Narrative

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Narrative

Postby Groovy » Oct 19 2015, 20:36

This thread is about the story side of the project. Its purpose is two-fold:
  • To make the world of Heroic more tangible and relatable to players by presenting it in a way that is complementary to the game
  • To present an alternative vision of the world and how to live in it to what is currently popular in our society
Even though there are many facets to a story, I’ve only started one thread for it because it is only loosely related to the game. I’ll start additional threads if the need arises.

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Re: Narrative

Postby Groovy » Oct 21 2015, 15:39

The way I see it, the story should bring together the following:
  • All the items that appear in the game. This includes people in the form of factions, creatures and heroes, as well as terrains, locations, spells, artefacts, and so on
  • An alternative vision of how to live, which is the driver of this project for me. I’m planning to use the five exotic factions as the main vehicle for conveying it
  • Existing written material on the subject (my prior attempts at writing the narrative). This is not always possible – some of it is no longer viable and has to change – but when possible, reuse sure would make the task quicker and easier

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Re: Narrative

Postby Groovy » Oct 24 2015, 23:14

The second goal of the story – to present an alternative vision of the world and how to live in it – is mainly preoccupied with the question of how to live a life of meaning and purpose. I’ve broken down the answer into five parts, each part embodied in one of the exotic factions. It makes sense to me to introduce the factions in the order in which the question unfolds.

To do this, I’m thinking of focusing the story on a single main protagonist. She would undertake a journey across the land that begins with the Oceanic faction (the beginning of the question) and ends with the Celestial faction (the conclusion of the question). This journey would form the backbone of the story, would traverse much of the land and its inhabitants, and would consume many years of the protagonist’s life. In the process, it would introduce the reader to the world of Heroic.

Rather than tell the story in chronological order with the use of an occasional flashback, I intend to write it without a clear sense of the flow of time. Instead, the story will follow the development of its main character by presenting events that shaped her person - so that the reader can get a good sense of her growth and maturation - without being overly concerned with the order in which they happened.

I’m also planning to inject vignettes about the world – both past and present – that form the backdrop to the main story without being tied to it. I got the idea from Kahlil Gibran’s book Jesus the Son of Man, which used interviews with a wide variety of people in the form of vignettes to give a 360 degree perspective on Jesus. Mine won’t be focused on a single person, place or event, but will be used to flesh out various parts of the world and its history that the main story builds on. I’m hoping that this will be an effective way of presenting a fantasy world in all its intricacy without the tedium that typically arises from travelling through it.

Doing this requires a considerable amount of flexible world and story building. This is what I’d like to move onto next.

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Factions

Postby Groovy » Oct 25 2015, 22:00

This is a placeholder for the role that each of the factions has to play in the story. The idea is to keep updating it as the story takes shape. I found the table format the most suitable, but I couldn't find a way to capture it directly with the forum software, so I've attached a screenshot of an Excel table.

Please bear in mind that the traditional factions as they appear in the game were only formed in the aftermath of the events described in the story. In the beginning of the story, they were demarcated along species lines rather than commonality of worldview.

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Last edited by Anonymous on Nov 4 2015, 11:06, edited 2 times in total.

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Species

Postby Groovy » Oct 28 2015, 7:16

This is a placeholder for the role that each of the species has to play in the story. Many of them will probably have a negligible role, and will be dealt with in a sentence or a paragraph that provides a nugget of information about their faction or habitat.

I'm using codenames because I usually finalise the actual names very late in the writing process.

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Last edited by Anonymous on Oct 30 2015, 6:56, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Species

Postby Panda Tar » Oct 28 2015, 12:30

Aye, I don't see why everything must be accounted in role or make significant changes on story. Many are just there and got in the mess without meaning to. At least, that would be my perception.
"There’s nothing to fear but fear itself and maybe some mild to moderate jellification of bones." Cave Johnson, Portal 2. :panda:

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Re: Species

Postby Groovy » Oct 28 2015, 19:17

Yes, of course. I can't make the story about everyone without hopelessly losing focus.

