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48

Your protagonist is not the only iron the mentor has in the fire In Avatar, the Last Airbender, Uncle Iroh is a powerful and interesting mentor character (with his own complex arc). He has his role of providing advice for Toph, and maybe a little for Aang - but he's primarily the mentor for the show's first antagonist. He's interested in seeing the Avatar ...


34

I'm fond of the following quote from Neil Gaiman: Remember: when people tell you something's wrong or doesn't work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong. You're the cook, they're the diner. If they don't like the taste of the omelet, you can't tell them ...


32

Three ideas that may serve to make your world a bit harsher: Your protagonist and their mentor aren't always on the same side Maybe the mentor's been given incomplete information. Maybe there's a genuine difference of opinions regarding how to handle a morally grey situation. Maybe whatever's going on touches on a past trauma of theirs that they are really ...


15

In my opinion, you've already done a lot of the hard work. Creating the characters and well-constructed world-building leaves you open to follow endless avenues of plot. This is why fan-fiction is so popular because once you have the characters and the world, the plot can start writing itself. That said, as @JonStonecash has said, finishing the first draft ...


10

First of all, there are only so many plots. It is unlikely that you will come up with a new heretofore unseen plot. It is not the newness of the plot but the telling of the tale that is important. Second, I think that your priorities are askew. Your first priority should be to finish your first draft. Then, and only then, should you worry about the issues ...


10

Politics The countries of the world is scared of Mentor. He has to step very lightly to avoid starting a world war. Countries other than the US think of him as a nuclear weapon controlled by the US and will retaliate with nukes if he does anything against them. The US itself think of him as a nuclear weapon they don't control. A potential terrorist. Sixty ...


9

One option is to give your characters issues with each other that they have to figure out. In other words, give them interpersonal subplots. Don’t limit the conflict in your story to the main plot. If you want your prophet to struggle outside of the main action conflict maybe have him sometimes struggle to trust his god or see how he will come through ...


9

You don't necessarily need to experience everything you write about. But you owe it to your readers and to victims of sexual abuse that you do good research. Do not rely on your intuition on what you think what people feel while and after experiencing sexual abuse. Look for autobiographical records of people who actually experienced sexual abuse where they ...


9

I think that without proper foreshadowing - even through the title or the cover - a story that changes genre in the middle will confuse, and probably anger most readers. If I was reading about the romantic conclusion of Charlie and Julia, and then suddenly a killer clown dropped through the window and killed Charlie, severely disfiguring Julia - I would ...


9

Genre is a contract you make with the audience. If the genre is action/adventure, you're promising the audience that there will be an action sequence to resolve the plot. If its horror, you're promising that the ending will be terrifying. If it's romance, you're promising love. Comedy...laughs. If you change the genre partway through a story, you're breaking ...


8

The publishing model you're suggesting isn't actually all that new. Serialised novels - novels published in newspapers or magazines, one chapter at a time - were very common back in the 19th century, starting with Charles Dickens' publication of The Pickwick Papers in 19 monthly instalments between 1836-37. Novels published this way include Arthur Conan ...


8

Your story must fulfill the promises it makes, or readers will not enjoy it Every book begins by creating expectations for the reader. The expectations start with the cover and title, and are built throughout the beginning of the book. If readers do not feel that the book satisfied their expectations, they will find it disappointing. To illustrate why your ...


7

Of course, you're always welcome to ignore fan feedback. However, beta readers can be hard to find and it's a rare privelege to have so much feedback, so I'm assuming you're asking this question because you want to learn something from fan feedback. The television shows and comics I watch that handle fan feedback well generally seem to follow the following ...


7

Essentially what you've done is spent ten years practicing how to write one particular story archetype - you've trained long and hard in how to use a hammer and now everything looks like a nail. This isn't necessarily a bad thing - there's been some pretty successful writers over the years who have essentially done just variations on a theme. But if you ...


7

The answer to "Has this story idea already been done?" is always yes, regardless of what the idea actually is. Everything's already been done. In your particular case, the one example I can think of immediately is the TV show Once Upon a Time, where anyone who enters the town of Storybrook becomes unable to leave due to mysterious forces (there are probably ...


