Difference between revisions of "Main Plot Arc"

From House of Hozz

(The Prophecy)
(Story Core: more tweaks)
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* Oswald teams up with Propitiation, and learns about the struggle over the world tree.
 
* Oswald teams up with Propitiation, and learns about the struggle over the world tree.
 
* The Dragon arranges for Ziggy to be bound to the old Great Tree to dissuade Oswald from fighting.
 
* The Dragon arranges for Ziggy to be bound to the old Great Tree to dissuade Oswald from fighting.
* Propitiation captures Ziggy, tells them to use his power to grow the new world tree (second big choice) which kills Ziggy.
+
* Propitiation captures Ziggy. Oswald tells them to use his power to grow the new world tree (second big choice) which kills Ziggy.
 
* Ziggy's death enables Hugh to break free using his (now unbalanced) destruction powers.
 
* Ziggy's death enables Hugh to break free using his (now unbalanced) destruction powers.
* Oswald and Zack lead a necromatic army to assault Great Tree.
+
* Oswald and Zack lead a necromatic army to assault Great Tree. The Few repell them in open combat.
* The dragon repells them in open combat, and (subtly) turns Zack's powers on the [[Heart of Water]] to poison the new Great Tree.
+
* The Dragon subtly turns Zack's powers on the [[Heart of Water]] to poison the new Great Tree.
 
* Oswald and Hugh kill Zack (third big choice). Hugh looses his powers.
 
* Oswald and Hugh kill Zack (third big choice). Hugh looses his powers.
 
* Oswald takes Hugh's sword, and goes to slay the dragon.
 
* Oswald takes Hugh's sword, and goes to slay the dragon.
 
* The Dragon rises in fury from his lair and confronts Oswald. He kills the dragon.
 
* The Dragon rises in fury from his lair and confronts Oswald. He kills the dragon.
* Oswald sees that he can preserve Great Tree, or destroy it (final big choice). He decides to do away with the old order, and cuts down Great Tree.
+
* Oswald sees that he can preserve Great Tree, or destroy it (final big choice). He decides to do away with the old order, and cuts down Great Tree. He has no assurance that this will turn out well!
* The new Great Tree grows back in place of the old one. Many of the Few settle in it, their struggle with Propitiation forgotten.
+
* Many of the Few settle in the new Great Tree, their struggle with Propitiation forgotten. They all dislike Oswald though, and he can no longer stay in TwinWorld.
 
* Oswald returns to school on Earth, but does his homework this time.
 
* Oswald returns to school on Earth, but does his homework this time.
  

Revision as of 19:54, 21 April 2011

Four brothers, exhibiting various trinalities <sp?>, discover, explore, and aid a fantastic world filled with fantastic people.

"Anatomy of Story" approach

The Anatomy of Story is a book I read about how to write stories. There are ordered steps, which I will attempt to go through. These answers are by no means authoritative. Feel free to change them. He says that, if you don't like the story at this point, throw it out and start over.

Premise and Design Principle

It directs that every good story should start with a premise and a design principle. The premise is what the story is about. The design principle is the process and execution of the story.

The premise should, in his words, "Be able to change your life." It should be something that is important enough to spend time writing a story about it.

Premise: The youngest of four brothers kills a dragon.

Design principle: A surprising alien and mildly metaphorical setting.

Story Core

He also says that the best, most interesting character is the hero. I think this is, as we have previously determined, Oswald. The other brothers all have a rather static "deal" or "style" that they stick to. Ziggy is creative and organized. Hugh hunts evil. Zack is a "cool dude" who commands the undead. But Oswald, he's a little of everything, and doesn't really know who he is at the beginning.

Hero: Oswald

Next is the conflict: "Who fights whom over what?"

Conflict: Oswald fights the Dragon over the fate of the Great Tree

Now we need to sum up a single cause-effect pathway that will take us through the conflict. Sub-plots and other interesting things can work in on the sides, but this is the central logic of the story. This is the plan.

