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WriteYourHeartOut

Original Fiction Discussion/Feedback

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WriteYourHeartOut

Looking for a place to talk about your OF? Maybe hoping for a bit of feedback, too? This is the topic for you!

 

Please keep in mind that if you share snippets of your story here looking for feedback, to try to keep them under 500 words.

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WindingArrow

Alright, so... I write OF, I participate in NaNo every year, yaya yaya... I have a 5 book series I've been working on for about 9 years now (Whoa, what? Yeah, I had to recount that...) Yep... It's 9. It's a fantasy series about people who can use magic and dragons and all sorts of stuff, but I wanted to give a general overview to sort of see if this is something people (and by people, I mean you guys) would read. I've put a lot of effort into plotting and world building and it would really suck to go through the effort of publishing and such only to find out that people think it's a dumb idea...

 

So, I worked out a timeline of 2150 years, which is a technical age and every age is marked by a specific astrological symbol, like for instance right now, we are in the age of Pisces, the two fish (which some people say is why Jesus -or Christianity in general- is represented by a fish symbol. (Yes, there are major religious things going on in my story.) The idea is that at the end of every age, there is something like a reset. We start counting all over again and some significant religious event takes place (such as the birth of Jesus).

 

Last NaNo I went about writing an origin story for the series which explains how the age started, where magic comes from, how the religion got going- they basically had a very direct divine intervention wherein instead of Jesus being born, God sent 5 angels to live among and teach among the humans for 33 years. After which, there was a Prophet who was supposed to lead everyone down the correct religious path, but his disciple learned everything he needed to know and then killed him, skewing the religious aspect and making it corrupt from the start. (There are a very few people who knew the truth but were out numbered before they could change anything.)

 

So, each book takes place 430 years apart and each main character is of the main bloodline of a family of magic users (there were initially five, so any afterwards are their descendants and only theirs) who happened to be the most powerful and who also are believed to have been wiped out. The idea is that as the timeline progresses, this one line ends up collecting the other four lines. Also, every book will be a different era. I plan on covering Medieval, Renaissance, Industrial, Modern, and Futuristic.

 

In the year 2150, after all these bloodlines have been joined together, they come to a head in the final main character who's blood is literally filled with so much power that she causes things to happen without meaning to and she is also a little crazy. She found one day that cutting herself and letting some of the blood out actually helps her feel better, mostly because it's letting the pressure of all the power she's holding come out. (This self-mutilation is later remedied by a young man known as a leech.)

 

Throughout the story, the church is becoming more and more corrupt and power hungry. They fear the magic users and throughout the age have systematically been trying to take out the most powerful members of the families while passing laws that the only people who can use the power are people sanctioned by the church. Eventually, through their dealings and reports, they come to figure out that my main family was not as wiped out hundreds of years before as they thought and they start finding excuses to hunt these people down.

 

Now, those few people who knew the truth about the original prophet went into hiding underground, passing their teachings on to their children and secretly looking out for the main family, intervening whenever possible to foil the church. They, over time, become a resistance movement you start hearing about in book 3.

 

When the last book comes about, they recruit the MC and all her crazy power to finally take down the church and restore life to the way God intended. If they can't fix it themselves, they fear that when the age closes, God will smite their world (which is what he had done in the last age, reverting them back to a basic hunter/gatherer nomadic people).

 

I know I mentioned dragons, and there ARE dragons. There is a different elemental dragon as a main character in every book. (5 is a pretty big theme here, haha. 5 books, 5 dragons, 5 angels, 5 magical families...) In addition to having different elements, dragons have no souls and this makes them immortal and they were created this way to be eternal protectors. Because they have no souls, dragons can harbor the soul of someone about to die. In this way, the person lives on through the dragon. The dragon can also sacrifice themselves to give said soul a second life. Probably the most important of these dragons is the last one, who holds the soul of the prophet.

 

I'm sorry this is not more detailed, but I could probably write a whole book on my books. (I'm going for a J.K.R. level of intimate knowledge of this world.) But, as an overall overview... Would you read this? My fear is that because each book takes place 430 years apart that people won't understand and have a hard time following it and won't like it.

