Fantasy story plot brainstorm

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  1. #1

    Fantasy story plot brainstorm

    Hi everyone! I'm new here, but have been writing for a long time.

    I'm looking forward to getting involved with the community here. I've actually completed my first draft, and am starting the daunting process of editing. It's set in a fantasy kingdom and about two rival factions and their struggle for the throne, due to court intrigue and disagreement about the line of succession.

    Before I start, I'm trying to work out any potential plot holes, and would love your feedback.

    I would also greatly appreciate any suggestions you can provide on tweaking this story to base it a bit more on realworld medival history, like the Wars of the Roses, etc.

    Here's the skeletal plot so far...

    1. Queen Margaret was a known user of dark magic. She was a curious woman, and delved deeper into the Shadow Lands (a darker parallel world (like the Upside Down in Stranger Things)), where magic originated, trying to discover the primordial magic.

    2. There was an incident where the Shadow Lands began to spread into physical plane, and created the Corruption (a hostile enchanted wasteland).

    3. The royal family was forced to cast a spell to seal Margaret inside the Corruption in some kind of time stasis.

    4. The incident was covered up. The common folk were told that Margaret abdicated. Her baby daughter, Diana, was spirited away in secret and disinherited. A baby peasant girl was renamed Nixa and was given the crown in secret and taught magic to keep stability in the realm (but perhaps it should be a distant relative?). Nixa was never told about her true lineage, and it was kept secret from her descendants.

    5. Diana eventually discovered her true lineage and discovered her mother's notes and spell books. 100 years later, she kept her youth with primordial dark magic her mother taught her. She spent all this time learning how to free her mother from the time stasis (but this also allowed the Corruption to spread).

    6. Diana taught Eleanor (a neighbouring queen) how to manipulate the Corruption.

    7. Eleanor used her knowledge to conduct court intrigue in an attempt improve life for her people. She performed ancient rituals to influence the wasteland's spread toward neighbouring kingdoms. She denied involvement, but declared she knew how to drive it back. She offered to share the knowledge in return for more lands, and marriage pacts with her son.

    8. It was discovered that Eleanor was involved and she was taken prisoner. Her armies freed her and she took refuge. She was killed in the Corruption by the new queen Lilith, bringing her plots to an end.

    9. Diana recovered her mother from the Corruption in a deep slumber.

    10. 7 years later, Margaret was discovered living in the kingdom and arrested. The royal house imprisoned her to await trial for endangering the kingdom and essentially abdicating the throne.

    11. Margaret revealed to the current princess, Amelia (our main protagonist), what happened to her, and that she never had a younger sister to succeed her to the throne, despite what the history books say. Amelia began to wonder whether her line is legitimate.
    Last edited by sonosublime; July 15th, 2018 at 03:06 AM.

  2. #2
    I see a couple problems.

    The old queen was held in the Shadow Lands but came back from the Corruption. How did she move from one to the other? Why wasn't she just killed? I know story-!wise you need her to be alive, but it doesn't make sense from the evil side.

    The old queen was kept away for 100 years? So if she was 40 when she vanished, she was 140 when she returned. Similarly for the supporting cast of her reign. Unless these people have longer life spans or shorter years, it doesn't seem likely that anyone would be alive to care that she abdicated.

    Also, the peasant girl was made queen, wasn't she? So who's the "new princes"?

    It's apparent that you've put a lot of thought into this. With some tweaking, this could be an interesting tale.

  3. #3
    Like Jack, above, I immediately had questions about how the peasant girl was given the crown.

    If the Old Queen had a daughter, wouldn't she have some serious objections to this plan?
    How does a peasant girl handle the responsibilities of running a kingdom if all she's been doing her whole life is milking cows, feeding chickens, etc.?
    How does the rest of the elite (generally those with the most weapons, strategic knowledge, and perhaps the greatest disdain for the lower classes) respond to a peasant girl running the show? Sounds like a recipe for disaster unless she's got some powerful people and/or magic on her side.

    I realize you're only providing the main plot points, so you've likely already figured out these issues. Addressing them would make my suspension of disbelief easier.

    I like the idea of an alternative universe, probably because I'm too stupid to handle the complications of such a concept in my writing. It blows my mind! When it's done well it can be awesome.

    Graphic Design. Illustration. Happy Dogs.
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  4. #4
    Thanks for the replies everyone!

    I've finished my first draft, but I know there's potential plot holes, which is why I came to you fine folks to iron everything out now before making a start on the 1st edit .

    To address your questions:

    The Shadow Lands (if you can help me come up with a more original name, that would be great) is a darker parallel world to ours, kind of like the Upside Down in Stranger Things.

    The Corruption was essentially caused by the Shadow Lands spreading into the physical world, so the two are closely connected.

    As for how the queen was found there, I've had a thought: Perhaps the incident that happened 100 years ago is she accidentally created the Corruption in her experimentation with dark magic. And so the royal family was forced to cast a spell to seal her and the Corruption in some kind of time stasis.

    The old queen's daughter was a baby when her mother was sealed away. But she eventually learned of her heritage, came across her mother's notes, and spent all this time trying to figure out how to undo the stasis and free her mother (but also allowing the Corruption to spread).

    The people have the normal lifespans of humans. The old queen is looked down upon by history. The royal family told the common folk she abdicated, but the royal family knows the truth about her dark magic. But the matter of disinheriting her daughter is their darkest secret that the new queen and princess do not even know about.

    The peasant girl was a baby at the time, but was made princess and became queen when she came of age. She was never told of her true parentage. The new queen and new princess come from the peasant girl's line, also unaware of their true lineage.

    Does that make more sense?

    But I do also wonder about the idea of a peasant girl, and perhaps wonder if she should be changed to a distant relation of the same family.

    Last edited by sonosublime; July 15th, 2018 at 03:07 AM.

  5. #5
    Okay, that answers my questions well. In the medieval world, bloodlines are very important. Historically, from what I've read, when a ruler passed, and his/her heirs were too young they were either killed by rivals to the throne, sent into the religious life, or shipped away under the protection of noble relatives until they were old enough, and possessed enough noble support to claim their rightful place, but there were always rivals (everyone wants to be in charge!). It was always a bloody mess, which makes for some awesome stories.

    That's just food for thought. Have fun!

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  6. #6
    I don't know why your post vanished. You should contact staff about that.

    Giving the people names might make it easier. I'm still a bit confused. Is the new princess the old queen's daughter, the peasant girl, or someone else?

    It does seem mixed up enough to yield a whole novel easily!

  7. #7
    Hey, thanks for your replies. I've set the main plot points out again below, in case anyone needs to refer to them.

    Jack of all trades, I've included names in the first post now so hopefully it's a bit clearer. But to answer your question, the new princess (Amelia), is a descendant of the peasant girl, not Margaret (the old dark queen).
    Last edited by sonosublime; July 15th, 2018 at 03:05 AM.


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