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In need of constructive criticism/literary support.

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by The Philosoraptor, Apr 3, 2014.

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  1. Cause screw unconstructive criticism.

    Alright. My dad has his hobby of doing random math problems. I have mine of randomly writing stuff that pops into my head. There have been a lot of things, but this one has stayed out of The Vault the longest. It first came up as an evolution of an idea involving half-dragon humanoids fighting and later allying with their full-blooded counterparts, but that fell through. Then I started reading lore on Guild Wars 1 & 2, saw the Charr, and started thinking "Fantasy races get guns? Nice. Why don't elves do that?". My theory? They were tree-huggers, and they wouldn't do anything having to do with fire or excessive violence. Why not change that? Make the elves industrial, cold-blooded, and downright despicable. Humans will be humans, dwarves will be dwarves (with less powerful firearms, but more ingenuity with tactical engineering), and more tribal, Native American inspired orcs. And dragons would be aliens with incredibly adaptive genes, taking 3 days to perfectly adapt to a new environment, an ability hindered on their homeworld by toxins in the air. They became bestial upon colonization of other worlds and killed off their more intelligent ancestors. In order to become the dominant race on their world, elves began hunting the dragons for their venom (propellant for firearms and cannons, scales for nigh-indestructible armor and weapons, eyes for lenses, and meat for food. Bones are rarely used, but were adopted by the orc to produce spears, bows, and arrows). I've already done a lot of stuff, developing languages, militaries, domestic situations, militaries, and governments. And now I'm having doubts. Not too long ago, another thought came to mind. "You know what you don't see often? Magic and space." And now I'm thinking, elves, humans, dwarves, orcs, dragons in the space age, with the elvish empire spanning galaxies, the dwarves being the only real challengers to the empire, orcs are slaves to everyone, humans are in revolt against the elves and the complacent human government, dragons are hunted to near extinction (as in the fantasy world) and spread out like rats across the universe, and everything is going to hell. And thus the crisis. I'm in need of advice, and would like to see what people think of the idea before I go through with it.

    Don't ask me to do an RP with it, I'm not too interested (though may be in the future if the novel doesn't work out, in which case I'll start advertising).
  2. I think if you were going to go down the route of magic and space (which is incredibly fertile ground because you have so much to play with and so few limits), you'd do well to insert a little more originality into the names of the groups of people. If you're not so rigid about calling them elves, or dwarves, or orcs, or dragons then you have a much greater amount of flexibility to play with whichever different setting you settle on.

    If you think about something like Farscape, or even Star Trek, they both have races which have characteristics which could be attributed to each of the groups you're interested in exploring, and actually there's a fair amount of magic seeping in there too. If you let go of the names as an easy short-hand to getting your reader to understand the characteristics you want to use, then you can play with your ideas much more freely. And, as a bonus, it won't come off as one of those "I know what hasn't been done before! Hobbits and Vampires!" ideas that leads to films (I'm struggling for book examples) like Cowboys and Zombies, which basically came out of someone deciding to chuck two 'cool' things together, without much thought for anything else. In fact, you get to seem like you've created something absolutely fresh.

    It sounds like you've put a lot of work into world building, so it would be a shame if you lost your Sci-Fi audience because they're expecting aliens, and your Fantasy audience, because "...hang on a minute, they're in space?"

    That said, Thor seems to have managed it : http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/movies/2013/11/05/thor-the-dark-world-fantasy-influence/3002661/
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  3. Which points specifically do you want help/critiques on?

    Also if you want to publish this idea as a novel you should look into hiring a professional editor once you've got a plot, storyline, and characters fleshed out, and a printed manuscript
  4. My thoughts were, in order to maintain some of the stuff of fantasy, magic is genetic (to a degree. Elves have a 99.9999% chance of being born with a natural magical ability, such as control of fire, water, air, earth, the dead, demons, etc. However, 70% of that 99.9999% are like to be born with trivial magical abilities, nothing worthy of combat. Humans have a 50/50 chance of magical capability with a 25% chance of gaining a worthless power, dwarves have a 15% chance of being born with magic and 10% chance of having a trivial power, and orc have a 5% chance of being born with magic and a 1% chance to be born with a worthless power) or manipulated through runes written on scrolls or uploaded as a program. It is a third aspect of nature alongside matter (all things solid that can be easily manipulated without technology), energy (heat, light, electricity, etc. that need tech to control them easily and are responsible for manipulating and forming matter), and magic (which controls the other two and is incredibly dangerous). Elf skirmishers (the elite and most commonly used soldiers in the elvish military) equip themselves with individually made dragonscale weapons that only fit their specific style of combat. These close-combat weapons are usually used for silent assassinations and dueling up close with others, or, in the case of those with larger weapons, to destroy small starships and support vehicles.

    I dunno. Start asking questions, I'll answer them, and I guess you offer up criticism if you're interested.
  5. How have Orcs survived in an age of ballistic weapons if their favoured tools are still bows and spears?
  6. That's like asking how in the bleeding hell did the Na'avi (is that how you type that?) survived through Avatar. And besides. The orc are mainly a slave species by now.
  7. The Na'vi survived because they were isolated from the more advanced species like the humans. Is this the case with the orcs? If they're a slave race that explains it too, I got the impression they were an independent culture
  8. Nope. As I should and likely did say before, the elves are vile creatures in my perspective. Their view of elvish superiority is paramount. The orc were an obscenity to them, but were seen as useful for labor and of the such. The remaining free orc scavenge what ballistics they can and make whatever weapons of their own they can to fight against the elves for their crimes.
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  9. I'm with Monkeybee on the etymology, that's all I've got to comment on by now
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