Need help please!!! All advice is welcome if serious

#1
Hi my name is Tom and I'm in my third year in high school going on to my senior year. I am currently taking a 2 year creative writing course and by the start of next year i need to create a short story. 

The premise of the story so far is of a powerful angle that was deemed to evil to be in "the Heavens/Overworld", yet to good to go into "Hell/Underworld". Then he had his memory completely wiped clean and expelled into another world that is ungoverned by any gods, and riddled with all types of evils and corruption (a true dog eat dog world). The only thing that he was left with is his same personality and little knowledge in order act upon his own ideals of the proper way of ruling others. After the trial of the gods he was then going to be brought back and truly judged again... but of coarse things don't go as planned and now our MC is going to be stuck forever in this world. And only through his encounters with various people shall he make things right. Rather he becomes the saint the world needs or the true evil that reigns supreme. 

Now my Main problems! i am confident in my world building and descriptions of scenery and other such things. If possible i just need some pointers of characters and their development through out the story. As well as methods to make the story more balanced in a way. i am only doing this story for fun as of now and also to complete my assignment. However i do plan on making this into an actual LN. So if possible i'll be very grateful for some advice about said premise. 

so far i've written about three chapters and am more than willing to rewrite them if the advice given gives me some enlightenment

RE: Need help please!!! All advice is welcome if serious

#2
04/13/2016 18:21:02tomjt1234 Wrote: [ -> ]Hi my name is Tom and I'm in my third year in high school going on to my senior year. I am currently taking a 2 year creative writing course and by the start of next year I need to create a short story. 

The premise of the story so far is of a powerful angel that was deemed to evil to be in "the Heavens/Overworld", yet too good to go into "Hell/Underworld". Then, he had his memory completely wiped clean and was expelled into another world that is ungoverned by any gods and riddled with all types of evils and corruption (a true dog eat dog world). The only thing that he was left with is his same personality and a little knowledge in order to act upon his own ideals of the proper way of ruling others. After the trial of the gods, he was then going to be brought back and truly judged again... but of course things don't go as planned and now our MC is going to be stuck forever in this world. And Only through his encounters with various people shall he make things right. Rather, he becomes either the saint the world needs or the true evil that reigns supreme. 

Now my main problems! I am confident in my world building and descriptions of scenery and other such things. If possible I just need some pointers of on characters and their development throughout the story. as well as methods to make the story more balanced in a way balanced. I am only doing this story for fun as of now and also to complete my assignment. However I do plan on making this into an actual LN. So if possible I'll be very grateful for some advice about said premise. 

so far I've written about three chapters and am more than willing to rewrite them if the advice given gives me some enlightenment


Just to prove a point, I went through your post and bolded some stuff that I changed from your post. Be sure to proofread, spell check, and search for grammar errors, especially if it is an assignment for school. Nobody expects perfect grammar from a forum post but again, I wanted to showcase the importance of proofreading :p

I am no expert in the field of storycrafting but here are some ideas.

Why is the MC an evil angel? Did some event happen in the past that caused him to stray from the path of his fellow angels?

The MC is reborn in a corrupt/evil/lawless world. Does the actions of the people in that world cause him to become evil or does he find some small specks of good that give him hope? Actively play up the influence the world has on him and what he thinks of them. If only evil surrounds him, then he is likely to fall into evil.

Does the environment cause him to question the ideals and knowledge he carries with him from his previous life? Does he remain steadfast in his beliefs or does that change?

There is alot of possible internal conflict for the MC, especially if his memories were wiped.

Hope this helps.

RE: Need help please!!! All advice is welcome if serious

#3
The premise of the story so far is of a powerful angle that was deemed to evil to be in "the Heavens/Overworld", yet to good to go into "Hell/Underworld".
-did you mean too evil and too good? so that would make him a sort of neutral angel?

"The only thing that he was left with is his same personality and little knowledge in order act upon his own ideals of the proper way of ruling others."
-so he doesn't have his powerful angel powers  or his memory? he's a normal human...sort of?

The problem I'm seeing with character development is that you can't tie up his actions with who he is because he lost everything of he was. Unless the story will steer into "who am I?" plot where he goes looking for his memories. But I don't think that's where you're going? What I mean to say is that if his powerful neutral angel backstory won't be much help in his interactions with this godforsaken world then there's no need for that grand backstory- might as well have a king who hit his head and forgot everything.

It shouldn't look like there's an amnesiac guy walking around in a grimdark world trying to be good or bad (depends on what you plan) and suddenly, after all that- he was actually a neutral angel! See? What has his being a powerful neutral angel get to do with anything in this new world since all of that has been stripped from him anyway. (Unless in your story he gradually gets it back)

Another point: it's not a good way to judge a person by wiping their memories. Obviously, when they get their memories back, they are not the same person you judged. For all intents and purposes, those two people are different. Why did the gods think of that weird way of judging someone anyway? You could try thinking a good reason for why they did that other than actually judging him. It'll look like you're forcing a plotpoint if you just say they want to judge him.

