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So I have this idea for a book and I have 5 pages written. I realized I really needed to have an end goal. And also history. Cause these things should have history. So it's modern time setting and there are these creatures that have 2 forms. First- the true form is a huge creature. These really have few limits on what animals they are, though they tend to be wolfs, wild cats, birds, or deer. Second- the false form is normal animals. Cats, dogs, horses, birds. There are two sides that are battling eachother. The Burza and the Uttergrund. Honestly, the names will change. Except... I don't know why they are fighting! Ideas? Also, the main character is for some reason important to both sides but I'm also not sure why. razz I was thinking either heritage(she doesn't know her real parents.. not that she knows that...) or special ability.. but nobody else has special abilities other than like... really good fighting skills....So ya.
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Why should things have a history? If the back story to things was so interesting, why not make THAT the story?

Just write what you have, get and ending as you write (or ask for help when you get to it if you haven't figured things out), and edit later.
Typically wars are fought over the control of resources, one side wanting something from the other. Apparently magic has to exist, because these animals are able to assume both a 'real' and 'fake' form, so realistically, you could get away with giving the protagonist any sort of special ability.

I_Write_Ivre
Why should things have a history? If the back story to things was so interesting, why not make THAT the story?

I've really got to disagree with you there. If the war between these two factions is so integral to the plot, having a clear idea of what they're fighting over, and why should be really important.
Thank you. lol. I agree with what you said. I just wanted it to be the animals with the abilities. Because there are so many stories with the humans having special powers and stuff. I mean. She could have the power due to her family line so it's more of a mutation... She could have a mutation... But yes. WHY they are fighting is HUGE to the story. Two of my favorite characters are on the other side as the main character. The fight happens in the shadows of the night... Weird.. yes.
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Maltese_Falcon91

I've really got to disagree with you there. If the war between these two factions is so integral to the plot, having a clear idea of what they're fighting over, and why should be really important.


That's an explanation, not a history. We need a reason there is a war. We don't need a list of commanders and maneuvers and civilians and who threw the first shot.

All we need is 'they disagree on religion and figure the best way to settle it is killing each other' or 'they killed the other place's important guy. Unless the history is part of the actual story, we don't need a huge info dump or another story that barely ties in with the other.
Angels in July
Thank you. lol. I agree with what you said. I just wanted it to be the animals with the abilities. Because there are so many stories with the humans having special powers and stuff. I mean. She could have the power due to her family line so it's more of a mutation... She could have a mutation... But yes. WHY they are fighting is HUGE to the story. Two of my favorite characters are on the other side as the main character. The fight happens in the shadows of the night... Weird.. yes.

Well, you could do as I_Write_Ivre said, and have the war fought over some sort of religious disagreement, it's a pretty good reason, and you could draw some inspiration from the crusades, if need be. I suppose you could also try writing about how mankind has been taking over land that used to belong to them, and that the two groups are desperately fighting over what's left. You could also try exploring why they have these abilities in the first place, and maybe from there you'll figure out a good conflict.

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Maltese_Falcon91

I've really got to disagree with you there. If the war between these two factions is so integral to the plot, having a clear idea of what they're fighting over, and why should be really important.


That's an explanation, not a history. We need a reason there is a war. We don't need a list of commanders and maneuvers and civilians and who threw the first shot.

All we need is 'they disagree on religion and figure the best way to settle it is killing each other' or 'they killed the other place's important guy. Unless the history is part of the actual story, we don't need a huge info dump or another story that barely ties in with the other.

Well, except by history, what she meant was that she had no idea why these two groups were even fighting in the first place and she wanted help coming up with an explanation, not an info-dump. And I agree with you, that sort of information isn't important or useful to the reader at all, and a simple explanation will work fine.

That being said though, I've personally found that working out details like that ahead of time can be really useful. It helps define the setting, and you can use setting details to help shape and define your characters. I guess whether or not this would work depends on the author though.
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Maltese_Falcon91

That being said though, I've personally found that working out details like that ahead of time can be really useful. It helps define the setting, and you can use setting details to help shape and define your characters. I guess whether or not this would work depends on the author though.


