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I need some serious help with my martial arts fantasy story

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by WonderingSword5, Mar 22, 2021.

  1. WonderingSword5

    WonderingSword5 Minstrel

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    I've been working on this idea for a very long time and I can't seem to figure out what would make this more interesting. It's about a man who had trained in his past youth back in the mid 90's after being bullied from other kids at school and being shy most his life, his parents (or just the mother as I was going to say he had an abusive step dad and never met his real father) sent him to take kung fu classes, which was led by an instructor who was also a military vet who had a crazy attitude and was abusive to the MC and other students as well. The instructor would have served during the 80's and up until the early 90's. Reason he's a kung fu instructor is because the head teacher of the chain school was a head kung fu sifu teacher who hired the military instructor to run one school location near the MC. The military vet had also trained a little bit under the sifu(head kung fu teacher) then he helped him open up his own school location. As the MC gets into his teens he becomes more self confident which is falsely hidden by the military martial art vet trainer's true intentions. The MC does well for the school, winning matches, promoting the school, making him feel almost invincible and even bullies over the years have backed off and some have began to fear the MC, but the abuse catches up to the MC and the manipulation the martial arts school and bad vet teacher put on him, even with making the school sell more by using the MC for promotions, and gaining the attention of more women to the school for the bad instructors to get a hold of. The MC one day loses his match, (early 2000's-late 90's perhaps?) then the military vet teacher who ran the school shows his true colors and physically abuses and degrades the MC for his loss and blaming the MC for the schools failure and reputation. MC goes into a life of misery after realizing his training and teacher he was deceived by. He ends up not getting a martial arts scholarship and can't handle any minimal wage job and gets treated badly by everyone, becoming homeless and a reckless mess. Years later as an adult, he witnesses an attack on the street of some punks harassing a few victims. MC's instincts kick in and he rescues them, it hits the news and some random old good master who was skilled in various forms of Japanese martial arts, hears of this and he decides to help the MC and train him, helping the MC finally after all these years achieve the gaol of becoming an incredible martial artist, the MC one day becoming a teacher himself, even proving that his old style works in an MMA match, which brings back the attention of the bad military vet teacher and the other bad instructors from his past return with he MC rising they want to get involved so the vet pretends to return and apologize and be the MC's friend, secretly looking to take over the MC's newly established dojo and it all goes from there.

    First what does everyone think of this whole setup? Any improvements needed?

    And for the fantasy aspect, the MC who had now trained with the new master, he would of unlocked something spiritual in the MC which is connected to animals spirits so the MC when gaining better skills or the right path he sees a visual of a lion or tiger that lets him know he's doing well, and various other animals and mythical creatures in his vision. It;s like a supernatural power instilled in him. How does this all sound?

    And since I had these ideas before the pandemic, how do I set the time frame? If the MC is an adult say in the 2030's martial arts would need a special rule set? Or set it before the pandemic?

    Any help on this I would appreciate, I've been trying to fix it for so long now :(
     
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  2. Cobra Kai! its an ok origin story, but very close to Johnny. (not the later fantasy bits but the basic set up). Not a bad thing but something, if you are not already aware of, you should be.
     
  3. WonderingSword5

    WonderingSword5 Minstrel

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    Thank you. You could say it is heavily inspired by Cobra Kai because I really enjoyed the show and his character is kinda similar to Johnny in a way. But in my version this MC meets a good teacher as an adult while he's been down on his luck, which helps him redeem his life together and becoming a teacher himself.

    Does the fantasy part ruin it? Having these animal spirits within him like the lion, tiger, wolf, eagle, etc.?

    And what kind of tournament would make sense in the 90's back in his youth? I did want it to be like the All Valley in Karate Kid/Cobra Kai, where the kids would fight with no protection, just cool gi's and awesome martial art moves. Can it be made up?

    And when the MC is an adult in the future, of course there would be mixed combat sports which is more evolved? Am I going overboard if I say by the 2030's they had fighters used as test subjects with companies sponsoring each fighter with their own stimulant drug to compete for which is the best one? Thst may sound sci-fi more than fantasy but it is believable? The MC would be more fantasy as well as others.
     
