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The characters should start the story with a need --probably subconscious --for someone in the opposite role. The son-figure may not think he needs a father, but he's in desperate of advice, guidance, a male role model. The father figure may have been running from the commitment a family represents, but he's keenly feeling how empty his life is. If ...


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Part of the reason we read is to learn. When Superman stops a bullet with his bare hands, it doesn't really teach us anything. But if Superman overcomes his own pride and arrogance, we might glean something useful from that. In general, if a character successfully and believably overcomes a challenge we also might face, that is compelling. And even a ...


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Realism is just another style, fiction is never reality. With that said, unrealistic characters can make it harder to suspend disbelief, identify with the characters or care about them, regardless of genre. If you are discarding realism, you need to have a good reason. Most adults don't find characters and plots that are pure wish-fulfillment to be very ...


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Relationships are contrived. They are contrived by the people in them. They are formed because one of the parties sets out, more or less deliberately, with more or less forethought, to create the relationship. In other words, relationships are the result of courtships. We are social creatures and we court other people all the time. In many cases, the ...


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The “Fantasy” genre is stories that are “fantastical” — not stories that are unrealistic wish-fulfillment. If I write a book where the main character is a total loser who wins the lottery and travels the world dating the most beautiful people, that is not a “Fantasy” genre book. That story has wish-fulfillment but it is not fantastical. If the characters ...


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Give him a totally unexpected hobby or interest that seems at first to be antithetical to his character. For example, if he loves to bake in his spare time, or likes to do Karaoke on the weekends, that reminds us not to assume we know everything about him. What other unexpected traits might he have? Don’t be afraid to give him typical flaws. A character ...


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Have them face the worst possible moment of their lives together. For example, if they were in an earthquake and got trapped in the basement of a building, just the two of them, with no way to call for help and limited food and water and the air running out and both are injured in some way … if they get out of that together, they will be each other’s ...


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In this specific case, I'd be very surprised if your child's teacher expected you to define it narrowly. Any fantasy story would probably be acceptable. In general, however, a fairy tale is a short story with archetypal characters and plotlines. According to wikipedia the characters and settings are usually drawn from European folklore, however, there are ...


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There are several distinctive elements that differentiate fairy tales from modern fantasy, if we understand "modern fantasy" to mean "the modern literary genre established by authors such as J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis, and the various sub-genres that have emerged from it since." Scope: A fairy tale takes place close to home for the character. Jack ...


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These are probably evolving terms rather than hard and fast divisions, but what I would say distinguishes fairy tales from fantasy is that a fairy tale is a tale about a human being encountering fairy folk, who represent a danger to ordinary human life. Fairies have been Disnified in recent years, but Yeats poem "The Stolen Child" ...


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A fairytale is a more palatable way of demonstrating a moral or ethical lesson to your audience. No-one wants to be preached to but if the lesson is couched in an entertaining form - in this case a story - then they will listen and, despite themselves, learn. The reason for the fantasy elements is part of this. By using otherworldly characters, creatures ...


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I believe that the traditional sense of the term fairy tale is used for a fairly concise story that is written to appeal mainly to children. The general context of a fairy tale would be the standard "Once upon a time.... and they lived happily ever after, THE END" Generally these stories involved magic, fantasy characters and creatures, and were meant to ...


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One of the best things about those stories, especially the Final Fantasy series, is that the technology changes drastically from continent to continent and village to village. In most cases there is the evil empire or corporation that is technologically superior, but only because they cull it from everything and everyone around them. The poverty stricken ...


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This depends a lot on the context of course (not to mention the genre, if applicable), but try to see it from as a realistic perspective as possible - if indeed your goal is to make it appear natural. How do people get closer in real-life? Sociological causes: When they have to be united against something else. There is an element of tribalism involved, ...


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There should be a natural draw between them, as if they would normally be friends. If the younger character has a backstory similar to the older character or someone the older character cares/cared about, that would help. The "father" role is very tough to build with a stranger, but mentor or "uncle" is easier. Keep in mind bonds are formed through shared ...


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If you keep the reader engaged, and provide them enough interesting aspects of the story and a strong hook, then the II occurring at 10K probably won't be a problem. One thing I would recommend, though, is allowing yourself the luxury of writing the story to the story's requirement, rather than a word count. If the movement of the story goes longer than ...


