Need advice on a Story, so why not ask the Internet!

Discussion in 'SHOWCASING' started by mr_pibbs, Apr 17, 2015.

  1. Alright people, this is my first "feedback" thread so I hope I'm doing things right here ^^;

    Basically, I'm trying to write a multi-novel medieval/fantasy story inspired by some of my stories and films ranging from Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit to Aragon and even Willow (as well as a few games such as WoW, Champions of Norrath, The Legend of Zelda, and The Elder Scrolls franchise). It's not ripping those ideas off, but they played a significant part in inspiring me as a writer and they're some of my favourite selections from the genre.

    So, I have a few questions for all of you. I'm not going to post any of the work I've completed on it due to it being the Internet and not really copyrighting anything as of yet, but I wanted to ask a few "anonymous" questions just based on elements I may or may not run with.

    Question #1. I have a romance (which doesn't play too much of a role in the story outside of it being a way to flesh out the main character) between the Main Character and the Princess of a kingdom (there are many kingdoms in the fantasy world I made). I was originally thinking of having her stay in her home when the hero and his friends leave for their quest (potentially pregnant with the Hero's child, giving him a surprise in the last book when he finally returns), but I thought of something: what if she goes with them? Obviously there would be some kind of issue with her being royalty, but she's the youngest of 4, so if she left it wouldn't entirely shake up the kingdom. I was thinking she would disguise herself as a knight or something and journey with the Hero's group until they eventually discovered who she was.

    I'm interested in doing the second idea because I like the idea of the Princess not just being some woman the Hero falls for then never sees again until the last book (coughcoughArwenandAragorncoughcough), but a little bit of a badass, wielding magical abilities and a kick-ass weapon that shows she's a confident female character who doesn't need a man to protect her (with the exception of her falling for the lead, which would happen over the course of the journey as opposed to his stay in her kingdom until it was time to leave).

    What do you guys think? Go with idea 1, go with idea 2, or do you have something even better I'm totally missing out on?

    Also, I had her in mind to be either a human or an elf. Anyone have a preference and a reason why I should pick one over the other?

    Question #2. Should I have songs in the story? I was initially thinking that the first book was kind of like The Hobbit, in that there's a few songs thrown in there that the characters sing while they're in a good mood (I realize LotR did the same, but there were like, 3 of them over the course of 3 books. The Hobbit had close to 8, I think). I ask this because I'm not musically talented at all and on top of writing (what I feel are) quite terrible lyrics, I can't figure out how the song should even sound or wether or not to put musical notes in it.

    Question #3. Dragons. They're a bit part of fantasy as everyone knows that, but should I use them? In my early drafts, the original plan for the group of heroes was to deliver a "magic stone" (revealed to be a dragon egg later on) to the Kingdom the Princess from Question #1 is from. The egg would hatch on the way and, considering it's the last "Great Fire Drake" in existence (all others were apparently wiped out during a war long ago, fought against the main antagonist of the story), they decide to keep it a secret from the world for fear that somebody would try to hunt it down (a majority of the dragons allied themselves with the antagonist, which is why the united peoples of the land had to slaughter the beasts). The reason they don't want it to die is because it is the descendant of a great dragon who remained loyal to the people, or something like that. The old draft is pretty bad, but that's what "rewriting" is for.

    Anyways, are dragons too cliche or should I see where the plot takes me? The original drafts had the dragon growing up quickly and acting almost like the "Eagles" of the story, where he didn't just allow people to take the easy way out and joined the fight when he was needed, tending to his own issues in the meanwhile.

    Question #4. What's a good way of naming the story? I've already gone through 6 completed drafts in the past few years (each one trying new elements and changing up some plot points), but each time I've never been too impressed with the title I came up with. I know the basic title for the series, but I'm looking for assistance on the name of the individual "books". Should I go the LotR route and have the sub-title be something directly taken from the book, should I take the Star Wars route and make the titles genetically centred around one idea, should I follow the Game of Thrones route and name each of the books after something that sounds a little odd ("A Song of Ice and Fire" just sounded like a weird title to me, even when I didn't read those books or watch the show).

    Anyways, post below and let me know what you guys think I should do. Just in advance, I really appreciate any help I can get on this. I'm writing the book for people who enjoy this sort of thing (myself included), so I'd like to hear from my potential audience (should this drivel ever get published xD)
    #1 mr_pibbs, Apr 17, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2015
  2. Will get right back on you on that when I get some sleep
  3. 1- I think that she should go with them. I like the idea of her joining secretly and them discovering her later on. The discovery will add some drama, which you could throw in whenever the story gets slow. Besides, every good novel needs a strong female character, in my opinion. I mean this is 2015.
    As for her race, I think either of them are good ideas. If she was an Elf she could have powers of some sort, but if she's human her character would be stronger because she doesn't need to be something special to be a bad ass. Personally, I'd go with her being human, but the choice is up to you. I'm sure whatever you go with will be fantastic!

    2- This is probably just me, but songs in books irritate me. The only book I've read with songs that I can think of off the top of my head is Hunger Games, and I always skipped over those damn songs because I didn't know the tune to them. At first I read them over and over, trying to make it sound right in my head, and eventually just gave up.
    So, I vote no to the songs, sorry.

    3- I LOVE dragons but, and seriously don't get offended by this because you asked for our opinions so I'm only being honest, your draft idea seemed like a bit of a mess. I think you could include dragons, but maybe not as heavily. Like, a baby dragon could join up with them on their journey or something. I dunno, I'm bad at this, which is why I don't write.

