My Issues with Writing Books

by Anan Y. Mous
(United States of America)

Hello. I am a 13 year old writer who'd rather be anonymous. Could you determine if this story idea is good or not? If so, can you help me with the problems I'm encountering? I am really insecure with my writing. Criticism will be taken fairly. I appreciate the support I can get.

I have a lot of world-building and characters, but I'm running into problems.

I think my world is very complex(?) for anyone to understand. It's basically a big nation called a "Realm". This current Realm I call is called "Crava". It has about 6-8 countries with each individual race of fantasy races. I might not put that into the novel. The races are Humans, Faeries, (No, they don't fly, but rather jump/leap super high) Giants,(that still live in tribes) Wickens, (Magic users who can manipulate elements) Fortuners, (Magic users who can CREATE elemental subtances) Eclipsia Elves, (A rare species of elven warriors) Werebeasts and Felines(Obviously animal-like creatures based off of dogs and cats)

I honestly don't think this could work out? This may be too much information for the readers. Not to mention the diverse culture I don't think I have enough time to explain. (Can you send more than one question?) Could these diverse fantasy races work?

My 2nd problem is the theme. It's one of those stories that the Antagonist is the Protagonist. The general theme is "Heroes don't always win." It'll shatter what people have always thought: that good guys win. The plot is basically an agender meragender kidnaps a princess but ends up developing a friendship with the princess while the "Hero" tries killing said mercenary. Is this a good idea?

My 3rd problem is how the princess gets kidnapped. I don't know how to write this. I was thinking the mercenary simply breaks down her window or knocks the princess out(in disguise of a wealthy war commander as they lure her out to the outside) in some gala/ball/celebration occurring in her kingdom. Could either of these work, or could something else do?

My last question is this one character that is the most developed, well-thought character in all of the series, but she isn't that important! I have a habit of making proper backstories to characters that don't really matter. The whole reason I made this entire world was based off her that specific character! But now, I have an urge to make this book a reality when I'm older. How can I deal with this?

I apologize if this is very long. I am just so afraid that this book may not turn out to be good. If you can answer this soon, please do. I appreciate that you take your time answering these questions I have. I hope you can answer them. Thank you so much if you can!

Answer: Hi Anon,

Re: Question 1

I see no immediate problem with how you have designed your story world. As long as the world makes sense to you and is consistent and described authentically, it should be fine.

But don't feel that you have to explain the entire world to the reader in an infodump (a lengthy piece of description). The readers can learn about the aspects of the world that matter to the story as they follow the main character. Parts of the world that don't matter to the story you're telling need not be mentioned.

Writers usually know a lot about their story world that doesn't actually appear in the story but helps them understand how it works.

Re: Question 2

Who the hero or villain of your story is depends a lot on whose point of view the story is being told from and why they do what they do.

For instance, if the story is being told from the point of view of the mercenary, that makes him the main character. The story would be quite different if told from the perspective of the princess or the person trying to rescue her, since every main character is the hero of their own story.

Second, you have to ask yourself what your story goal is. The story goal is the problem that involves or affects the world of your story. For instance, if kidnapping the princess threatens the story world, then the mercenary is a villain. On the other hand, if kidnapping the princess exposes problems within the kingdom and leads to them being healed, then the mercenary becomes more of a hero.

It's rather like the story of Snow White. From the Queen's point of view, Snow White's survival is a threat and the huntsman who spares her life is a traitor.

On the other hand, if you see the Queen's evil values as a threat to the kingdom, then Snow White represents hope that a better Queen will one day take the throne. The huntsman then becomes a good guy.

So you have to decide just how villainous your mercenary is. Why is he kidnapping the princess, for instance? Is there a noble purpose? Or does his purpose become more noble over time? If he is someone the princess can become friends with, then perhaps his values are better than those of the rescuer.

That's assuming you want the princess and the world to have a happy outcome.

(I see no problem with either of your scenarios for how the kidnapping takes place.)

Re: Question 3

Sometimes it does turn out that the character you thought was the main character turns out to be someone else.

On the other hand, not every main character needs to be at the centre of the action. A good main character needs only the following qualifications...

1. The story should be written from her perspective (mostly), so that the reader identifies with her.
2. Her inner conflict should be developed. She should feel a dilemma over whether to change her approach.
3. Her decision (whether or not to change) should determine whether the story goal is achieved. In other words, even if she seems passive for most of the story, give her a crucial decision at the climax. She should have to choose whether to do something, or have a decision to make, or experience a key realization that determines the outcome.

Best of luck.

Comments for My Issues with Writing Books

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May 22, 2016
A noble cause
by: Anan Y. Mous

Just so you know, the mercenary DOES actually kidnap her for "villanous" reasons, but it becomes more noble over time. The mercenary has to kidnap the princess because of a rebellion by the Felines and Werebeasts (In my world, about 80% of each population are labor workers and slaves) The leaders blackmailed the famous mercenary to kidnap the Human princess (Humans own 75% of all Werebeast and Feline slaves) by kidnapping the mercenary's family (Eclipsian elves) and has repeatably tortured them in front of the mercenary. The mercenary agrees and the story continues. Make sense?

May 22, 2016
To Anon
by: Glen

Well, if your mercenary is trying to save his family, that makes his situation rather sympathetic and not so villainous. Of course, one wonders why he doesn't hand the princess over to the rebels. (My guess is that he and the princess find a way to save his family.)

This is what I mean by exposing the problem within the story world (slavery, injustice). Your story goal may then be to end the injustice in the world that causes kidnapping and torture to take place.

May 22, 2016
by: Anon

Well, the leaders of such rebellion may or may not got into a bit of a pickle....By pickle, I mean getting into an accident and getting injured for a few months. They are hospitalized somewhere else and they never told anyone where the mercenary is.

I don't know how long they should get injured. Maybe 3 months? I feel like that's too short. 8 months? That's too long. (Modern medicine wasn't a thing.)

Oct 11, 2016
the importance of planning
by: Anonymous

Sounds like you have a great idea for a book! The think now is to start writing. But, before you write, sit down and plan things out - a detailed synopsis, a timeline, character studies - just like they say on this website. From my personal experience writing, the planning piece, especially for your type of work, should not be skimped on. What I do is write down the story line I know and then continue to fill it out as things occur to me. It's really fun! Have you read Oz books? There are many. The best of the writers are Baum and Thompson. You might like to check out how they handle a complex world but keep the focus on the story they're telling. Good luck!! Can't wait to read your finished book!!

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