1. koalasium
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    koalasium Member

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    A Ghostly Future

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by koalasium, Jan 14, 2015.

    Basically, the human race is near extinction - not to zombies, aliens, or robots, but to ghosts. Ghosts basically rule the world now.

    Here's a few choices that I can go with the setting:
    1) Stereotypical, dystopian world with ruined buildings, nuclear waste, etc.
    2) A well maintained world run by the ghosts (I would assume this is more believable) as the ghosts technically were once humans and retains a little personality and order.

    Accommodations:
    Ghosts can either live in:
    -Normal homes
    -Float around
    -Live in newly modified buildings free of silver and all other materials that harm spirits
    -Some other sort of living quarters (please suggest)

    The future world:
    -Would the world have morphed at all? Or would the continents pretty much be the same?

    Basically, the big ones are the accommodations and the type of world (dystopia or order). Could you suggest which ones would be best for a "ghostly" environment? Remember, it's human-free, so it would be from the point of view of ghosts...if you need other info about the plot/characters, I can explain it fuller than it is here.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    Here are my thoughts: -

    I am not sure how or why ghosts would maintain human buildings. I would have thought that human settlements would have been reclaimed by nature. The ghosts would continue to "live" in the places they did whilst alive, whether those buildings still exist or not.

    I am interested as to how or why the ghosts have appeared, and why humans are near extinction.

    As to the last question, it depends how far into the future it is. It would have to be many millennia in the future for there to be a noticeable change in the position of continents.
     
  3. thatoneauthor
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    thatoneauthor Member

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    How did this all happen? And what's going to be the plot and characterization?
    Who's the protagonist?
    Who will be the antagonist?
    Why was the human race near extinction?
    How do the ghosts interact with things?
    Let me know!
    Thanks for the read.
     
  4. koalasium
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    koalasium Member

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    Basically, humans would have found a way to connect the living with the dead, kind of like a portal. The spirits, however, would of course overpower the humans, as the humans had no way to stop them. Guns, bombs, all that stuff wouldn't work on the ghosts. So "you can't kill what's already dead" is a main theme of the story. The ghosts are also pretty much merciless, and their "ectoplasm" is life-threatening to humans. Ghosts are essentially made of ectoplasm. That's why the humans basically go into hiding or die. And now, the ghosts are a huge, unified organization with human-like personalities...which is why I'm considering having them live in human settlements.

    However, the idea of them living in the places they did whilst alive is pretty good...I might actually do that, add a bit of limitations to the overpowered ghosts.

    As for how far to the future, I don't know. It's probably going to be within one hundred years, but it depends on which setting I pick.

    1) Two protagonists, one is a ghost and one is a human.
    2) The antagonist is a human creation which can annihilate ghosts. The problem is that it can also annihilate humans, which is why there's a ghost protagonist and a human protagonist.
    3) The short version? Ghosts were summoned by humans, humans got careless, ghosts, not being able to die again to human weapons, overpowered the humans with certain abilities.
    4) Ghosts can't physically touch anything, but they can interact with both the physical and spiritual world. Some ghosts can also lift objects (telekinesis) and all ghosts have the ability to make objects really cold.

    Thanks for reading, this is a lot of text, I know.
     
  5. plothog
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    plothog Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    These do seem to be the sorts of questions that get answered by asking a whole bunch more questions.
    Why would ghosts create a unified organisation?
    What do they gain by working together?
    What are a ghosts needs? Do they need anything to sustain themselves? Maybe they farm animals to sap their life energy?

    What use do they have for places to live? Do they need to sleep? Do they care about the weather? Do they want a place to keep stuff or do they just like somewhere familiar to hang around in?
     
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  6. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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  7. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    How long have these ghosts been accumulating for?
    Is it just ghosts of humans? Don't dogs (and cats and dinosaurs) have souls too?
    You could have a ghostly world, one where the continents include Pangaea.

     
  8. Lancie
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    Lancie Contributing Member

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    The accumulation of ghosts is a good point! How many millions of ghosts from across the ages are now inhabiting our world? It's going to be crowded. Is it only certain ghosts that have come back? When a person dies do they get to come back and live in the ghost world? Would it make sense for the ghosts to be assigned places to live, and the living have to leave (lest they burn in the ectoplasm)
     
  9. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You seem to be in a bit of the same dilemma I had once in my fantasy novel (since put on hold cus it was just too difficult).

    Your main dilemma would be: what happens to the humans after they die then? You say humans are near extinction - wouldn't the same souls stay around as the ghosts that now rule the world? Wouldn't these ghosts hang out with their still-living human families and friends? Why would these ghosts suddenly turn merciless and try to kill anyone or anything at all, esp since you're retaining some humanity in the ghosts? If one ghost kills one human, who happens to be the loved one of another ghost, wouldn't the ghosts turn on each other?

    But your biggest dilemma is perhaps this: what are the stakes? Humans are going extinct! So what? Who cares? They're just gonna come back as ghosts and rule the world and actually, now be completely safe and be part of the upper-strata of society. Why stay human at all when you know you're just gonna carry right on as before, only now without fear of death and the ghosts since you'll be one of them?
     
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  10. koalasium
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    koalasium Member

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    Alright, I'll try and answer the questions, I don't really feel like quoting though.
    1) What are a ghosts' needs?
    A: A ghost doesn't really "need" anything, they just need their ectoplasm to survive. The only way a ghost can die is if their ectoplasm completely disappears. However, ghosts feel exhilarated when they suck up a "Life Source," which is basically the life energy of someone/something living. Which is why ghosts target humans.