Still, it would help me to list as many ideas as we can think of, even those that we might not expect to be used. Having a lot of ideas to choose from helps the writing process proceed much more smoothly. Writing is somewhat unpredictable - stories tend to take on a life of their own - and it's a lot easier to choose or embellish a pre-existing idea on the fly, than to come up with it from scratch.

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Re: Narrative

Postby Panda Tar » Oct 28 2015, 19:25

Yeah. Sometimes I get stuck with my stories because they simply evolved in a way I wasn't really predicting. Even having key-features or some characters, they might simply change all of a sudden.
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Characters

Postby Groovy » Oct 28 2015, 20:19

This is a placeholder for all the characters that will appear in the story, and the role that each of them will have to play in it. They are also identified by codenames. These are usually the first names that come to mind that sound even remotely suitable.

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Last edited by Anonymous on Nov 13 2015, 9:18, edited 6 times in total.

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Locations

Postby Groovy » Oct 28 2015, 20:38

This is a placeholder for all the world locations that are significant to the story, and the role that they play in it.

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Last edited by Anonymous on Nov 26 2015, 19:21, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Narrative

Postby Panda Tar » Oct 28 2015, 20:42

Isles? Or there will be another name for those islands later on? :D
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Re: Narrative

Postby Groovy » Oct 28 2015, 21:02

They will definitely be given proper names before it's all done. I just don't want to get bogged down thinking up proper names at the outset. It just doesn't work for me (unlike a former work colleague of mine, who had to have proper names before he could do the writing).

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Story Arcs

Postby Groovy » Oct 28 2015, 21:12

This is a placeholder for the story arcs that comprise the story.

EDIT: I'm having difficulty visualising the narrative after Sabrina's demon encounter. There doesn't seem to be a clear linear progression that leads to other exotic factions. So I'm going to stop developing the storyline at this point and start writing the parts that I've developed thus far.

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Last edited by Anonymous on Nov 26 2015, 19:24, edited 8 times in total.

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Re: Narrative

Postby Panda Tar » Oct 28 2015, 22:44

For me, either do works, however I usually start or try to name things at the very start so I can get used to them, feel them, see if they work. If I write too much before properly naming some things, when I change them, there's a high risk I don't get used to them and I might also miss renaming somewhere. :D

Lets see if some other people gather. If I'm not much mistaken, many of those who were interested were a bit of fan of lore. Hope they show up. :beg:
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Vignettes

Postby Groovy » Oct 29 2015, 7:08

This is a placeholder for the vignettes that will supplement the story arcs to flesh out the world in more detail. My intention with vignettes is to go into a lot of detail on very specific topics to give the world a sense of great depth and richness while omitting the fluff that would usually be needed to tie those topics together into a flowing narrative.

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Last edited by Anonymous on Nov 2 2015, 19:59, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Narrative

Postby Groovy » Oct 30 2015, 9:56

Panda, you are welcome to work on the naming, if you like. The only reason I defer it until later is that I find it difficult and time-consuming, and time not productively spent when I feel inspired to write the story. I'd be more than happy to work with the final names from the start. :)

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Re: Narrative

Postby Panda Tar » Oct 30 2015, 14:41

:D First, I must understand what you wrote here and grasp everything. Then, if creativity knocks on the door, I'll let you know. ;)
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Artefacts

Postby Groovy » Nov 4 2015, 20:24

This is a placeholder for the artefacts that feature in the story.

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Mythics

Postby Groovy » Nov 13 2015, 9:21

This is a placeholder for the myths, legends and prophecies from the world of Heroic that the story draws on.

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Re: Narrative

Postby Panda Tar » Nov 13 2015, 12:29

Speaking of eggs and dragons, and also considering the task of writing something about them, what you had in mind about dragons so far, Groovy? Only so I can have a basic idea as to make their background story. I don't want to end up similar to those dragons of Heroes story. :(
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