You are here:

Creative Writing/Light novel idea, what are your thought on it?

Advertisement


Question
QUESTION: Hello, i am 15  and i loved reading manga books ever since i was 10 years old,but i had a light novel idea that i wanted to come to life, so i posted my idea on a couple of forums and i got some people saying that it was interesting but i need to fix some things,i also got some rude people not giving me any good critique at all, so before i make my light novel i would like to know if my light novel idea is good,interesting,original, and what i need to fix and work on before i edit, because i don't want to end up making the worst light novel in the world,thank you for your critique.

Plot: Plot:It takes place in the 1980's in the state of Florida, it is about a 15-18 year old boy named Alex who is a shut in taking care of his depressed mother who couldn't get over the fact that Alex's father abandoned them to focus on his drug cartel in Miami.One day Alex is on his Nintendo entertainment system until he suddenly gets a phone call from his father, Alex's father was calling to say goodbye to Alex because there was a rival drug cartel called '' The Razors'' that are trying to take over his drug cartel and there is a drug war going on that he might die in.Alex tells his father that he would run away from home to Miami with his 3 friends and try to help him escape the war and bring him back home. But Alex's father doesn't believe him, he ask's Alex questions about running away from home for example '' where will you eat,sleep,etc. What are your friends reasons for coming with you?'' Alex answers the questions but is not sure about them. But Alex vows to save his father on his journey and will keep his friends alive, so Alex and his friends goes on their journey from Tallahassee to Miami to save Alex's father.However, with the razors being all around the state of Florida this trip may cost Alex and his friends their lives.

(NOTE: You might think why Alex's friends are going with him, the answer is that Alex's friends try to talk him out of the journey, but get intrigued to go with him.

ANSWER: Hi Misty!

Honestly, I would say overall it sounds like a pretty interesting story.  However, I see a couple minor issues that I would like to point out.  You may be able to tweak some of them, but you may need to throw out or completely revise a few, depending on how you respond to my questions:

1. Why is Alex's solution to save his father from a drug cartel?  It seems somewhat implausible to me that anyone, much less a teenager, would be willing to take such a risk, especially when the odds of him being able to do anything helpful, much less actually succeed, are so small.

2. How does a drug kingpin "escape" a drug war?  Does it really seem realistic that just "running back home" would be enough to prevent his enemies from coming after him?  In fact, wouldn't Alex's father be LESS inclined to do that, since it puts his family in more danger?

4. Alex's father's question seem to actually be entertaining the notion that Alex actually will, or even should, run straight into a drug war in order to rescue him.  Why?

While I like your idea overall, I think these are some kinks that need to be worked out, no matter how light your story may be.  Without some degree of plausibility, you will have a hard time keeping readers engaged in the story.

Don't hesitate to send a follow up if you have any further questions!  Good luck.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hello Brian! I am taking your advice for my light novel, but i have a couple a questions about some of my chapters, i have a summary for all my chapters but i am not sure about them, what do you think of my chapters?

Chapter 1: Alex comes home from school (By the way, it is the start of summer break)like always, he finds his depressed mother who can't get over Alex's father,Alex tries to cheer up his mother but just make things worst.Meanwhile, Alex is playing on his Nintendo entertainment system until suddenly he gets a call from his dad,hid dad calls to say goodbye because he is in a drug war with a rival gang called the razors and it is unlikely he will ever see his son again,even though Alex's father was a leader of a drug cartel Alex and his dad had a great past together before Alex's father left,so Alex vows to travel across Florida and try to persuade his dad to shut down the drug cartel.

Chapter 2:Alex is secretly packing up for his trip to Miami,then Alex's friends come over to have breakfast(Kana,Dre,and Lisa)visit,Kana goes into Alex's room and finds him packing up his weapons to fight the razors,Alex runs out his room but Alex's friends stop him,they tell Alex what is going on,Alex explains everything and his friends tries to talk him out of it,talking Alex out of the trip didn't help at all but Kana,Dre,and Lisa gets intrigued to go with him for their reasons.5:00 am, Alex brings his friends with all the stuff he needs,Alex also brings the bus tickets he bought to go to Jacksonville,Kana also brings her companion(a chinchilla named shinobu),they ride their bikes to the bus station and head to Jacksonville.