Central Cause-effect Path: The dragon is trying to save Great Tree to preserve his hoard. Oswald is trying to destroy Great Tree for Propitiation.

Here's how I think it could go down:

  • The Dragon incites the war between Propitiation and Few which drives away Durand.
  • Oswald is failing school, and instead of doing his homework, helps out around the house.
  • The brothers return briefly to TwinWorld, but are driven off by the Few.
  • The Dragon arranges for Zack to gain his necromancy, in order to influence him. Oswald finds out, but does nothing (weakness).
  • The necromancy gets the brothers kicked out of their house.
  • Oswald fights the Few off from his ancestral home (first big choice), and they live there.
  • The Few retaliate, and imprison Hugh within the roots of the Great Tree.
  • Oswald teams up with Propitiation, and learns about the struggle over the world tree.
  • The Dragon arranges for Ziggy to be bound to the old Great Tree to dissuade Oswald from fighting.
  • Propitiation captures Ziggy. Oswald tells them to use his power to grow the new world tree (second big choice) which kills Ziggy.
  • Ziggy's death enables Hugh to break free using his (now unbalanced) destruction powers.
  • Oswald and Zack lead a necromatic army to assault Great Tree. The Few repell them in open combat.
  • The Dragon subtly turns Zack's powers on the Heart of Water to poison the new Great Tree.
  • Oswald and Hugh kill Zack (third big choice). Hugh looses his powers.
  • Oswald takes Hugh's sword, and goes to slay the dragon.
  • The Dragon rises in fury from his lair and confronts Oswald. He kills the dragon.
  • Oswald sees that he can preserve Great Tree, or destroy it (final big choice). He decides to do away with the old order, and cuts down Great Tree. He has no assurance that this will turn out well!
  • Many of the Few settle in the new Great Tree, their struggle with Propitiation forgotten. They all dislike Oswald though, and he can no longer stay in TwinWorld.
  • Oswald returns to school on Earth, but does his homework this time.

Looking back over this plot line it could certainly be improved. Still, a good start. There are a number of complications which are not necessary, and some stuff that could be added as side-plots. Those go somewhere else.

Character Change

The hero needs to change and grow as a character. He needs a weakness, some action that addresses the weakness, and a resultant change.

Character Change: Oswald is apathetic and doesn't think his actions make a difference (weakness). By responding to the Dragon and his atrocities (action), he finds that he can affect the world around him. As a result, he becomes decisive and active (change).

There also needs to be a real moral choice. I think the choice should have to do with the decision to do something painful to end a bad circumstance and bring a better future. This ties in with Oswald's weakness (apathy) as it is easier for him to endure an uncomfortable situation. Oswald has several of these choices. I think we should try hard to make them meaningful. A crescendo in impact would be good as well.

Moral Choice(s): Fight off the Few from his ancestral home (or do nothing)? Sacrifice Ziggy's powers for the good of Propitiation and the new Great Tree (or do nothing)? Kill Zack? Kill the Dragon?

The Prophecy

The info here is in a state of flux, everything can be changed!

The prophecy

  1. Is it actually necessary? The prophecy is an interesting idea, but may not fit this story.
  2. Does it need to be misinterpereted?
  3. Can we convey this information in some other way?
  4. What other prophecies have been made in the past, and how did they turn out?

Here are some ideas of how the prophecy can be specific, but still open to mis-interpretation. We may consider making it very explicit instead, to draw out the silliness of the mis-interpretation.

  • Ziggy, "gather knowlege from the world(tree)" He needs to gather the knowlege from the Great Tree, but he thinks it means all of the nations.
  • Hugh, "Give your sword to your brother" He should give it to Oswald, but he thinks it means "pledge fealty to my brothers in arms" or a fellow hero, or a king of some kind.
  • Zack, "You must become strong so you can help your brothers" means that he must pour his strength into the sword, but thinks that it means help your "fellow soldiers" and creates an army of golems to aid in the battle.
  • Oswald. "You must kill the rot at the core of the world." Oswald must slay the dragon. He thinks that he must instead kill Zack. The continued attempts could be played for laughs?

