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Writer's Block:
On Prophesies
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On Prophesies:

Noir Grimoir: Hm... sure. That could work. But it being a real prophecy is superfluous at that point. Much better, I think, for the sealer to make it known that the seal probably only holds for 400 years (though that warning can be treated as a prophecy), give or take a couple of decades, especially if I wanted to play up their benevolence/competence. * So it's the kind I'd be willing to use - but I effectively never would, because it's unlikely to be the best way to get information to people involved.

Raven Wilder: Which may be less of a foretelling of the future and more a statement of cause and effect.

That and other things that can be treated like prophecy, I might use, along with "To do X, you must Y, " but they'd probably not originate from a seer. Experimentation, perhaps.

edited 17th Dec '11 12:04:45 PM by greedling

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Greedling: If you are referring to posts that are that high up, just use the names.
oddly
 28 Ralph Crown, Sat, 17th Dec '11 3:37:53 PM from Next Door to Nowhere
Short Hair
If you're using 'fourth dimension' for time, then the human brain is entirely used to dealing with four dimensions.

You're assuming the "prophet" is experiencing time linearly in the visions, which is not necessarily the case.

As a prophecy we all know and love, consider the return of King Arthur. If there was a real Arthur, he was nothing like the legends that sprang up around him. There's no specificity as to when or how he will come back, only "in Albion's darkest hour." If he didn't return during the Blitz (idea: what if he had?), then when?

So who created the prophecy? Nobody knows, no way to tell. Will it come true? Well, it's based in fiction, so probably not. Most "prophecies" in fiction should be treated the same way.

I agree with the general feeling, prophecies in a story act like a book of PlotCoupons. The plot has to fulfill the prophecy because the prophecy is there to drive the plot—it's lazy plotting and what's more it's circular reasoning.
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 29 Yamii Denryuu, Sat, 17th Dec '11 5:09:46 PM from You know, that place Relationship Status: Chocolate!
become god kurrin
Hmm, prophesies... I've got a false one that was fed to a cult by an Eldritch Abomination via gibbering madness about how the main characters are going to be the chosen ones and awaken it (which they have no intention of doing). The EA gets out by itself eventually and the main guys screw destiny (if you can call it that) and summon a Big Good not-quite-an-abomination to fight it. Yeah.

edited 17th Dec '11 5:10:25 PM by YamiiDenryuu

Sam just... punched his own face and died in a marsh. And Pippin got lost, and Frodo was dead.
 30 Enemy Mayan, Tue, 20th Dec '11 8:19:22 AM from A van down by the river
Almost all prophecies in my work are Either Or Prophecies. This allows dramatic tension to be maintained, since the bad guys still have a chance of winning if they can make their prophecy come true first... stories where it's predestined from the get-go that the heroes are going to win are, to me, rather boring.

The aversion of Either-Or Prophecy in The Sex Star that I alluded to is a prophecy on a smaller scale; basically, it states that if a male child is born aboard the Sex Star, when he comes of age he will be a Complete Monster even in comparison to the already-existing Big Bad. But there's no prophecy that states whether he wins or loses either way, so there's no reason for me to write two prophecies in that particular case.
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 31 JHM, Tue, 20th Dec '11 7:22:25 PM from Neither Here Nor There Relationship Status: I know
Thunder, Perfect Mind
I generally avoid the whole "prophecy" thing as a rule, though there is one rather peculiar example in my main work. It isn't quite a prophecy, though, but rather a vague extrapolation of the likeliest possible future by Starfish Aliens with no sense of past tense, given as a "gift" to a character.

Context is key here.
What I'd personally like to see is a work which takes prophecies to their logical conclusion; namely, everyone and their monkey's uncle believes that they are the ones who are going to save the world or destroy it, and are the very cause of the conflict in the first place.

Yes, I am going to try and write that.
 
Raven Wilder
're assuming the "prophet" is experiencing time linearly in the visions, which is not necessarily the case.

Yeah, I was thinking more along the lines of a Dr. Manhattan style "experiences the past, present, and future simultaneously" thing.
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