It depends on the writer. Personally, it works for me to know most details before writing. for some people, they need to get the vague idea on paper and to fix things with making sense later (happened to me in rewriting old crappy stories, some of which are shorter because I threw out irrelevant stuff AND made more sense int he rewrite).
I_Write_Ivre
Maltese_Falcon91

That being said though, I've personally found that working out details like that ahead of time can be really useful. It helps define the setting, and you can use setting details to help shape and define your characters. I guess whether or not this would work depends on the author though.


It depends on the writer. Personally, it works for me to know most details before writing. for some people, they need to get the vague idea on paper and to fix things with making sense later (happened to me in rewriting old crappy stories, some of which are shorter because I threw out irrelevant stuff AND made more sense int he rewrite).

Yeah, that's probably the best way to do it. I've seen a lot of people who go really all out with world-building, and just start throwing random info-dumps into their stories. Well developed settings are nice, but I totally agree with you, unless something is important to the story, they really need to take a backseat to the plot.
My whole thing is WHY. They need a motive to fight so bitterly. It is in modern day Chicago. People die. I just felt like not knowing why they fight would seem so petty. And they are also not fighting to rule the world. Cause that's stupid and cliche. haha. So I do like the idea of there being the 'religion' or ideology of the groups. It's interesting.
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Angels in July
My whole things is WHY. They need a motive to fight so bitterly. It is in modern day Chicago. People die. I just felt like not knowing why they fight would seem so petty. And they are also not fighting to rule the world. Cause that's stupid and cliche. haha. So I do like the idea of there being the 'religion' or ideology of the groups. It's interesting.


Chicago? Either they're batman villains vying to take over the city from each other or it's jsut a gang fight over territory (same things guess).
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The usual reasons for such things are religious differences, general cultural differences, resource distribution, and political issues. There is also the whole, 'no one remembers why because it's gone on so long' and the 'there can be only one' explanations. Those last two are very straight forward, but also lazy reasons so while they could work I wouldn't put too much thought into going with them.

If you go with a special ability, might I suggest the power to assume a human form. Since they are restricted to animal forms they are also restricted to animal means in how they live and fight. If one of them could assume human form they would be able do more and could be seen as a trump card of sorts to whichever side they are on.

A human could get a hold of and use human weapons, as well as move more freely throughout the city. This opens them up to more resources and venues that might otherwise be closed to them. Plus if this is a trait that could be passed on to her offspring it would mean that they could branch out into the human world, were the is a possibility that they would have better lives. Of course, I don't know much about your creatures so I'm only guessing that those things would be helpful, or even of interest at all, to your characters.
Oops. I didn't make clear. The animals are not the main characters. They are the bonded creatures to certain humans. My main is a human. In True form, the animals are typically 6-7 feet tall. But that is very interesting. The animals have a few special abilities. Certain cats have 9 lives. razz haha.
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Angels in July
Oops. I didn't make clear. The animals are not the main characters. They are the bonded creatures to certain humans. My main is a human. In True form, the animals are typically 6-7 feet tall. But that is very interesting. The animals have a few special abilities. Certain cats have 9 lives. razz haha.


Research the animals. If there are different animals with different social behaviors, that along could start a fight.
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To expand on what's already been said, there's multiple reasons which can cause two groups of people to go to war:
1) Land/Resources
2) Beliefs/Ideals
3) People (whether to control or protect)

It might also be beneficial for you to look up the Just War theory.

Based on the ideas above, you protagonist may be useful to both sides because he has a certain resource they need or people admire/fear him.


You're basing your story in Chicago? That's...interesting. Definitely look up the JWT, because unless you implement serious changes to the Chicago in your story then both sides kind of fail on the whole "appropriate authority" requirement wink
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Sometimes the greatest inspiration is real life. Look at the current wars and their causes. The First World War is most commonly attributed to an assassination (It wasn't the sole reason why though).
Lahrette put it perfectly. Land/Resources (Korean War), Beliefs/Ideals (Arab Spring), People (Arab Spring) are the three main reasons why people would go to war.
What you're mentioning sounds like gang warfare. Turf wars, territories, who can go where, who owns what streets.

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