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Old 04-02-2016, 07:46 AM
Asmodians
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Default How to write an Aion fanfiction

Aion has an incredibly rich lore, which inevtiably inspires stories in a lot of people. There's many possibilities about topics, your character's story, hidden past of important NPCs, secrets of the Empyrean lords, life of outlaws from Shulack's point of view, Shugo's struggles to become rich, Mau or Krall fight for independence on Balaur or Daevas, forbidden love of a Balaur soldier and a Dragonbound priest...

But not all written stories are good. That's a sad truth. Fortunately, there have been many smart people in the world, who wrote great things and other smart people who noticed what makes writing better and created guides to help other people with writing. I've read a lot of such guides – as books and as articles in magazines or on the internet. And if you want to start writing, you should read at least few of them too. Why few? Why not one? Because those guides are written by people, different people think differently and it's always good to know more points of view.

This very simplified guide will contain what I've learnt about writing, what I've experienced about writing and some tips for Aion lore.

Disclaimer: this guide is subjective and written from my own point of view. There's no such thing as perfectly objective writing guide, so deal with it.

Part I: Writing

Let's start with what you need to be a good writer.
  • talent
  • skill
  • patience

Talent is something a lot of people would like to know where it comes from. Truth is, you have some amount of it and... that's it. But don't worry, you can be good even if your amount of natural talent is small. You will just need to work harder. And since talent can't be learnt, it will not be part of this guide.

Skill, as opposed to talent, is something you can and should learn, if you want to be good at anything, not just writing, but also drawing, dancing, cooking, programming and everything else. It's the mechanical part of writing – grammar, logic, story construction.

Patience. You will need a lot of patience to force yourself to keep going. It's easy at the beginning when you're all excited about your new story, but after several chapters your euphoria goes away and you end up with half written story. That's when your patience comes in. You will need to convince yourself that you need to finish it.


Alright, now we've covered the basic description and let's focus on the skill of writing. So, what should you do to learn how to write?
  • read
  • learn
  • think
  • practice

By reading I mean books. There are a lot of authors and books of various genres and styles, just pick up what suits you and start reading. But why would you do that? There are many benefits of reading. Your vocabulary will increase, your grammar will get better, you'll see plenty of characters, scenes, descriptions. And you'll see everything of this in practice, not in some guide that says it's good. :)

Then you will need to learn a lot of things. Not just grammar, styling, punctuation, but also facts about what you want to describe. Example: if you want to write about person surviving in cold winter with nothing but his clothes and pocket knife, you'll have to find information about how cold affects one's reactions and health, about hunting, making shelter, better clothes and so on.

Thinking is also very important. It puts together the things you've read about and things you've learnt and gives them sense. You will have to think about everything you write, basically every action triggers some kind of reaction from the surroundings and it will be up to you to make your story believable. Example: Will this character start shooting even when he knows there will be large crowd of curious people after they hear the gunshot?

Practice means, you have to write. No matter how many books and guides you read, how many things you'll learn, you won't become a good writer until you actually start writing. Even if it's just a short story about a Shugo who lost is purse and then finds out he left it at home, write it. You don't have to show it to anyone, but write it anyway. You might return to it later and make it better.

That was a generic intro to the writing skill, now let's take a look on some particular areas.

1) Language & grammar

You can write in any language you want. Do you want to write in a language that's not your native one? No problem, you just have to learn it. (My native language is Czech and you can see I've learnt English on not-so-bad level. Not perfect, of course, but well enough to write in it. :) Just don't ask me to write in French or German, I know only few words and phrases.)
It is perfectly OK to be a beginner! What is not OK, is to expect your stories to be at professional level when you're a beginner.
Good way to learn a foreign language (after you get some basics from school or courses) is watching movies and reading books in it.

But no matter what language you write in, if there's something you're not sure about, don't hesitate to consult a dictionary or a grammar guide. There is no shame in using grammar guides even if you're writing in your native language. (Yes, I am using dictionaries and grammar guides when I'm writing.)

