1. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    France vs. The World. (Couldn't think of a better title)

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Link the Writer, Mar 19, 2011.

    This was something that's been buzzing around in my head for quite some time. A futuristic sci-fi/fantasy story about France's conquest of the world. Set in the year 2312 AD, the leader of France goes to war over resources.

    Because the Earth's resources are nearly depleted, the rest of the countries are hogging all they can, and France feels they're being left out, so they invade countries to gather as much (if not all) of the resources they can.

    But here's one huge problem: If France is so poor on resources, then they're not gonna get far in their war against the world. At best they'd probably ruffle some feathers in Germany or Spain, but that's it. Within a matter of days, the stronger nations would lay the smack-down on France.

    Another problem is, I don't know that much about military stratagy.

    I want the story to be about France (and her allies) fighting the world, but how am I going to get France to be powerful enough to put up a fight, yet make it clear that their troubles are so bad that it's worth it.

    Also, why the whole world? Why not just mainland Europe?

    Tips?
     
  2. Aeschylus
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    Aeschylus Contributing Member

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    First of all you need to consider your timeframe. The world didn't look the same 300 years ago, that's for sure--borders and nations change, split, merge over time. France might be larger or smaller. The EU might have become a single nation. The U.S. might have lost its status as a world power, or its states might have become their own nations. Africa could move into a state of world economic power, China could have a population of 100 million, and North Korea could have fallen apart. You need to consider these things before you write a story set with modern-day countries.

    Maybe France is being led by a fascist dictator, a repeat of Hitler. Hitler and his Axis buddies managed to put up a huge fight, considering how much bigger the Allies were than the Axis--a few wrong turns and they could have won. Look up Nazi strategy. Perhaps france has annexed its nearby friends, who were in a state of economic misery and thought that France would run them better.

    The thing is that one country is never going to declare war on the entire world. If France and Britain went to war, nearby countries may interfere, but the other nations of the world won't. A global takeover is ridiculous, unless they've got some ultra-powerful technology, or they secretly control the world's government's by means of some secret society (all ideas you could use in your story), but you need to think about benefit vs. cost.

    I know you like Mass Effect, so I'll use that as an example. The Reapers are willing to take on all intelligent life in the galaxy--keep in mind how vast the galaxy is--because they have access to all intelligent life, because they have vastly superior technology, and because they have the element of surprise. If France has that kind of power and military efficiency, they could theoretically take on a future world. But if France is just one little planet out of billions in the galaxy, it is impossible for them to do anything, and unless they're downright stupid they wouldn't. But that little planet can attack another little planet and everyone else won't care.

    Now think about all the untapped supplies in the galaxy. That little planet would have better chances if it just colonized a world with resources but no one living there. Likewise, there's still space in the world for France to get resources. Maybe they're drilling in Antarctica or Greenland, where no one really lives. Or maybe they've found a way to efficiently mine resources from the bottom of the ocean. Some countries aren't very densely populated: Canada, for example, is geographically bigger than the U.S. but has a tiny population. For the right amount of money, they'd probably let other countries use that land and their resources. Who knows, maybe in three hundred years Canada won't be a single country anymore. Québec already wants to become its own nation.

    So maybe instead of your story being about France taking resources from other countries, it can be about France competing for the natural resources that haven't been used up yet--by 2312 CE industry will need far more than it needs today, and businesses could be more powerful than governments. Think about the possibilities. But France needs new technology, a smaller target, a new government, a sufficient motive, etc.
     
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  3. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Aesch brings up important points to consider -- another issue is, if France is "left out" from competing with other world nations for resources, it's obviously weaker or less cabable in some way, even if simply less capable at butting in. Therefore, how is it going to be able to start a world war: France vs everyone else?

    Think of it this way. There's a birthday party with a bunch of kids and they're all gouging into the cake. There's one little kid that can't get access to any cake, because the other kids don't share and he's not big or strong enough to fight for his piece. So he gets out his Nerf guns and water balloons and boxing mitts to launch a war against the other kids: every other kid at the party versus him.

    Seeing how things went with the cake, is this kid really going to stand a chance in his war?

    It's like that with your plot, it seems.......
     
