View Full Version : Some questions about a fantasy series I'm planning to write. Please help!!
April 6th, 2001, 12:43 PM
I'm planning on writing a fantasy series called "Dwarfsaga" and I'm having some real trouble getting started. I'm also writing a Star Wars fanfic called The Sith Sword, but it isn't nearly as hard to write as this story is because I'm crating practically my own world in this series I'm trying to get started on. I've got a few main ideas in the storyline down, but I have absolutely no idea on where to start, and I've got bad writer's block because of it. The main idea for the storyline that I have so far is that the series revolves around this royal clan of dwarves that have a kindom underground in the mountains. Their main enemies are an evil race of orcs called Blood Orcs that they have had several wars with and the Blood Orcs have their own evil kingdom far off in another mountain range underground. These Blood Orcs are blood-red in color and have green-glowing eyes and are extremely vicious. They worship this evil vampire-lord from another plane called the "Dimension of Darkness". The vampire-lord speaks to them from the other dimension and orders them to bring him the newborn child of the Dwarf King Raknias IV and to sacrifice it to him. This child was born with a magical crystal in his forehead that has enough power to summon the vampire-lord out of the Dimension of Darkness into their dimension. A company on six dwarf warriors take off on a quest to rescue King Raknias' child under the leadership of the Dwarfmage Tiarnos. At the end of the quest they rescue the child and escape from the Blood Orcs only to find that when the orcs had the baby they used the power to conjure the vampire-lord out of his dimension into theirs. The vampire-lord thus begins a reign of terror and plans to eradicate the entire dwarf clan.
And the dwarves, of course, must stop him, his vampiric and demon underlings, and the Blood Orcs and end his reign of terror once and for all. That's the main idea, but I haven't figured out how to properly develop the story yet, and I don't know how many books I should condense it into. And if,when I'm done, whether or not I should make any spinoffs, like so many other good fantasy series that I've heard about seem to do. Is there anyone who could please offer me some help & hopefully some advice, comments, or criticisms. I would dearly appreciate any input that anyone here could offer me. http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif
April 6th, 2001, 04:41 PM
My 2 cents . . .
This is one of those things that you have to work out for yourself. If you are having trouble figuring where the book should start, then donít start at the beginning. Start working on the parts of the story that you know. Iíve found that if I do this then the rest of the story falls into place. I suppose it's because when I work on the rest of the story, I get a better feel for the characters and the story, which in turn helps me work through the parts that had been giving me problems.
As far as the length of the story, well, I figure the story should be however long the story dictates. If it takes 1 book to tell the story, so be it; if it takes 5 books to tell the story, so be it. But thatís just my opinion.
Also, when Iím working on new stories, I often consider aspects of the story when Iím doing things like housework, just before I go to sleep, driving or just about anything. Iíve never had a problem with forgetting things I thought up during these times. - Hope this helps.
April 6th, 2001, 11:33 PM
This is the methods I use, I hope they can be useful for you as well...
You could start with writing little notes (Are there any special animals or plants in your world? How does the magic work? How does you characters look like? etc) about the world, and the characters - that it a good way to get creative to flow. (I'm myself writing on a story that took at least two months before I really started writing on it http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/wink.gif
Kats advice works well for me too - but that usually mean that you'll have to rewrite the parts a it when you bring them togetheher - but it gives a better story.
If you feel you *really* have writers block, just start writing and remember that you can always rewrite if you aren't satisfied.
A great way that I use to fix writers block is to take a long walk and think about I want to write. (I have several scenes finished in my imagination, long before I actually write them down - just put a few words down in paper so I remember what I was thinking.)
(BTW, have you seen the serie of articles on this site about writing? I just stumbled upon them the other day and I think they seem great.)
May 10th, 2001, 05:40 AM
Why was the Dwarf Kings son born with a crystal in his head?
What circumstances caused it to be put there?
Who devised the means t put it there?
