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Watcha Writin'?

Discussion in 'Arts & Entertainment' started by Zkribbler, Nov 18, 2017.

  1. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    It's sad when child characters have to be killed off. I'm trying to talk myself out of writing in a miscarriage for one of my characters (in the original version of my Kingmaker story, not the alternate one I started last month). But I need to put a female on the throne of Griffinvale to follow King Randall, since the game narration says he's the "last great King" and I didn't want the reason to be because his male descendants were inept (like in real history Henry V was a warrior-King and his son, Henry VI, was an idiot). So I'm opting for him to have a daughter become Queen by right of birth. That means no male heir, or at least not one who survives childhood.

    This will also be very difficult for Queen Julia to deal with, and cause a rift in their marriage (I wish I could think of a different scenario, after all the effort of thinking up a way for them to marry in the first place that wasn't just a typical medieval-era arranged marriage with no emotional connection).
     
  2. Patine

    Patine Warlord

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    The backstory, or exposition, of Casper: the Friendly Ghost, by sheer nature, is inevitably in such a vane, even though Archie comics never addressed it head on, and few readers thought to ask.
     
  3. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    I used to watch it on TV, and still have several Casper/Richie Rich digests (as I recall they were put out by Harvey comics, at least for awhile). There are Casper/Richie Rich crossover stories in some of them.

    It never really occurred to me that for Casper to be a ghost, it meant that he used to be a living child. Same as I never thought about Spooky or his girlfriend Pearl (whom he called "Poil") once being alive, or The Ghostly Trio. I just accepted that they were ghosts, and had always been ghosts.

    But then I had very little religious exposure in my early childhood, and so I never learned where ghosts come from. Nobody told me they used to be alive.
     
  4. Zkribbler

    Zkribbler Warlord

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    Wait wait wait. I'm completely lost. :crazyeye: Why is a miscarriage necessary to put a queen on the throne? Wouldn't having a baby girl have the same effect?

    And why is Queen Julia upset? Is there some kind of Henry-VIII:-Have-a-girl-and-I'll-cut-off-your-head thing going on?
     
  5. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    According to the opening narration of Kingmaker: Rise to the Throne, the character who becomes King (after they figure out who killed the previous king and catch the murderer and figure out who his rightful heir is) is said to be "the last great king of Griffinvale."

    That got me wondering. Why is he the last great king? Were all the kings who followed just not very good at kingship? Or maybe this king never had any sons - maybe his children were daughters, and his eldest daughter turned out to be a pretty good Queen (or not; I'm still wrestling with how to deal with the eldest daughter, who keeps wanting to be a brat and a disappointment to her father, but I think I've figured out a reason why that's happening).

    Anyway, a bit of storyline popped into my head that the Queen was carrying fraternal twins - a boy and a girl, and the boy was miscarried. The girl survived, and rather than do what Henry VIII did to Katherine of Aragon and force her to undergo pregnancy after pregnancy in order to get a healthy son (she did have several sons but none of them survived more than a few weeks at most), the king decides to change the inheritance laws so that the eldest child inherits, rather than the eldest son (not that he referenced Henry VIII since the game/story takes place approximately 500 years before Henry VIII). So the daughter will inherit, and I haven't decided for sure how many other kids they might have.

    It's not unrealistic to have these characters go through the death of a child, since it was a sadly normal fact of life back then.

    Nope, just the opposite. Queen Julia is fortunate to be married to a man who is uncommonly considerate toward women, given that they live in the 11th century. He's crazy in love with his wife, and his own mother and foster mother died in childbirth (the foster mother's death is a plot point I decided on, to explain the absence of any living mothers in the game). He's terrified that this might happen to Julia as well, so he's trying to minimize the number of pregnancies she has to go through to ensure "an heir and a spare."

    Besides, there's precedence for a Queen ruling in her own right, as shown in one of the game's chapters where the royal lineage is shown going back six generations. The oldest ruler is a woman whose husband was King Consort, rather than a king in his own right (there's a story I want to explore, but it would mean a prequel about some event that happened at least 200-300 years before the events shown in the game).