    4- I am so bad with titles, but I'd go the lotr route and take something directly from the book... I'm usually more drawn to books with titles like that than ones with weird titles (like "A Song Of Fire and Ice").

    Anyways, good luck!
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  4. @Brea, thanks for the input!

    1. Alright, thanks for the input! I like the idea of her not needing to be an elf to be extraordinary/a badass.

    2. I hate when there's no tune to go with it, so I agree with you on that aspect.

    3. Yeah, the dragon thing was a bit convoluted. I don't even know where I was initially going with it, but from what I can tell, was gonna be a minor character that basically left halfway through the book to grow up and do dragon-y things until they needed him to return for the final battle.

    4. Alright, noted! Point 1 for LotR-esk!

    Thanks for responding, Brea! I really appreciate the constructive criticism!

    Also, as a personal note for the thread, don't worry about offending me. Unless you say my entire thread is a load of junk or you call me a rude name for no reason, I'm absolutely fine with criticism! It helps us grow ^^


    @WitchChild, I believe you wanted to help as well?
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  5. I don't actually know you (yet), but I'd be happy to throw some input your way.

    1. I'm actually very fond of female characters who are outside of the two common stereotypes. The damsel who does nothing and is just there to be a love interest, and the overly badass female whom kicks ass just to deny that first stereotype, only to be needy and emotional underneath.

    Anyway, I would rather see her go with them. As Brea said, it'd make for a good dramatic bit later on. in fact, I pretty much agree with them almost entirely.

    I personally try to focus on personal characteristics instead of skills and such. I would recommend making her human, but giving her some useful skills. Maybe not make her so much a combatant as a supporting character?

    2. I enjoy music in various worlds, but in a novel format, it's hard to do. Without a proper tune, it doesn't work. So, I'd say very few to none.

    3. I'm a fan of dragons of virtually every variety, however, I feel that they have become something of a crutch for fantasy stories. I would recommend making them present in the world, but very rare. Maybe try not making them so Inherently evil too? Lol

    4. Sorry, I too am bad at titles. If all else fails, you could use your main protagonist's name, making him the titular character. Or the world itself as a title. I try to make titles say something of the world or the story, usually to some mysterious effect. I'm a sucker for a decently vague title.

    I'm sorry for the length of this, and more so that I can't be of more help. Still, thought I'd give it a try. Best of luck!
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  6. Good, I'm glad I didn't hurt your feelings.

    Also:: you're the only one who has replied since last post, so I at least have to wait for one more person. Sorry, hon.
  7. @Brea, no worries I get it. I normally wait for 2 people to post before I do anyways, so its understandable. Just being silly ^^

    @Lykaon, thanks for the notes! I agree that dragons should be a rare commodity (much like another fictional race I created for the series), so that's not an issue. I also agree with the Princess stuff, which seems to be targeting itself towards "keep her a badass, but make sure she can do something the others can't". Maybe she could pose as a Paladin, using "Holy" methods of destroying monsters and beasts?
  8. 1. Ok so I am in aggreance with the other two, but then again those are both common stereotypes of the writing world either you are a damsal in distress or your are the badass heroine who plays sidekick to the male. Personally I would try to do something along the lines of having her as a subtle support.
    2. Songs can be a distraction at times and can get very annoying if you dont have some tune or melody to go with the words.
    3. Dragons in most fantasy can be heavily over played. Try going the route where it doesnt play a huge part in its just there hidden away and a rare thing like the others said. I would go with dragons being a neutral party and not evil or good and would rather the mortals fight out their own problems instead of getting involved.
    4. Oh boy titles i am usually good with them if I have a basic few paragraphs out before the title hits me like a ton a bricks i hope this helps ^ยท^
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  9. I will need to read it completely over and gather my thoughts.

    By that I mean finish up the last stretch of Dead Rising 3.
  10. 1. I second the motion that she goes with them on this journey. But as Poisoned Rose and Lykaon said, the female lead is always one way or another--damsel or badass--with no in between. I'd lean more toward badass, of course, but perhaps you can find some middle ground for her as a character? She can be brave, have magical abilities or physical strength, but she should also have limitations, too...physically, emotionally, psychologically; you get the idea. As to her race, either one sounds good to me. Just try to keep her balanced, and give her room to grow. Remember: how she starts out in the story isn't how she needs to stay by the end--in fact, it's better that she doesn't remain the same all throughout, since you want her to grow as a character. I think her personality should have more weight than her looks or physical abilities, anyway. :)

    2. Like you, songs writing is not my forte. Sometimes a song is necessary (the lyrics to certain songs in the "A Song of Ice and Fire" series hold weight when certain things occur...such as the Rains of Castamere; that song had great significance in both the books and the GoT show)...but songs aren't always necessary. Feel free to try your hand at it, even add it in your first draft--but if you find it doesn't feel right or doesn't quite fit, you might be better off without songs.

    3. Dragons are great, but with so many different books and shows having them as a major feature, you might want to keep the dragon involvement to a minimum. It's entirely up to you, of course; use them as much or as little as you like--just don't let them steal the limelight of your main characters and plot.

    4. Ooh, titles are tricky. I'd say have the title (or subtitles, since you have an idea for the name of the series) based on some aspect of the individual books. Even if you have to wait until after the stories been finished and revised, you'll have plenty of time to come up with a title. I'm not good at them myself, so I feel you, there.
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