Re: Need Help with Starting a Story

#1
Hey, so I need some help with something. I developed this idea for an adventure-type story, but I'm having trouble with some plot elements Here's the basic synopsis of the story I had in mind. 

A long time ago in the land of Celios, a magic artifact was given by unknown entities of a higher plain. The artifact granted all kinds of wishes and made any desire a reality. At first, the inhabitants of Celios worked together and learned how to share this power. But then, a war over the artifact broke out as different nations began to fight over who should wield its power. Before the war was over or when a victor could rise, the artifact shattered into twelve pieces and scattered to different places across the world. Now, as the different nations are rebuilding themselves, many individuals and groups began to search for the twelve pieces in order to restore the artifact and bring a new beginning to Celios.


Among the people trying to restore the artifact is Stella Stardust, a sorceress who has heard of the artifact and feels she must restore it before another war can break out, Vincent, a warrior who wants the artifact to track down the soldiers who murdered his family, and Raine, a plant-like creature called a “Roah” who is searching for her long-lost mother. With Stella’s keen insight, Vincent’s strong-will, and Raine’s high spirits, the three band together to locate all twelve pieces and hopefully bring peace back to Celios. Along the way, they encounter many obstacles, like corrupted officials, cults, dangerous creatures, and a strange masked being with ambiguous motives.


So that's the basic gist of the story I'm going for. What I really need help with, at the moment, is to come up with a beginning that will really draw the readers in and introduce the three main characters. Basically, I need some help developing a strong and interesting hook while giving some exposition without it being an info dump. I have the middle and ending parts figured out, it's just the beginning I'm having trouble with. If you're interested in helping, then please leave a reply or PM me. Thanks! 

Re: Need Help with Starting a Story

#2
Really, everything is there, it's just a matter of introduction

Example:

People come and go through this tavern, seeing me in a slump, alone.

[ add world info here ]

...

I've been alone for a long time.

[ add world info here ]

...

Ever since my mom was lost in the first "battle".

[ Add world info here ]

She was the world to me, they took her away from me.
...

[ Add world info here ]

I curled up in my corner.

...

" Theres- can grant any wis- -ust have to find it."


Hearing the robed lady say that something can bring her back roused me to my feet.

"Did you say something about a relic?"

...

Or something like that, don't take this seriously if this isn't the personality of your MC.

Re: Need Help with Starting a Story

#3
Wrote: Really, everything is there, it's just a matter of introduction

Example:

People come and go through this tavern, seeing me in a slump, alone.

[ add world info here ]

...

I've been alone for a long time.

[ add world info here ]

...

Ever since my mom was lost in the first "battle".

[ Add world info here ]

She was the world to me, they took her away from me.
...

[ Add world info here ]

I curled up in my corner.

...

" Theres- can grant any wis- -ust have to find it."


Hearing the robed lady say that something can bring her back roused me to my feet.

"Did you say something about a relic?"

...

Or something like that, don't take this seriously if this isn't the personality of your MC.


Interesting, but I'm not sure if that's in character with my main protagonist. One idea for the intro I had was that Stella goes to the capital in order to seek a job, but when she does find one she also runs into the other characters, and they're looking for the artifact too. One thing will lead to another and the three band together to locate and find the missing pieces. And I was thinking of maybe making the artifact a myth to the characters in the world. Like some of them believe in the missing piece's existence while others believe there was no artifact to begin with. Would that sound believable? I could use some help coming up with a more interesting opening. 

Re: Need Help with Starting a Story

#4
Wrote: One idea for the intro I had was that Stella goes to the capital in order to seek a job, but when she does find one she also runs into the other characters, and they're looking for the artifact too.

That in itself is contradictory - if someone is seeking a job, they're not searching for a legendary artefact.

And I really mean that - if you're looking for something out of legend, then you simply cannot be starving at the same time. If you need to look for a job, then you simply don't have the time to go searching as most jobs will require your time to complete.

There are ways to mix those story elements, but that would require the MCs to look for side tasks on the run to the artefact, they can't have regular jobs at a city for that, unless the city is the one with a legendary dungeon containing the artefact or something like that - and in that case a lot more people would be looking for the artefact or other treasures.

As for your original question: a beginning that draws in the readers mostly comes from experience and having written more as well as readibility. If this is your first story then don't expect it to get popular fast, because like everything else writing is a skill that needs to be trained by practise.

Re: Need Help with Starting a Story

#5
Andar Wrote:
Wrote: One idea for the intro I had was that Stella goes to the capital in order to seek a job, but when she does find one she also runs into the other characters, and they're looking for the artifact too.

That in itself is contradictory - if someone is seeking a job, they're not searching for a legendary artefact.

And I really mean that - if you're looking for something out of legend, then you simply cannot be starving at the same time. If you need to look for a job, then you simply don't have the time to go searching as most jobs will require your time to complete.

There are ways to mix those story elements, but that would require the MCs to look for side tasks on the run to the artefact, they can't have regular jobs at a city for that, unless the city is the one with a legendary dungeon containing the artefact or something like that - and in that case a lot more people would be looking for the artefact or other treasures.

As for your original question: a beginning that draws in the readers mostly comes from experience and having written more as well as readibility. If this is your first story then don't expect it to get popular fast, because like everything else writing is a skill that needs to be trained by practise.


How would you suggest I introduce the character? If you're saying that Stella looking for a job doesn't make sense. I mean, she is fascinated by the artifact even though most people don't believe in it, but she still needs to eat and find a roof over her head. Like she could be looking for a job while still searching for the artifact on the side?

