1. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    Future not "future-y" enough?

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Commandante Lemming, Jul 20, 2014.

    Question for the masses regarding writing the future - how much control should I keep over my vision of what it will look like? My story takes place 20 years from now, and I have a pretty clear view of how to plot technological advances - or rather the lack thereof - I'm being purposefully very restrained in my technological advancement because my goal is to pull the reality in close, so as to create a plausible "world built by today's children." And on top of that my society has lost a certain sense of ambition and become complacent.

    That said, my critique group (especially a few members who do a lot of sci-fi) are repeatedly and emphatically going after elements of my reality not being futuristic enough or not conforming to how they think society will evolve...so how committed do I stay to my reality? I'm really committed to not doing "Back to the Future" but the question is how to play it so that people stop saying "I'm not buying this as the future." (I keep wanting to ask if they've been to the future since they know so many irrefutable facts about it)

    Here are some specific things I keep running into:

    1) One guy keeps hitting me every time I use the word "smartphone" (multiple weeks) because he thinks the term will have exited the lexicon and they will only be called "phones" because dumb phones will no longer exist (I disagree on both points).

    2) My story is set in a newsroom and there are a bunch of flatscreen TVs - I've been told this is unrealistic because the screens will just be part of the wall not separate devices (again I disagree although this could happen without a lot of interruption).

    3) I keep running into the criticism that my characters work at a cable TV network and everyone thinks TV channels can't exist in the future (Here I REALLY FIRMLY disagree - there will be more online integration but not total obliteration in my opinion). And as a corollary, I keep getting slammed for the fact that one of my characters writes exclusively for the channel's website and is not on TV as they insist the line between the two will be gone (this is my BIGGEST disagreement as I know the industry and even online subscription channels draw a line between their "on air" stream and the text/YouTube content on the website).

    I do want to say that I've gotten a ton of good, tough criticism of my worldbuilding that I've used - but I'm getting really tired of being told my future isn't futuristic enough when it's not that way on purpose. Any advice?

    I do want to say that I've gotten a ton of positive criticism of my worldbuilding that I've used - but I'm getting really tired of being told my future isn't futuristic enough when it's not that way on purpose. Any advice?
    I do have tech advancement - tablets have made laptops obsolete and everyone does work on tablets with snap-on keyboards. There have been huge advancements in wearable technology, a lot of younger people have fiber-optic clothing that lights ups, young people are "natives" with GoogleGlass and smartwatches. Tons of devices have "kinesthetic remotes" and can be controlled with hand-waves (although this isn't written yet). So, it is somewhat futuristic - but I'm trying to keep it in the background rather than shoving it down the reader's throat.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2014
  2. Bryan Romer
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    SF used to be called Speculative Fiction. And that is what we are talking about - speculation. Your guess is as valid as anyone else's unless they work in Apple or Samsung and they know something is already in development.

    If anything, the word "phone" might disappear. Communicative capability along with some form of wireless Internet connection will become so widespread that we might be talking into shirt sleeves, coffee mugs, or paper thin electronic documents and everything will be a "phone".

    I personally don't agree that TV's will be integral to the wall. Moving it around to allow minor redecoration would make that impractical. Very thin, very light TVs that could adhere to the wall might work, or even some kind of screenless projection.

    If your vision sees it that way then go with it. Don't allow yourself to be pushed into "writing by committee".
     
  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I actually agree with the guy, from a linguist's POV. It's what I do for a living. But my agreement depends on how you're using the word. Phone is a core word now and no longer part of the linguistic edge following technology. If what it basically still does is phone people, it's a phone. Smartphone may well still exist on into the future as it does today, as a marketing term. It's whatever's better than what you've got in your pocket right now. I never call my iPhone my smartphone. It's my phone. This doesn't mean I don't hear the term on television, but, as already mentioned...

    Here I agree with you. Televisions that are integral to the wall sound really whizbang n'all, but they don't answer to marketing strategies. It immediately deletes the possibility of repeat business.

    No, here your critics are just full of shit. Sorry, but they are. You are correct. 20 years from today isn't going to look a whole lot different from today. Trust me, TV and books have been promising me the future since I was a kid in the 70's and only a teeny tiny part of what I was promised has actually shown up. Cable channels will exist. Youtube will NOT replace television. At least not in 20 years' time.

    I actually like the restrained approach you are taking. One of my biggest peeves in sci-fi is the fantastically and utterly different world of tomorrow in just 10 years' time trope. I was griping a few months ago in a thread made for griping about bad sci fi and the topic came up. The film Event Horizon, besides being criminally bad, is set in 2063. No. En. Oh. No. You don't get amazing giant space-folding spaceships in just 40 years. No.
     
