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View Full Version : (REVIVED THREAD) High Fantasy Idea, Feedback Appreciated!



DavidBrett
06-11-2014, 07:12 AM
Hi,

I recently (read: only a few hours ago) came up with the idea of a YA fantasy along the lines of "Game of Thrones for teens", where the 15yo MC awakens from a magic-induced coma to find the world he once knew torn apart by warring factions, and that it's his destiny to unite it again because, well, he's the last surviving heir of the true king, murdered centuries ago in a bloody coup that sparked the turmoil the land has been in ever since.

So, right there we have responsibility, fate, duty, free will, coming of age stuff. Not to mention the political intrigue, betrayal and machinations of the numerous factions as news of the MC's return spread. Wars will be fought, lives lost, and the future uncertain, but... no romance, at least not integral. Is that a bad thing?

The story's real drive will come from it's protagonist finding himself along the way, learning about his people and preparing to step up to the throne. He can resolve all the conflicts himself of course, but there would be much to learn on his journey, and his discoveries may well change him as a person. The idea of a constantly evolving protagonist has me very excited indeed.

What does everyone else think? Comments, feedback, suggestions, advice, etc?

Thanks,
Dave

Osulagh
06-11-2014, 07:24 AM
HWhat does everyone else think?

Write it.

angeluscado
06-11-2014, 07:39 AM
Do eeeet. Doooo eeeeeet.

On a serious note, I really like the idea and would probably pick something like that up if I were buying books right now (too many on my unread shelf right now, ha!)

Brightdreamer
06-11-2014, 07:42 AM
Are you asking permission to write it, or whether we think it's a story worth telling?

For permission, you don't need anyone's but your own.

Whether you have a story worth telling, only you can determine... by actually writing it. The world won't end if it doesn't work out, after all. FWIW, the synopsis could go any way - it could be a bold and epic adventure, or it could be a tired retread of the Chosen Heir Uniting The Land. That depends on how you handle it.

My only caution: beware of making the fact that he's the Last Living Heir his go-to gimmick or get-out-of-jail-free card, unless you want your hero to be very one-dimensional. It's been centuries. Nobody knows this guy from a stone in the road. Those who do will likely be trying to use him to their own ends, not following him blindly because he's the "rightful" ruler. Try to make him earn his crown on his own merits, not just leaning on the crutches of his bloodline. (This may be one of the things he'd have to learn on his journey: just because he has the blood of kings doesn't automatically make him the better man. The world has changed since he last knew it. There may be new ideas, attitudes, or religions he has to adapt to.)

Liosse de Velishaf
06-11-2014, 07:43 AM
Write whatever you want, but please, for the love of all that is holy do not call it "YA GoT". XD

DanielaTorre
06-11-2014, 08:26 AM
What sets GoT apart from other fantasies is its politics, brutality, and honesty. Also, it does not have a main character. They're all important and dispensible. If you can pull that off in YA while keeping the plot from falling apart, then bless you.

I'm curious to know why you're comparing it to GoT in particular and not another fantasy. There's not much you described that's similar to it.

jaksen
06-11-2014, 04:17 PM
The young person with the special bloodline-powers-supernatural abilities, etc. is a tried and true trope. So try to shake it up a bit. Also, to make it more like GOT, which you don't need to do, add a cousin or two, or an uncle, who also have this special bloodline - or part of it. (Maybe they're hybrids and your guy is the only direct male (or female?) descendant. In a world formerly ruled by matriarchies, perhaps females inherit and males only do so when there's no female heir.)

So maybe his great-great-great grandma was the last 'true heir,' which can be ascertained (in his genes) by the presence of her mitochrondial DNA, which none of the 'others' have. I can see scenes, where in the dead of night, they attack this boy just to get a sample of his blood. They leave him bruised and bloody, galloping or flying away with a vial of blood in their pocket. "Is he the one? Is he?" And are these thieves on his side - or against him?

There might be conflicts abound, like a male cousin showing up to help him, but he/she's female in disguise and when she's revealed, is angry, 'what do you mean I'm not a legitimate heir? It's always been the female, always! What difference does it make that I'm descended from her son and not the daughter!"

Sorry. I tend to go off on a tangent, but your idea is rich with possibilities if you twist and turn the story in unexpected ways.

DavidBrett
06-11-2014, 07:01 PM
Thanks everyone! You've all been a great help so far - keep em coming, they're all sparking ideas!


Do eeeet. Doooo eeeeeet.

On a serious note, I really like the idea and would probably pick something like that up if I were buying books right now (too many on my unread shelf right now, ha!)

Thanks, I'm working up ideas on how to make it worthwhile :P


Are you asking permission to write it, or whether we think it's a story worth telling?

For permission, you don't need anyone's but your own.

Whether you have a story worth telling, only you can determine... by actually writing it. The world won't end if it doesn't work out, after all. FWIW, the synopsis could go any way - it could be a bold and epic adventure, or it could be a tired retread of the Chosen Heir Uniting The Land. That depends on how you handle it.