Re: Need Help with Starting a Story

#6
Wrote:
Andar Wrote:
Wrote: One idea for the intro I had was that Stella goes to the capital in order to seek a job, but when she does find one she also runs into the other characters, and they're looking for the artifact too.

That in itself is contradictory - if someone is seeking a job, they're not searching for a legendary artefact.

And I really mean that - if you're looking for something out of legend, then you simply cannot be starving at the same time. If you need to look for a job, then you simply don't have the time to go searching as most jobs will require your time to complete.

There are ways to mix those story elements, but that would require the MCs to look for side tasks on the run to the artefact, they can't have regular jobs at a city for that, unless the city is the one with a legendary dungeon containing the artefact or something like that - and in that case a lot more people would be looking for the artefact or other treasures.

As for your original question: a beginning that draws in the readers mostly comes from experience and having written more as well as readibility. If this is your first story then don't expect it to get popular fast, because like everything else writing is a skill that needs to be trained by practise.


How would you suggest I introduce the character? If you're saying that Stella looking for a job doesn't make sense. I mean, she is fascinated by the artifact even though most people don't believe in it, but she still needs to eat and find a roof over her head. Like she could be looking for a job while still searching for the artifact on the side?


Yes, she could. Job keeps her fed, and saves up money towards preparing to find/steal artifact. Nothing really contradictory about this. 

Re: Need Help with Starting a Story

#7
you need to define the character and her priorities, then you can decide.

If she focuses on the artefact and is looking for money to fund the search, then she comes to that city because of a hint on the artefact and will react to everything that will give her short-term money without holding her down to a fixed job.

If the artefact is a nice story and long-term-goal for her, she will be looking for a good paying job that let's her work much to accumulate funds, while using her spare time to check the libraries for hints at the side.

If she's an impulsive airhead that can't focus on either, she'll be on her way to the capital because her parent's have thrown her out, the artefact might be an excuse to not get a real job and she'll be looking for base jobs that will barely pay her bills.

and so on - you need to plan your characters to be more than one-liners in the story if you want to get some audience.

One suggestion, even if you have absolutely no intention of ever writing LitRPG you should get some advanced character sheets from a roleplaying game (pen-and-paper-variant) and use them to make a sheet for everyone of your characters that will get more than one or two appearances in your story. Those sheets contain fields for background, traits, quirks, parents, history and more. Write that out for each of your MCs for before the story starts, and you'll be several steps further toward getting them a good and fitting start.

Re: Need Help with Starting a Story

#8
Andar Wrote: you need to define the character and her priorities, then you can decide.

If she focuses on the artefact and is looking for money to fund the search, then she comes to that city because of a hint on the artefact and will react to everything that will give her short-term money without holding her down to a fixed job.

If the artefact is a nice story and long-term-goal for her, she will be looking for a good paying job that let's her work much to accumulate funds, while using her spare time to check the libraries for hints at the side.

If she's an impulsive airhead that can't focus on either, she'll be on her way to the capital because her parent's have thrown her out, the artefact might be an excuse to not get a real job and she'll be looking for base jobs that will barely pay her bills.

and so on - you need to plan your characters to be more than one-liners in the story if you want to get some audience.

One suggestion, even if you have absolutely no intention of ever writing LitRPG you should get some advanced character sheets from a roleplaying game (pen-and-paper-variant) and use them to make a sheet for everyone of your characters that will get more than one or two appearances in your story. Those sheets contain fields for background, traits, quirks, parents, history and more. Write that out for each of your MCs for before the story starts, and you'll be several steps further toward getting them a good and fitting start.


Oh, I have that part figured out. 

What you described in the second and third paragraphs is pretty much what I was trying to say about Stella, in which she needs a job in order to earn some money while doing her own research in her spare time. But when she meets the other two main characters, Vincent and Raine, she has to cut her funding short because she ends up getting mixed up in this conspiracy involving one of the co-rulers and with this secret society. 

And I do have my characters figured out, it's just I'm a little unsure if they're backstories will support their motives. For instance, my idea with Stella is that she has always been fascinated by magic and was neglected as a child by her parents, who were focusing their attention on her other siblings and not her. So when she was old enough, she moved out to study magic. Sometime later, she met a master and he trained her in the art of magic. During this time, he told her of the story of the artifact and how some people don't believe in its existence. It was then she decided that she should try and find the twelve pieces so that she can wish for a better world (though her reasons will change during the story due to character development). After she graduated from her master's teachings, she moved to the capital to find a job. And that's where the story begins. That's the simplified version of Stella's backstory and her reason to find the artifact. 

Re: Need Help with Starting a Story

#9
Andar Wrote: One suggestion, even if you have absolutely no intention of ever writing LitRPG you should get some advanced character sheets from a roleplaying game (pen-and-paper-variant) and use them to make a sheet for everyone of your characters that will get more than one or two appearances in your story. Those sheets contain fields for background, traits, quirks, parents, history and more. Write that out for each of your MCs for before the story starts, and you'll be several steps further toward getting them a good and fitting start.


I wish I knew this before, to include just writing in general, about actually having a plan before I started my story, haha.

Re: Need Help with Starting a Story

#10
zeryn Wrote:
Andar Wrote: One suggestion, even if you have absolutely no intention of ever writing LitRPG you should get some advanced character sheets from a roleplaying game (pen-and-paper-variant) and use them to make a sheet for everyone of your characters that will get more than one or two appearances in your story. Those sheets contain fields for background, traits, quirks, parents, history and more. Write that out for each of your MCs for before the story starts, and you'll be several steps further toward getting them a good and fitting start.


I wish I knew this before, to include just writing in general, about actually having a plan before I started my story, haha.


Yeah, my MC turned into a weirder version of me somehow before I realized it.
Also- your story, good stuff mate.