  4. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Exactly. Makes for a really terrible plot.

    I have to sit down and consider deeply, "What events would cause a world war? What events would cause every nation to start killing each other again?"

    Right after I hammer down what the world is going to look like 300+ years from now. First thing I need to do is print out a blank map of the world, no country boundaries at all, take out a pen and draw the borders.

    Then I have to consider all the things that could happen in 300+ years that would provoke France to go to war, and how the rest of the world would respond.
     
  5. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Why France? If you're going to use France and have it competing against the rest of the world, it's got to be powerful, not puny.

    What about this - France is the superpower, then everyone else resents France for hogging other resources? You know?

    If France is to be the victim of not having enough resources, then it might pick a war with, say, the most powerful country. But this country has allies, so it turns into a world war on its own.
     
  6. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    At least there is a simple solution to this problem. Don't write from a perspective where the tactics come into focus.
     
  7. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    What do you mean by that? I would imagine you'd have to know something about military strategies if you're writing about battles and stuff. Especially since I'll have to figure out how the French and her allies should invade and how the other guys should stop them. To me, it seems the war's gonna be mainly in Europe and Asia. The USA as we know it doesn't exist in 2311 CE, having divided itself into 50 states after the American Civil War II in 2105 CE. Whether the new nation-states wish to join, I'll leave it up to them.'

    Eh...would the fifty independant states be called "nation-states" since they're fifty nations that were once the fifty states of the USA?

    @ Mal- Good idea. Maybe France's the superpower and is the one hogging the resources.

    Hmmm...

    This will take years (in real life) to fully plot this out before I can even think of the protagonists of the thing.

    AH! Idea! Maybe the "world war" is just a war with all the superpowers? Not a war with every single country on Earth. That could ease up on the planning process.
     
  8. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    You said you wanted to write about a war. There whole bunch of ways to write about war, focusing on battles and stuff is just one way to come at it. You could just as well write from a fugitives perspective, or a shopkeepers perspective, or a politicians perspective.
     
  9. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Ah, now I see! Cool.

    I think I want to focus it on the perspective of my protagonists. The way I'll organize it is that each of my protagonist will be from another nation that's either for or against France. For instance, if my protagonists are French, Dutch, Scottish, German, American and Canadian, I'll set it like so:

    #1- French soldier.
    #2- Dutch soldier.
    #3- Scottish soldier.
    #4- German soldier.
    #5- American-Virginian soldier.
    #6- Canadian soldier.

    ....and the pattern will repeat. There'll be times when they'll meet each other, like my American-Virginian soldier could have a pint of whiskey at a pub with the Scottish and Canadian soldier. The next chapter would then be told from the perspective from my Canadian soldier.
     
  10. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Why not rent a few library books about military strategy? Lots of novels involve having to do research.
     
  11. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Good idea. I'll do that. I'll also read The Art of War (if that's the title). I heard many a military leaders had this copy.
     
  12. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Are you sure you want it old to be told from soldiers point of view? All soldiers share the same type of challengers, the same type of social structures, the same perceptive and the same type of every day life.

    I think the book would be better if you had some other perspectives among the nationalities, even if all of them are the type of characters you can find close to the front lines. Journalists, Red cross, prostitutes, commanders,,,
     
  13. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Hmm...That might be better. Told from a different person who's role is different in each chapter.

    EDIT: I'll probably go with Dutch spy, German Red Cross nurse, French commander, American-Virginian soldier, and British journalist.
     
  14. Aeschylus
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    Aeschylus Contributing Member

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    That sounds like a lot of characters to tell a single story, Link. You don't want to have too many viewpoints in the same story. I think what w176 means is that you should have characters that aren't involved with the military aspect of the war at all. Someone who has very limited knowledge of what's going on in the war and feels the experience directly. For example, a schoolteacher who sees through his daily life how things are changing, with only government propaganda to get information from. All the characters you listed are directly involved with war efforts.

    Also there's no reason to have people from so many countries. Wouldn't the culture get confusing to you too? Unless you're knowledgeable (as in first hand experience) about all these different countries and their cultures it would be hard to keep track of them. And if it's a worldwide war wouldn't you want to mix in non-europeans too?

