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Two Key Aspects in Question

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Griffin, May 11, 2012.

  1. Griffin

    Griffin Minstrel

    As the title preludes, I am questioning two aspects of my story. It is not so much about "Should I put it in here?" but more about, "How can I explain it without being ridiculous?"

    I'll give quick details on the story: it is about the afterlife. There are places referred to as "heaven" and "hell," but there is a third called the Agency (name pending.) It is the equivalent of purgatory. The souls here end up guiding the other souls to their respective place in the afterlife and making sure that everyone dies on time.

    There is a social hierarchy. At the very top are the seven deaths. Each represents a way of dying. I won't go into detail of each one or the actual plot.

    The two aspects are this:

    1) I am considering for each Death to have their respective color. For example, one of deaths' color is blue. So not only does she have blue eyes, but most of what she wears is blue. I decided to do this because everyone who works for that Death also wears their color. It is a way to figure out who is working for whom. I thought about using symbols, but I figured that that might be harder to convey/remember.

    2) Everyone is sent to work for the Agency adopts some animal characteristics. For example, they can have cat ears/tail or butterfly wings. This is not an attempt to add furries into the novel (in fact the MC makes a joke about it.) The reasoning behind this is because a lot people have a hard time passing over. Some people are comforted by the sight of an animal, especially children. So a person with cat ears/tail are seen as a cat.

    I guess my concern is if my explanations are adequate enough. These things won't be explained right away (to avoid info dumping.) I already have the outline ready and the first couple of chapters summarized. I just want to make sure that the aspects aren't silly/stupid.

    Thank you for your input.
  2. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

    I don't think there's anything that sticks out as OMG too silly. From the description I'm getting there is supposed to be a bit of humor in the story so you can used that to your advantage like your joke about furries. You can use humor to hang a lantern on some obvious comparisons, and when you do that right, it defuses a potentially problematic issue. It's kind of like beating the reader to the punch, and acknowledging something may be a little over the top, but since you acknowledged it, the reader doesn't have as much a reason to grumble about it.
  3. Caliburn

    Caliburn New Member

    The description of the servants got me thinking about the people of the Dark World in Zelda: A Link To The Past!
    Like, monstrous but strangely cute at the same time.

    I would recommend trying out the symbols in addition to the coloured clothes (which are also symbolic). Might take a bit of lateral thinking to make good, simple symbols for each of the seven deaths, but it would lend them a bit of extra rank and ceremony if that is what you are after.
  4. Catherine

    Catherine Dreamer

    You don't necessarily need to have them head-to-toe in one colour, maybe just an aspect of them like hair and eyes and perhaps a single item on their clothing whether it be a logo on a breast pocket or just a tie. Think of politicians on tv - they tend to wear a tie that is their party colour or a rosette - clearly identifying which political party they belong to. You could have your reapers all dressing similarly, but with just that one small detail changed depending on their grouping. Just a thought :)
  5. Max Cooper

    Max Cooper Dreamer

    You could almost play off of the ancient gods. Half human, half animal.

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