And why is correct grammar so important? It's a way how you communicate with your readers. Have you ever read someone's forum post/email/message, when you had absolutely no idea, what they have tried to say, because it was full of typos, mistakes and it contained no punctuation at all? Well, your readers want a story that entertains them, they don't want a cipher they would have to read several times to understand.

A person, who knows grammar, suffers when reading bad text the same way as someone with musical hearing suffers when they hear out of tune songs.

So when you're writing, do your best to write the words and sentences correctly. Use standard language for your stories. If you have a character that uses slang, save the slang for the character's direct speech, thoughts and in-story messages. Note: if you're writing from the first person point of view of a character that talks in slang, this might prove to be difficult, you'll need to combine the slang with understandability.

Important thing: don't use perversions like 'u', 'ur', 'ppl', 'cos', 'cuze', 'gawd', 'lawd' and others except in a direct speech (when you want to highlight some character's specific way of talking) or transcription of in-story messages.

Also pay attention to 'you're'/'your', 'they're'/'their'/'there', 'think'/'thing' and other words that sound similar when you pronounce them, but their spelling is different.


2) Numbers

It happenes often that you need to tell amount of something or date some event. There are two ways to interpret numbers in your text and each of these two ways has its place in it.

Words: one, thirteenth, hundred, seventy-five thousand... whenever you can and if the number is short – and by short I mean the word transcription, use words. Your story is not a scientific report, the flow of the text looks better and it's more pleasing to the readers' eyes if you're using words.

Digits: 1874, 58.7%, 65 478, 0.000001... Years are a good example when numbers are written as digits. Also if you have a number that would be too long and was confusing if you described it with words, use digits too. Or if the characters are talking with some scientists about some data, then it's OK to make it look a bit scientific. And, of course, transcription of in-story messages.


3) Personality – environment – action

In one guide I've read that personality, environment and action are the three pillars of every scene. And what's good about them, is, when you have two of them, the third one is just a logical conclusion. If you need to do something, that contradicts this logical conclusion, you will need to change those three pillars to fit. Sometimes the changes can be small, sometimes you will need to rethink the whole scene. But no matter what changes you do (if any), always make sure the scene makes sense.

Example:
Personality: lord Zikel (http://aion.wikia.com/wiki/Zikel), environment: Elyos camp in Abyss.
So, what's the action? You know lord Zikel hates the Elyos, right? He'll probably attack them and since he's an Empyrean lord, which means great power, he will most probably kill them all. What if you don't want him to attack them? You will have to give him some good reason not to, because attacking any Elyos is his natural reaction. Good reason might be orders from Azphel to not kill this group, because he needs them for something. But then you'll have to figure out why does Azphel need this group of Elyos...
Or do you want him to be captured by those Elyos? Not likely to happen, so you either need to give him serious disadvantage (like... he took down a Balaur Dredgion all by himself just an hour ago, so he was injured and exhausted) or give the Elyos serious advantage (like... they found a powerful artifact – Where? What's it doing? Why it was them who found it and not someone else ages ago?) or a combination of advantage and disadvantage.


4) Descriptions, are they necessary?

Descriptions of various things are good. They help the readers to know what's going on, to imagine the characters, areas, scenes... On the other hand, too detailed descriptions disrupt the flow of the story and by the time you finish reading of some description, you're like: What did you say was happening?
So, where's the line for describing objects, clothes, areas or not describing them?
If the description has a meaning for the story, put it there. If it doesn't help the story in any way and it's just an oh-cool-feature-to-have, then don't.
Also don't insert people and objects to the story just because you feel the need to describe something, aka Chekhov's gun principle (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chekhov%27s_gun).