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Margaret

The events of Narnia often take place hundreds or thousands of years apart in Narnian time. (For the people in our world, only about 60 years or something like that pass.) And it doesn't seem to have harmed the popularity of Narnia.

 

The whole thing sounds quite fascinating to be honest. Seems to be based a little on England (or maybe Northern Europe) with the particular ages you are following, especially if medieval will have similarities with feudalism.

 

Just an aside, it sounds like your world takes a long time to get from "industrial" to "modern." Even if you are looking at the UK, which had an early industrial revolution, you are basically talking less than 200 years. Of course, the developments in your world might be very different or take very different lengths of time.

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WindingArrow

Well, initially, the industrial revolution only comes about as they figure out how to harness the power of the dragons they used to hunt. (Essentially, they enslave them.) Up until now, most things have been done by various magic users or the good ol' fashioned way and as the church is very uncertain about science (and they pretty much become almost the governing power of the world) It would take them a while to even begin to think about allowing science to start to compete with magic because at the moment, they have all the power. Does that make sense?

 

Also, for the most part, Narnia followed the same characters. They were changed out now and then, but they were introduced with original characters. (The Pevensie's, then Eustace going with Edmund and Lucy, then Eustace and Jill, ect...) These books would only have the world in common, the elements, and the family line. The characters and situations would be different every time.

 

I am very, very flattered that you find it fascinating...

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DanyFire

I've been researching for an OF I wanna write that is historical fiction. I'm not sure if that counts here but I was hoping to get feedback on what I'd be writing about, if that's ok. I haven't written anything yet as I'm still researching but I just want to get the feel for how the topic I'm covering will be accepted.

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scooterbug8515

Leigh,  historical fiction is cool!  What is the concept you are covering.  I know you are still researching but is there a particular time period or era that is calling out to you?  What kind of story are you wanting to tell, a slice of life in a past time, a bit of mystery, a bit of romance?  I would love to know more to give you better feedback on your thoughts and ideas!

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DanyFire

The era I was thinking of covering is the Titanic disaster. I want to tell a story about people from that time period. I haven't got specific characters in mind yet but I do want to have a romance involved. I don't want to overdo it though. I know doing this will be difficult but I'm willing to give it a try. What do you think about this?

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WindingArrow

I love the Titanic period! The early 20th century was such a fun time- there were so many new inventions, people were pushing science and their own ability to their limits! What a wonderful endeavor! Are you characters actually going to be on the Titanic or are they going to be connected in any way? (Related to someone on board, ect.)

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Margaret

That is a fascinating period. In Ireland, we have dubbed the current time the decade of anniversaries, as there was the centenary of the Titanic disaster in 1912, then the Lockout in 1913, then World War I in 1914, the Easter Rising and the Somme this year, I suppose the end of World War I in 1918, the Dáil in 1919, the signing of the Treaty with Britain in 1921, actually, arguably the "year of terror" in 1920, but not entirely sure we'll commemorate that, the establishment of the Free State in 1922/'23 (again, not sure if we'll commemorate the Civil War; think we'd rather just pretend that never happened).

 

And then, of course, it was a time of so many technological changes. I feel that 100 years ago doesn't seem anywhere near as long now as it did when I was a child, because now go back 100 years and you're still in an era where there were cars and planes and cinemas and radios and telephones. Go back another 20 years before that and few of those things existed (or if they did, they weren't available to the average person in the street). And then there are the societal changes. Women are about to get the vote, workers rights are an issue (hence the Lockout here in Ireland), the middle class are beginning to challenge the titled landowning class for dominance...

 

Where is your story set? I think this is an era where there are huge differences between different areas. Capital cities are likely to differ quite a bit from more traditional rural areas.

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DanyFire

WindingArrow: I was planning on having my character(s) on board the Titanic but I'm not sure how I'm going to work it out yet. Any and all suggestions are welcome.

 

Margaret: It will be set when Titanic was boarding in Southampton onward.