My only caution: beware of making the fact that he's the Last Living Heir his go-to gimmick or get-out-of-jail-free card, unless you want your hero to be very one-dimensional. It's been centuries. Nobody knows this guy from a stone in the road. Those who do will likely be trying to use him to their own ends, not following him blindly because he's the "rightful" ruler. Try to make him earn his crown on his own merits, not just leaning on the crutches of his bloodline. (This may be one of the things he'd have to learn on his journey: just because he has the blood of kings doesn't automatically make him the better man. The world has changed since he last knew it. There may be new ideas, attitudes, or religions he has to adapt to.)

That's true: there's been a gradually expanding number of factions contesting for control since his disappearance, with ideals and theologies splintering off into contrasting sects (for instance, there'll be a group of religious zealots branching off from the main theocracy who believe the MC has lived this long not due to fantasy-cryostasis, but because he is the 'Immortal God Prince', come to rule with an abominable iron will and to scour the land that has forgotten him in a storm of fire and blood) and one of the main themes I had in mind was that you never can tell which groups have his (or the land's) best interests at heart - some might truly want a return to the true monarchy, to restore the land to its glorious past, whilst others might simply want him as their figurehead whilst they continue to rule from the shadows (totally not a satire on our own British monarchy ;)), whilst even more will simply want him gone, this bothersome relic of the past that has started to stir murmurings of change and hope amongst the rabble.... so many opposing sides, so many ideologies.


Write whatever you want, but please, for the love of all that is holy do not call it "YA GoT". XD

Naturally, I won't when it (finally) comes down to querying, lol.


What sets GoT apart from other fantasies is its politics, brutality, and honesty. Also, it does not have a main character. They're all important and dispensible. If you can pull that off in YA while keeping the plot from falling apart, then bless you.

I'm curious to know why you're comparing it to GoT in particular and not another fantasy. There's not much you described that's similar to it.

See, I was going to have it more like GoT, with no real main character and the focus switching from important members of each main faction as they vie and struggle for control as the true heir's return slowly becomes more prominent. But I thought multiple MCs/POVs was a big no-no in YA, otherwise I'd totally go for it.

That being said, it will share GoT's brutal honesty and politics, as described briefly above - nothing will be as it seems, trusting anyone could just as easily get you killed as it could aid you, and not everyone wants the heir to return for a good reason...


The young person with the special bloodline-powers-supernatural abilities, etc. is a tried and true trope. So try to shake it up a bit.

Well, for a start he doesn't have any supernatural powers as of yet - the fantasy-cryostasis was from a mystical order loyal to the King; he's just a normal teenage boy now thrust into a world he barely recognises any more, with people expecting him to fix it whilst the majority don't even recognise him - both as a historical figure or as a person of authority. If he does have any power, it'll develop late due to his 'atrophied' state of being asleep so long, and will be something tied to his family (think how the Thu'un instantly identifies a Dragonborn in Skyrim, on on a royal scale).


Also, to make it more like GOT, which you don't need to do, add a cousin or two, or an uncle, who also have this special bloodline - or part of it. (Maybe they're hybrids and your guy is the only direct male (or female?) descendant. In a world formerly ruled by matriarchies, perhaps females inherit and males only do so when there's no female heir.)

That's a good idea, and I'll definitely look into that. Right now, though, I'm pretty sure the MC is going to be a boy. If only for the lame-ass reason that I don't feel I could pull off a strong, realistic female MC. I've tried before and they always seem flat and cliche.


So maybe his great-great-great grandma was the last 'true heir,' which can be ascertained (in his genes) by the presence of her mitochrondial DNA, which none of the 'others' have. I can see scenes, where in the dead of night, they attack this boy just to get a sample of his blood. They leave him bruised and bloody, galloping or flying away with a vial of blood in their pocket. "Is he the one? Is he?" And are these thieves on his side - or against him?

There might be conflicts abound, like a male cousin showing up to help him, but he/she's female in disguise and when she's revealed, is angry, 'what do you mean I'm not a legitimate heir? It's always been the female, always! What difference does it make that I'm descended from her son and not the daughter!"

Sorry. I tend to go off on a tangent, but your idea is rich with possibilities if you twist and turn the story in unexpected ways.

Thanks! All great ideas! I'll definitely keep them all in mind! :D

Like I said, keep em coming guys, you're all being a great help! I'm both subbbed to this thread and copy-and-pasting every answer into a word document for easy reference :)

Dave

Lissibith
06-11-2014, 07:52 PM
See, I was going to have it more like GoT, with no real main character and the focus switching from important members of each main faction as they vie and struggle for control as the true heir's return slowly becomes more prominent. But I thought multiple MCs/POVs was a big no-no in YA, otherwise I'd totally go for it.
Why write it as a YA book? Why not write it the way you think best serves the story? Then once you're done, see where it fits best?

If you want the single viewpoint for other reasons, then that's cool, but I hate the idea of hamstringing your story in service to a category.

DanielaTorre
06-11-2014, 08:10 PM
Count me in then! I would read the crap out of this.