    Why is the soldier American-Virginian? If Virginian is a nationality at this point, would American still exist? Also that makes it sound like his family immigrated to American from Virginia. Like Italian-Americans or Japanese-Americans.
     
  15. Momo
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    I don't know much about military strategy, or anything really, so I don't feel completely comfortable adding my idea, but here I go anyway :p

    About your original post and trying to make it so France is strong enough to be a threat but weak enough to have a reason to begin this war on the world: perhaps France is the first or only country to completely militarize themselves. All resources are poured into the military regardless of civilian needs. I don't know if this would work for you if you want to make France appear as the heroic country, because a measure this severe would certainly create devastating hardships on the common people of France. I could see it working if you're trying to make the militant aspect of France appear as though it's a massive machine and the people of France are victimized just as much as the countries it is attacking. The "machine" that would then be the militarized France could essentially turn on its maker (the French people), sort of becoming an out-of-control wave of consumption. It could also lead to interesting resistance from the people and to quote Miss Teen South Carolina in 2007, "everything like such as". :D

    Maybe that idea is too far fetched, but I can't be sure. I'm not educated enough on politics, economics, etc.. to know :O

    I hope that makes enough sense to where you understand what I'm trying to say and I'm sorry if it doesn't :(.
     
  16. Leonardo Pisano
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    Leonardo Pisano Active Member

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    You can have the French having invented some kind of powerful weapon, but for this to materialise they need some rare earth materials (nowadays, many of these such as lanthanum are used in mobile phones and solar cells -- most come from China...). So their first goal is to get access to these materials and secure its supply. This provides you a focus strategy - which I guess is needed to make the story believable.
    By the way, a new weapon I have heard of is a bomb that consists of micro bombs -- bullet-sized self-searching rockets. A kind of swarm. You can research this [start with Googling "unmanned aerial vehicles" (UAVs) - wikipedia has a page] - the "novelty" is the miniaturisation and is credible because of your 300 years in the future.
    HTH
     
  17. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would suggest looking up info on WWII. Germany was a country that was stuck in a depression and several other problems. They eventually turned into a major power the rest of the world had to contend with.

    Germany didn't start by taking on the entire world. They started by conquering their neighbors. Although, in the end their main problem was they did try to take on the entire world and were overwhelmed. They had some of the best and most advanced weapons at the time.

    Since your story is set in the future, the political climate may be different from what it is today. The US may no longer be a superpower due to internal conflicts. Or Canada, Mexico, and the US may have joined together in a single nation. Take a look at the state of affairs in your world and see how things are going. Battle sites are going to be important, especially if rival countries are trying to get more resources.

    Technology would have advanced somewhat as well, but be careful with how you use it. Look at the current world for example. The world is locked in a nuclear stalemate. Everyone has nuclear weapons, but threat of massive retaliation from their neighbors keeps anyone from using them.
     
  18. Tesgah
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    Tesgah Member

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    The key is allies; how many do France have, and how powerful are they? France could start out as a weaker ally of say Russia, then backstab them when they become very weak. If France is going to take on the world, then she has to be a master of diplomatic manipulation, as well as haveing a strong economy and military.

    An even more important question; will France succeed at conquering the world?
     
  19. Peregrin
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    See, this is why I don't mess with real world places unless I'm just going to go nuts with my story and it's practically not the same anyway. I like to make my own worlds, or else confine the story to such a small area that it doesn't matter.

    In response to your issue, however, I say to tread carefully. You'll likely go through a lot of drafts to get it where you want it. Focus on one or a few single elements and build around those. Also, study some war history. You may even want to simply mirror the events of an old war and simply restate them to suit your needs.
     
  20. AdurianJ
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    AdurianJ New Member

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    I have been thinking of a slightly similar story (well not at all really).
    Where a small fleet of alien spaceships arrive and want to take over the earth so they can live there, they cut a deal with the Americans which is the most powerfull country to "share" power and the rest of the world is hung out to dry.
    A coalition led by France refuses to accept the alien incursion and do battle with the invading aliens.

    This could be a backdrop if onw tone down the Alien element to a mere catalyst for a major war where the power ballance changed immensly and new technology was aquired.
     

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