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scooterbug8515

Oh yes that can be a lot of fun what you have.  I think a proper representation of the Titanic is needed not "Draw me like one of your French girls"  Knowing that you are doing research tells me this right off!  There is such tragedy when it comes to the Titanic.  Also the time period is rife with riches!  I know I'm a person fan of the roaring 20's and if I were to do something historical that would be my era that or the 40's.  Of course, I wouldn't be doing a straight up historical piece I love fantasy too much so I'd do like vampires during that time period or something but that is me and not meant as a comment saying you need to do something other than a straight historical fiction.  Those are fab too!

 

I think you should go for it!  Get the research under your belt so you have a strong grasp of things, get the characters write the story and then do more detailed fact checking once the story is written because it can be far too easy to get bogged down with details that you forget the story.

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DanyFire

Thanks, Scooterbug8515. I am not writing anything until I have all my facts straight. I am a stickler for having my facts right. I will share snippets once I do actually start writing. I think that would be the best way to get critical feedback and see what I can improve on.

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wildest dreams

So I came across a bit of a dilemma in planning my nano for november, where i have two really good ideas, but I can only focus on one, so I just wondered if either one of these ideas stuck out or appealed to people over the other as to which I should pursue? :) These are both generally of the YA fantasy genre, and both involve POC and LGBT leads!

 

idea no.1: A group of three girls all institutionalized into a religious/state run (i haven't decided yet) hate group who take orphans and train them into ruthless killers of the supernatural. The three girls are at the forefront of a war they believe to be good but slowly learn they are on the "bad" side, and have to cast out their previous hatred to save those who are being needlessly hurt.

 

idea no.2: Two girls in a more medieval setting fated to end the world should they ever touch each other. They've been kept apart their entire life, one pushed into the dirt, and one kept in an ivory tower. They fight to find each other and understand their fate, but fall in love in the process, only to never be able to touch.

 

Any thoughts? :)

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Rumpelstiltskin

They both sound really interesting. 

 

I love how, in the first idea, there's a conflict where the protagonists are facing the dilemma of the struggles of Good vs Evil (this is one of my favorite ideas ever in literature).  Of course, I mean that I'm really into how they believe that they are on the 'good' side, when they have been mislead.  What makes it more fun is the potential for vagueness surrounding the definition of good and bad in your story.

 

In the second idea, you had me at 'medieval setting' (which is just a personal favorite of mine).  I'm really digging a ton about this.  The idea that the two girls who have been given completely different lives, at the hands of someone else, because they'll destroy the world if they touch is awesome.  Mostly, I'm really into the idea of them falling in love, but never being able to touch.  It's bittersweet and I dig it.

 

If I was to walk into a bookstore, only being able to buy ONE book, and had to choose between the two -- I'd probably pick the second idea (but I'd be back to pick up the first one, anyway).

 

What I THINK you should choose is whichever one is sending you some hot vibes right now -- the one that's screaming louder than the other.  You can always keep the other one as a Plan B, if you find that the one you've chosen during NaNo doesn't pan out as well as you'd hoped.

 

:D Happy writing!

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wildest dreams

Thank you so much for the feedback that was actually really helpful! I was kind of so in my head about which I wanted to write but getting another perspective really had me thinking more logistically.

 

I think I have a lot more ideas for the first idea, but they're so cluttered that it would be a larger project than I would want to take on for Nano, whereas the second idea could be an independent novel on its own.

 

I actually also have an idea for the ending since you mentioned the bittersweetness it got me thinking a lot about how to end it without death, but also without keeping them apart forever, and I came up with an ending that's hopefully more original and a little more hopeful, but still keeping to the tone.