Chapter 3: Alex's mother gets up from bed and makes breakfast for Alex, she decided to give Alex breakfast in bed but finds him gone, she starts to get a little worried and starts looking for Alex but doesn't find him,Alex mother starts to panic and calls the police.Meanwhile,Alex finally gets to Jacksonville, Alex and his friends rest their legs for a minute,Alex says that they have to keep going to avoid the razors but Kana says that they should at least get breakfast, first before they leave, Alex and his friends agree and goes to the mall to get breakfast,after eating breakfast Kana then goes the bathroom taking Shinobu with her while Alex gives her a warning to be careful about running into the razors.Ignoring Alex's warning, she tries to find the bathroom, she is distracted by the malls surroundings unaware that the razors are spying on her. Of course,she bumps into one of the members of the rival drug cartel,but the member has a really handsome look and Kana instantly falls in love with him,the gang member pretends to be a friendly normal person so Kana wouldn't realize he is evil right away,they walk together and talk about there selves,Diran (that is his name) lies to Kana
saying that he is a some kind of agent on a manhunt for a bad man (Alex)so he would stop things from getting worst.worst. Kana soon becomes more interested in Diran,she tells him that she has to leave but tells him where they could meet up again,Diran tells her in the biggest building in the city.As Kana runs back to the restaurant,she finds her friends looking very angry,they were wondering what took her so long and why she was acting so strange,Kana tries to ignore the questions Alex,Lisa,and Dre were asking,meanwhile Alex and his friends decide to spend the night at a campsite and would ride their bikes to Gainseville the next day.  

I am VERY sorry if it didn't make so much sense,i was in a hurry, but what do you think i need to change? Could i get some critique? I am not really sure about my light novel chapters.Thank you!

ANSWER: Hello again!

It's definitely better this time; more detail with clearer connections between plot points.  I still have a few questions that might help you enrich the plot further:

1. Why would it occur to Alex that the best way for him to save his life would be to physically go down there and try to persuade him to do something so drastic?  Why wouldn't other options occur to him?

2. Why does Alex have weapons?  How did he get them?  If Alex is such a good fighter, why is he living with his depressed mom instead of his dad?  How did he get to be such a good fighter?

3. How is Alex going to get his weapons to Miami?  They check for that stuff, you know!

4. Why would the Razors be spying on Alex's friend?  How would they be aware that she is in Miami, or that she is Alex's friend, and why would they be concerned with her in the first place?  Why would they be worried about Alex (he is just a kid, after all)?

5. Something there conflicted: Alex wanted them to keep moving that very morning, because he was worried about the Razor's activities... then, at the very end, he decides to spend the night at a campsite and take care of the Razor's the next day?  Why the change?

As far as story progression, all of that made sense, but there are still some things that don't make sense in terms of motivation (why the character would do certain things).  Remember, I still think this could be a cool story, I just think figuring out the answers to these questions could help your story be more cohesive and, as a result, more interesting!

Hope that helps!

Brian

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi again Brian, you are giving great advice, i think i am on the right track on my novel but i am still having a bit of problems, right now i am working on character development and i feel that my characters are a bit too stereotypical (i also changed the ages of some of my characters), what do you think?:

Alex(16-18)main hero and leader of the clan, used to be a outgoing social boy who was like any other person but ever since his father abandoned him 5 years ago, he became a shut-in kind of person.When he is on the journey, he becomes very deranged and protective, he would do anything to keep his 3 best friends alive including his childhood crush Kana.( Alex was trained to fight and use weapons by his father)

Dre:(16-18) the smartest person in the clan, he Loves to read and study plants he finds, he has always wanted to find a cure for cancer and become the next Albert Einstein. Dre is supported by Lisa who has a crush on him even though he likes her as a sister,he is also like a brother to Alex and would help him fight against the razors(Dre learned martial arts)however,Dre doesn't like Kana that much because of her wild behavior and would sometimes call her a "maniacal ape."

