1. Lord Malum
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    Lord Malum Senior Member

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    Fledgling Idea

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Lord Malum, Apr 30, 2011.

    I've had an idea for a story for some time now bouncing around in my skull. But I'm not sure how to go about telling it.

    Basicly, I want to follow an alien civilization's rise and fall from tribal to space-faring. You can see the difficulty. There are no obvious characters or plot structures.

    Is this too over-the-top? Any suggestions?
     
  2. Chris Gentry
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    Chris Gentry Member

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    I think this could be a fantastic series. I imagine you would need a lot of POV characters throughout the series and in each specific book. This would allow you to give the reader a greater view of the species and each civilization.

    As for Plot, I think you would need a balance. Some plots will focus on the growth of characters while others will focus on the rise and fall of these people's civilizations. I even imagine some plots will revolve on the advances of these creatures. Will they have their own Socrates? Shakespeare? Einstein? Hitler? Will these people be apart of of the story?
     
  3. Lord Malum
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    Lord Malum Senior Member

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    I have a breif history written up but not sure how to set about creating the characters. There will be set backs like the Dark Ages and major advances like the Enlightenment. And there's no doubt that another civilization would have it's own Socrates and Hitler types, but I wonder if I should write from the higher profile characters. The average Joe's view or the leaders? Some sort of mix?
     
  4. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Do you play Spore? :p

    I haven't read it but I've heard my brother talk about it enough to think I might suggest Years of Rice and Salt to you. I have no idea who it's by, but googling it would help. :p Apparently it's awesome.

    Maybe stick with a family, through their rises and falls - maybe they have a noble bloodline but sometimes go through terrible times, other times they're ruling the world... Just pick whichever level of society would be most interesting for the novel in question, and put them there. New characters, but continuity. :)
     
  5. Lord Malum
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    Lord Malum Senior Member

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    Spore actually inspired the notion! :D Nice that you spotted that!

    I like the bloodline idea, but throughout history bloodlines end more often than not. Having a single bloodline lasting the entire series seems implausible to me. Perhaps a few different bloodline POVs introducing a new one in later books and ending one... something like that? That'd be interesting.
     
  6. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah... Maybe not direct, but perhaps friends or something. :p Keep a relationship between the characters going.

    Also, Spore is awesome. :)
     
  7. Lord Malum
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    Lord Malum Senior Member

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    Looked up The Years of Rice and Salt. Written by Kim Stanley Robinson. Thanks for the refference. I'm already at the library so I'm going to go see if I can find it!
     
  8. Chris Gentry
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    Chris Gentry Member

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    IMO, your characters would need to be interesting. Writing about a couple of plumbers wouldn't interest me at all. warchiefs, shamans, Nobles, clergy, politicians, scientists, soldiers, etc.
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    First off, what you have is a storyline, not a plot. A plot is an actor, a goal, a motivation, and an opposition.

    A storyline is a chronology of events. Plots are what drive storylines.

    Plot is very important to good stories. And at the heart of plot is the actor, which is typically a character. That's what is missing, or at least not very evident in your synopsis.

    Consider a point of view for your epic. Perhaps a mystery in the history of the civilization, that must be solved or the civilization is doomed. Perhaps a time traveller trying to resolve a paradox that could erase the civilization, Something that creates a reason for exploring the full history, and provides a sense of urgency or tension that is an important element of plot.
     
  10. teacherayala
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    teacherayala Contributing Member

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    I recommend reading Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott card. In relation to what Cogito has said about a main character and motivation, I love how Andrew Wiggins is trying to atone for killing off an alien race by becoming the Speaker for the Dead, and you get some of the history of the alien race that was killed off in Ender's Game. This may sound like gibberish to you if you haven't read the trilogy, but they're totally worth reading even if they're not helpful to your particular brainchild.
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Indeed. Speaker for the Dead is also an excellent example for including non-Emglish dialogue for an English-speaking audience. You don't miss much if you only speak English, and yet there are subtleties that come through is you understand the Portuguese even a little.

    He also does a wonderful job of conveying a completely alien psychology.
     
  12. Lord Malum
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    Lord Malum Senior Member

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    I like the ideas you offered, but I don't see the series as such. I see the development of the species as the main driving force behind the series with each book offering an obstacle of some sort for the characters to overcome to help their civilization reach the next step in their history.

    I can see what you mean by plot needing an actor of some kind, but I see the perpetuation of the civilization as the goal and motivation behind the series. Each book would need its own plot seperate from the overall plot, of course, that would help drive the "big picture".

    Really, the "big picture" is simply presenting this other civilization's development. The characters would be perhaps a soldier in a major war that may parallel WWII or a some sort of royalty. Certainly, I wouldn't want to write from a plumber's point of view unless he/she had some major impact on the civilization as a whole in some way.
     

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