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Make the older guy more forgiving. Make the older guy more forgiving. Long story short, the older man doesn't want the kid to drive fast. But he is in charm, drives fast, and got into some huge trouble with some rich guy. But instead of beating him up, he tries to ease his pain, etc., you can do whatever you like, from sci-fi to horror or old time.


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I don't think it's necessarily what's common. It's more about what you want to do. As long as your bridging conflicts are engaging and your characters are given goals and pre-arcs, and are characterized in an engaging way during the setup, you should have no problem with this. I know that in Jaws (even though it isn't a fantasy), the author gives us the ...


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Legally, in the US or the UK or countries with a similar legal tradition, the older the quote, the more famous the person quoted, and the more famous the quote itself, the safer you are. Quotations from works that are centuries old, as well as very famous quotes from the modern era, are held to have passed into the public domain. If you have specific reason ...


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I realize that there are already several great answers to your question, and I'm not trying to override any of them, I would just like to share an idea that came to mind when reading your question. My idea goes back to the usage of two worlds in fantasy stories; the mundane world, and the fantasy world. The level at which you seperate these two worlds is ...


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Brandon Mull has a very well-paced narration in his series Fablehaven. In the book Kendra and Seth have to get used to this new side-of-reality. While Kendra and Seth are in this preserve(land in the book), they have to learn about creatures and such. Reading his books should give you an idea on how to disperse the information. Beyonders is also another one ...


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I wanted to give another answer that goes in a different direction than my first. Write down every detail about what you're dumping about. Then look at each detail. Is it REALLY vital that the character know everything that there is to know about the entire history and every nuance of the magic? Probably not. You may feel it's vital, but it's probably not. ...


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This is a complex question. The business of balancing information and story is always tricky. One good approach is to give minimal information, then bury further descriptions in the course of the story. Tolkien often works like this. He offers a brief description of a character's appearance, and other details appear in the course of the story. He does the ...


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This is tricky, because you can't explain the way magic without, you know... explaining the way magic works. The trick is to make it interesting. I think one of the best examples I've seen comes from The Final Empire, the first Mistborn book by Brandon Sanderson. It opens on a plantation on a very foggy night, with the arrival of a traveler, Kelsier. The ...


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Start the thing in medias res, in mid-action. Then flash back. At least, that's what Aristotle advised in his Poetics. Although it is more than 2000 years old, it still has great advice for writers today.


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Terry Pratchett had a clever excuse for readers if something happened that went against the laws of physics. He'd simply say that the rules were different because the world was shaped like a disc instead of a sphere. But he only used that for the laws of physics. He didn't try to explain away every possible plot hole that way. I think as long as you are ...


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There are a LOT of things you see all the time in fiction that are totally unrealistic. Not only do characters in stories typically get knocked out and remain unconscious for hours, but they then regain consciousness, shake their heads, and they're fine. In real life a concussion is not something that just goes away by shaking your head. I develop software ...


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I am afraid that if I write a scene like the one with Joe above, people might criticize it for being unrealistic, even if I was writing a fantasy. Hang a lampshade on it. Beefy McProtagonist had seen bards who clearly knew nothing of actual combat perform tales in which a blow to the back of the head would render an adversary unconscious for hours, ...


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I like to use Sanderson's First Law for this: An author's ability to resolve conflict with magic is DIRECTLY PROPORTIONAL to the reader's ability to understand it. The key to that sentence is "resolve conflict." You can get away with using "magic" to create conflict far better than you can get away with resolving it that way. You don't even have to ...


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Be consistent The most important thing is to keep your story consistent. A story which has the same rules throughout can be accepted even if it is not compatible with the real world. However, even a fantasy story will be rejected by the reader if the rules of what is possible in the fantasy world change without justification. Even within a given genre, the ...


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I think that it's important to keep in mind that you are writing fiction, therefore you are taking your readers into a fantasy world that you have built around your characters. I would try to keep it as realistic as possible, but most of the time this fantasy world is far from being realistic. The fine line between reality and fantasy should be determined by ...


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If you're doing essentially the same thing as 90% of your genre (flying people achieve great heights immediately, people with superpowers never have issues with getting fuel for those powers, someone can be knocked unconscious for hours but be okay) because the "realistic" details are not the purpose of your story, then I think you're fine. If anything, your ...



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