EDIT: Polls 1 and 4 have been closed. However, the remaining polls are still open (I especially need help with Poll 2 since literally all the results are tied)
I finished rewriting a novella back in July, and instead of writing the sequel right after I promised my readers that they’ll get the first chapters by December 2020 or January 2021. Fast forward to now, and I need help steering my story in the right direction because my story literally can go at least three different ways
because my brain thought it was cool to generate at least a hundred ideas per story
I warn you, it’s pretty long, but I thought it would be better to put them in one thread.
All the info you need is right here:
some things that happened in the first book
- Stella is sent alone to stay with her aunt, Celestine, in a small town called Oppidula
- Stella befriends two other teenagers named Jon and Eddie. They find out that their jewelry gives them superpowers and that Oppidula hides a portal to another world
- The trio start the first phase of their training under three mentors, with Celestine (Stella’s aunt) being one of them. A villain escapes from prison halfway through the story
- Stella discovers a magical book that can show her the past and secretly uses it to learn outside of scheduled lessons. The skills she learns end up becoming really useful later in the story
- In the end, the three MCs and one of their mentors manages to defeat the villain
- The other two MCs (Jon and Eddie) don’t acquire magical books, but in the bonus chapter of the story it’s revealed that each of their predecessors received a magical book, implying that the two will soon acquire one
some things that will happen in the second book
- the three MCs reunite in Paris (where Eddie lives). They stay at his house and he takes them around the city
- Eddie shows them a magical book that he discovered shortly after the events of Book 1. Its name is Louis and it can teleport people and objects. They will use Louis heavily throughout the story
- It’s revealed that there’s a portal located somewhere in Paris. The three MCs regularly cross that portal and further their training under Eddie’s mentor, Giorgino
- After a couple of chapters, Michelle (Eddie’s best friend) discovers the portal by accident. She crosses to the next realm and becomes cursed. An authority detects her presence and the curse. The authority tries to find the root of the problem and after asking Michelle questions, she finds out that Eddie is responsible for cursing Michelle. Eddie is then interrogated
- It turns out that Giorgino originally created the ring but someone else cursed it (it’s a long story). He thought he removed the curse but it actually became dormant, which explains why the curse didn’t affect Michelle while she was still on Earth. The ring came into Eddie’s possession and he gave it to her
- Most of the book will cover the MCs and their training as well as their quest to break the curse
- In the end, the characters succeed in breaking the curse and the ring is given back to Giorgino
Now let’s jump to the questions (and polls)!
You can skip this question
So the first thing I need to sort out is whether Michelle should have invisibility or not. In the story, she was accidentally given a ring with a dormant curse. Since Earth is a magic-free realm, the curse doesn’t take effect even when she’s wearing it. It only becomes active when she accidentally finds a portal and crosses to another realm with magic. She then turns into glass.
Now the thing is I'm not sure if I should give her invisibility or not, and I'll explain why
If I give her invisibility:
- She will be more active in the story. She can move around places even while she’s cursed because she can become invisible and avoid being spotted.
- In a way, invisibility sort of suits the curse because glass is transparent, ya know?
- It could influence the events of future books and her appearance in those books (if I give her invisibility now, in the future she might be part of a team to rescue the MCs)
- However, if I give her invisibility, that also means that the cursed ring is magical. I have already established that magical jewelry gives out a magical signature that can be detected by magical beings, and since she’s on Earth it would immediately trigger an investigation (unless I rewrite my magic system, but I’d rather not do that)
- There is a workaround to the point above. I can make it in such a way that even the magic was made “dormant”, just like the curse, and it was only activated at the same time the curse was. However, there are issues with this: it would imply that one of my characters could create magical jewelry, which won’t make that much sense considering he was never a jeweler (he’s a light mage/brewer) and he doesn’t even come from the realm that’s known for magical jewelry.
- I can make another workaround to the point above but that would mean that my character bought the ring instead of making it himself, and people from his realm don’t really buy magical jewelry because it’s not of much use to them anyway, but I guess I could make another workaround, but whatever
- As you can see, I have to create workarounds just to give her invisibility and a more active role in the story
If I don’t give her invisibility:
- She’ll be forced to isolate in a room and can’t go outside, or else people will notice that part of her is turned into glass.
- Because of the point above, she is more like a “damsel in distress” who can’t really do anything except wait until a solution appears.
- However, it makes more sense (in my opinion), and with her playing a less active role, I could focus more on my MCs’ actions
- Also, I wouldn’t have to change how my magic system works or create so many workarounds
- Give her invisibility (and change your magic system if you have to). Don’t let her be just a damsel in distress
- Don’t give her invisibility. Gaining a superpower from a curse doesn’t really make sense in this case
And then there’s my other character, a part-human named Grimelda. She mainly guards the portal between Earth and Nitea. In the story, she’s the one who discovers Michelle and finds out that she is cursed. She’ll try to brew a panacea (a very strong antidote) to break the curse. I have already decided on giving her magical brewery (potion magic) and teleportation, but I’m not sure what other powers I should give her.