Why does the Vampire Lord want to enter the dwarves' dimension?
How did he find out about the Dwarf Kings son?
Why do the Orc's follow him?
Do the Dwarves know about the Vampire Lord?
How do the Orc's manage to kidnap the King's son? (He's the son of a king, and he's got a magical crystal of great power impedded in his forehead - Wouldn't he be well guarded?!)
Why are only SIX dwarves sent to rescue the child if he's so important?
You've not thought through your idea very well. As for how many books should you take to tell the story, well... You've not formulated enough plot to fill even one small book yet!
Try to think through how each of your ideas impacts upon the characters in your story. What are your characters motivations? It's not enough to say that the Vampire-Lord is evil and wants to do evil things for no particular reason.
Try to avoid cliche's. You've used far too many of them. A war between Dwarves and Orcs? Cliche. An evil darklord? Cliche. From the "Dimension of Darkness"? Cliche. A crystal of great power? Cliche. A crystal embedded in the head of a child? Cliche.
You must try to avoid these things!
May 10th, 2001, 06:05 AM
LeMort: Agreed to some extent. Writing a story that is ďclicheĒ is not a bad thing. You just have to accept that you most likely will not get that story published. Iím working on many stories that will NEVER get published for various reasons. But the other day, I told one of my stories to my niece and she LOVED it. So that is why I continue to write these stories, even though publication is so unlikely.
Also, a note about evil. I wanted to expand on what you said. Most truly evil people do not think of themselves as evil. They think they are good. My point is to keep that in mind when writing about the ďdark sideĒ. To me, evil characters are the most interesting to create simply because they are so complicated.
May 10th, 2001, 06:44 AM
Sometimes villains become the main characters in my stories! Usually, they have more motivations, and are more fun and interesting to write about. Also, I try the "good" guys to have faults (greed, lust, darkpacts, etc); very few are "virtues". Example: in a story of mine the main hero is a king come back from the dead to avenge the usurper of his throne; but, in order to come back, he has made a darkpact with the Lord of the Underworld, and he must offer his Master souls --that's the "good" guy of this tale! http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/wink.gif
So, what I want to say is that no-one is truly "evil" or "good". Everyone has a "higher purpose" (Jordan's Dark One and Forsake is crap, IMHO), and, in order to fulfill his purpose, he must act. His action might be clasified "good" by some, "evil" by others. The only one you could call "evil", or "diadolic", is someone who is sceeming "in the shadows", for he strikes in the back, and, usually, that's not a virtuous method to make "war".
Now, about that DwarfWar saga it's not so difficult to make it work; just find purpose for everyone in it. Ask yourself many hows and whys, and try to make up answers for them. E.g., the Vampire Lord might have been an ancient emperor in the lands of the dwarves many thousand years ago, exiled an imprisoned in the "Dimension of Shadows" --a horrible realm outside of Time and Space, where he is constantly tortured. Now, he has found a way to come back; he'll strike at his old enemy's children, after finding out he no longer lives, etc. Just an idea! Give them all motivation. The "Six Dwarf Companions" might be the childred of the old enemy of the Vampire, who can feel his presence, or something like that.
Hope I helped. http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/wink.gif
May 10th, 2001, 07:38 AM
It sounds like this is a Big Epic Thing. Have you written a Big Epic Thing before? I haven't. So I can imagine trying to work out how to start it would be difficult.
I'm a big believer in not writing anything down about a story until the idea has fermented enough. If you write something too soon, before you have a good enough grap on the story, it's not going to work on paper. I would say, work on something else. You haven't even worked out a plotline yet; how could you write anything down? You've probably got a good scene or two in your head, but a scene does not a story make. Let your unconscious and conscious mind kick the possibilities around until they start falling into place. Just thinking about a story in the car or doing housework, like KATS suggested, will save you lots of wasted time staring a the dreaded blank screen.
