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How do I introduce my sheltered character to the world? (1 Viewer)

So, I have a female elf character who has been raised by the Ghost Riders (souls of men who can't enter the afterlife because of a curse) in a cave way up in the mountains where no one living dares to go. When she finally leaves the cave, I'm not sure exactly what she should do. The races of the world are currently in a very tense situation (no war yet, but they all hate each other), but my character, Siventhia, doesn't know that. So when she finds out it's going to be quite a shock, but I'm not sure how to get to that point in the story where she realizes the truth.

If anyone has any advice on this, that would be awesome! Hopefully my question makes sense. I apologize if it doesn't. I'm new here.
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
When I'm not sure what a character should do, I just plunk them into the story and then walk in their shoes. Imagine the settings she might find herself in. Think about the various things she may see, feel, smell, hear or taste. Have her meet up with other characters and have conversations.

My characters usually come to life for me if I take this approach.
 

Joker

Senior Member
I'm going to need some more information.

Is this first person? Or are there other POVs?

Do you already have a character arc planned?

How exactly is the world divided? Which state is this cave closest too?

How much did her guardians tell her about the world?

What sort of information technology is there? How is communication facilitated? How much does the average Joe know about world affairs?
 
I'm going to need some more information.

Is this first person? Or are there other POVs?

Do you already have a character arc planned?

How exactly is the world divided? Which state is this cave closest too?

How much did her guardians tell her about the world?

What sort of information technology is there? How is communication facilitated? How much does the average Joe know about world affairs?
The story is written in third person.

I don't know if I really have a set character arc, but I know during the final battle at about the end of the book my main character (Siventhia) will die.

Here is a Pinterest link to an image of the map I have created so far. The caves Siventhia lives in are the Dead Labyrinth in the Whispering Peaks, top right corner of the map. Map of Morgith Ivilion and Enozar are Elven cities. Skahi, Brünesse, Matkhai, and Noldoor Caves are Inton cities. Dragon and Eagle Tribe are Trolls. Clawz and Stragzmire Clans are Kátz cities. Khankni, Koder, Dunlaüs, Fogess, and Fice are cities of Men. Saclon is the evil villain sorcerer. Shathore was an Elven city, and it's where Siventhia came from, but it is destroyed.

Her guardians told her the history and customs of the different races of the world, but they haven't been out and about in a long time, so her guardians are also unaware that the races currently hate each other and war is likely to happen.

The world is more medieval fantasy, so there's no electricity or anything like that. There is sorcery, but that has been mostly forgotten. The average Joe knows at least the fact that the races hate each other, and they know better than to intrude on someone else's territory. But the Ghost Riders (Siventhia's guardians) are not the average Joe. Communication is through messengers, but that's kinda hard now with all the hate among the races. Messenger pigeon-like creatures are very helpful, but they're pretty rare.

Thanks for your help! Hopefully this is enough information. Let me know if you need more.
 
Why does Siventhia leave the cave?
She leaves the cave because the Ghost Riders know that it would be wrong to keep a living person away from the world their whole life, and she's very curious about the outside world and actually seeing the races she's been learning about. She's been trained well in the use of weapons and such, so the Ghost Riders aren't too worried about her getting hurt easily.
 
Was she told the truth of how it happened?

(Also, how did it happen.)
Ah, yes, this would be good to explain.

Basically, when she was 10 years old, Shathore was attacked by goblins, but because nasty horrible creatures like those hadn't been seen for an age, no one was prepared for it. She hid in the walls, and only emerged long after the fighting sounds had stopped. She couldn't find anyone alive, except one soldier who died in front of her. She leaves and wanders the nearby fields aimlessly, and the Ghost Riders find her when she's near death. They heal her (they have some leftover life-energy stuff that they can use to heal people, I haven't quite polished all the details of it). So she has very vivid memories of what happened, but after roughly ten years of living with the Ghost Riders and nothing majorly bad happening she wants to go see the world, hence the leaving of the cave (it's a very beautiful and spacious cave with many caverns and hallways, not just some deep hole in the ground). She absolutely refuses to go anywhere near the ruins of Shathore though, understandably. I haven't decided yet if she'll eventually meet another survivor from Shathore or not.
 

Lawless

Senior Member
You can use her introduction(s) to the world as a stepping stone to something you need explained later in the story.

For example: maybe she needs to defeat someone much stronger than herself in a later scene.

How can she plausibly defeat him?

Maybe they met shortly after she had left the cave and he saw how naive and ignorant she was. When they meet again in that later scene, he recognizes her and drops his guard because he knows she's completely harmless. However, he doesn't know she has learned a lot in the meantime and is completely harmless no longer.

Another example: maybe she'll need a man to do something he is very reluctant to do. Why would he do it for her? Well, maybe they met shortly after she had left the cave and he took advantage of her naivete and ignorance in some way, and now he feels guilty and therefore agrees to do her that favor. (Or the other way around: he taught her things and he kind of got used to being her mentor and protector, and when she turns up again later and plays naive and ignorant, he feels he has to help her once more.)

Or maybe she meets someone who later turns out to be very evil, and he sees how naive and ignorant she is and maybe he is attracted to her and tells her things he shouldn't because he perceives her as undangerous (as well as cute), and it's only much later she understand the implications of what he had told her and it helps her achieve one of her difficult goals.
 

Lawless

Senior Member
I just realized that in my imagination she invariably learns about things (at first) from someone she has accidentally met along the way. Come to think of it, it doesn't have to be the case. :)
 

Ralph Rotten

Staff member
Mentor
Rules of writing:
1) Create great characters
2) Let them play together in interesting ways.

So likely what your story needs if for your heroine to meet someone interesting. Perhaps a talking dog, or a guide of some sort. The interaction between them will make the story much more interesting, and give you a foil to explain the world to her (which is actually easier than having the narrator describe the whole world.)
 
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