ZachJPayne
06-11-2014, 08:19 PM
Personally, I think Game of Thrones is the proper 'GoT for teens.' -- if the powers that be could just reconcile themselves to the fact that teenagers are intimately familiar with violence and sex (and could use the primer in politics and brutal honesty, at that).

BUT ... I like your idea. :D I agree with everyone else. Write it, and see what you have.

And now you have me itching to put one of my darlings back in my story. A few drafts ago, I had husband and wife teachers dressing up as Jaime and Cersei for Hallowe'en.

Introversion
06-11-2014, 09:02 PM
I understand the desire to give people a succinct summary of the project.

But personally, I think it's a mistake to describe your project as "like [currently popular work] for [market segment]". As soon as you give us a label, especially one as topical as "Game of Thrones", most us will draw conclusions you probably didn't want us to, some of them uncomplimentary.

If by "GoT" you really mean, "epic fantasy where good could and often does lose", then probably describe it that way instead?

DavidBrett
06-11-2014, 11:27 PM
Thank you all once again! Introversion, of course, like I said the whole 'GoT' tag was literally becuase it was the first thing I came up with when the idea came to me... when it comes time to better describing/pitching/querying the novel, I'll definitely have a better idea how to go about it.

Zach, thanks, and your avatar and story characters rock!

Daniela: Hey, you know how to get hold of me if you want to buddy-up or beta in the future ;)

Lissibith: You.... have a really good point, actually. I guess I was so caught up in the mindset of making it what I felt it had to be that I totally missed what it could or should be. I'll definitely go on ahead writing this with an open mind, and only worry about the age-range stuff much, MUCH later.

amillimiles
06-12-2014, 05:24 AM
See, I was going to have it more like GoT, with no real main character and the focus switching from important members of each main faction as they vie and struggle for control as the true heir's return slowly becomes more prominent. But I thought multiple MCs/POVs was a big no-no in YA, otherwise I'd totally go for it.

Why does it have to be in YA? Don't follow the supposed rules of one genre if it's preventing you from writing what you want. Write it first, write the story you want to read, and then worry about that.

Though, I would say, when it comes to publishing, some publishers do look for books that are more marketable and more "cookie-cutter" for a specific genre. I'm sure you'll make it work, though; the lines are consistently being blurred. :)


That's a good idea, and I'll definitely look into that. Right now, though, I'm pretty sure the MC is going to be a boy. If only for the lame-ass reason that I don't feel I could pull off a strong, realistic female MC. I've tried before and they always seem flat and cliche.

My new WIP is being narrated in a male voice, which is something I've never done before. But I was getting so tired of writing third-person limited in a female POV that I decided to switch it up. I've read commentaries about how male writers writing female characters are always lacking in certain qualities, and female writers just can't get the male characters' voices right ... Guess we'll see how that goes. But practice makes perfect ;)

This sounds fantastic, as I already told you through PM. :) Definitely bounce ideas off me or send me chapters and whatnot.

DavidBrett
01-11-2016, 08:10 AM
Reviving this thread as I'm looking to restart this novel for New Year's!

Nothing much has changed in the overall plot/idea as of yet, but I've spent the weekend coming up with characters and their backstories. Would people recommend I post the brief synopsis of them here, or not?

Dave

zanzjan
01-11-2016, 08:29 AM
This is not really an appropriate place to post a synopsis. If you're looking for help with ideas, post in the Brainstorming Sandbox, or if you're looking for feedback on your actual text go to SFF SYW.

Good luck with your project :)

Picolo
01-18-2016, 09:05 AM
Seems like an interesting idea, especially if you could shake it up and make it more than the usual clichés. If you find some concepts and details within the stroy to make it really your own, I think it could turn out really well.
If you come up with an idea you like, plan and write a bit out. You'll learn quickly enough what works and what doesn't.

Good luck!

Raxis
01-18-2016, 09:36 AM
Somehow I have my doubts if some of the elements that makes GoT what it is can be pulled off realistically in a YA setting, but if you can do it then more power to you :)

At the very least if you managed to get it out there then I'd definitely give it a look and see if it's worth buying.

Liosse de Velishaf
01-18-2016, 09:38 PM
Somehow I have my doubts if some of the elements that makes GoT what it is can be pulled off realistically in a YA setting, but if you can do it then more power to you :)

At the very least if you managed to get it out there then I'd definitely give it a look and see if it's worth buying.

I'm watching an anime right now that manages it. There are a few others. Whether that can translate to text I can't say for sure.

Cameroon
01-19-2016, 08:16 AM
I have not read Game of Thrones, but I did read Lord of the Rings.

And I want to suggest that halfway through your tale, the magic goes out of the world. Wouldn't that be great? It would really "shake things up," as some people suggested you do.

That's my idea. No cost.

Raxis
01-19-2016, 10:03 AM
I'm watching an anime right now that manages it. There are a few others. Whether that can translate to text I can't say for sure.

What's the anime called? Sounds interesting.