Alternate prophecy

What if only Hugh has a prophecy he is doomed to fulfill? That of killing Zack. When he does, his powers of hunting evil are relieved. Just a thought Ziggy 19:28, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Sets of contrasting points and symbols

The main plot arc involves four major groups

  1. The Hozz Brothers are a group everyman. They spend most of their time working against their ultimate goals, through incompetence, misinformation, or laziness.
  2. The Fayrie are a woman symbol society.
  3. The Zarth are a male symbol society.
  4. The Dragon is a symbol of competent evil. He is playing both sides of pretty much everything and keeps coming out on top.

The long-term history has three sections

  1. The Dragon amasses treasure under the Great Tree, and gets most of the world to think that dragons don't exist, while the rest of the world is terrified of dragons, and tries to kill all the other ones.
  2. The Oracle is established as accurate and reliable, and then prophesies that his offspring will fell/destroy the Great Tree. He is forced to flee as many decide to try and kill him and his family before this prophesy can come true.
  3. The Hozz brothers fulfill the prophesy, but only after misinterpreting it and failing several times.

The main plot arc involves Three major locations

  1. The House: The namesake of the comic. A house built by Durand. It provides a portal to Earth. Hiddin within the Garden of life
  2. Great Tree, shifting off to the side of the world, home to the old guard of Fay and the Dragon's horde (The Lair).
  3. Propitiation: A kingdom founded by eclectic mix of refugee Fey and zarth explorers. The land was given as a peace offering to the settlers by the tribal fey who live in the surrounding area in atonement for an accidental war. Propitiation is incidentally constructed atop the new Great Tree.

Note that all of thee locations are fairly near both to each-other, the surface, and the axis of Twinworld.

Fleshing out the characters

The Dragon

The Dragon wants treasure. Over the ages, he has accumulated a huge horde in the roots of the Great Tree. In order to enjoy his treasure in peace, he must make sure he is not discovered, and especially not hunted. To this end he kills all of the other dragons that he can find, and has convinced most of the world that dragons do not exist. He encourages a small (but corrupt) group of Fay to hunt any dragons that come up from the deeps, and has connections with the several dragon cults that spring up to worship dragons. The dragon cults seek out and protect any dragons that make it out of the depths, and then send them to the Dragon, presumably to "rule at his side". With these factions fighting each other, and neither aware of his location, he remains safe from the vast majority of creatures. He has heard of the last prophesy, but figures that even if the Great Tree falls, the roots will remain. He does not believe that humans exist.

The Oracle

The oracle wants people to believe the truth. Unfortunately, he isn't sure what that is most of the time. His predictions come un-bidden, and even he doesn't know what they portend. When he make predictions, many take them the wrong way, or re-interperet and twist them to mean what they want. After the Last Prophesy, most people think that the attention went to his head. Some claim that he was manipulating events to go the way he predicted. Others claim he is in fact the dragon, sowing seeds of delusion. Some still believe his veracity, but since he disappeared (to earth) the hopes that his last prophesy will come true are slim. He lives on earth, with his wife and children, and still makes prophecies occasionally. They always come true.

The Hozz brothers

The older three brothers are the Body (Zack) Soul (Hugh) and Spirit (Ziggy) of Man, or mankind. Oswald is the Christ figure, in that he is sent from the Father and lays down his life.

The older three are naif and quick to act. Shortly after arriving in Twin World, they each receive prophecies concerning how to do what is right. Each one of them chooses to read into and translate the words into what makes sense to them at the time. This happens throughout the story. The plain meaning is just too unbelievable! Through this convenient application of "interperetation", they end up on the wrong side of almost every conflict, and spend most of their time mucking things up. At the end, and almost by accident, they fulfill their roles, and the prophecy.


