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  1. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    Great setting, no idea for a plot. Sigh...

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by WriterDude, Jun 9, 2011.

    Here's a story I've been struggling with for some time. It's a bit complicated, but here goes:

    Imagine if this whole world was created in the image of Heaven. The trees, the sun, the animals, even the people are "angelic". If you look at a normal version of an angel, it looks suspiciously like a human with wings. And now image there's another world out there (or realm, dimension, whatever) that's created in the image of Hell. We're talking black, spiky mountains, volcanoes, red sky, nightmarish creatures and so on. The people there have dark red skin, yellow eyes, sharp teeth, claws, the whole thing. In other words, they look like demons. Even so, that world is not evil any more than ours is. It's just different. I don't mean to be racial, but imagine if a caucasian who has never been outside his all-caucasian home town went to a city full of black people who spoke a different language, and you see what I mean. Everything is different. The culture, the music, the food, even the movies are different. But neither city is goor or evil. They are just different.

    Now imagine if one of these worlds found the other. People do what people do best, and a war would break out for protection/control/resources/defense/whatever. This would cause millions, even billions of people on either side to be killed, so a small company is doing everything they can to prevent the two worlds from knowing each other. In short, they carefully choose the genetically best parents from either world and have them donate sperm and eggs (not always willingly). They then use these resources to create geneticaly superior children with a parent from both sides.

    So far, so good. My main character is a woman with parents from either side, making her look angelic-human with yellow eyes, sharp teeth and a few other funny traits. She has lived as a guardian of the city for a long time, and she knows she will be living alone the rest of her life. Funny thing is she's fine with it. She say it's worth sacrificing one life to save many, even if that one life is her own, and the "life" she sacrifices is her social life. Heck, blowing up a building and killing a hundred people is worth it if it means she will save a thousand.

    And so for the question. What would the story be? I don't want the usual "save the world" crap. I'm thinking she can meet another one of those guardians (a hunter, actually. This one hunts down things from the other side my MC can't handle on her own. They are both women, so there won't be any romances. Probably.) Maybe it'll be inspired by Moby Dick, of all things. But I could really use some ideas.
     
  2. mootz
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    mootz Member

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    Sounds like the nightmare before christmas a little bit. Big musical numbers and clay-mation...


    The story you set forth almost begs for a 'save the world' scenario or a love scenario though you are denying the need/want for either. Perhaps something to do with just overtrhowing the company, or taking control of it for less evil tactics would be a good story.
     
  3. JimFlagg
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    JimFlagg Contributing Member

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    I don't see how you would tie Moby Dick in because it is a story about a captain who wants to get revenge on a whale for doing what was in the whale's nature.

    As for a story. No one can help you come up with a story for if they did then it would not be your story but theirs and you are just writing a fanfic. It is some thing you have to do on your own. We can only help you if you have written you self into a corner and want advise on how to get to your next plot event.

    Good Luck.
     
  4. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    Nightmare before Christmas? I guess, but this one takes place in the real world. I want it to be as real and realistic as possible, except for that other world thing. It's not a fantasy story or sci-fi story.

    And sure, it would be nice to take the easy way out and let her save the world. But the way I see it, the two worlds have co-existed for thousands of years already, so why would they be in trouble today? And even if they do save the world, what then? They have to save both worlds, putting them back to square one and the story goes nowhere. Love story? Maybe. It would be a lesbian superhero love story, and that just sounds too cheesy even just mentioning it. And overthrowing the company? Sure they breed children to be guardians, and sure the children have to live alone their entire lives with no contact with the outside world. Or at least think old-school, secret Batman without a Bruce Wayne-identity. But they are doing it for a reason and are not really evil. If the MC overthrows the company, there would be no one left to protect the two worlds, so they indirectly destroy both worlds.