6

I would not call it a redemption arc, I could see this as simple revenge for somebody taking some piece of property he was enjoying. In a redemption, the character realizes they have been wrong and becomes a better person. This sounds more like a character that promised consequences, delivered them, but made a mistake in doing so and suffered the ...


6

Here are two ideas that could help the situation: They are NOT mutually exclusive! 1; Change your prophet's environment and situation If you want to create a struggle for the prophet and make his journey less straight-forward and less predictable, surround him with people/a society that doesn't believe him. Maybe they don't believe in 'that God'. ...


6

Writing is like most other creative processes. A previous answer is right -- people know if they don't like it, but they don't really know what is wrong. Listen to the emotional content of the feedback rather than the analysis, but, especially if you are still writing the first draft, don't listen too closely, nor too quickly. Get your thoughts written. ...


6

At the center of every story that really is a story, there is a character who changes. If none of your characters change, you have no story, just a sequence of related events. (For an example, compare the two films Cars and Cars 2. Two characters change in the first movie. Nobody changes in the second, and so the second film is forgettable.) Look over these ...


6

Generally, no. The traditional editing process has three layers. In order, there's the substantive edit, the line edit, and the proofread. All three require a different set of skills. The substantive edit (this process goes by a number of different names) aims to address 'big-picture' elements such as plot holes, character arcs, pacing, etcetera. When the ...


6

Your Mentor is disabled, or Aging, or suffering an identity crisis, or... You can continue to keep your superhero mentor "in the game," so to speak, but reduce his capacities through whatever means you choose. Professor Xavier has OP abilities, but has suffered disabilities that mean he's not up to being the front-line slugger he otherwise could be....


5

Yes, absolutely. Every scene should advance something, but that includes the main plot,sub plot, characterizations, explanations of setting, etc. Sometimes these are inter-linked, and a single scene can do work on multiple things at once. But it is okay if it doesn't. For example, I generally have sex scenes in my stories. I don't write erotica, but I do ...


5

This should follow the same rules as for making a good plot twist. A story without a twist (or up to the twist point) should be also compelling and interesting to the reader. Misdirection should not contradict "direction" - they both should look valid from different point of view. Audience should be more satisfied with post-twist direction rather than ...


5

I think you might be focusing too much on a plot device and not enough on character development. As Artichoke mentioned, your character doesn't need to fight. If your character is so weak that he would never fight, there's no way to force him to do so. You could make him run and hide. Even though the enemy might pressure him to fight (such as endangeringl ...


5

They say never meet your hero... As you say the character can be flawed and perhaps these flaws take over. You say he is the leader of a group then there is probably an enemy group with budding ideologies...but maybe the Mentor isn't so different from the opposition as your main character thought. For example, if the main character were part of a freedom ...


5

One important thing to add amidst all the good answers: Do not forget to let the mentor solve a few problems to show their power. While you learn about all the great ways to keep him out of the picture in an organic way, keep up the suspense by having him solve some problems. If the mentor is always out of the picture, he is alive in name only for the story. ...


4

OP: Can all three of these character flaws be resolved? Probably. OP: Is there a general rule to determine how many character flaws can be fixed? No, it all depends on how clever you are in the introduction of the character, inventing the flaws, connecting them, and inventing the journey of the character in the novel that gives her the experiences and ...


4

It sounds to me like you have a complex character. Not a good guy, not a good person. Just a person with complex motivations and someone he'd die for. It doesn't sound like a redemption arc, because he doesn't change his ways. All this is, is a man sticking to his core motivation, and the consequence thereof costs him his life. A redemption arc, in most ...


4

Is publishing my story like this likely to be successful? I doubt it, I doubt enough Kindle readers would be interested. If by "published" on Kindle you mean sold on Kindle, I think you have a marketing issue. Sold at what price? Who is going to buy the first installment, knowing it is not a complete story? Thirteen episodes, at 99c, is $12.87, ...


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