1. Elena Schmetterling
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    Elena Schmetterling Member

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    Crossing the line?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Elena Schmetterling, Aug 11, 2015.

    Hello,

    I have just planned out the setting for my novel, and in this world, people are modified so they have better control over their emotions, better memory and better focus. They also have some physical modifications so they're stronger, can run faster, etc. but nothing too far away from how we are now.

    So obviously this treatment won't work on everyone, and some people would remain as pretty much humans of 2015. Therefore, I thought that based on the nature of the city, these people would be given the jobs nobody particularly wants, such as farming, cleaning, etc. They would also be considered as separate from society, and live together.

    Now I was wondering, since these people are basically at a disadvantage, whether the paragraph would be considered as unacceptable. If so, are there any ways I can make this seem less bad? Would it also be bad to give these people a collective group name?
     
  2. Stacy C
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    Stacy C Banned

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    If that's the way it turns out in a world of your design, I wouldn't worry about it being 'unacceptable' (to whom?). I can't imagine such a group not picking up a collective (and derogatory) name, official or not.

    It's an interesting idea, and probably something that people alive today will see happen.
     
  3. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    And what do they lose? What are their faults? What makes them interesting as characters?

    "Less bad"? Why on Earth would you want to do that? "Bad" is the source of conflict. Use that. Cultivate it. And of course they get a collective group name. A disparaging one. A slur.

    Which depiction of slavery rings more true - the one in Gone With the Wind or the one in Roots?
     
  4. S Raven
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    S Raven Member

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    Perhaps these people who aren't adapted feel special. Even though don't have the modified traits, they see themselves as 'originals' and have some solace in this.
     
  5. Elena Schmetterling
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    Elena Schmetterling Member

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    Well, due to other reasons, these people are unwilling to take risks. They prefer what they have been used to doing and what they know works. They lack a sense of drive and will to explore.

    I planned for an unofficial name to be the "Defects". Stacy, your words come as a relief!
    S Raven, that would also be a good idea, thanks.
     
  6. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I'm just guessing, but it sounds to me as if you've already made judgments about each group. And that's fine. In your portrayal of each group in your story, you'll need to keep in mind 1) how each group sees itself, 2) how each group sees the other group and 3) how the reader will see both groups.

    When you commented on the unchanged group in a way you were afraid sounded "bad", and wanted something that was "less bad", it struck me as if you wanted to portray the entire world you've created as less conflicted. Good stories tend to flow from greater conflict. By having two groups - one of which has "embraced change", the other of which has, for reasons they regard as sound, resisted it - you have the basis for lots of conflict.

    "Defects" strikes me as a good working title. Very good.
     
  7. Elena Schmetterling
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    Elena Schmetterling Member

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    I know the importance of conflict in novels, my main concern was the group itself, and why it exists (people not being of the same calibre as other). There are other groups within the larger one (people on whom the modifications worked), who will also be providing a different type of conflict ;).

    Thanks!
     
  8. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    I can't see it working out any other way, so I think you're spot on. I also think S Raven is completely right that some people would consider this group superior than the modified ones.

    I actually recently read a short story along the same lines. It started with the main character being jealous of his boss, who had just had her prosthetic leg upgraded to the latest model. In that society, nearly everyone had their limbs amputated in order to use prosthetics that made them stronger and faster. Just as in your story, there was a segregated group of humans who didn't have any technological 'upgrades', either through choice or because they were too poor. They had a name - I think it was The Unmodifieds or something like that. The story was about the main character meeting an unmodified woman and realising how beautiful she was and how sad it was that everybody was butchering their bodies.

    If you think it would help you with your story I can find the anthology again and give you the title?
     

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