    On top of that, I'm setting this up as a potential franchise, like with all my stories. If I publish it and if people enjoy it, I need to have the basics for more stories. That's why the story has to return to status quo after the finale. In a way that means I can let them save the worlds, but I want to avoid that. It's too common. And if they save the world in this story and I write a sequel, what would the sequel be about? Saving the world again? :)

    The way I see it the MC is a guardian of the city and protects it from the other world. But there also have to be hunters hunting down things outside the city. In a way, think of the MC as the police force and the hunter as the FBI. The hunter can operate all over the US as needed (and in teams when needed), but the MC has to stay in the city. The Moby Dick-story would be the hunter tracking down a big monster and trying to kill it. She has been following it for years already and made it her personal quest. The MC will simply follow her and help her kill it. I admit I haven't actually read Moby Dick yet (though I read a comic book base on it years ago), but I think I got the basics.

    But you are right, this has to be my own story. Guess I'll have to work on it for a while longer. Thanks anyway. :)
     
  5. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Based on what you say is the manner in which your story is related, I would say, no, you didn't get the basics. Not even close.
     
  6. Patrick94
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    Patrick94 Active Member

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    Sounds a bit like the end of The Saga of Darren Shan, where Evanna has a child from a vampire and vampaneze to help keep order.

    I think you could do a save the world style one. There's a reason it's used so much
     
  7. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hehe, guess I need to read the book. But it is about a guy chasing the whale, right? And he's joined by that Ismael guy? So we'll have the hunter (Annie) chasing a big monster, and she's followed by her own Ismael (Cara). Alright, maybe it's not even close to Moby Dick, but at least it's a monster hunter. :D And maybe that's the story. I had a draft where they chased down a shadow wolf, or a wolf made entirely out of shadows. It was etheral, so they were unable to even hurt it unless it attacked. (it became physical just before the attack, then went non-physical again). It was a bit ridiculous with them going into the sewer and fighting it using, uh, flashlights, but it could work.

    Vampires? Um... sorry, but no. But imagine if there was another realm populated entirely by vampires instead of humans, and you get the idea. If the humans find the vampires, they will try to kill them all. If the vampires find the humans, they will kill them all. So we need to have a person that's genetically the best part from vampires and humans to protect both worlds. (imagine a vampire with super-strength and great agility who can walk around in daylight and doesn't need to drink blood, and you get the idea.)

    I could go for a save the world-story, but it's too common for my taste. Though I've been thinking of writing this as a tv-series, with several short stories instead of a long one. Each story can be about different things, but there's an overal story leading to the destruction or the world. Or saving it. :)
     
  8. thaiqr
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    I think the story is potentially ingenius. The first book (as you mentioned franchising) could of course offer background on the setting and characters. Maybe the in between isn't only a company, but a city literally in between, inhabited by hybrid defenders, etc, etc. Ideas:
    -Love affair between one of the light and one of the dark, from either side of the city. They want to be able to be together, but the Corporation ends up separating them and erasing both of their memories of eachother.
    -The Corporation City collapses, causing the two worlds to collide. Causing all out word. Perhaps allegory for some sort of world problem. Meh. Purposed writing fml.
    -Someone from the Angelic world is selected for breeding program. They are briefed, etc. However, he is deeply evil. Decides to try and use situation for their own personal gain. It ends up sending a message about appearance and how it is not always the best indicator of purity. Demon ends up stopping him...
    my twopence.
     
  9. Mist Walker
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    Have them try to end the world?

    Another possibility is that they accidentally come into contact with someone, it's the first of that type of person they've met so as ridiculous as it is the main character falls in love while the reader knows it's stupid. The main character has to blow up a building, begins having doubts, want to get out. That leaves you with escape, 1984 ending, or death for the main character. All of which pose interesting ways out for continuation.

    But, if you want to franchise it. Please, please make sure it's originally set up for that. Leave loose ends etc. if it's a novel. It sounds like it would be fairly well suited to a TV series though.
     
  10. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    Since the inhabitants of each world doesn't know about the other, the cross-breeds need to keep their own existence secret, correct?

    If one of the cross-breeds is spotted by humans, they might think she's a monster and start hunting her. Maybe they imprison her, give her a trial and try to burn her at the stake. The story becomes about her attempts to escape.

    A lesbian superhero love story sounds like something I'd read :) If your cross-breed main character lives outside normal society, and only has a person of the same sex to talk to, it sounds natural that they start to explore homosexuality. It's what often happens in real life when people are isolated.
     
  11. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm sorry to say that whenever I come up with ideas like this, I slap myself and remind myself that I don't write epic fantasy crap.