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  4. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

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    Just dropping in the detail that back in the '80's, when I was competing (and my joints still thank me >.<) we absolutely wore protective gear. I remember one girl who was more advanced than I was who would wear her ponytail pulled up and through the top of her head protection, making her look like a bouncy (you bounce a lot to maintain momentum) Spartan warrior. It was very cool. We wore hand protection (we were, like, 12) but heaven help the little twerp who forgot to take off his wristwatch. Blocking one of those with your wrist hurt!

    So, what I'm hearing here is something like martial arts urban fantasy? If so, have them in whatever protection you want. Also, YouTube is your friend. So is your local martial arts school, depending on the discipline they teach. There's a whole lot to learn by going back to basics.
     
  5. WonderingSword5

    WonderingSword5 Minstrel

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    Thanks for the info! I tried looking up YouTube tournaments for kids and teens in the 90's but haven't found any.

    Also would mixing in the idea of having fighters being sponsored by pharmaceutical companies set in the near-future? By then the MC is an older adult. Would this interfere with the fantasy stuff?

    And how do I avoid the pandemic in the timeline? Or just include it and say everything was set up differently by the 2030's or something? Originally I planned this story before this all happened.
     
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  6. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

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    I can't say too much to anything but the pandemic question, and all I can say is we ignore it. We write five-minutes-into-the-future urban fantasy (so we have super sonic intercontinental flight and special phone apps meant for the preternatural world) and have chosen to not include it to keep from dating our timeline too much.
     
  7. WonderingSword5

    WonderingSword5 Minstrel

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    That is all a good reason. And it could help avoid it, but the problem is that my story takes place during real events, through the 60's-2030's in it's timeline. So maybe what I could do is not go over much what happened in the late 2010's then just jump to the 2030's which would most likely help avoid it and I can just add something different?

    And I get the feeling this story concept isn't going to fair well cause it's a boring martial arts tale isn't it? :(
     
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  8. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

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    Conflict = story. As long as you maintain conflict (and it doesn't have to be world-ending stuff), don't worry about being boring. Conflict, then story, then worry.

    And if you want to read something cool to prove my point, try The American Century by Peter Jennings. It covers a LOT of your timeline, and there's conflict galore. Just figure out how your characters will interact with it.
     
  9. WonderingSword5

    WonderingSword5 Minstrel

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    That is a very good point. The conflict of the characters is what will help drive the plot, which there will be lots of. Do you think the animal spirit fantasy stuff for the MC will take away from the plot in the 2030's with pharma companies competing by using fighters to sponsor their enhanced performing drugs? Because I was thinking that when some of his powers are discovered, one of the companies gets a hold of him and tries to use his powers for the source of the drugs enhanced abilities.

    And I will definitely look more into The American Century.
     
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  10. Queshire

    Queshire Auror

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    See, now that particular question I feel comfortable providing input to.

    It's fine.

    Magic vs technology is a classic. In this case you got the good, spiritually beneficial traditional methods on the magic side vs the evil, big business doping of big pharma on the tech side.
     
  11. Prince of Spires

    Prince of Spires Inkling

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    I think your timeline doesn't add up. You have a kid fighting in a prestigious tournament at the end of the 90's, which makes him something like 16 and thus born in 1984-ish. In the 2030's he will be 50. Now, I'm not saying your life is over at 50 (I certainly hope not), but the idea that a 50 year old starts martial arts, and becomes an incredible martial artist capable of showing the world how good those martial arts still are just doesn't fly for me. That level of skill would require years of training for a kid / young adult. It's the 10,000 hour "rule". You need about 10,000 hours (usually 10 years) of dedicated, focussed training to become a master in something. Even if we half that, he would be 55-60, which is way too old to compete on the level you're suggesting. There's a reason you find very few professional sports players over 40.

    My suggestion would be to squeeze your timeline, a lot. That way, his skills won't have deteriorated to the point of being useless and he will be young enough to actually learn new things.

    One thing I'm curious is which story you want to tell. Is the childhood stuff the main story and the adult part just there to give a happy end or is the childhood stuff just backstory and the adult stuff the story? If it's the second, then you will need an antagonist and a conflict.
     
  12. S.T. Ockenner

    S.T. Ockenner Auror

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    He could be a very fit, healthy and strong 50 year old.
     