(Suggestion: Since something went wrong with that judging thing anyway, might as well make it wrong from the beginning. Example, he was supposed to be thrown in that world with his memories intact but no powers, but a jealous angel or something interferes and ends up wiping his mind. You could have this jealous/rival guy as the antagonist. A grimdark presents all sorts of challenges but I think its good to have a challenge to match the stature of the Main character- like a rival angel. Having a rival angel being an ass to you is also a good tool for character development and doesn't look forced. )

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For character development- like I said, his backstory should matter- So, you could have bits and pieces of his memories coming back. For example, he helped his people and did something good, then suddenly he had a headache where he did the opposite in the past, then he goes, wtf was that? Who am I? That was wrong, or right? Was that who I really am? see. lots of stuff to do if his memories comes back in bits and pieces.

-Or you could just make him retain his memories but have him stripped of his angel powers. He's a ruler in that new world right? That's plenty of power still, for a human.

-Feels like a ruler is too high as a start. How about make him a bandit leader or something?  I think you'll get better character development if you're not a ruler. You could even have him stuffed in the body of a human there. I mean, get an actual human and put his soul inside that so he will look like an amnesiac at the start then slowly realize that he was an angel and this body is not his. You could even leave the human soul in that body as well so that they will struggle against each other. That would be fun.

-If you want to stick with the ruler- you could make if a ruler of a losing country in a war or something.

-Lastly, don't forget that he's an angel and not a human so he will think very differently. A neutral angel will be different from a neutral human. Don't base his actions on what you would have done in his place. Don't impose your own personality on your angel character- it will look awkward. You could make this story into a "finding my humanity" thing. Plenty of character development there as well.

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Kinda long reply, lol. Feel free to message me. I'm open to discuss things.

RE: Need help please!!! All advice is welcome if serious

#4
Dear Tom,

I am a newly started writer and deal with lots of these insecurities aswell.
Most important for me is, that I want to believe in my characters and my story. I believe in them and therefore I persevere and keep working on these characters. What I do. I have 2/3 main characteristics for this person. 1/2 that will change over time and how that will change. I do not neccesarily change it completely, but alter their character and responses based on their previous experiences.

Again, for me the most important thing for now is to believe in my story and character and just keep writing.

RE: Need help please!!! All advice is welcome if serious

#5
Tom, I see that you have to write a short story. If it is an actual short story, then you're already over the limit with three chapters. A short story is usually under 8,000 words. 

A short story should start as close to the climax as possible. Make every word count. Have at most maybe 4ish characters. Google Vonnegut short story tips. 

Your story already seems way to complex. If your teacher didn't specify that 8,000 word limit then ignore everything I just wrote. (Even if that is the case, how long are you making the story? Teachers usually don't have that much time. And if the teacher gets fed up and just reads the first chapter and called it a day, that would just be savage af.) Other than that, I'll just second what everyone else already said before me.

Re: Need help please!!! All advice is welcome if serious

#7
Quote:characters and their development through out the story. As well as methods to make the story more balanced in a way

Quote:The premise of the story so far is of a powerful angel that was deemed to evil to be in "the Heavens/Overworld", yet to good to go into "Hell/Underworld".

Okay, so, Angel. its superior Angel and whatever he did to tip the scales. Depends on type of the sin that'll make him fall, but ' road to hell is paved with good intentions ' is good too.

Quote:Then he had his memory completely wiped clean and expelled into another world that is ungoverned by any gods, and riddled with all types of evils and corruption (a true dog eat dog world).

Again, characters depend on type of the sin in the world, but even ' road to hell is paved with good intentions ' is good too for an overzealous paladin order/heathen church.

Quote:The only thing that he was left with is his same personality and little knowledge in order act upon his own ideals of the proper way of ruling others.

Well, purging whatever bad habits and solutions he learned is not bad. He would lead, but not chase after power and status unless needed.

Quote:After the trial of the gods he was then going to be brought back and truly judged again... but of coarse things don't go as planned and now our MC is going to be stuck forever in this world.

Okay, ' the world was not a punishment but a salvation for all, including you '
Quote:And only through his encounters with various people shall he make things right. Rather he becomes the saint the world needs or the true evil that reigns supreme. 

If cast is developed.


Ten years from now you'll probably cringe from whatever you'll make now, but it'll be a good stepping stone, if you finish it.

Re: Need help please!!! All advice is welcome if serious

#8
What kind of high school do you go to that has a two-year creative writing course? Are you at one of those upper class rich kid charter schools, or has schooling gotten better since I graduated? 'cuz I think I wrote like six pieces of fiction for class in all of middle AND high school. I would have killed for a creative writing class lol

Anyway, Your idea that you have written here doesn't sound like a short story; it sounds like a full-on novel that you want to write. If you actually have writing classes, then actually, my suggestion is to ignore your urges to work on big novels and other longer projects. Especially for a high schooler that wants to become a writer, it's important to write a bunch of different stuff. Experiment with style, characters, weird gimmicks, developing your voice by doing various flash fictions, short stories, poems, and other formats. Try a visual novel out, if you have any software for it. Write in second-person tense, or make a story where each scene is chronologically backwards. Try to write a flash fiction without using the letter B. 

Trying to make big epic fantasy stuff will fall flat unless you've honed your writing. Which this class will obviously allow you to do, but my advice is to intentionally work on stuff that isn't that important to you, that isn't your "dream project." High school is a good time to test yourself out and explore your writing; your dream projects can wait.