    It might be fine for you, and you might do well, but I raise my eyebrows at those sorts of ideas/plot bases and say, "Really?"
     
  12. dizzyspell
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    dizzyspell Active Member

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    Yes it is. You have half breed angel creature thingies running around in another world. Classic fantasy.

    Anyway, a lesbian superhero love story sounds awesome. Do that. :)
     
  13. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    Exactly. There are only a few of them, and they all work and live all alone. The short version is about fifty kids are born this way in a lab, and they are all trained for survival, martial arts, with weapons and so on from an early age until the mid-teens. However, they are forced to hold a tournament once every year where they fight to the finish. And I mean the loosers are killed. While this sounds brutal and cruel, it's because the fate of both worlds are at stake, so the guardians need to be 100% commited to the cause and do whatever it takes to get the job done. Their whole lives will be dedicated to preventing a war, so a few lives isn't important in the big picture.

    But because of this, the story is a bit difficult to write. I want the reader to feel sorry for the MC and her tragic fate. She is doomed to be alone her entire life, always keeping an eye on a city that never sleeps, but never being able to be a part of it. She can't even go to a restaurant or to see a movie. But at the same time, it's important to remember why she is the guardian. She was in the tournament like all her siblings, so she had to become a coldblooded killer and kill her own brothers and sisters. (as in the childen born at the same time as her, in the same lab.) As a result, she is torn between doing what she thinks is the right thing and what society thinks is the right thing. She doesn't want to kill anyone and always try to avoid it, but sometimes she doens't have a choice. In these cases, she has to get the job done quickly and efficient with no remorse or regret. It's all about not having a choice.

    She tries to work in the shadows and stay out of sight, but that's kinda hard if you have to set an apartment building on fire or kill several bad guys. But that's where the superhero-thing comes in. Sure she has yellow eyes, sharp, wolflike teeth and all that, but she made a costume to go with it. If you look at her in her costume, she looks human enough. But if she removes the costume, you notice some of the "costume" is part of her. It's an easy way to hide in plain sight and her best weapon by far.

    I'm not sure if I will go so far as call them lesbians, but you're right. There are two women living outside society with only each other for company, so it will make sense that they become more than just friends. But don't get your hopes up, it will not have long, dirty sexual scenes. Any sexual will only be hinted at.

    I guess it depends on what you call fantasy. There is another world out there, but the whole point of the story is to keep it hidden. The main characters are half-angel, half-demon hybrids, but you forget that "angel" and "demon" in this case both mean "human". So rather than saying half angel, half demon runnnig around in another world, they are more half angelic human and half demonic human running around in this world.
     
  14. JimFlagg
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    JimFlagg Contributing Member

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    Why are you having a hard time? I think any one one feel sorry for some one whom was forced into a life of solitude.

    So what are you having trouble with?
     
  15. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    Having to live a life in solitude is a tragic fate, yes. But what about someone who has no problem killing lots of people? Think about the World Trade Center-incident. She wouldn't have had any problem blowing up both buildings just to kill one person, if she knew that person was a threat. If she sees a woman getting raped, she probably wouldn't do anything to help her, simply because her mission is more important, and she didn't want to risk getting exposed. She could even blow up a school full of children if one of the teachers was a potential risk. So how can anyone feel sorry for someone like that? And keep in mind she will mention the other world several times, but we will never actually get to see it. So how do we know it exist outside her head?
     
  16. WoodenPaw
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    What ever you will write is upto you but if you are looking for someone to tell you that the idea of writing a story of a guardian to protect the two worlds is good then honestly, its sound really good.

    But what makes her different from other Guardians? she can blow a school to hide the truth, well any guardian can do that because of their training.

    She is loyal to company, I think all the guardians are and will be.

    She would have a lesbian affair? or a love affair with a male one?..hmm... I think the training of company was not good. don't go for a "Ninja assassin" kind of story..lol. or you can write a better one.

    So make her different from other Guardians and if you also want a love twist then include someone from world, not from company...lol.
     
  17. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks. I don't need anyone to tell me the story is good or bad. What I'm looking for is if it's realistic enough and (more important) how you see the main character. I also needed some kind of plot, but I know I will have to come up with that myself.