    2) Why would ghosts create a unified organization?
    A: Ghosts are from the Other World, or as I call it, "Limbo." In Limbo, things collide and coalesce, so technically, ghosts are part of a hive-like system, as all ectoplasm is connected spiritually one way or another. However, I may have to change the system a little to fit the characterization.

    3) What do they gain by working together?
    Basically, by working together, they have order. Ghosts have exaggerated emotions (and yes, they do feel emotions) and can tend to create chaos by fighting against each other. This will simply create the survival of the fittest, and ghosts DO retain a bit of their human personality. And humans like order.

    4) How long have these ghosts been accumulating for?
    A: About five years, not long. Enough time for ghosts to rush in from "Limbo" and decimate humans, but not too much time so that some humans are still alive.

    Is it just ghosts of humans? Don't dogs (and cats and dinosaurs) have souls too?
    A: Yes, that is true, but I'm making non-human ghosts have less personality. So they'll still be floating around and stuff, but they won't be killing the humans unless a human provokes it.

    You could have a ghostly world, one where the continents include Pangaea.
    That would be cool, but I was thinking more on the lines of "Limbo," a place where souls coalesce and basically exist.

    The accumulation of ghosts is a good point! How many millions of ghosts from across the ages are now inhabiting our world? It's going to be crowded. Is it only certain ghosts that have come back?
    A: That is a good point...I'll probably have it so that only SOME ghosts come back.

    When a person dies do they get to come back and live in the ghost world? Would it make sense for the ghosts to be assigned places to live, and the living have to leave (lest they burn in the ectoplasm)
    A: When a person dies, their souls go to Limbo. After the portal was opened, the souls can now travel freely between the two worlds. So I'm thinking that ghosts pretty much have a lot of liberty...but I'm not totally sure.

    what are the stakes? Humans are going extinct! So what? Who cares? They're just gonna come back as ghosts and rule the world and actually, now be completely safe and be part of the upper-strata of society. Why stay human at all when you know you're just gonna carry right on as before, only now without fear of death and the ghosts since you'll be one of them?
    A: Basically, when a human dies, they go to Limbo. In Limbo, they lose all thoughts, memories, and feelings, and all they have left is literally a spark of their old personality. So ghosts are sort of like zombies, except in a more spiritual sense. Humans don't want to just die and become ghosts, as they would basically be dying. They wouldn't retain any of their memories or anything. Does that make a little sense?

    Thanks all for taking the time to give feedback/suggestions/ideas!
     
  11. thatoneauthor
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    I feel like if there's too much to explain then the reader will disown it. I'm also not understanding what the protagonist's main goals or fears are. Why is he teaming up with a ghost?
    Also, I think he or she should be scared of ghosts, since that would add a lot of conflict and make things interesting.
    And his goals should be finding another person, since he's the only one, and let's make it a woman so we have a love thing going on.
    That would be a fun fun read, but the twist can be she was a ghost the whole time, and that made him stop being scared in ghosts, so he finds a way to "humanize" her. Or something in the lines of that!
    Other then that-
    -Why should I read this story?
    What's gonna be the twist or person or caption or conflict that brings me in?
    Thanks!!!!
     
  12. koalasium
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    koalasium Member

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    Here's the basic plot:
    The human rebellion is giving way to the overpowered ghosts. The humans have no tools whatsoever to stop the undying ghosts who swallow up humans' life forces. That is, until, a particular human figures out how to summon an "Ancient," a particularly strong spirit that will annihilate all ghosts. The catch is that the Ancient will also annihilate humans.

    So this Ancient is what brings the humans and ghosts together.

    Also, the "humanize" part sounds like a cool twist...I might try it with that catch. Thanks!
     
  13. Gawler
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    Gawler Contributing Member

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    Just curious if there would be any conflict between the ghosts. I could easily imagine that a ghost of someone who died in the 20th century having a difference of opinion of a ghost from the 4th century.
     
  14. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Did you not read?...
    Incidentally, I'm struggling with this. What happened five years ago to make the ghosts accumulate from then? Unless...

    ...one of these Ancients did his millennial spring-clean of the spirit world five years ago?
     
  15. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    This all seems excessively complex to me. I personally would simplify the set up to something approaching the following: -

    Ghosts return to earth and appear like lost souls, haunting the places they used to live (the reason being that the walls between the living world and the afterlife have worn thin or some such crap). They are not malicious, but suck the life force from people if they come too close. As a result their sheer numbers have decimated the human race.

    A ghost and a human find that they are strangely compatible. The human is not harmed by the ghost, and the ghost is given happy memories of what living once felt like through their interactions. They set out to reinstate the walls that once divided the living from the dead; so that humans might reclaim the earth, and the dead may reclaim the contentment of death.
     
  16. Gawler
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    Of course I did but he did not give a definite answer to this.

    The accumulation of ghosts is a good point! How many millions of ghosts from across the ages are now inhabiting our world? It's going to be crowded. Is it only certain ghosts that have come back?


    A: That is a good point...I'll probably have it so that only SOME ghosts come back.


    It doesn't really clarify the resolution between the thoughts and behavior of a 4th century ghost and a 20th century ghost.


     
  17. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    If they only have a spark of their old personality - do they acquire a new personality in death? Or do you mean they are sorta subdued without much sense of identity? And if the latter, I think your bigger problem might be to make this ghost interesting because it sounds like the ghost can't have any personality...

    As for ghosts not having any memories - is it possible to regain them?
     
  18. koalasium
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    koalasium Member

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    Alright, thanks everyone! I pretty much have a decent setting now, combined a few ideas from here.
     

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