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  4. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Do you recall the Dilbert comic about the "Gruntmaster 2000"? The joke was that marketers come up with new names for the sake of a new name. Go 20 years back and look at the communication device names and the rest of the tech lingo for that matter. Every year there are new names, new devices, and in 20 years that is a lot of progression.

    They probably won't be called 'phones' or 'smart phones' or 'tablets'. Make up a new name altogether.

    I have a similar problem. In a hundred years what will videos and phones be called. Right now I'm using 'vids' and 'coms' but I'm not happy with either. My dilemma is in finding new terminology which will certainly be used, but not having the reader ask, what is that device?

    I'm still working on it. :)

    In 20 years screens will be paper thin and projected on multiple surface types. Just do a Net search of future devices and you'll find the technology for making any and everything a screen is nearing market ready.

    I'm pretty sure given people are already switching to platforms like Netflicks and given companies like Comcast are buying those platforms up that people will be watching TV on their computers.

    What remnant of the TV market will be left in 20 years remains to be seen. There are still households that have TVs but not computers. My DVD player just died (think built in obsolescence) and the new one I bought (cheap) came with 'aps' for Netflicks and, I kid you not, 100 other platforms akin to Netflicks including playing YouTube videos on my TV along with regular DVDs and Blu-ray.

    Your copier or TV or printer or fax machine or DVD player goes bad. It's time to get a new one rather than to get it repaired if they even make the parts. They quit making batteries for my camera, I had to get a new one, and, I think you get the picture. So most every household will be forced to upgrade to computer TV devices and 20 years is about 4-5 upgrades distant.

    I'm on my fifth computer since I moved into this house ~20 years ago. So that's a computer upgrade every 4 years on average.

    My new DVD/Blu-Ray/100 apps player does not have a keyboard or a word processor. But in 20 years, I don't see a future with many TVs that are not streaming content through the Net. I get my cable TV and my Internet through the same cable, but a couple years ago Comcast quit sending analog, everything is digital and one needs their digital receiver.

    So, I'm pretty sure cable TV and Internet TV will be one and the same in 20 years.

    I found a wealth of information by searching future technology.
     
  5. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Phones: I agree that dumb phones will continue to exist, but I don't agree that people will regularly to use the term "smartphone". I'm so old that I grew up with rotary phones. When touchtone phones came along, we didn't say, "The touchtone phone rang while you were out." We said, "The phone rang." I expect the same to be true for smartphones.

    Even today, does it sound natural to you to say the following?

    "Sorry I missed your call; I had my smartphone on mute."
    "We just got the baby to sleep, and my smartphone rang."
    "Hang on a sec; I want to put my smartphone on the charger."

    You'd just say "phone" in all those cases, right? Even when the discussion is specifically about smartphone capabilities, people use "phone".

    Flatscreen TVs: However, I'm with you on the TV. I think that TVs will continue to get lighter and thinner. They'll likely get their signal wirelessly. But I see no reason why they'd be habitually embedded in the wall, or why walls would for some reason all become some sort of TV wall. You may hang a TV the way you hang a poster, but I think you'll still hang one.

    On the other hand, I would expect the term "flatscreen" to fade away; when all TVs are flatscreen, it's a meaningless distinction. When referring to the occasional tube TV, you'd probably say "tube TV" or something similar.

    Channels/web versus cable/etc.: I don't see any inherent logic in the division between "on air" and web. However, I also don't think that it's likely that all of these networks and other content providers will all get together and agree on some single smooth system of organization and delivery, either. I'm quote confident that there will be lots of different content creation and delivery corporations. I'm not sure about the survival of the term "channel", as a way of defining a corporate entity, but I wouldn't expect it to completely vanish in twenty years.

    I am slightly puzzled by "I keep getting slammed for the fact that one of my characters writes exclusively for the channel's website and is not on TV." When you/they say "on TV" does that mean that they're assuming that all of the writers will also be video presenters? That seems implausible.

    Devices: I see a tablet with a snap-on keyboard as being a laptop; I'm not sure which term will survive, or if there will be a new one. Also, if enough people are running around with Google glasses, it seems to me that a wireless keyboard would be enough--you'd type away and watch your text in your glasses.

    Edited to add: Hmm. If you were a couple more decades in the future, I might expect the on-wall TVs to go away altogether--everybody wears glasses, and when they want to look at the same thing, they gesture or something. But not in twenty years.
     