    What makes her different? Not much. Every city has at least one guardian, depending on the size of the town or city. This one is big enough to be a big city, yet small enough to only require one guardian. She survived long enough to become a guardian, and this city was picked at random. But there are other guardians out there, as well as those hunters I mentioned. A hunter will have a large part of the story too, but neither of them are special in any way. That's very important and why I don't want the worlds to be in trouble. I don't want this to be enough "the chosen one saves the world" story. It's more a character-based drama, just with another world involved and all that. Kinda like how Dune is set on another planet, yet it's not really a sci-fi. It's a drama in a sci-fi setting. ;)
     
  18. AJSmith
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    I would still feel sorry for her because those behaviors are a product of necessity. The reason to feel sorry for her is her solitude, and you would make a point of getting the reader into her head to experience that feeling.

    I think some sort of event or discovery to cause her to change they way she does things is endless fuel for interesting plot ideas. The impact doesn't have to be on the world. It can be on her or someone she knows. Or... the plot could focus on taking the reader through one of these 'threat' incidents and the events surrounding it - sort of like any detective novel. When you gave the example of killing everyone in a school because the teacher was a risk... what risk was the teacher? What story surrounds that? A sub-plot of her lesbian romance would just give you more avenues to help the reader explore the MCs own needs/wants/issue/etc...helping to make her easier to relate to.
     
  19. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks, AJSmith. I think I've been focusing on the wrong thing for a while. I thought of having the guardian as a secondary character, but maybe she should be the MC. That way I can take the story all the way from when she's a kid all the way up to the present and let the reader know what she has gone through and is still going through.

    As for the teacher, he could simply be interested in history, mythology etc and suspect that there is something out there. We have plenty of stories about Hell and painting of demons. The teacher could simply start to wonder if it's real or not. The guardian can try to convince him it's not, perhaps by threats. But if he keeps investigating, he will eventually learn the truth. That's bad enough, but what if he started telling the students about it? Most of them wouldn't believe him, but some might. They again would tell others, and so on. So the best solution would be to blow up the whole school and kill everyone. That way the teacher won't be able to tell anyone what he found, and it would take care of any students he might have told in the process. Sure a lot of innocent people would die, but the risk would be worth it. To her, at least.
     
  20. JimFlagg
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    JimFlagg Contributing Member

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    Ah yes, I can see what you mean. That is what we call a, "Love Hate". I know oxymoron. These are great because we both want to see the MC get a break but at the same time we want to see them get punished for killing kids.

    Personally, I would not mess with it. It makes your character complicated like Tony Stark. They are not bad but not good either.

    P.S. If you pull this off, it will separate your story from the rest. I am looking forward to reading it.
     
  21. AveryWhite
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    I find this really interesting. And I think has a lot of potential. In your description you talk a lot about the society, the people, the lives, where they come from, how they operate.

    And maybe this is the problem - you’re trying to make it become bigger than it needs to be. Personally I was really intrigued and drawn in by the different societies. And then how they meet in the middle to create the genetically superior children and the woman as the guardian.

    I think this story could be a kind of human story. (Except they’re not really humans) Explore the people, the characters their lives really deeply. And yes it needs a plot to be wove around but not too big, not to explosive or in-depth, just subtle to allow to develop your characters.
    I think this is the true treasure of this story. Not the plot. Discover the worlds, bring the reader into they’re stories and knew worlds. I am really excited by this.

    But I do have an issue with it. I am holistic/spiritual and did not agree with your version of the Heavenly world. If these people are just human people who are born as good and righteous then that’s fine, because humans aren’t perfect. But I had a feeling it was like you were trying to put heaven and hell against each other. And if that was truly heaven with true angelic beings I just can’t connect with it.
    Often people create an image of heaven and goodness and angelic beings as very pure and full of light, yet then they say that they go to war, fight over ‘control/resources’. These are dark things, so how can the opposite of dark have dark within themselves. The Buddha when reaching enlightenment has peace and light with all things and never does anything dark or violent or wrong. That might hurt others or himself.

    So I think its fine to have this aspect of good humans going to war against the dark race to protect themselves, as long as you don’t hold them up to be too angelical, to perfect, to pure.