    Julia is upset because most mothers are when they have a miscarriage. It's a kind of grief that only a (formerly) pregnant woman can fully understand, and although he's grieving as well, it's a case of going through the process in different ways and intensities. That puts a strain (sometimes insurmountable) on modern marriages, when much more science and medical knowledge is at hand to explain the situation. Think what it must have been like for people a thousand years ago who don't know a lot of what we know now. There's a reason why it wasn't uncommon for parents to not dare to love their children too much in the first few years, since it would just hurt too much when they died (infant/child mortality being what it was).

    And of course she's going to be wondering if he's going to be angry and blame her for what happened. She comes from a neighboring kingdom where it actually is more like England was under Henry VIII - and if women didn't bear healthy sons, they got the blame. So she's not quite in the headspace where she fully trusts that he's not going to blame her and punish her for what is clearly not her fault. I've decided that Ravensmoor is a much more rigid, more patriarchal society than Griffinvale is, particularly after the new king takes the throne. After all, he grew up in a ducal household located on the waterfront, across the street from a fishmarket (seriously, that's how the game depicts the family home). Things are more robust, less formal, and he's trying to undo about 40 years of mismanagement and injustices perpetrated by the villains of the game.

    The marriage, children, and post-coronation stuff isn't in the game. These events are my own imaginings. I might yet change my mind and not have a miscarriage occur - just have a single girl born and no mention of a boy who didn't survive. But the scene just seems to fit so well, and I had to do something to break up the yay-happy-ending-everything's-perfect vibe that was going on. Characters are only interesting if they also have flaws and setbacks, so I'm deciding on some. This is one of them.
     
  6. Zkribbler

    Zkribbler Warlord

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    This indeed is a fascinating question.

    A rather ghoulish possibility occurs to me: Perhaps the royal family is quite literally cursed with hemophilia. When it becomes apparent that all male heir will die in childhood, the succession laws are changed so that only females can inherent the throne.

    ============================================

    My legal thriller turned on me. As you recall, it opened with a car chase, the brutal murder of a support character, and later with my main character being shot in the face. The bloodiness of this all threw me into a depression. :cry:

    In looking for happier fare, I went back to the days of writing on fanfiction.com under my nom de plume of Runt Thunderbelch and more precisely to my Discworld tales. "Stealing Time" is a favorite of mine. It's a sequel to Terry Prachett's "Pyramids." Pharaohs there are not mummified because the pyramids, as well as keeping razor blades sharp and fruit fresh, prevent the pharaohs' bodies from decaying by stopping time [and slowing time everywhere else in the kingdom]. As time builds up within the pyramids, huge amounts of it are discharged via lightning bolts into the sky.

    In my story. my MC is told by the cat goddess to follow these time storms and to retrieve this lost time, restoring the kingdom to normalcy. She follows the storms to Ankh-Morpork and to the Unseen University, where the 800-foot-tall derelict wizards' tower is acting like a lightning rod. Each discharge of time throws it forward or backwards in time by 800 years. My "Stealing Time" is a jolly story with the characters bouncing around through time. :bounce: :sheep:

    I got the idea that if I exorcised The Prachett portions of "Stealing Time,":badcomp: I could rebuild the story around pure-Zkribbler concepts and thus have a story I could sell. The time discharges would no longer come from pyramids but from an ancient idol buried in the sands of Yemen. Ankh-Morpork would be changed to Atlantis, etc. Although I was beginning to create a functional story, without Pratchett's concepts, my new story just wasn't funny. :( So alas, this story is now dead. :backstab:

    I gone back to my "Pizza Delivery Guy" near-future story.