 

However, I've never written medieval fantasy before, I wonder if anyone has any tips? Especially as I would be world building within one stand alone novel, rather than over several, which I notice more people writing that genre prefer to do. Or even if perhaps the setting might take away from the plot and I should consider a more generic fantasy setting? (although a part of me just really wants an excuse to add i dragons either way :P)

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Rumpelstiltskin
However, I've never written medieval fantasy before, I wonder if anyone has any tips? Especially as I would be world building within one stand alone novel, rather than over several, which I notice more people writing that genre prefer to do. Or even if perhaps the setting might take away from the plot and I should consider a more generic fantasy setting? (although a part of me just really wants an excuse to add i dragons either way :P)

 

 

:P Anyone else can feel free to pop in, because this is just my opinion from my personal experience writing in the era:

 

First determine if you're writing in an alternate earth or Earth (or maybe strange alien planets).  Writing in Earth is pretty straight-forward, as we're generally away of geography and Earth's flora and fauna, and it's history.  If you're writing an alternate earth, make sure you know the differences between your alt. earth vs Earth.  Just make sure you know the difference in geo, the flora/fauna, races, civilizations, governments, laws, economics and etc. ( You really only needed to delve into as much detail as you need for your particular story, and how these things affect your characters.)

 

Similarly, choosing between History and Alt-History (usually, a history that changes at one pivotal moment in a chain-effect) can also be done to the extent that you'll need it (that which affects your characters, etc.).  Then, make sure you know the basic period in which you're writing (where and when during the Medieval time-period), so you can brush up on those laws and politics of the time.  For example, open expressions of love between two women may or may not be acceptable during the time, depending on what you're writing, and if not will present another challenge for your characters.

 

^And it can be bits and pieces of both just as long as it's presented to the readers so that they understand what it is.  Rowling made this Earth with an unseen pseudo-Alt-Earth (Muggles vs Wizarding villages) -- also added another kind of history (the Wizarding History) and tied it into the regular History of the world. 

 

Also, Dragons can be done in or outside of a medieval setting.  Dragons can be (and have been) done in more modern settings.  Dragons for everyone!

 

You don't need a bulky backstory on your setting, if your plot is able to sprinkle it in.  That way, it won't be overshadowed. 

 

 

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Hufflepuffbookworm1990

I've had this idea for an OF since around mid-November. It's based on a writing prompt I found on Pinterest.

 

The basis of the prompt is that the eleven-year-old main character has a grandmother who tells her she's faking dementia and tells her that she was a time traveler when she was younger.

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Hufflepuffbookworm1990
2 minutes ago, Pixileanin said:

That sounds like a cool premise, @Hufflepuffbookworm1990.  Where are you taking it from there?

 

I had the idea that the 11- year old wasn't actually born in the current time like her grandma took her from a different era (maybe during a war) and time traveled to a different time and the child is raised by possible descendants of her real parents. She can time travel when she really cares about the person.

 

To be honest, I haven't even written a sentence of it yet.

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Pixileanin
Posted (edited)

Yeah, yeah, I can totally see that as a cool twist!  Great idea! Do this!

Edited by Pixileanin
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Rumpelstiltskin

Yeah, I absolutely have to agree -- that's a fantastic plot idea. I'd say hit up that outline and run into the sunset with that idea. 

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Hufflepuffbookworm1990

I haven't decided which war my OC was born during originally. I'm not sure how this would work but maybe this OC was born during one war but her parents die and her grandma takes her to another year/country only for another war to start a few years later and so on. They finally settle on a safe country and time.

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Pixileanin

...or is it safe????

PLOT TWIST!!!

Good luck with your idea.  If you want to bounce around plot ideas once it's rolling, you can always hit me up.  

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Hufflepuffbookworm1990

Another idea I had was that both their ages would reset whenever they end up in a new time. The child's age resets to a baby and her grandmother's resets to the nearest age that is believable that she is 'raising'a baby.

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Rhaenyra
Posted (edited)
On 7/11/2016 at 6:57 PM, DanyFire said:

WindingArrow: I was planning on having my character(s) on board the Titanic but I'm not sure how I'm going to work it out yet. Any and all suggestions are welcome.

 

Margaret: It will be set when Titanic was boarding in Southampton onward.

I have a Titanic novel! The first 8ish chapters are up here (and - bragging - was best OF winner of 2017). I had more, but pulled them down for revision.  I’m currently prepping with the intention of publishing, after which I’ll pull it down. If you ever want to chat about it I have tons of resources and basic knowledge of the ship, its voyage, etc. I don’t know if you’re still around but if you are you can PM me anytime.

Edited by Rhaenyra

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