1. EllieB
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    EllieB New Member

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    Dystopian Introduction issues!

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by EllieB, Feb 18, 2016.

    I can't even think of how to begin this post. That - right there - is my entire problem.

    My idea in a nutshell (a very small nutshell) is about a female bandit/rogue who eventually gets captured for testing by the very powerful and medically advanced government. They turn her into some sort of super-soldier and train her/inform her, but she escapes and leads a rebellion in the future, etc, etc.

    I know exactly where this story goes after she gets captured. However, I've been drawing a blank on the first few chapters - only a tiny portion of the story comparitively, but very important because of the information they need to include - who is she? why is she wanted? how is she tricked into being captured? where is this city they all live in? the setting of the city - desert and sandstone or rebuilt skyscraper ruins? who are her accomplices?

    I've written up several drafted ideas, but none seem to fit. All I've been able to decide for certain is that it begins by her running - away from someone or chasing them, I can't tell. The particular questions I'm having trouble answering are the setting of the city and how she is tricked into being captured (she is supposed to be clever, so this also has to be a clever solution: however, she is also supposed to be very independant, so someone being used as bait would be tricky to incorperate...?).

    Does anyone have any advice for this sort of issue?

    Thanks
    - Ellie
     
  2. terobi
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    terobi Contributing Member

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    Can't really offer help with the setting - that one's up to you. All of them are workable ideas, it just depends what kind of "feel" you're going for. I assume there's been some kind of apocalypse? Do you know what that was and what happened? Perhaps having a rough idea there might help your worldbuilding, and make it feel a little bit more "in-depth".

    I'm assuming the "training" also includes some kind of brainwashing, so that she will work for them? Perhaps she is chasing AFTER someone at first, but then she realises somehow that she has been brainwashed and switches sides. As an example, in the ye olde sci-fi series Blake's 7 (which has, astoundingly, not been remade yet) the titular Blake discovers that he is a former rebel leader, who has had his mind wiped and his memory altered by the government to serve as propaganda. Other members of his militia contact him, not realising his memory has been altered, and lead him to their base. The Blake's 7 story just gets darker from there
    The government murders all of the rebels, brainwashes some children to testify that Blake is a child molester, murders the lawyer that is investigating his trial, and packs Blake off to a prison colony
    , but something similar as a very basic idea might work for you - perhaps your MC runs across someone she used to work with, and starts to remember, for example.

    Might it be possible to just dump the entire part of the story about her being captured, and just start her off as a brainwashed supersoldier, before gradually having her remember her past?
     
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  3. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    As @terobi points out, the setting is YOUR problem. I could offer you my solution, but you're the one who's got to write it, and if you're not happy with my lush green vegetation setting, you won't do it justice.

    ETA: If in doubt, make it Manchester. You won't have to invent things that then don't make sense because you don't understand how and why things are as they are in, e.g., a desert environment.

    As far as your plot is concerned, a few questions that I think you need to know the answers to...
    1/ If it's a post-apocalyptic setting (as suggested by your "rebuilt skyscraper ruins"), how come the government is so powerful and medically-advanced?
    2/ What is it about your MC that makes the government want to kidnap and brainwash her? Is she the "Chosen One"? Harry Potter? Luke Skywalker?
    2a/ Why do they even want a "super-soldier"? Yes, a regiment of Waffen SS (best troops of all time, IMO) might be able to take on 2, 3 ordinary regiments and win, but the Russians demonstrated that enough men WILL defeat the BEST men. (Russian losses on the Eastern front were about 10 times that of the Germans; but they won.)

    As far as tricking her into co-operating, how about the old "do it or your mom, or this kitten, (or this honey-trap dude that we've infiltrated into your cell and then your bed) gets it"?
     
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  4. halisme
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    halisme Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'd also like to add

    3./If she was a test subject, why would they give her training? Why not just test physical augmentation and train people that are actually loyal?
    3a/ If they do this, why not just keep her in a chemical induced coma.
     
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  5. terobi
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    terobi Contributing Member

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    This is why I made the assumption that she had also been brainwashed as part of this training - only the US government are daft enough to train and equip their enemies ;)
     
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  6. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Have you begun writing it or are you still in the planning stage?

    A lot of us write the beginning of our novels after writing most of the rest. My beginning morphed half a dozen times to what it is now. So I recommend writing what you have, don't wait for the beginning to materialize.

    Same with the dystopian setting. That can develop as the story develops and you fit your characters and actions into a scene. I just changed up my women's detention center adding a whole new element of slave labor. In addition I first had it with lush tropical foliage but realized it needed to be stark, and there would be wide open areas in a prison yard, not trails through foliage.

    Settings and beginnings grow with the story.
     
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  7. Feo Takahari
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    Feo Takahari Active Member

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    When I can't progress the plot with my current character, I swap out characters. Spitballing:

    * A less experienced rogue who fell for an easier trick
    * A greedier rogue who turned informant on her fellows in expectation of a reward
    * A minor offender, like a graffiti artist or an author of subversive pamphlets
    * A loyalist who joined up out of patriotism, but had her faith shaken
    * A desperate lower-class person offered what she thought was a chance at a better life
     
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  8. NeighborVoid
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    NeighborVoid Active Member

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    It'd be more believable for the government to use someone they trust, like a war veteran or a high-ranking official. You can have them start off as a designated villain and slowly shift into an anti-villain.
     
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  9. EllieB
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    EllieB New Member

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    Thanks to everyone for your input, it's all been really helpful. :) I'll have a think about those questions and start writing out the story from part-way in (as GingerCoffee suggested).

    I'll keep you updated!
    - Ellie
     

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