Just as the subject line states, someone to toss ideas around with to aid me in some brainstorming. Shouldn't be too difficult I think. Once my creative juices are (finally) kick-started, they usually run multiple marathons. It's getting them started at all that takes a bit or so.
I also ask here because while my account is not new, I'm fairly new, having only now just begun to put any use of my account on this site in the past few days.
The Four Paths
Are there any particular themes you're looking to brainstorm? I'm always down for bouncing ideas around, but I may not be the audience you're looking for (I know absolutely nothing of cultivation stories, for example).
07-02-18, 09:37 AM
(This post was last modified: 07-02-18, 10:29 AM by EasternGhost.)
I have next to no knowledge of cultivation stories either. I'm halfway convinced people just make shit up in those stories when it concerns ranks, levels, and whatnot. No, this is more plot-based, ability-naming, and so on. I'm having an issue with trying to create an example of what my story bests resembles. The only things I can think of that most people are aware of is perhaps a vague blend of the Total War Games, (hoping you know what those games are) meets Naruto meets Akame Ga Kill. Total War for the armies, strategy, politics, warfare, etc. Naruto for the powers (techniques I call them though that's unoriginal I'm aware). And Akame Ga Kill for the concept that anyone and everyone is equally susceptible to dying, no matter if they are an MC or not. I'll have multiple MC's and I plan to make the world in my story reflect a world at war. Think the Warring-States Era's of Japan or China, or the Hundred Years War when Europe nearly ripped itself apart while the Black Plague(Bubonic) did a number on those who remained. Their is no guarantee of a happy-ending, therefore don't expect one for everyone.
As I said I'll have multiple MC's, though the number isn't decided, most possibilities have been fleshed out.
A warning I'll include, is that not all the MC's will have happy endings. Some of them will end in happiness and contentment, others in misery and despair. And it's not necessarily only the bad that will have a miserable ending. Tragedy will be one of the tags, (if that's a choice). And before it's mentioned, no NTR though sex will be present. It's not that I hate NTR or dislike people who enjoy it, it's just that I myself find it unpleasant and feel that romantic/sexual/physical relationships can be ended more realistically.
So, I need aid with plot-based concepts. I will probably have to give a brief background. I will have to trim/thin it down so it won't be overbearing. It shouldn't be anything overwhelming. I have the overall plot down, I just need help fine-tuning. Adding little bits and pieces down. My greatest weakness has always been writing the slice-of-life parts of a story. Action, drama? Great I can do it. But what happens IN BETWEEN ALL THE VIOLENCE AND GLORY? Its the downtime and slice of life bits during the breaks in the action, adventure, and major plots points that I always struggle with. I'd be a horrible writer for filler-arcs in anime. Most of the aid I'll need will be pertaining to that so I'd need to give a bit of info to fill in blanks spaces.
Though other plot-points might come into play when I ask for advice. (Meaning action-y parts.)
The Four Paths
My first thought here is purely psychological - and that is to eliminate the concept of the in-between stories being "filler". If you write filler, they'll only be as satisfying as anime filler. I personally find anime filler incredibly boring, and sometimes give up a show if there is too much of it (Hello, Naruto...).
Instead, show us what shapes these characters, either before or after they have their action/drama scenes. If before, give me reasons to care about why I'm rooting for or against them. Are they like me? Do I share something in common with them? Or are they fascinating because they're something I'm not?
If they are going to die, I want to be mad at you for taking the character away from me. If I want to write you an angry letter about how upset I am that you've robbed me of a character -- or, if I want to praise you for finally giving "that scum" what they deserve, you've done your job.
That's what those in-between moments are for, in my opinion. I enjoy Total War, but I don't play the franchise for the battles. In the original Total War, I actually allowed the computer to resolve a good number of my battles, because I was caught up in the politics of the story and how I was going to handle this or that marriage, treatise, or spy. I wanted to get back to those moments, and sometimes the scuffles were more like an interruption than a core gameplay mechanic.
Battles and epic moments are great, but only if I'm invested enough to share that glory or shattering defeat with the characters.
What I think you're going to have to spend some time tackling, is how to pull that off with as many characters as it sounds like you're intending. Do you have a ball-park of just how many people we'll be reading about? Will it change, chapter to chapter, or come more in Parts that provide multiple chapters for one person before going to another?
I really don't want to make this correlation, but I'm going to: Consider Game of Thrones. While I've read the series, I really enjoyed the first two books - despite how many characters there were, and how often they bounced around, and how many people die.
GoT was successful for me because of the in-betweens. Grand battles and epic moments are great, but only if we care first.
Whether you want to brainstorm here or in a PM, tell me/us some about the characters and if you have any ideas outside the epicness to use as a launching point.
On the topic of filler, I wasn't suggesting that they would be filler. I couldn't think of a better word/example of what I was trying to say, and the slice of life/in-between/filler is the parts I have the most trouble with writing. Filler just happened to be the only word I had on mind at the moment. But now that you mention it, it was a poor choice. I'll just use the slice-of-life/in-between moments separating the grand situations. I have a ball-park figure, and they wont all be introduced at the same time. Each character will have "arcs", though that isn't the word I would use since it'll be written like anyother western novel, on the basis of chapters.
For example, I'll have 4-5 chapters for one character, then I'll switch to having an equal amount, slightly higher amount, or something like that for the next character. Most of the characters will be siblings of the same family, though their will be a few others that aren't related to this family, but will be heavily involved with them in the future. I chose Total War as the example for the story concept.
For instance, the closest example of the story I'm proposing is the Fall of the Western Roman Empire, but with a chinese historical approach. I don't say Chinese meaning their will chinese lore, characters, or anything like that. In Rome, it fell and barbarians tore it apart, but they never really formed their own Kingdoms, perhaps a few did but they did not consider themselves Roman, or even have any interest in being anything but what they were. The majority of these barbarian factions continued to be what they were: Nomads. They wreaked havoc, exacted revenge, lust, greed, ambition, or whatever else, and then moved on.
I'm saying the Fall of Rome with a Chinese approach meaning when my Empire in my story falls, it wont just fall completely, it will fracture into a "Warlord Era", where different areas of the Empire will break off and form "successor states", meaning independent kingdoms. I might be going into too much detail, I can never really tell how much anyone cares or understands history. I'm a history buff, mostly Ancient to Medieval European, and then Chinese, from the Chu-Han Contention (206 B.C. - 202 B.C.) all the way up until the end of the Ming Dynasty (1644 A.D.)
Anyway, I'll PM you about the characters and details about them.
The Four Paths
Ooh, history. I wasn't that interested until I read your synopsis. I would be happy to help out with some ideas and points for your story. Although I can't guarantee availability, if the story is anything like you described I can guarantee interest.
I'd say my strengths are detailed research, fitting in occasional overarching plot points and proofreading/reviewing short segments (about 10k words in length).
Go to a new fiction. Review it. Help the little guys.