Few examples:
One: Is it necessary to describe the dressing process of a noble Elyos, every detail of her dress, precision with which she buttons up, etc? If the story is about this noble Elyos girl's personality evolvement from proud, shallow flapper to... something else, then yes. In this case it would have purpose of displaying her personality and the readers will see the difference between the beginning and the end. But if this noble Elyos is just some random person whom the main character meets once, don't put the dressing process there.

Two: the main character meets three Shugos, each of them has different colour of fur, different clothes and he needs to bargain with them. Should you describe the Shugos? If the main character is talking with them, then yes, describe them to help to distinguish them – the one with coffee-coloured fur and green hat, the other with chocolate fur and blue dress... Yes, in this case it helps the reader to imagine the scene and to avoid confusion of which Shugo is talking right now.

Three: sun shining on beautiful trees of many colours in the city, each tree is unique and there are many pretty flowers. Should you describe this? If the character is looking from her window, enjoing the view and is being sad about leaving this beautiful place, then yes, it helps create the atmosphere. If the character is running through the streets and chasing a thief, she won't pay attention to trees, so in this case no.

Point of these examples isn't to tell you what exactly you should describe and what you shouldn't. I tried to show situations, where describing one thing can have benefits, but in different scenario the same description would be disturbing. So, when you describe something, if you have a reason to put that description to your story, put it there. If you find out you have no reason for describing it, put it aside, maybe it will come handy in time.


5) The characters are talking

There are two ways how to describe someone talking. Direct speech and indirect speech.

Indirect speech:
The merchant said the money wasn't enough.

Direct speech:
The merchant said: “No, it's not enough.”

Both ways have their time and place in the story. If you have a dialogue, direct speech is better. Whenever a new person is talking, put the direct speech to a new line. And don't forget to use quotation marks correctly. It helps with readability and lucidity of the text. It is very confusing to readers when they can't tell which person said what and such confusion can destroy even otherwise great story.

Now, when to use direct and when indirect speech? OK, I admit, this is something I can't give you certain answer for. It depends on what your story needs.
You can either need:
The general said we should leave, so we did.
Or it can need:
“Leave!” shouted the general before the Balaur stabbed him.
If you're not sure, which variant to use, try to write both and then choose the one that sounds better. :)


6) People read your story, not your mind. But they are not idiots.

It sometimes happens that the author has an amazing idea for a story, writes it, but forgets some details and the readers become confused. For the author the story makes perfect sense, because the author is someone who knows who did what and why, but the readers can only guess. Of course you don't need to explain everything in the first chapter, but by the time you reach the end, you should not leave your readers confused.
Also, if you have some logical flaws in your story, (like someone loses a hand and in the next chapter he has it without later explanation how he get it) your readers will notice it. Don't assume they won't. They will. They always notice such things.


7) Show everyone your story

So now you've finished your story or chapter and you're excited about putting it somewhere on the internet. Don't. Really, it's not good yet. I know, you have just finished it, you were paying attention to everything, you were consulting the dictionary... But trust me. Take a break for at least few hours and do something else. Eat, sleep, take a walk, watch movie... Anything, just don't write or think about the story. After those few hours, reread the story/chapter you wrote. You will find typos or mistakes or you will find out some parts need to be rewritten. No, I'm not saying you're an idiot, that happens to everyone. Right after you finish the story, your brain is too focused on what you wanted to write, the break is important to refresh your brain, so when you do your final check, it will focus on what you've actually written.