    There is no violence in the light. Only peace. Even in the face of death.
     
  22. Protar
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    I'm not really sure what the problem is? Angels? Good. Demons? Good. Lesbians? Gooood.

    seriously though, just have your characters overthrow the company and set up a new order of guardians, you know with people who are there voluntarily. Then sequels can focus on them protecting against various threats. Also are these worlds different planets or dimensions or what?

    Also at AveryWhite I think the whole point of the OP's idea was that the worlds weren't actually heaven and hell. They look like them but neither is more or less evil than the other. I think anyway. Apologies if not.
     
  23. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks for your interest in this story. I'm not sure how much of it I want to put on the internet, and especially not in a place where anyone can steal my idea. But to try to describe the idea bit short:

    It's a bit complicated already, and getting more and more complicated as I go along. But to try to make it simple, first ignore God, Heaven and Hell. All we had was this world and a world that was very different. The human nature tells us to be afraid of things we don't understand, and when we are afraid, we often turn hostile. The two worlds used to know each other, but (insert explanation I'll think about later) and the worlds slowly forgot about each other. Maybe it was that company, who knows. But anyway, people still remembered fragments of the other world, just like the people on the other world remembered fragments of us. The important part is neither world is good or evil. They are just different. So when people created religion (not God, just religio) they needed to teach people that our world was good. But to do that, they also needed to tell us there is an evil world out there. We only had stories about the other world and the occasional painting, but it was enough to build upon. Over time, people accepted that this world is good and the other evil.

    Now add religion. When people needed to describe Heaven and Hell, they described it as best they could so people would understand. Thus, our version of Heaven is very much like a glorified version of our own world. Hell on the other hand is an exaggerated version of the other world. But the same goes for them, so their "Hell" is our "Heaven" and vice versa. And that's the most important part. Heaven and Hell might and might not be real in this story, but they are no more real or fake as in our real world.

    And that's where the Guardians come in. They are bred from the genetically best parents from both worlds and do whatever it takes to protect both worlds. That also means there are guardians on both sides. The ones who look mostly like us are on this side, and the "demonic" guardians live on the other side. Neither world is good or evil, but if they found each other, war could break out.

    As for hunters, they serve the same purpose as the guardians, but travel around wherever they are needed. Most stay in one world, but a few travels between the worlds as needed. The common think between Guardians and Hunters is that they all live alone and are 100% independent. They can work together in some cases, but for the most part they are alone. Not because they want to, but because they consider themselves dead and will do anything to get the job done. Even sacrificing themselves isn't much of a problem, as they consider themselves dead already anyway.

    I hope that made sense. I have an idea for a story, so let's just hope no one steals it before I can write it. :p
     
  24. AveryWhite
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    Hey WriterDude.

    Just to say i liked that idea :) and the fact that even though they are perceived as good and bad neither world actualy is.
     
  25. thesims
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    I fail to understand where the "big monsters" come from if the two worlds are identical to ours, save for the heaven/hell characteristics.

    Now I know you're not asking for setting-oriented advice but I also fail to see how a teacher who suspects the existence of another world presents a threat. What's standing between these two worlds? Is it space (as in, two planets) or do they exist in different dimensions? Unless there's a magic gate connecting the worlds like Margaret Weis' Death Gate there's no reason, in my mind, to kill hundreds of children for one "threatening" teacher.

    Also skills ≠ commitment, I find it silly for the Company to hold tournaments where their precious guardian teenagers die. Strength is in numbers and it makes no sense to go through the hassle of breeding and raising these hybrids and then kill them off because they aren't as skilled as their peers.

    Anyway, for the plot: if you go down the lesbian path you could have both characters escape from the Company. The story would revolve around their attempts to hide from hunters and fellow guardians, who track them down to keep them from being discovered by either world.

    Or they could find hints of the existence of another company with less honorable intents (or so we think). The two entities would wage war against each other and perhaps unwillingly reveal their existence to the two worlds.

    Two questions about the company: who are these people, angels or demons? and how do they take these sperm/egg samples without donors knowing?

    Final thought: if you're afraid posting your idea will result in people stealing it, don't do it.
     

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