- allows her to heal
- depending on the strength of the magic user and the curse, she might be able to break curses (in this story the curse is too strong for her though)
- she can tell whether someone’s lying or not
- it’s the same magic discipline as her student (her student is the mentor of one of the MCs)
- Allows her to detect and cast curses
- She can detect, create, and dispel illusions
- She can detect dark magic
- Could become a useful fact in future books
- Allows her to know anything about an object or person through mere touch
- Light magic
- Shadow magic
- Light magic and psychometry
- Shadow magic and psychometry
Now I axed half of the cast because I thought the story would be too messy if I added them. Plus, I’m planning to write less than twenty chapters anyway. However, I’m debating on whether I should add the following characters:
Stella’s mom (Letizia):
- She cares a lot about her outside appearance
- She’s also a bit opportunistic and likes spending other people’s money and taking advantage of their benefits
- Because she never owned magical jewelry, she knows nothing of its powers or the fact that Stella is using one
- She’s not exactly on good terms with her older sister, Celestine (the previous owner of the magic bracelet and the one who mentored Stella). This explains why she didn’t accompany her daughter to visit Celestine in the first book
- In the story, she’ll probably just create conflict between Celestine and Stella and act as a foil to the other characters’ plans (they can’t just leave to cross to another realm anytime they want because it’ll make her suspicious, making things harder for them)
- I deleted her character because I thought it would be unnecessary, but then again, leaving her out might not be realistic. She’s an opportunist and gold-digger, so it’s highly unlikely that she would pass an opportunity to stay at a mansion and go on shopping sprees in Paris (and have all expenses born by someone else)
Eddie’s mom (Colette):
- She has no idea that her son and his friends have superpowers because she’s not supposed to know
- She’s a smart and hardworking lawyer. During the story (if I even add her in), she could be rarely available because of her work, which could be convenient because my other characters get to go to the other realm without her peeking
- If I don’t add her into the story, then that means both of Eddie’s parents won’t be present until maybe the fifth or sixth chapter (his dad left for a last-minute business trip just before the story starts). Plot-wise it would be easier to handle, but realistically you wouldn’t let a 16-year-old host four/five guests on his own, right?
- Add Letizia. It wouldn’t really make sense for her to let her daughter go to Paris without at least her coming along, considering who she is
- Add Colette. I think parents wouldn’t let a teenage boy host four/five guests on his own, so at least have her there to act as a hostess
- Add both. It would be interesting to see how the other characters would have to juggle breaking a curse and going to another realm while having to hide it from other people who are almost always around them
- Don’t add any more characters. They’ll just add clutter to a story that already has a lot going on. Besides, you’re planning on writing less than twenty chapters anyway
You can skip this question
Remember when I said that my characters will be frequently using a teleportation book named Louis? I don’t know whether I should make Louis obedient only to its owner (in this case, Eddie) or obedient to Eddie and his allies. I can make the story (and sequels) work in either case but I can’t decide.
- Only Eddie
- Eddie and his allies
So this relates to the first poll. At the end of the story, when the ring is given back to Giorgino, I don’t know what to make him do to it.
For context, Giorgino’s old girlfriend was a glass blower. She gave him a glass cube which he used to make a ring. He then used the ring to propose to her and she ended up becoming his fiancée. Giorgino’s crazy ex-girlfriend got jealous so she killed the fiancée and tried to pose as her, but he saw through it. Crazy ex-girlfriend managed to curse the ring before she was defeated, arrested, and sentenced to death. Giorgino tried to remove the curse and he thought he was successful. He didn’t want to wear the ring because it gave him sad memories, but at the same time he didn’t want to throw it away since it was made from something his fiancée gave him.
Now that you know the story, here’s the thing: I don’t know whether he should bury, wear, or destroy the ring at the end of the story. And the results of Poll 1 can influence his decision.
If the ring is magical and can give the wearer invisibility:
- He can choose to wear it and give himself an extra power
- He can also keep it somewhere safe
If the ring is not magical and won’t give its wearer invisibility:
- He can choose to wear it in memory of his late fiancée
- He can keep it somewhere safe
- He can bury it with his fiancée
- He can destroy the ring and move on
- Wear it
- Keep it
- Bury it
- Destroy it
If there’s anything you’d like to ask or if you want to suggest anything, feel free to reply below.
Thank you so much in advance to anyone who has helped! (and sorry for making you go through all those paragraphs )