8) Reviews

Reviews are very important part of a writing process. They provide feedback to the writers and let them know what was good, what was not-so-good and most importantly: the reviews are proof someone is reading it.
Writing a meaningful review is a process, that for some writers can be more difficult than writing a story. At least for me, writing a review is a living nightmare, but I'm trying anyway, because I know how important feedback is for a writer.
There are only two important things about writing a review. OK, there are more, I'm certain of it, but since I'm bad at writing reviews, I'll tell you just the basics and if you're interested in more, ask uncle Google. ;)
Always be polite – that's the most important. Even if you're writing a review for a story you didn't like much, never say it was garbage, full of nyerk and the author should go and die in some dark corner. The author has put effort there and tried their best, so even if the story is bad, you can say it politely, point out mistakes and give them advice how to make it better. If the author proves to be a jerk, just don't write any more reviews for such person. :)
Write something the author can react to – that's also important. If you write just: “Oh my God, that assassin!”, what does it mean? Was the assassin good? Or bad? How would you react if you got this review? So instead of such sentence, that says absolutely nothing, you can try writing: “I loved how the assassin jumped from the wall, killed the Balaur and saved the girl!” That's much better, because the author can reply to that. ("It's my favourite part too!")
Which brings me to another part...
Receiving reviews. It's great when people comment your work, so always try to respond to them. It's your way of telling them their reviews are important to you. Also don't assume that someone who points out your mistakes is a jerk who wants to be mean. As long as the review is polite and respectful, it means the reviewer put his/her effort into helping you. So if it upsets you, wait until you calm down, then think about what they wrote and then reply to them. But of course, if someone writes you that your story was full of garbage, ignore that person, because that is just a jerk who wants to be mean.



Part II: Aion

I won't tell you what topics you should write about. You have some examples in the intro, but you can write about literally anything. As I mentioned, Aion has an incredibly rich lore, you can write tragedy, comedy, romance, fairy tale for children, dark gore massacre, dystopian political drama...
My first few fanfics were really crazy. Like two Asmodians searching for a suitable solorius tree in a forest and they get lost and appear at the North Pole, when they find out that Santa wants to take over all the worlds, so with help of an Elyos, who got there after them, they fight Santa and his army of Christmas elves. Crazy, right? Insane, some would say. But people loved it. They laughed and my freak of story made their days better. And that's what counts!

I'll give you some examples of really interesting stories I've read and loved:
Ascension (http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5733927/1/Ascension) – story about young Lepharist girl meeting a true Daeva and finding out that Lepharists are not that good as her brother told her.
The Lay of a Broken Winged Sparrow (http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5055161/...Winged-Sparrow) – the best Aion fanfic I've ever read. It's placed in heavily customised version of Atreia, but it's just great. I have no words, because it has just left me speechless, when I read it.
Darkenlock (http://www.fanfiction.net/s/11708401/1/Darkenlock) – what would happen if Balaur take over the world? The events take place few thousands of years after the current game, very original and interesting.


And some materials if you want to know the lore:

History from the Asmodian point of view:
http://gameguide.na.aiononline.com/a...+the+Asmodians

History from the Elyos point of view:
http://gameguide.na.aiononline.com/a...k+of+the+Elyos

A very nice player created a timeline:
http://forums.na.aiononline.com/na/s...ad.php?t=74324

A lot of books can be found in libraries and temples in Pandaemonium and Sanctum. All you need to do is to go there and click on the books.

Reading the quest texts is also very helpful. If you don't have time to read the full text of the quests during the gameplay, you can go to http://aiondatabase.net/us/ , find the quest you need and read it there.

Aion Wiki (http://aion.wikia.com/wiki/Aion_Wiki) has a lot of information too. My favourite parts are about the Empyrean lords (http://aion.wikia.com/wiki/Empyrean_Lords) and the Dragon lords (http://aion.wikia.com/wiki/Dragon_Lord), which contain events from the game too.



End note: Yes, it's very simplified. I was trying to point out some things you'll need when you write a story, but if you want to learn more, you'll need to ask uncle Google. There's lot of detailed guides about various parts of the story – openings, dialogues, action... You just need to find them. ;)
And if you have your own insights to share, please do so.

Best of luck in writing. :)

~seinka
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Last edited by Zkaza - Siel; 09-04-2016 at 09:11 PM.
  #2  
Old 04-02-2016, 10:40 AM
Elyos
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Default Re: How to write an Aion fanfiction

HAS TO BE STICKY-ED! Truly amazing post, Shien.