Kana:(17-18) the tomboy and most eccentric one of the clan with the eyes of a predator,she has a pet chinchilla named Shinobu and she wears Alex's clothes and loves to read marvel comics and go on adventures, she is also the speed fighter and brawler of the clan and would challenge someone into a fight if they get her mad.However, she is slowly being brainwashed by her liaison/lover Diran.(Kana is in love with Diran when she doesn't know Diran is evil and is just using her to find Alex,this is what annoys Alex)

Lisa:(16-18) the girly and backup girl of the clan, she is the niece of Bill Gates and concentrates on being girly and is always the one to almost die first in the clan, since she doesn't do so many things except whine Alex sends her to clean up stuff. But she does gives some good advice to her best friends Kana and Dre (she is in love with both of them and she hates Alex's guts,the only reason she came with Alex was because she just wanted to see take photographs of all the popular cities in Florida including Miami)

Diran: (18-19)one of the villains in the novel and one of the MOST dangerous members of the rival drug cartel, he hates Alex and his father for secret reasons and would do ANYTHING to have Alex and his father dead, his only follower is Kana who he uses to get more information about Alex but is in a sexual relationship with her.

Xavier(30 years old): an assassin the leader of the rival gang hired, he is by far one of the most violent people in the state and always escapes from jail.

Shinobu: The mascot, he is a Chinchilla and acts more like a human than a pet, he is also the companion of Kana and does many things to support her.However,when he gets scared or angry he would bite anything really hard (mostly Alex)

so what do you think? are my characters stereotypes? If they are,could you please give me some ideas on how to fix them so i wont make them so cheesy? Thank you! (By the way,sorry for asking you so many questions,English isn't my first language)

Answer
Hi again!

Well, whether or not your characters are stereotypes doesn't really matter too much.  Heroes and villains almost always fit some kind of archetype.  What matters is whether they are cliche and shallow, or novel and original.  You can make them more original by giving them a detailed and well-formed back story.  Also, rather than using abstract terms like "protective" or "violent", consider that more concretely.

Let's start with Alex.  You said Alex is the "leader of the clan".  How did he get that way?
You said "his father abandoned him 5 years ago".  Why?  How did it happen?  Can you tie this into the plot
You said "he becomes very deranged and protective".  In what way?  Here's where you get to be concrete: what exactly does he do that is considered "deranged" and/or "protective"?
You said "Alex was trained to fight and use weapons by his father".  When?  How?  Why?

Let's look at Dre a bit.
You said "has always wanted to find a cure for cancer and become the next Albert Einstein."  Not to be too picky, but Einstein studied physics, not botany, so what's the connection here?  Maybe you should look up a famous botanist instead.  :)
You said "Dre learned martial arts".  Why?  When?

Now Kana.
You said she "the eyes of a predator".  What does that mean?  What does/can she do, exactly?
You said "she is slowly being brainwashed by her liaison/lover Diran".  How?  What exactly is Diran doing?

Let's look at Diran, he seems like an important character.
You said he is "one of the MOST dangerous members of the rival drug cartel".  Why?  What does/did he do that makes him so dangerous?
You said "he hates Alex and his father for secret reasons".  LOL  You are the author, his reasons can't be secret to you!  So what are they?

Considering English is not your first language, you communicate very well!

Anyway, your characters sound amusing and probably interesting, but be sure you know ALL about them before you write them!  Good luck, and I hope that helped.

Creative Writing

All Answers


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Brian Connelly

Expertise

I can answer questions about how to start writing creatively, how to keep motivated to finish a creative writing project or write creatively on a consistent basis, how to come up with creative writing ideas and how to improve creative writing in general.

Experience

My university major was English literature, and I've been a (mostly) amateur writer for about 20 years.

Publications
Quill Books Poetry Anthology Local Alaskan newspaper

Education/Credentials
Bachelor's in English Literature (North Carolina State University)

Awards and Honors
Editor's choice award for one short story and one poem Three published poems in national anthologies

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.