November 21, 2017, 05:21:09 PM

Author Topic: Farmboy of Destiny  (Read 1385 times)

Offline Peat

Re: Farmboy of Destiny
« Reply #30 on: September 05, 2017, 05:46:12 PM »
4,896 just in mine. So roughly two good university essays.  ;D
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Offline Jmack

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Re: Farmboy of Destiny
« Reply #31 on: September 05, 2017, 06:34:22 PM »
Sort of on topic, my son the hummus entrepreneur and small time organic farmer was "farm-sitting" for friends. When he put out for for the sheep, he misunderstood the instructions they'd left and only put food in one trough. Yesterday morning, he found that the flock had mobbed the trough, and five had trampled to death. We asked him how much the sheep cost, and he reported $150 for meat sheep and $350 for milkers.

He feels quite responsible and that we needs to find a way to make this up to the family.

Is the Call to Adventure?
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Offline cupiscent

Re: Farmboy of Destiny
« Reply #32 on: September 14, 2017, 02:45:12 AM »
This is becoming a bit of a Dee-dumps-advice thread, but hey, it's convenient and I'm typing with a toddler on my lap so I'm just going for easy.

This hit my feed this morning and seems like it might give a helpful way of thinking about things for Bradley and/or others with similar troubles: Making a solid novel plan with a physical goal

There are some elements I disagree with - sometimes want and need are stronger contraposed, for instance - but it's an approach that might yield insight.

Offline Bradley Darewood

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Re: Farmboy of Destiny
« Reply #33 on: September 14, 2017, 07:29:34 AM »

Rgh, i have a million thoughts I've been meaning to put in this thread, but live has me slammed, with no time to even pick up my laundry off the floor atm, and this thread requires concentration :) I'll have a bit of time soon tho!

Thanks Dee--

Dump all the advice you like!!!!  This physical goal thing has it's merits, but I think I was expecially excited about where you were going with this one:


She started by scrubbing out the question of "tension", and replacing it with the concept of "traction" - the point, she highlighted, is to keep the reader engaged and turning pages, not necessarily to keep things tense. Tension is one kind of traction, but you can also keep traction with mystery, or exploration, or revelation, or even delight. The important thing is to keep the reader convinced that what's going to happen is going to be great to read, and/or something that they really want to see happen.

And basically how you do this is you make promises. You promise that a gap in knowledge will be filled, or that a romance is going to develop between two characters, or that a Big Thing is going to happen. Then you delay gratification on that promise, until you finally pay it off, and then immediately raise a new question / make a new promise. (So, one of her key examples was the Hunger Games. The opening references "The Reaping", which is happening today, but doesn't tell you what it, or the Hunger Games, is, until the Reaping is actually happening. At which point immediately a new question arises: so who's going to be chosen?)

Promises - and thereby traction - also nest. You have your big overarching traction arc, which is the main plotline - will Katniss survive/win the Hunger Games? - but within that there are lots of smaller promise/delivery traction arcs. Similarly, Game of Thrones raises it's big arc in the prologue - winter and the White Walkers are coming, will humanity survive? - but also makes sure every single POV character has ongoing traction arcs, so you're always interested. (I think part of where the traction of the later books breaks down for me is when I could no longer remember what the arcs were for all the characters, so a POV shift meant a fall into a traction deadzone because I couldn't remember why I wanted to read about this character anymore. Lack of interrelation between the characters and plots didn't help this.)

The key steps are: 1) Raise the question or make the promise; 2) Establish why it matters; 3) Let the question loom (this is important, fast delivery is good for pizza, bad for plot, but on the other hand, don't stretch a question further than it can comfortably go); 4) Deliver the answer or event, and then immediately; 5) Have a new question or promise arise from the delivery.

It gives you a lot more flexibility than the singular goal, and is helpful with an ensemble cast.

Sort of on topic, my son the hummus entrepreneur and small time organic farmer was "farm-sitting" for friends. When he put out for for the sheep, he misunderstood the instructions they'd left and only put food in one trough. Yesterday morning, he found that the flock had mobbed the trough, and five had trampled to death. We asked him how much the sheep cost, and he reported $150 for meat sheep and $350 for milkers.

He feels quite responsible and that we needs to find a way to make this up to the family.

Is the Call to Adventure?


Yes!!!  I expect to see your Hummus Farmboy of Debt Destiny novel out shortly :)

Offline Peat

Re: Farmboy of Destiny
« Reply #34 on: September 23, 2017, 07:02:48 PM »
Idle thought that fits in here...

Is ... erm, tortur- Glokta! Is Glokta a FoD in disguise?

He is an orphan.

He does live a life that's very secluded from the rest of the world i.e. torturing folks in a nasty cellar with no friends

He is thrust into an alien world (politics) in which he must develop new skills (okay, I might be stretching the point here) to thrive

And it all results in him being recognised for a "special destiny" and getting the girl.

I reckon he fulfills a lot of the trope and is a great example of how you can use the basic model while going nowhere near the aesthetics.

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: Farmboy of Destiny
« Reply #35 on: September 23, 2017, 10:05:01 PM »
^ I love how you manage to completely match the trope to the person that is the least obvious in the world for that ;D
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Offline Lanko

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Re: Farmboy of Destiny
« Reply #36 on: September 23, 2017, 10:12:09 PM »
I thought that trope was supposed to be subverted by Jezal dan Luthar?

Spoiler for Hiden:
He's told he's the bastard son of the king, and more importantly, the lost secret heir to the throne (but instead of a farmboy is already a noble - and then later is revealed he actually was a whore's child) and later he does become the king, etc etc)

Glokta was a noble with a great prospect for the future then got crippled and fell off grace and everything else. He seems more like a "riches to rags" thing. Or a spin on the Evil Chancellor trope. 

Slow and steady wins the race.

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Offline Bradley Darewood

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Re: Farmboy of Destiny
« Reply #37 on: September 23, 2017, 10:30:14 PM »

I'm just imagining Glotka out in the field weeding his turnip patch.

Offline Peat

Re: Farmboy of Destiny
« Reply #38 on: September 23, 2017, 11:56:26 PM »
Hey, nothing says you can't have multiple FoDs in the same book. Belgariad had two, Wheel of Time had five...

Yeah, Jezal is the obvious example*, but for me Glokta fits just as well in terms of the mechanics of what his character actually goes through on page. Tortured war hero is what happens before, evil chancellor is what happens afterwards - but what he goes through in the actual pages fits the journey very well. Obviously he's nothing like a farmboy aesthetically, but I makes that a lot less important than dramatic arc.

Bea - I'm trying to remember how I came up with the idea now. Possibly bath time thinking.

*Tbh, I've always thought he was a bit too obvious to be a good subversion. But then I loathe him and count him as the main reason I'm deeply ambivalent about The First Law.
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