I have always wanted to write at least one story, however I never made up my mind to do so. :P You brought up several good points.

At least if I ever wish to make the first move towards the story, I will have a bit of experience on my side.
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  #3  
Old 04-02-2016, 12:01 PM
Asmodians
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Default Re: How to write an Aion fanfiction

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryos - Siel View Post
HAS TO BE STICKY-ED! Truly amazing post, Shien.
Thank you! <3
And hey, look! The Almighty has already fulfilled your wish! :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryos - Siel View Post
I have always wanted to write at least one story, however I never made up my mind to do so. :P You brought up several good points.

At least if I ever wish to make the first move towards the story, I will have a bit of experience on my side.
Oh, please write it!
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  #4  
Old 04-02-2016, 02:19 PM
Elyos
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Default Re: How to write an Aion fanfiction

Awesome post, Shien! -was also going to ask for a sticky of this-

I like writing stories, my issue is just never completing them. Ever. And then being too shy to post them on ffn.
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  #5  
Old 04-02-2016, 02:44 PM
Elyos
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Default Re: How to write an Aion fanfiction

Hooooly crap (wo)man, I'm no writer but this post is amazing.
Oh, and the review part is useful to me. Y'know, being only a reader and all.
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  #6  
Old 04-02-2016, 08:43 PM
Asmodians
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Default Re: How to write an Aion fanfiction

Thank you very much, you're too kind. <3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kjmercy - Siel View Post
I like writing stories, my issue is just never completing them. Ever. And then being too shy to post them on ffn.
Patience you must have, my young padawan. :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by FabulousKaisinel - Siel View Post
Oh, and the review part is useful to me. Y'know, being only a reader and all.
That's good. :) Some of what I wrote here I haven't even realised until I received some reviews and I was like: "I would love to reply, but what am I supposed to say, when the only content of the review is: 'Poor Zikel'?"
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  #7  
Old 04-03-2016, 01:28 AM
Asmodians
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Default Re: How to write an Aion fanfiction

Well here's my few tips however they all regard characters...

Characters build a story. The best way to get your reader to really understand and feel for the character is to make them realistic. You have to think outside of your shoes and think like someone else.

Understanding Your Character
Understanding my character? What does that mean? It's more than just oh he has grey hair and he's tall. It's about the personality and the character traits.

Personality
Dictionary.com defines personality as these things:
noun, plural personalities.
1. the visible aspect of one's character as it impresses others:
He has a pleasing personality.
2. a person as an embodiment of a collection of qualities:
He is a curious personality.
3. Psychology.
the sum total of the physical, mental, emotional, and social characteristics of an individual.
the organized pattern of behavioral characteristics of the individual.
4. the quality of being a person; existence as a self-conscious human being; personal identity.

What is their personality like? Are they easy-going? Are they irritable? Why are they like that? Have they lived an extremely long, tiring life and want nothing more than to get things finished as quickly as possible? It's much easier to write about a character you know everything about than one you just made up 2 minutes ago. Think about how you can portray their personality rather than just saying "she's helpful and kind." So your character has low confidence? Don't say it. Show it.

Example: Low confidence
"She wanted to speak out but she had no confidence in herself."

versus

"Her jaw clenched in fear as the captain continued to yell obscenities at the recruits. In her heart, she knew they did nothing wrong. They were just unfortunate enough to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. She wanted to say something. She needed to say something. Her jaw stayed firmly shut while her mind screamed for it to open. The room was dead silent as the captain continued to rave on like a mad man but to Emily, the room was loud. She could barely hear the captain over the loud thumping of her own heart."

They both tell the reader Emily has low confidence but... which one is more interesting? Which ones gives more details into what exactly that low confidence does to that character?
(hint: it's the second one)

Try to keep the personality of your character consistent throughout the story. What about character development? Character development is the maturing of the character and how their new experiences have influenced them - not the changing of their personality.