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  13. WonderingSword5

    WonderingSword5 Minstrel

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    Thank you. But would it ruin the plot if I said the big bad pharma used their resources of the stimulant enhanced drug from the MC's spiritual animal gifted powers as it's source? Or better off I left that part out and their source is from their own drug labs and getting a hold of the MC into the tourney would notice his most value? And should I say other fighters have magic abilities as well?
     
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  14. he could be old considering all the drugs and magic-

    in some ways this reads like a super-hero story, so being 60 or70 may not be a problem if his body has enough enhancements that he still has the response and recovery time of a 30 year old. or a 20. Sort of brings up the captain america problem: Kids don't do drugs!

    In your case he finds a new mystic way, but could only have done so, and only has the body able to do it, because of all the pharma drugs.
     
  15. WonderingSword5

    WonderingSword5 Minstrel

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    I was going to say he began his training at the martial arts school in the mid-90's so let's say in 1995, up until the final tournament at the end of the 90's or early 2000's? After it all fails and after realizing the teacher from that school ended up being and A-hole as well as the other instructors, the MC wouldn't end up homeless and on the streets right away. Though down on his luck, he might still be training with the bad teacher, being under his control, even after the abuse he endured, left with nowhere to go, despite his loss.

    Then maybe a few years after leaving the bad teacher, he tries out different schools of martial arts but finds no luck and after the failing experience, that loss of motive he had was all drained. So he could of still had gotten some training overtime, just not the motivation he used to have. So say he tried a little cross training but it all ended somewhere in the 2010's, that gives him a few extra years of training right? After dropping out and without that martial art scholarship he had originally planned from being so deceived by his original bad teacher growing up had been a turning point for him, where having no experience in other fields so minimal jobs were a fail for him, then ends up on the streets as an adult, no home, no family now, so this could be in the late 2020's if I'm doing the correct math?

    Then by early 2030's he would be close to 50? Witnesses victims or a victim on the streets harassed by goons,he jumps to the rescue when his instincts kick in, despite being old, he's got it still in him and beats these young bully punks chasing them off. This brings attention to this old-school master from the news and social media. Old master could be in his late 70's (I know that's old)? And teaches him the old ways, which brings out the animal spirits within him like the tiger, lion, wolf, eagle, etc. There's a supernatural element to this so maybe at his age, he can handle his own? He still had good years of training, especially in his teens when he was a champion contestant. The new old master could of started his training in 2030, by the end of the 2030's he would of had these extra 10 years of training by the old master, and by now the protagonist would be in his late 50's? But he's got this spiritual powers within him that are not human, plus he's in top physical shape and wins a new tournament. Then he becomes a teacher himself in his 50's-60's, until the bad teacher shows up in his life again.

    Of course the story would go on from there but that is just a breakdown how his training would go. If it isn;t very plausible and too far-fetched please let me know and I can easily change this around with his age when he started training with the old master and everything.

    I apologize for the long post, i hope soemeone can read all this and reach out to me and let me know what they think of this :(

    So instead have it that he was homeless in his 20's and he meets the old master in the 2010's?

    The main story is when he was an adult. The childhood story is his backstory and origin. But if it's easier to understand I could do it all in chronological order if that makes better sense. The main antagonist will be his bad teacher, as well as a few of the other bad instructors from the bad school he went to as a kid/teen. But the one main antagonist was his main mentor and plays a major villain in this which he fights later as an older adult.
     
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  16. WonderingSword5

    WonderingSword5 Minstrel

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    Was my post too long? I can shorten it next time, I'm sorry :(
     
  17. S.T. Ockenner

    S.T. Ockenner Auror

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    It was not too long at all! It was a good size. Stop beating yourself up for no reason.
     
  18. WonderingSword5

    WonderingSword5 Minstrel

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    Okay you're right. That's me getting into my head sometimes that I'm no good enough, bad way to think.

    What do you think of the story for how he trained over the years?
     
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  19. WonderingSword5

    WonderingSword5 Minstrel

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    I was going to say that he gained these spiritual animal guardians after the old master helped him unlock it within himself and also after discovering it on his own. Then maybe gets taken into the pharma drug tourney and maybe gets the drugs?

    Are you suggesting that the drugs cause the magic spirits in him?
     
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  20. either way could work. mr miyagi was pretty old and had no problem handling much younger foes. if you write it well, it can be believed.
     
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