you feel that's the market or don't.

    But that wasn't really the original poster's question. Or maybe it's related but it's hard to tell. So please take your elf, orphan, wizard issues and dump them -- or at least move them to that thread about the quiz -- and maybe Celestial will actually clarify what he/she meant, if the person hasn't run away screaming.
     
  18. xCelestia17

    xCelestia17 Little Witch

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    Ok firstly, I have no vampires, werewolves, elves, UFO's, Jedi, Trolls or anything else mentioned so far lol
    However, I do have witches, faeries, uh, evil faeries, sorcerer/esses, pirates, spirits and a mermaid

    Someone said about having scenes to write but nothing to link them together, yea I've kinda done that.. . .

    To be honest I'm not entirely sure what I'm looking for, just inspiration of some form really
     
  19. worldmaker

    worldmaker Producer/Screenwriter

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    The Gobblins Cometh!

    Oi, you, we HAVE been mentioning faries, so you can't say they haven't been mentioned so far. And sorcerers are the same as wizards, who have been discussed, so you can't get away with that either.

    On which basis I've arranged a raveging horde of gobblins to come round your house and beat you up with lots of Dangerous Ideas.

    Serves you right!

    :rolleyes:
     
  20. hippokrene

    hippokrene Peckish

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    You've come to the right place!

    [​IMG]

    http://101reasonstostopwriting.com/2007/09/14/inspiration-your-september-demotivator/

    If you become a famous writer, you will be rich and adored by all!
    Writers contribute to the cultural and literary life of their generation, and possibly future generations!
    Your story can inspire, entertain, and enlighten a reader like no other!
    A writer's mental creative output is spent towards their own work, instead of being one of many supporting a large corperate machine!
    Writers are sexy. You'd best believe it!
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2009