Traits
Character traits are my favourite part about creating and reading about characters. Little traits make characters unique and easier to remember. Are they a fussy eater? Do they pick their nose in public? Do they twirl their hair around their finger when they're nervous? Not all traits have to be positive. They can most definitely be negative. I actually encourage negative traits. They make a character much more realistic and interesting.

Some neutral traits: Smiles when nervous, tilts head when thinking,
Some negative traits: Gossips a lot, hurts themselves when they make a mistake

A good way to come up with traits for your characters is by observing other people. I don't encourage stalking but next time you're out for a meal with your friend, check if they bite their straw. It's interesting to see which friends do (I'm not creepy at all I swear).


I didn't plan this at all and I'm pretty much out of steam now. My final tips be:

Avoid the Mary Sue.

But what is a Mary Sue you ask?

Well lets turn to the majestic place called Urbandictionary.com and see!
Mary Sue
A female fanfiction character who is so perfect as to be annoying. Often, the Mary Sue is a self-insert with a few "improvements" (ex. better body, more popular, etc). The Mary Sue character is almost always beautiful, smart, etc... In short, she is the "perfect" girl.

AVOID MARY SUE'S. They are shallow characters that often or not, readers definitely do not like.


Nobody is a villain for no reason. Many antagonists or villains genuinely believe they are doing the right thing. What about all those villains that wanted MASS WORLD DESTRUCTION?

Lets look at the villain of a Pokemon game cause I'm a nerd.

"As the boss of Team Galactic, Cyrus is the nihilistic main antagonist of the Sinnoh games, with the ultimate goal of summoning Dialga and Palkia in order to destroy the universe so that he may start it again as its god. Born and raised in Sunyshore City, he was known to be a good, albeit asocial, student, and so preferred the company of machines over humans and Pokémon. Despite being such a good student, however, he did not live up to his parents' expectations, and so felt rejected. Sometime after this, he decided emotions were the source of all strife in the world, and that only the elimination of emotions, along with spirit, could be the end of fighting in the world, which lead to his plan and actions during the storyline in Sinnoh. His grandfather, who lives on Route 228 in Pokémon Platinum, regrets not taking him in during his time of need. It is also notable that Cyrus is very persistent in order to reach his dream. After being defeated one final time by the player, he ominously hints that someday make his ultimate goal into a reality. In the Distortion World (Pokémon Platinum), it is questionable what happened to him, as he simply walks away, deeper into the world, and is not encountered on the player's return visit." (Source: Bulbapedia)

Bam. That's an example of a character with depth. He didn't try to destroy the world just cause, he had a reason that he firmly believed in and he genuinely believed it was for the better of the world. A good villain is a villain with depth.

That's all for now folks akakakakak
  #8  
Old 04-03-2016, 02:09 AM
Asmodians
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Default Re: How to write an Aion fanfiction

Thank you for this truly wonderful input, Marco! Characters are indeed a very important part of each story. :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcoisdead - Siel View Post
(I'm not creepy at all I swear)
Nope. Not at all. *smiles and nods*
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  #9  
Old 04-03-2016, 03:31 AM
Asmodians
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Default Re: How to write an Aion fanfiction

Really nice thread. It occurred to me that's why everyone hates Gwyneth Paltrow, a real life MarySue.
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Old 04-10-2016, 11:11 AM
Asmodians
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Default Re: How to write an Aion fanfiction

Your story is not the only one in your world

Unless you're a second George RRRRRRRRRRRRR Martin and you're describing every single thing that happens on Atreia during the time of your story.
When you play the game, the NPCs and mobs are waiting for you to click on them or to get into their attack range, but if you're not around, they do absolutely nothing. But in story it doesn't work like that. The NPCs have their own personalities and lives, they don't wait for your main character to need something from them. The Lepharists won't plan their sabotage attacks based on presence of The Hero, as well as the Balaur won't wait for some Chosen One to interfere their plans for taking over the world. The shopkeepers won't wait after close of business just in case the main character needed something. That random person on the street won't have the one rare item The Hero needs and even if he did, he won't give it to The Hero for free.
What does it mean? If your characters are hungry, someone with excess of food doesn't magically appear to feed them. The world exists around them, not for them, all the NPCs have their own motives for doing what they're doing.