  6. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hate to say it, man, but the technological bits you and your friends are debating over are exactly the kind of things that one would expect to change and fast. This is where all the technological advances are happening. It's where consumerism is, and its one of the things nanotechnology is constantly working toward improving. Probably hard to say exactly what will happen in 20 years, but something will happen.
     
  7. PensiveQuill
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    I think what your peers are hinting at is that technology is accelerating, rather than changing at a constant space. 20 years ago was 1994, I didn't even own a mobile phone in 1994 and in my country 1996 was the first year Nokia's in palm sized format were available and they were just phones. Nothing else. They didn't even have colour screens. And it was around this time that the now extinct device, the PalmPilot had hit the market and was the best thing since sliced bread, and all they did was sync your phone contacts, calender and emails. And not very well either. Again they didn't have colour screens either. And 20 years before that most homes didn't even have a computer in my country. We had video players with clunky huge black cassettes, not even a DVD and you had to wait 2yrs before a film in the cinema was released on video.

    Fast forward 20yrs now every man, woman and child owns a computer in their pocket of various brands. I can do more things with my iPhone than I can do with my laptop. Very few phones even have keypads now since touch screens are so ubitquitous. Voice recognition has advanced to the point where anyone can casually command a phone to dial anyone. I can watch any film release on DVD within 3 months of it's release and I can get that DVD from a vending machine in a shopping mall, or I can watch it online.

    So when I look back at this and think, technology took a massive acceleration around the mid 90's and it has only continued to accelerate. Which is why your peers don't buy that TVs will look the same, there will be such a thing as a smartphone, and perhaps TV channels will be unnecessary. They are envisioning that these old technologies will simply die out. And in a way I have to agree, I see no slowing down in the rate of change of technology. I expect 2034 to look as different from now as 1984 looks from 2014.
     
  8. ToeKneeBlack
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    For the last 100 years, cars have had 4 wheels and an engine, generally. The shape, controls and power source have evolved over the century, but the basic concept of a "horseless carriage" has remained the same, even if the name has changed.

    So when we have holographic slabs instead of televisions, will people call them a new name, such as "holovision", or still opt for an older term, such as "TV"? We can only guess at this point.
     
  9. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    Having looked at some of the responses I'm probably going to cut the smartphones, do a better job of describing what a TV looks like, and do a better job defining how my "TV channel" works without changing the actual set up. Thanks so much for all the opinions, as I needed to get more detailed looks.

    For what it's worth, I do think that "cable TV" or something resembling it will survive - especially in the news arena. People like to channel surf, and there is a saturation point at which people don't actually WANT choice and customization (usually when we're tired, don't care what's on, and flip on the History Channel for no reason.) The other thing is to look at some of the more futuristic integrated media news platforms that exist now - a good example being the setup used by Glenn Beck's network "The Blaze". Blaze TV, available either online or via cable, operates as a TV channel - it is a constant stream of news/opinion content anchored by people sitting at a desk. The video never ends. So while you're not watching it on TV, the format is the same as CNN or FoxNews. In addition to that, TheBlaze.com offers things that - by definition - don't work on TV - articles, columns, YouTube videos, etc. So, even when media and internet become fully integrated, there is still going to be a differentiation between "TV Content" and "Web Content" from the same outlet. Which, in my case, means I do have separate (although connected) editorial structures for the TV journalists on "WWN" and the web-content journalists at "WWN.com" (or whatever I end up calling it).

    As for the restrained future, it has been a really fun sandbox to play in. I actually didn't set out to write a "speculative" piece. The plan was to write a political drama that just happened to exist in a world where a few modern issues have gotten out of control - I wanted to used sci-fi level worldbuilding in a modern-realist setting. However, since a lot of what I watch and read is worldbuilding/sci-fi/fantasy I can't help but have a structure with some bleed over from everything from Star Trek to Asimov to Game of Thrones. So now I don't know what to call it - I started out just saying it's a "political drama", then it became "mildly speculative political drama," then "epic social science fiction disguised as a modern political thriller." So whatever it is, it's pulling from multiple genres and I'm just hoping it works something like Michael Chabon's "Yiddish Policemen's Union", which in structure is totally a detective story but takes place in a rather fantastical alternate reality.
     
  10. Mckk
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    Somehow what you wrote reminds me of the upcoming book called Lock In by John Scalzi.