    In a rather daring experiment, I'm abandoning my usual "Plot Point" method of outlining (explained by KM Weilland –:hug:in her "Structuring Your Novel.") Rather I'm adopting a much more fluid "Hero's Quest" outline. This is unnerving to me because, although I know the steps I will take, I don't know how long each will take. I may be writing a short story, a novella, or a novel. I dunno. :dunno:

    Oh yeah. "Pizza Delivery Guy" is now the name of Chapter 1. The story is now "Mammon's Throne." :popcorn:
     
  7. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    My inspirational muses for this come from the Plantagenet/Tudors, the Julio-Claudians, Darkover, the SCA (aka "the Current Middle Ages" that allows equal opportunity for women to rule in their own right), historical research into such cheery topics such as torture, my own imagination, and I'm going to have to research some stuff about griffins (since part of the royal heritage hinges on the legendary King Edwin the Great, who is said to have founded the kingdom of Griffinvale and his monument shows him riding a griffin and the throne is made of stone, with carved griffins all over it - looks very uncomfortable, so I'm planning to have the current King's sister design some cushions for her brother's royal backside to sit on).

    At no time did I consider my inspiration would come from the Romanovs, and the ruling family of Griffinvale does not have hemophilia. They may have hereditary issues going on, but not what people think. The developers introduced magic into what was mostly a straightforward medieval adventure story, so I decided to work it into my version (both of them; my mind is still wandering mostly around the alternative one where the action moves from Griffinvale to Ravensmoor and instead of one brother running around Griffinvale searching for the tomb of King Edwin while the other one recovers from his ordeal in the Tower, the one brother is killed off and the one in the Tower has to rescue himself - and ends up in Ravensmoor for a few years while gathering a group of other displaced Griffinvale citizens, raising an army, and taking back the kingdom. I've decided that this, plus a few other things, are what will earn him the accolade of the "last great king of Griffinvale". And from there, of course he's the last great king because the next ruler is his daughter).

    The odd hereditary/magic stuff, I've decided, is where the Darkovan inspiration comes in. The backstory introduced in the original game is that the prince of Griffinvale married a commoner, which displeased the king so much that he declared a crusade and ordered his son to lead the army. The king cluelessly thought that this would make his son forget about his commoner bride, and while the army was gone, the king and queen drove the prince's wife out of the castle. But surprise - they didn't know she was already pregnant. And then news came back that the prince was killed in battle, the princess was gone and they had no idea where, and so the king had no heir (the queen might have been too old at this point to have children, or like Livia Augusta, she decided not to provide an heir, but rather to put one of her male relatives on the throne).

    My version of this lost princess dovetails with the game in that she did give birth in a room in the slums section of the city, and Duke William takes the infant prince and places him with another family to raise ("because I knew I could never raise him" - giving rise to the question of why not, and therefore kicking off a whole B story about Duke William) so that one day when he's old enough he can take the throne back. Now my version introduces a bit of hereditary extra-sensory stuff (ie. empathy, limited visions of possible future events, an extra awareness of the natural world)... and that's one of the things that convinces some people that he really is the princess's son (and therefore the true ruler, since these are abilities that are rarely passed on to male children).

    Consider what's currently going on in RL; Elizabeth II could be said to be "the last great Queen of England" - and the other nations that still have her as their queen, including Canada - because the next three heirs are male - Charles, William, and George, and that's going to take up the next 75 years or so). So maybe that's what happens in Griffinvale. Not enough male children are born, so the next couple of generations of rulers are female. Or maybe a grandson will inherit, but his rule is merely competent instead of great.

    What I don't want to do is have this kingdom displaced by it being taken over and forgotten. Mind you, it will be eventually as all past civilizations and cultures are... I just don't want my particular characters to be the last of their people. I've become rather attached to them over the last year.
     
  8. Zkribbler

    Zkribbler Warlord

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    Once upon a time, I was writing the novel Eternity, which is a sequel to Wee.

    In my book, Eternity is a board game played by the gods. Their board is the world, and the playing pieces are its people. In this particular game, adventurers set out from the city of Tâelè for the city of Iolo with the intention of stealing the Elixir of Immortality. Meanwhile, adventurers from the city of Iolo set out for the city of Tâelè with the intention of stealing a magic mirror containing the Great Quill, a legendary prophet. None of the adventurers realize that they're just pawns of the gods.

    About 1/3 of the way through writing Eternity, my interest waned. :sleep: I came to the conclusion my main characters were boring, and so I became bored. :sad: Recently, I came across this video:



    Ms Brock sets out 2 reasons why characters lack clear goals (thus causig boredom).