A reason “the main character needs it” is not a good reason.
But “my good friend gladiator needs it” may be a good reason for some nice and kind NPCs – in this case you'll get some interesting side character, but you should also consider what is the relationship between this NPC and the Hero. And if the NPC cares so much about the Hero, wouldn't it be the same the other way around?
Another example: “this random guy who pays really well need is” can also be a good reason for some people. In this case you should make sure the paying character either has enough goods or is good at bluffing.

The conclusion of this part is: even the NPCs and side characters have their own will and if you need them to do something for your Hero, you need to give them reason to do that. :)


Your stories are not for everyone

I know saying it like this sounds cruel, but it's a fact. It's also known fact that receiving negative reactions more or less hurts, but don't try writing your stories to please everyone. It won't happen. Why? Because people are different. And they like different things. Can you remember situation, when someone was super excited about some book they've read, or some movie they've seen, so you gave it a try and it was totally boring? Or vice versa – you liked something and other people didn't?
As an example, you can receive following reviews for your story:
1) The fights were amazing and I loved how they were running away flying on the back of the dragon, but did you really had to spend entire paragraph on describing how the hero is looking into her eyes and says he loved her?
2) It was really cute and sweet romance, the hero was a real gentleman, but the fights were too long and boring, I had to skip half of them.
So, which one is right? Both and neither. From this example it's clear they both like different things in stories. Does it mean you have to change your storytelling because of them? No*. Whatever happens in the story, is entirely up to you.

* (unless the story you write is a gift for someone, then of course you won't put stuff they don't like in there)

I am aware that I put a lot of emphasis on your readers' perspective in previous part. And I still think that considering the reader is important, but that applies more on the form or your story. Not the content. You decide who dies, who lives, who falls in love with whom. You decide who steals and deceives, who is honest, who fights and who runs away. The only limitation for the content is, that it must make sense and should be consistent.
The form, however, is something where your readers are important. As an example, if you write a love story between an Asmodian and an Elyos, you will write it differently, when it's for adults and when it's for younger teenagers. Also even if it's the same topic, you will write differently when it's a comedy/parody and when it's serious.

And because I love examples... If you kill someone's favourite character, it's always a big deal. It can't be helped, in some stories, characters are meant to die. But your readers will react. So let's look at some examples:
1) I don't like your story anymore, because [my-favourite-character] died!
- In this case, the reader is sad (obviously), but you shouldn't change the story just to please him/her.
2) The death of [my-favourite-character] made no sense, she had no reason to die.
- In this case, the reader might have a point. Use the paragraph “People read your story, not your mind” and reread the story, if you didn't forget to add something that was important. Because even if you think it made sense, you need to pass that sense to your readers.
3) The description of [my-favourite-character]'s death was really confusing and I wasn't sure if she died or not until two chapters later, when they were at her funeral.
- Now, that's a situation when you should spring to attention, reread the part, determine whether the person was right or not and, in case it really was confusing (but was not meant to be), rewrite it.



Time for a personal corner:
Once I wrote a parody about two fashion-obsessed Elyos who were following an Asmodian, because they wanted earrings and hair dye from Pandaemonium, so they tried to get on her good side. Accidentally they ran into a poisoned water source guarded by a group of Balaur... People who understood it was not meant to be serious, laughed and liked it. But then I gave it to someone else. His reaction was: “The plot with poisoned water and the fight were good, but you shouldn't put the earrings and hair dye there.” Uh... huh... I was speechless, unable to reply, because the thing he said I shouldn't put there was the point of the story. So after I got over the initial shock and went over what I knew about him, I realised something. That guy had no understanding of parodies. He needed every story serious. And that was it. No more parodies for him. I hope you'll agree with me that asking someone for an opinion about something they don't or can't understand, is a waste of time.