    It's essentially a murder mystery set in a speculative future/modern setting - like what you're saying. It's set in today's world but some time a little in the future, it would seem, where certain technology has been developed. It might be worth reading his stuff to see how he handled the "futuristic" parts of his novel whilst setting it in a more or less modern/realistic world.

    Lock In hasn't come out yet though. Can't wait to read it!
     
  11. GingerCoffee
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    'Four wheels, seats, windows and an engine of a car' is analogous with 'you speak and listen through a phone'. The analogy might be stretched further but I'd argue your comparison misses some important aspects.

    First, there are new names for cars. Do you call an SUV a car or a truck? One might still call a hybrid a car, but for how long? Who stills calls cars automobiles? A few but it's less and less common.

    And surely the engine in a 2014 hybrid doesn't look like the engine in a Model T. Have you seen the transmissions in newer Subarus?

    Bottom line though is that TVs, computers, tablets, cameras, printers, copiers, DVD players, phones and miscellaneous other personal electronics have built-in obsolescence as part of the manufacturers' business models. I was annoyed I couldn't get a replacement drum for my laser copier. My son's answer was, yeah but I'd rather upgrade to a newer version anyway. Built-in obsolescence is annoying to me and normal for him.

    Twenty years is a long time for the evolution of electronic devices.
     
  12. GingerCoffee
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    My cable TV and Internet are already merging.

    Ever hear of 'tabs'?

    But when the cable company says here's your digital device we will no longer broadcast in analog, it doesn't matter what you want.

    The friggin cable company took away the picture in picture feature that was in my personally owned and paid for TV when they switched to digital. They told me I'd have to pay extra to use the picture in picture and have a separate cable connected to the TV.

    Which became a moot point when that TV broke because it was cheaper to buy a new one than to get it repaired.

    Sure, that's like the difference between recorded stuff and live streaming. Maybe you just need to name it 'live streaming' vs Net instead of TV content?
     
  13. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    For what it's worth - the evolution of electronics is an extremely interesting question and one that none of us have the answer to. i've always been fascinated by the "2015" of the "Back to the Future" world compared to the real-life 2014. On the one hand, we've not come close to their transportation technology and we certainly don't have pint-sized nuclear reactors on on kitchen counters ("Mr. Fusion"). At the same time - elements of their communication technology and graphics look positively archaic by modern standards.

    I think a big part of this is that for a long time in the 19th and 20th century - mechanical advancements, especially in transportation, moved at an astounding pace. hence people projected continued transportation advancement at what they thought was a similar pace. Of course, the information revolution directed advancement into the communications and computing industry - first with computers, then mobile phones, then the integration of the two as compute chips became smaller and smaller. So, my issue with future projections has always been that people project current trends to continue at similar speed, and don't look too hard at where things are actually going.

    In my "future" (which I'm sure will look nothing like the real 2034 when it arrives), I'm purposefully playing the game of stalling the technology that people think is going to advance the farthest and diverting innovation down another path (Reversing the "Back to the Future" paradigm). Hence, my phones and tablets and TVs all look very much the same and are almost conspicuously un-evolved (although with a lot more internet integration and the total obliteration of laptops). I do think this may actually happen as there's only so much you can do with a device that essentially consists of a phone and a tablet-computer screen. You can make it better and faster, but it may be approaching the point where it's like an automobile - the shape changes but the function and mechanics stay mostly the same. At the same time, I've projected an explosion of wearable technology a la GoogleGlass, and the massive integration of electronics into clothing and other everyday items (the President of the United States got his start as a Zuckerberg-esque wiz-kid tycoon who invented a way to encode data in paper fibers, allowing business cards to be read like USB drives). That, and since my whole point is about society getting complacent, I'm retarding development of advancements that focus on communication and infrastructure and toward advancements that enhance personal comfort.

    But that's only one of many plausible ways to envision the future - and I hope that's not the real 2034 - even it it is 2034 in my head :)
     
  14. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    All good points, I'm working on building it out in more detail. Although at the end of the day the world is imaginary. If I want them to have cable they have cable - or something - will figure it out eventually. Maybe I could give them free HBO - now THAT would be a huge leap for society. :p
     
  15. GingerCoffee
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    Just curious @Commandante Lemming, were you looking for our opinions or more for some support for yours? :)
     
  16. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    Actually I was looking for genuine opinions - and more specifically for how much pushback each of the ideas got. The ideas that got total pushback I'm definitely looking at changing. The ideas that got half-way pushback I'm going to think longer about but may leave the same. That and I think I'm just punchy right now and typing of a lot of slap-dash responses. I'll admit as much as anyone to seeking support if I get a critique that I really disagree with (not one I don't like, but one that I don't think is valid) - so I tend to use this forum as a "Court of Appeal" when I really think a critic is off base. Most critiques of my work I actually agree with.

