Monster Hunters and Treasure Hunters: A Tale of Two Stories

Monster Hunter the Game

So, I’ve run into an issue with two series that I wanted to write way down the line.  One of them is an older idea that I keep tinkering with.  The other is a newer one that is very similar, which is part of the issue.  Both ideas are part of a theme of series/collections that involve the various groups in Windemere that operate either openly or secretly.  For example, I have the Phi Beta series that focuses on the mercenary school setting and the overall mercenary social structure.  Think I have Wraith Slayers as another one.  Let me get back to the real challenge with:

Monster ‘X’

Not the main title since I don’t like it yet.  This was a trilogy or short story collection that followed a band of monster hunters.  It reveals the inner workings of the monster hunting organization, which will be introduced a bit in War of Nytefall: Savagery.  By this point, they’re a more cohesive group with rankings, meeting buildings, and divisions across the globe.  They are the backdrop for the characters who have all been cursed by this mysterious beast that nobody believes is real.  The team leader wants to find it again and kill it in the hopes of being free.  Only problem is that the best way to do that is rise up to a rank that gives them access to the monster hunter archive, which may have information on the beast.  So, the first book would be about them doing jobs that will help them get what they need.  Second book would be the hunt and third would be something that happens after that.  Not sure if it’s going to be a bigger thing behind the beast, so that’s still in the air.

Of course, the real reason I’m unsure is because I don’t really have the characters.  My original plan was that it was being led by a woman or man who changes genders if something specific happens.  Kind of like Ranma getting hit by cold water turns him into a girl and warm water turns him back.  I no longer think this is a good idea.  Maybe.  I also toyed with the idea of it being a married couple who got merged together, so it’s not a single person changing gender.  It’s now two people trapped in the same body, but that still isn’t sitting right given today’s social atmosphere.  Lacking any other characters, I can’t figure out any other curses.  Think my major issue is that I can’t lock down the leader who I could just have weird things happen to them if they lose their temper.  At one point, I thought of it being an older Morgan from the Ichabod Brooks stories since this would be about 30-40 years after those tales.  She could be the middle-aged adventurer with bad knees now.  I even thought about the person she’s sharing a body with be Ichabod’s son who was her apprentice or something.  Maybe I’m overthinking this.

It doesn’t help that the following has been making better progress.

Treasure Hunters

I have no idea for a title and I’m still mucking about with this either being a treasure hunting organization or a specialized thief guild.  Not sure about the goal either, which is currently them wanting to find a legendary treasure horde.  Again, I wanted to do a trilogy or at least three short story collections.  The reason why is because I really like how the characters are flowing so far.  It’s going to be a team of 7, which sounds like a mistake because that’s tough to keep track of in a conversation.  Then again, look at the team that we have.

First, there are female coleaders with one being a female orc who is fairly blunt and straightforward.  The other is a halfling thief who used to be an assassin, so she has a habit of offering rather violent solutions.  She’s still getting used to the new gig.  They will have a female Dawn Fang who isn’t the most powerful of her kind, but she is very good at reading ancient texts and examining treasure.  A character I played once will be in there too.  He’s the adorable gnome named Berumbo who is also a cannibal with metal teeth.  Since he doesn’t talk beyond grunts, an ogre translates for him.  They’re the muscle.  I have two more male characters that I haven’t figured out yet.  One might be a mapper and the other a specialized caster since none of the others know magic.  I even have a few adversaries and rivals thought up.  Backgrounds are evolving for a bunch of them too.

It’s frustrating between these two.  I have a story thought up for Monster ‘X’ and characters thought up for Treasure Hunters.  Part of me wants to merge them to have these characters be the cursed ones, but then I’d lose something with the crew.  It means I no longer have a guild series too, which will be an itch that I want to scratch.  My other fear is repetitiveness since they’re fairly similar in that they are groups on a quest, but I have other stories like this too.  Maybe this is just doubt kicking in too.  Hopefully, I can take some time this year to sit down and think it all through in between outlining my next big series.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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19 Responses to Monster Hunters and Treasure Hunters: A Tale of Two Stories

  1. I like the married couple merged in the same body idea. It’s kind of creepy, in a way. How would A husband and wife in the same body have sex?

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  2. I’ll leave working out the details to you, Charles. Thanks for sharing the challenge.

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  3. My first thought was that the big bad in Monster X could be the one that has the hoard, containing items that will break the curse or curses. So maybe this adventuring/monster hunting guild would be a cover for the treasure hunters? You already have a good crew there. Or at some point there is a split where one group wants to get the gold and stop, while the other group wants to keep chasing monsters until everyone’s curse is lifted?

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    • The issue I’m having with combining the stories are the characters. The treasure hunters are evolving in a way that curses will change them entirely. I also like the idea of the curse being caused by an unknown monster as a kind of defense mechanism. Might play with the idea of the monster one being a solitary hunter instead of a group since I have only one character for it.

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  4. This is a good post. I think we all have ideas rattling around in our heads and notes that aren’t quite ready. I have a great cast for a science fiction piece, but no real cohesive plot. It might take a while for it to develop, but that’s the beauty of notes.

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  5. I really like both of your ideas. It is OK for you to have similar ideas and different books even the characters can be similar. I don’t know if you have read Nora Roberts, as you are probably not a romance reader. However, a lot of her books kind of do this she’ll have three males and three females there on a quest of some kind and the females fall in love with the males eventually throughout the books. This is how her trilogies usually go. Mostly she changes the world and of course the characters are different in some ways, but they are not so different that you can’t recognize character arcs. It is not unheard of and it actually works pretty well. As for your character morphing due to a curse I was thinking about the character from Animaniacs I think her name was Esmeralda. I’m not sure. All I could see is every time she got angry explosions would occur. It was as if she would just explode, knit back together, and become a sweet little girl again. It was weird and eerie. However, she was one of my favorite characters on Animaniacs to say the least. OK, maybe not what you want to happen to your character but I thought I suggested anyway. Hope you find your way. Keep creating! CSA

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  6. It’s fine for you to have similar series going on, even with similar ideas for character lineups, as long as you make sure there are clear differences. Things like how one group is after monsters and the other is after treasure, which would make them behave in different ways when they face challenges and obsticles. Plus, make sure the challenges and obsticles are different enough in both trilogies/story collections to add a little more uniqueness to them. Alternatively, combine the ideas, and have some of the characters more focussed on looking for treasure, while others in the party are more concerned with defeating the monsters.

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    • The problem is that the differences feel superficial. One is a group of odd thieves hunting for a legendary treasure. The other are cursed monster hunters looking for an unknown creature. That doesn’t feel like it’s enough even with different obstacles. I’m going to have to see rethink at least one of them to get some variety.

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