Half-breeds, the eternal romance... or not?

Once there was a discussion about roleplay and half-breeds - half-Elyos, half-Asmodians. Among the authors and roleplayers, they are quite popular, to a point of becoming a cliché.

From Wiki (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clich%C3%A9): A cliché or cliché (/ˈkliːʃeɪ/ or /klɪˈʃeɪ/) is an expression, idea, or element of an artistic work which has become overused to the point of losing its original meaning or effect, even to the point of being trite or irritating, especially when at some earlier time it was considered meaningful or novel.

So, it's not automatically good or bad, it's just popular and almost everyone uses them. So, if you really want to have a half-breed in your story, there's nothing inherently wrong with it. As every topic, this is entirely up to you, how you deal with it. Treat the half-breeds with care and they will reward you with a good story. :)

And now what I wrote about them in the discussion earlier:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shienis - Siel
To simplify things, let's assume three basic settings:
- utopia - everyone is friends with everyone and those who are not friends of the hero, are villains (example: fairy tales for children)
- realistic - good and bad attitude of people is sort of equal, depends a lot in hero's reputation or behaviour... (example: just look around, what do you see?)
- dystopia - opposite of utopia (example: Orwell's 1984)

These categories don't have set borders, they overlap.

If you followed the campaign storylines up to Balaurea, you can tell that Elyos campaign is utopian. Everyone welcomes you in Sanctum and are very happy to see you, even though they have absolutely no freaking idea who you are. The only one who is mean to you is Icaronix, who is (surprise, surprise) the main villain.
Asmodian campaign is much less utopian than the Elyos. You have the Munin's cult who adores you, but everyone else is distrustful, until you save their butts. Several times.

As the description of various quests vary over time, so if you're role-playing or writing a story, you can decide which setting you're in.

Based on these two different approaches it's a bit difficult to determine the level of social issues in Atreia. So let's take the three examples.

Utopian Atreia
- people are nice and generous
- of course there are poor people in the world, but the rich treat them as people (except the villains, of course) and if someone is in really bad situation, they help each other without any side motives
- unequal relationships (Asmo+Ely, rich+poor, daeva+human) are not welcome, but if they appear, it's no big deal (again, except for villains, who hate stuff like love)
- half-breeds and children from mixed society classes are seen as something exotic, they are met with curiosity and if someone bullies them, it means the person is a villain => playing a half-breed in utopian setting indeed is romantic, because all the bad things either are not there or are extremely rare

Realistic Atreia
- there are nice people and not so nice people
- the rich people have clearly more 'rights' than the poor and treat them depending on their mood; if a poor person gets into big trouble, usually they either have to deal with it alone, or get help from other poor people (family, friends), help from 'upper class' is rare
- unequal relationships are, depending on the social class, either taboo or trouble; it may end with scandal or ostracism or they have to hide
- half-breeds and children from mixed society classes are not welcome at all. They often end up in orphanages or are the shame of the family. They can be used by 'special ops' as spies or so and it's not impossible for them to achieve something. It's harder than for others, but not impossible. => playing a half-breed in a realistic setting is far less romantic than in utopia, but it's not a living nightmare

Dystopian Atreia
- nice people are rare. People are selfish and care only about themselves, usually they have some external reason to do so - for example: there's a tyranny and they want to survive
- poor people are treated like a dirt
- unequal relationships are unacceptable
- half-breeds and children from mixed society classes, if they are not killed at birth, are the lowest of the low and usually 'free target' for the rich (or for those 'in charge') => playing a half-breed in dystopian setting is not recommended

Again, any comments, questions, discussions or your own insights are welcome!
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