    That, and I have a bad habit of reasoning through argument - if someone puts up an idea that might be constructive that I don't totally buy, I will launch back the reasons that I don't totally buy it and see if they convince me. I like that way of doing things and it helps me think, but it also gets me a lot of accusations of being an argumentative stick in the mud who doesn't listen. But I like give and take, and if I'm not convinced I try to reason things out to their logical conclusion. Sorry if that doesn't come across.
     
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  17. GingerCoffee
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    Just to elaborate a bit on my comment, when the members of my critique group have suggestions similar to what you are asking here, that is they disagree with something that is a major component of my story (plot), rather than just object and defend (which is a natural reaction), I try to drill down into the essential elements.

    Here's a recent example from my WIP. The protagonist has just met a new character that is destined to be a good friend as the story progresses. But the critique group kept saying they wouldn't get along off the bat like that. One is a rich city girl and the other a village girl from the forest.

    After a bit of 'yes buts' and some related discourse, we resolved the problem to my satisfaction. I've added awkward cultural encounters that provide conflict but not animosity. It makes perfect sense and won't derail the path to friendship between the young women.

    The idea was to think about what the objections actually were. It's not that the critique group objected to the story that these women would become friends. It's that they thought there would be more cultural conflict between the two given their backgrounds.

    I respect the opinions of the critique group. They can be more objective than I can. At the same time they might want to inject the story that they would tell (fan fiction ;)) which is not the story I am telling. You have to sort through the feedback to get to the underlying issues, don't just dismiss the opinions on their face because you want to write the story you want to write. You can do both, listen to them and tell your story your way.
     
  18. GingerCoffee
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    Meaning you are appealing with us to side with you?

    You might want to think about that, are you debating or simply telling them they are wrong?

    Why are they getting this impression? Why am I getting a similar impression?

    Try pulling the elements out you are aiming for. Your character needs to have the occupation you have given him because [whatever the reason is]. They don't find your future world credible because they see TV going the way of the Edsel? Isn't there an easy compromise here? Instead of defending what you think the world will be like in 20 years, consider readers may have a similar reaction as the critique group.

    Here's another example from my work. I initially had my protagonist using a number of literary references. She said things like, "sure, like I want to be a Stepford wife." It made sense to me because this group has access to thousands of books from Earth, but they aren't on Earth. The group said it wasn't plausible. It was plausible but the problem was they needed more backstory to understand. It was easier for me to just drop the literary references. They weren't needed.

    But I also did a lot to enhance the backstory so the reader would understand the situation better. I needed to fill in the blanks they were filling in incorrectly.
     
  19. chicagoliz
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    Hahaha. I regularly have about 30 tabs open at a time. It drives my husband nuts. But some long article I want to read but don't have time for when I first see it, an online store with something I am considering buying, sites I'm on all the time like this one and facebook -- I go through tabs all the time.
     
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  20. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's good advice regarding critique groups. I've benefitted a lot from mine, and especially from some of the people who have been pretty tough on certain aspects of the story. I'm still re-tooling my verbally abusive villain because I want her to pass some muster with one critic who really thinks that the entire basis of her character is implausible (you probably remember a few of my early posts about that critic - who thinks that the nature of journalism inherently prevents the rise of abusive managers). At the end of the day, the way I'm working it is that I'm doing everything I can to make her more relatable and contain her outbursts to situations in which she feels comfortable that whoever she is yelling at won't retaliate - but after a lot of conversations, including with friends of mine who actually work in newsrooms, I felt comfortable discarding the basic critique that "abusive editors at high levels are impossible and fail to meet the minimum standard of believability". I'd like to think that's a reasonable and respectful way to handle it, because I respect both the critic and his criticism.