    First, is when the MC is part of a group, and the MC's goals are subsumed into the group's goals. :assimilate:This is what appeared to have happened with my first group, and it shouldn't have. :mad: In my early drafts of Wee, big dumb Elvis was the MC and van Klunk the wily gnome was his sidekick. It was only towards the end that I realized van Klunk was the interesting character an should be the MC. So I switched their positions, added a new first chapter & renamed the story Wee. For some unknown reason, when I stated writing the sequel, they retook their original positions. So, if I switch them back, my problem is solved. :smug: Indeed, van Kluck has just stolen the group's treasure and has abandoned them. :hide: That's interesting.

    My second group has the second problem pointed out by Ms Brock. There, my MC changes goals easily--which indicates an undiscovered, underlying goal. I've now worked one out for her, to erase the humiliations of her childhood by becoming celebrated. :D

    I still have no idea how this book will end. :run: I have two distant groups of questers, two interlocked games of Eternity being played with manipulations by multiple gods, and I don't even know how to win Eternity. :blush:
     
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  9. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Your characters will decide for you. :yup:
     
  10. Zkribbler

    Zkribbler Warlord

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    I figured out how to win the game. :dance:

    One of the funnest parts of writing is to give yourself an impossible task, to wrestle with the problem for months, :badcomp:...

    Spoiler Excerpt :

    [The God of Fate] puffed contentedly and asked past the bobbing cigarette, “You don’t realize your mistake, do you?”

    Caprice cocked her head. “I’m sure you’ll tell me.”

    “You really have no way of winning a game of Eternity unless you create a creature who is immortal. But my dear, the most central rule in all of Creation is that—do I really need to remind you—the fate of all creatures is to die. There is no way this fate can be overcome, circumvented, or ameliorated. You have already lost.”

    “La!” the Goddess of Chance replied happily. “Your move.”


    ...and then to figure it out. :smug:
     
  11. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    I am translating some of my stories to (hopefully what passes as) english :)
     
  12. Zkribbler

    Zkribbler Warlord

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    You shall excel at this. :goodjob:
     
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  13. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    Of course i use capitals when needed, in official mails ^_^ Much like i only use "i" here.
     
  14. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    What makes you think capitals aren't needed here? Just because some people post as though they're texting, that doesn't mean the rest of us do.
     
  15. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    I already have to use a second language; should be enough for forum-posting? :)
     
  16. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    I salute the people here who are posting in a second language. In some cases I would never have guessed English isn't their first language.

    You would not believe how hard it was for me to deliberately type the word "teh" when I started getting serious about lolpics on the Cheezburger site. I'd spent decades striving to be error-free in my typing. It was very hard to force myself to misspell words deliberately, but of course "teh" is a proper word in lolspeak.

    That said, people tend to take you more seriously when you capitalize what should be capitalized. It's also a good way to develop good habits. :yup:
     
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  17. Zkribbler

    Zkribbler Warlord

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    My immediate target is to finish my re-write of "Come Hither, Springtime," so that I can submit it to the Writers of the Future contest by the month's end deadline.

    I've been looking for something fun as a long-term project. I'm focusing on
    The Sins and Sinners of Trojan County, Tennessee [a Comédie Drôle Inspired by Homer’s “The Iliad”].

    As the movie "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" did with the "The Odyssey," I'm taking the Greek epic "The Iliad," placing it deep into Dixie during the Great Depression, and am changing the story into a wackadoodle comedy. When I started, the first chapter and a half went really fast, then fissiled. Recently I spent hours wrestling with the problems and was surprised to discover that my main character must necessarily be my "Helen" character. I almost never write female MC's.
     
  18. Thorvald of Lym

    Thorvald of Lym A Little Sketchy

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    It's funny because a few years ago with hardly any conscious thought I just started writing a steady line of women leads.
     
  19. Zkribbler

    Zkribbler Warlord

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    1,250 words churned out yesterday on Trojan County. That's a whole heap for me.
     
  20. Zkribbler

    Zkribbler Warlord

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    5,000 words done, and I've finished the first two chapters of Troy. :dance:

    18 days left to get my revision of Come Hither, Springtime into the Writers of the Future Contest. :eekdance:
     

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