Fleshing out the World

The origin and history of the world, this may not be remembered the same by the Zarth and Fay.

several other locations

  1. The Deepening, a city located at the lowest habitable region of the world. A major Zarth stronghold/citidel and center of dragon hunting operations.
  2. Brimcloud: The capital of the Few, a major Fey kingdom. It has strong ties to old Great Tree and is the main opponent of its destruction.
  3. Anglestruct: the capital of one of the major zarth empires. The center of all clockwork and mechanomancy.
  4. Blazen: A small but famous Zarth outpost. Home to the greatest smith and foundery in the world.
  5. The dragon cultist stronghold/temple: built at the root of the old Great Tree. The prison for Hugh.
  6. Cloud 8: A small Zarth trading outpost. Home to outcasts, oppertunists, and calling port for the Woe.
  7. Corral Keep: The nearest boarder citadel of Brimcloud to Propotiation. The center of their military efforts.

Key Plot Ideas

Reception of the Prophecy

The Hozz brothers receive their prophecies that were made by the Oracle. However, Oswald does not receive his prophecy

Oracle needs to have made individual prophecies for the brothers before leaving TwinWorld. Gives them to them, but has none for Oswald. Tells them that when all of their prophecies are united, they will be fulfilled. Three older brothers think that this means that Oswald isn't supposed to come, so they leave him behind. Oswald serves as the storyteller/narrator for the adventures in TwinWorld for the main beginning and middle of the story.

The great defeat

At the sub-climax, everyone fails. Hugh fails to defeat the dragon (tries by himself, wrong approach). Ziggy fails to save the Great Tree (tries at the wrong time, wrong Great Tree). Zack and Oswald fail to defeat the army of the "false center" (fighting on the wrong side, in the wrong battle). Hugh ends up imprisoned by the Dragon on the far side of the world, Ziggy is shamed in front of the elders of the Great Tree, and Zack and Oswald find themselves left for dead on the battle field.

The Turning Point

After their defeat, the Brothers begin to re-think his prophecies, especially in light of his "Last Prophecy". They start trying to fulfill the plain meaning of the prophecies they have recieved, but initially this results in catastrophy as they begin to undo their former work. The old Great Tree is felled when Hugh destroys his prison, and Ziggy grows the new Great Tree. In the process, much of Zarth is ruined (by the roots of the Old Great Tree tearing out, and the new roots sinking in). The dragon's is also exposed, so he decides to go to plan two, kill everything. Oswald must gain the trust of the Zarth and the New Centerieans in order to forge a dragon slaying weapon, but he mostly alienates their former allies. Zack finally embraces his Golem creating powers as a tool of good, but looses control of his army, causing widespread terror. Things are moving in the right direction, but looking worse than ever.

Hugh Kills Zack

But somehow Zack doesn't die all the way. Not sure how this one is going to work exactly. This is the culmination of Hugh hunting evil, and finding out that Zack is the cause of the zombie armies. There needs to be some development of the "necromancy is evil" theme before this point, as well as explanation of Zack's powers.

Dragon is Crafty

It would be cool if the dragon IS evil, but has a very different plan than the HOZZ brothers thought. For instance:

  • They think the dragon is trying to destroy the world tree, when he is actually trying very hard to save it.
  • They think the dragon is trying to kill them, when he doesn't even believe they exist.
  • They hear that the dragon wants an artifact and go racing off to get it before the dragon does. Turns out the dragon already has one just like it, and wanted another one for his collection, so spread the rumor to see if anyone could find more of them.
  • They find out that the dragon needs a certain artifact, so they go and destroy the only existing copy (angering lots of people in the process). The dragon was planning on making his own anyhow.

Critique

This whole page is a jumbled mess! Who writes this stuff?

Seriously though, I'm not sure what the story is about here. Hugh and Zack? Oswald and the Dragon? Ziggy? Twin World? Its inhabitants?

Yes. The plot is still a mess. I must stress the that unless we progress this is less than a guess. :) Ziggy 22:13, 28 January 2011 (UTC)