    By the same token I've actually added a lot more "future stuff" to my future because the critique group really saw a disconnect between the future setting and the technology that characters interacted with. And my world is a lot more vivid because of that criticism. However, I'm not sure I'm ever going to please the people who write a lot of high science fiction with teleportation and massive tech advances and dystopian futures, because I fundamentally don't share their views on human nature. And from a writing standpoint, I'm not interested in the sort of distant future/high sci-fi settings they envision. My plot has nothing to do with the effects of technology - it's about politics and culture. So, I'm trying to figure out how to respect certain critics (and they are really good writers who I respect), when I mull their critiques over in my head and decide genuinely that what they are suggesting is either genuinely wrong or ill-suited for my plot - and then the next week get same critique with "as I've mentioned before, you need to change X." (In this case, my use of the term "smartphone" in the text comes up over, and over, and over from one person - to the point where I think I'm going to have to change the wording for no other reason than to stop the critique from dominating the comments - although this group seems to agree that I need to cut it anyway and I will take that.). Also, I don't know if there's a nice way to tell people that I would appreciate critiques on the story rather than repeatedly focussing on the technology in the background and debating whether that's how it will actually evolve.

    I will definitely consider middle-ground solutions, and am trying actively to do so.

    I'm not sure if it's worth getting into some of the more personal stuff, because I really don't want to argue. But I will respond to two of the questions posed, because I am interested in your response:

    "Meaning you are appealing with us to side with you?"

    No just seeing who thinks what. If I think I need to reject a certain criticism, I ask other people before dismissing it. If people unanimously tell me I'm wrong in rejecting said criticism, I will reconsider. I think rejecting constructive criticism is a big decision, and I double check before I do so. It's a mark of respect for my critics that I don't reject their advice without multiple second opinions. If my frustration with certain people (whom I respect, by the way) comes out in comments, then I apologize, but there comes a point where I think people should be willing to agree to disagree rather than continuing to whip the dead horse. I vehemently disagree with certain aspects of their realities, but I don't keep bringing it up because I like their work and what they do inside those realities.

    "You might want to think about that, are you debating or simply telling them they are wrong?"

    This is something I genuinely don't understand about how people think and react - If someone aggressively tears into something I write or say (especially if they use heated terms like "impossible", "beyond the limit of plausibility", "stupid", pick your term), I don't see the problem in coming back with a reasonable argument phrased as "I must disagree because of argument X, Y, and Z." If they come back with another response that doesn't seem to hold water, I don't see the problem in coming back with "I still disagree because of the following arguments, and what about the points I raised in my initial response". At this point it always becomes "WHY DON'T YOU JUST LISTEN TO ME?" - which I really don't understand because I would never ever say that to anyone over the age of 12, and I don't see why I should accept their argument if they are unwilling to address any of the points which I raise. (And yes, this is the point where I become angry, as this particular style of rhetoric really offends me). I usually disengage here before I say something offensive like, "because your argument is flimsy and unconvincing, because I've done great deal of college-level research on this topic, and I don't see why I should abandon said research if you are unwilling to refute it in some detail". I try very hard to disengage emotion and genuinely consider what people are saying, and do my best to react dispassionately - but I'm not going to concede an important point in which I have invested a lot of time and thought without addressing any of the reasons behind my position.

    If you have advice on how to react in one of those situations without compromising my ethics, I would sincerely appreciate it - and I mean that genuinely. If I snark a bit on forums I apologize - the HBO quip was in jest.
     
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  21. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I do recall your earlier issue.

    As for advice, it's easy. You just smile and say, thank you. :)
     
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  22. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Have you considered making this story an "alternative present" rather than future, to avoid the whole future thing altogether? The future setting doesn't seem to be necessary to your story; my impression is that it's just there to give you the freedom to change facts about the world to a larger degree?
     
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  23. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've thought about doing it as an alternate present - but at this point the future really has become a "character" so to speak. It's gone from being just a political drama that happened to be in the future to an exploration of a world where Millennials are the ones in positions of power (and have screwed up). The actual working title of the book is "Millennial Reign" - so I don't think I can pull it out of the future at this point :p
     
  24. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    That and I've given myself way too much cool technology to play with :)
     
  25. PensiveQuill
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    PensiveQuill Contributing Member

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    And yet, the future is also full of anachronisms too. We have eBooks now, have had them for a very long time. But books in print are still around even though they aren't really necessary anymore. They are an outdated technology that still kicks around because we like them. What about libraries? We don't really need them anymore as physical places either. We could just scan every book known to man and have an online library that provides you with time-limited access to the tome.

    The question of transport is an interesting one. Has that technology stalled from a lack of ingenuity? Or is it public policy? Is there a vested interest group keeping the old technology alive because they make so much wealth from it? All feasible reasons why a technology can advance in terms of invention but not in terms of commercial reality. The world is a complex place, and will continue to be so. Power struggles will always happen and it makes for interesting conspiracy theories. But, I think if that's the case in your writing them you need to introduce just a hint of the conspiracy along with the reality of it.
     
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