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Writing Help With a Story


Albert Flasher
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[COLOR=Sienna]I need some help with a story I'm working on... it's an idea I had while watching one of the History Network's many specials on Robin Hood. Basically, I wanted to do a story on the [i]real[/i] Robin Hood. Not the valient bandit with the perfect smile who gave to the poor, the guy behind the legend.

The idea is still in the development stages, but thus far, I have the Merry Men, often described as being over 140 men, as a band of 8-9 middle aged bandits living in the stinking cesspit of Sherwood forest. I've essentially decided to do away completely with the perfection complex. Robin himself is a leacherous drunkard (A term you'll hear often in anything I write...) with the aim of a mule and the ego of a king. Friar Tuck is a morbidly obese, poxsmarked man with a rasping voice, who doubles as the gangs bard. Maid Marian is only considred 'relativly beautiful,' as she is only missing a few teeth, and has most of her hair. The Sheriff of Nottingham is a vile, contemptuos catamite who spends a bit [i]too[/i] much time in the council of King Edward I.

That theme is fairly reoccuring throughout my idea. I've always felt that the perfection complex takes away from a story, and felt that Robin Hood would be more interesting if it were given a realism make-over, just for fun. I've begun work on a rough draft, but I might need a little help. Basically, any feedback on my idea would be nice, and I'll post my progress as I go along.

Thanks in advance...[/COLOR]
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[size=1]Well, in doing away with the "perfection complex," you've sent the entire thing to the other extreme -- a living hell that no one will want to read about.

I think you should tone down the horrid versions of all the traditional characters, particularly Robin Hood. I mean, he's a drunkard, a jerk, can't shoot to save his life, and has the ambition of a king. Usually those folks are called the [i]antagonist[/i], certainly not the protagonist. Perhaps give him fair aim and a lukewarm heart.[/size]
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[color=#503f86]Yeah, it's better to have someone with a few personality flaws as opposed to being just downright despicable. If you don't make anyone even [i]vaguely[/i] likeable, there's no-one worth reading it for. Perhaps make Maid Marion a little less 'fair madien' and more self-obsessed and vain.

And you have to think, why, if Frair Tuck is so vile, is he the group's bard when a normal person with better appearance and voice would be more popular?Sure, Friar Tuc's a fairly big influence, but there are 140 or so other people there. Even if the other bard isn't spectacular- he'd have to be better to hear and look at than a rasping, diseased, morbidly obese fatbag.[/color]
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[quote name='Retribution][size=1] Usually those folks are called the [i]antagonist[/i'], certainly not the protagonist. [/size][/quote]

Nope, those are called [I]anti-heroes[/I]. Like Donald Duck, for example. ;P

Hmm, stripping down a legendary hero from all heroic traits is interesting, although it's not unheard of. I'm just worried on what kind of story are you going to pull with those characters. Will it get over their new personalities, or get stuck in them?
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[COLOR=Sienna]Interesting points... maybe I'll tone down the anti-hero-ness and make the characters more likeable, especially Robin himself... maybe a "Good guy, bad crowd" kind of scenario.

My basic idea was to take one of the original ballads, and take away all the heroic and overblown aspects, but I'll try not to make it [i]too[/i] anti-heroic. I had an idea that, at the end of each 'chapter' (Or perhaps at the beginning of each one.) I'd have Friar Tuck telling the story from the original ballads, all heroed-up and majestic, partly to increase word count, and partly to add to the effect of the story... what do you guys think? [/COLOR]
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[quote name='Cygnus X-1][font=verdana][color=sienna]...partly to increase word count...[/color'][/font][/quote][font=trebuchet ms]That isn't a valid reason for doing anything in a work of fiction. If it doesn't add to the story, axe it.

Are you going for a comedic angle? Because the 'hero' that thinks the world of himself but can't hit a barn door from inside the barn sounds farcical. I do mean that in a good way, it's amusing to read about such characters accidentally saving the kingdom and getting the girl, more through luck than judgement. You could go for a Robin Hood version of [i]Bored of the Rings[/i] with those character designs, but if you're going for more of a 'truth behind the legend' approach then, well ... you need to find out some truth, and write about that, not about Robin's Mirror-Universe counterpart.[/font]
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