There's also a thoery that I've seen authors mention when they talk about where their ideas come from. They say you need two ideas to really make the story work. I often find that I get the inital idea for a story from a scene I can see in my head. If I try to work off this one idea, the story either a.) never goes anywhere or b.) is the most boring, trite, horrible story anyone could ever concieve. It takes the second idea to really get sparks flying.
And a last note about cliched ideas and publishing: If you take a time-tested popular idea and redo it craftily enough, I bet it'll fly with a publisher. They like sure bets. Because they *are* in it for the money.
And besides, if the idea for the story is in you, there's no shaking it, and it'll have to be put down on paper, sooner or later. No matter how good or bad. http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif
May 10th, 2001, 11:01 AM
I've never written a book before, but I've started to write a series my self. What i did is imagine, mainly dreaming at night, or day dreaming etc of the world, story characters I want in my book. I haven;t really got a full story in my head, I've only got bits of what i want to happen in the series.
I'm going for character driven story, meaning I will created the story around the characters, rather than having the plot written first and then characters. So I've created loads of different characters in my head, with no names, but e.g, a prince, thief, king, common boy, ot whatever. then I created a basic though complex plot that could go around the characters. I imagine action parts that I want in my story, e.g. a battle, war against pirates, so and so gets kidnapped, she has visions, he fights another powerful sorcerous, a city is beseiged, etc. So first I just day dream alot, creating thing, anything that I would like to put in my story. Then I create a very basic shaped map, which you will need to help you.
I still don't know what exactly the story will be, only a very basic idea, as I keep coming up with new ideas. Then I just go to my computer, and start writing. As I introduce a new character, I write the characters name, description in a notepad. or if its a place, I put add it to my map. I've done about 3 chapters, which have very very little detail, and use of basic english for speech. I'm not too bothered yet, as I'm trying to get a better idea of what will happen in the story and putting ideas in. So far its working quite well for me.
I don't think I really explained myself well, oh well.
Just do alot of day dreaming, create your characters in your mind, and then make the plot evolve around the characters.
May 11th, 2001, 06:11 AM
Thank you for all your advice and help on this, guys, I really appreciate it. I know now that why I am having so much trouble with this story is because I haven't fully developed it in my head yet. I now realize that I can't just write it down on paper.
May 31st, 2001, 02:53 PM
since others have already replied to this so well I'll state what I think, trying to avoid repeating what others have already advised you on.
I find the idea of inheritant good or evil to be very shallow--and ridiculous. Likely if this was 'really happening' the Orcs would not think of themselves as evil. Nothing wrong with making the dwarves and orcs enemies (although if this is your own world you're making you might as well try to make the races more original--dwarves and orcs have been done to death) but evil (and good) is an opinion, not hard fact.
You might want to take a look at characters on both sides of this struggle. Who is your main character? You haven't stated whom this story is really about. Until you have real characters, readers won't get involved in your story. They'll put it down beause you haven't given them a reason to care.
Try taking a break from the plot and concentrating on a main character and his or her conflict. With me, I tend to get my plots when my main characters have problems they have to solve. In my last story, my main character was imprisoned and had to escape. Through determination he succeeded and also attained confidence he had not had before.
Also look at this main character's relation to the situation you have so far outlined in the story. It sounds like you're planning for the main character to be on the quest, but there are many other viewpoints that could be equally interesting. The main character could even be an orc!
But I do identify with you on fan stories being easier to write. Half the work (creating the world) is done for you and all you have to do is focus on a certain side of it and develop that. My current project is one for which I'm making up my own world, complete with its own species, cultures, and magic system, and it takes a helluva lot of time to do, just to get a setting for your story to be in.
forgot to say: Kats, the same thing happens to me too when I'm involved in writing the story. With my last novel (a fan novel) ideas would come to me out of nowhere. Later I would add them in. Over a period of months of this, it really added up to make my story tons better. I find that the story was on my mind like 90% of the time while I was writing it.
[This message has been edited by wynnyelle (edited May 31, 2001).]
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