1. Teodor Pravický
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    Teodor Pravický Senior Member

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    how to begin?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Teodor Pravický, Jan 4, 2013.

    I'm currently writing some sci-fi, where most of the time should be spent on a planet where is sand almost everywhere. You know, deserts, maybe some hills and thats it.

    It is because one sand artist will do for me the pictures and small videoclips, so if you can play PDF videos on ipad or something, you can see how this stuff happens. Also there'll be PDF just with pictures.

    Problem is that I don't know if I should start by describing of alien livestyle rightaway. I liked one book from Arthur C Clarke that started by description of some primitive culture, but that may be because I'm kind of geek.
     
  2. idle
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    idle Active Member

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    You are giving us all the wrong reasons for having a sandy planet. It should be a part of your plot, of your story. Then you can ask yourself: "How do I begin to tell this story?"
     
  3. Teodor Pravický
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    Teodor Pravický Senior Member

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    Three earthlings show up and will have some adventure in there. The story will be about the adventure, but I can't start nowhere than on the planet and aliens are real weirdous.

    If I should compromise, it might be about some common thing in their world and introducing the differences just in moments and somehow funny, right?
     
  4. idle
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    idle Active Member

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    And the earthlings know much about the planet? If it's mostly new to them, you can start with their arrival and explain how things work just as they are finding out.
     
  5. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    The best way to start is by turning on your computer. Unless you do that, you'll look pretty dumb typing on your keyboard. After that its easy.

    I would suggest a world where the ground is all sand, and people live on islands that float in the sky. They have water and lush green foliage. People call them "oasis" That gives you the freedom to write about the sand, and still have a way of showing sustainable life for humans.
     
  6. Teodor Pravický
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    Teodor Pravický Senior Member

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    No the aliens will be made of sand, glass or something
     
  7. Teodor Pravický
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    Teodor Pravický Senior Member

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    They will know much about the planet. So I guess I should do that beginning with explaining lots of things interesting way and then who will survive first few pages, will get to the interesting things..
     
  8. idle
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    idle Active Member

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    You can still do the explaining bit by bit as they encounter it. A big chunk of description is hard to pull off and it'll probably put off some of the readers. But it's your choice. :)
     
  9. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    This sounds like the instance where the OP already knows what they want to do. I don't understand the idea of asking for people's opinions when they already have their mind made up.
     
  10. Teodor Pravický
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    Teodor Pravický Senior Member

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    Sorry, I just don't know how to begin and explain things. You see, I have an artist for it, so everything has to be made by sand, thats a first thing I can't change and the second thing is that earthligs will land up there and do some adventure.
    I should have to say it more clear perhaps.

    Anyway I don't like the oasis point, because it seems like retards are dividing from the rest of the world just because they couldn't survive. Remembre, it has to be an metaphore and these things do just Christinans people from what I know.
     
  11. Teodor Pravický
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    Teodor Pravický Senior Member

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    It seems always better this way to me too
     
  12. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Everyone divides themselves somehow. I was just trying to offer you a suggestion because that is what you asked. If your friend is a good artist, there should be no reason he can draw sand and nothing else. If you are looking for all sand world, that sounds like "Dune" to me. It's an old Sci-Fi book and movie. You might want to check it out.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087182/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

    It seems that there is a new version coming out in 2014 as well.
     
  13. MoonWriter67
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    MoonWriter67 Member

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    The best pictures will be formed with your words. A good story doesn't need pictures and videos to describe its settings. The whole IT HAS TO BE SAND thing seems to be causing a nuisance. How about you change so it's a more manageable environment. This will make the story easier to weave in. I really wouldn't advice keeping a problematic part of your setting just because you've got a special artist who won't do anything else for some reason.
     
  14. Teodor Pravický
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    Teodor Pravický Senior Member

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    Well, imagine that it's my early book from like 50 series career. It sounds bit insane, however if there will not be mantinels, everyone of them might be about same or similar things. It is just my choice to have it this way, the artist is just asking what she gonna do and made up things her way.
    I don't believe that my abilities are so good that I will make a good story just by myself. I think every creator needs to compromíse or it will just end up bad.
     
  15. Teodor Pravický
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    Teodor Pravický Senior Member

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    Cool, well I don't write about emperors in that way, because I think they deserve bit more respect. I liked realtime games based on that, there is lack of resorces and three kingdoms are fighting for them. Meantime sand worms eat their harvesters. This is brilliant!

    If I do everything different way except that planet is all about sand, it will be ok I guess.
     
  16. Hwaigon
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    Hwaigon Contributing Member Reviewer

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    you keep starting with "I have and artist who'll do this and that for me...", so basically, you're limited by your artist's
    vision of a sandy planet. It doesn't matter you want the pictures there, given you don't even know how to start. Also,
    you seem to be unsure even of the plot itself. Maybe reading Dune by Frank Herbert will give inspiration. Maybe engaging
    in a research into the conditions of desert and how to survive the intense heat, lack of water etc. will spark off some idea
    as to how to start.

    ...well, that's very bad. Why are you even trying then ? You have to believe in your story, in your vision. If it isn't strong enough to make it
    to the paper alone, then you'll never see it come to being.

    P.S.: How about starting with the MCs running out of water, dying of thirst ?
     
  17. Hwaigon
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    Hwaigon Contributing Member Reviewer

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    Seems too epic a story to chew not knowing how to start...
     
  18. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    why is the artist's lack of diversity deciding what your story will be about?... and why an artist at all?... is this meant to be a graphic novel, or an rpg, or what?... if just a novel, there won't be any art...
     
  19. Teodor Pravický
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    Teodor Pravický Senior Member

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    If I don't have the artist, I feel like a douchebag
     
  20. Teodor Pravický
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    Teodor Pravický Senior Member

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    I see where it is coming from, but I'm personally used to constantly read and reject things that I have written to see if they are not too lame.

    Yeah, dying of thirst is a way to go! It should be definitively somewhere
     
  21. Hwaigon
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    Hwaigon Contributing Member Reviewer

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    Oh yeah, I guess this is the feedback one gets here, the severe and blunt one, but sincere and true as well. One has a good deal of hard time here making up for his drawbacks, but in the end, I believe it's beneficial.

    ...what do you mean by the underlined sentence ? Thirst should be somewhere ? It's a bodily state...can't be anywhere.
    As for me, I understand only the first one; Yes, I believe thirst could - and very often is - problem number one in desert, so, you could start your story with
    the pertaining descriptions.
    You could use halucinations and imaginations conjured up by the brain as a reactuion to failing homeostasis of the organism, dehidration.
    Also, what came to my mind just recently - it doesn't have to be strictly a desert only, has it ? Borderlands, for example, portrayed
    life on a faraway planet and although the most of it is barren, it's pretty diverse in terms of terrain formations; rocks, mountains, reefs,
    valleys, see the screenshots for better idea. Rage, consequently, is even more diverse with whole rock formations blowing out the sun, etc.
    By using desert only, you restrict yourself from many possibilities, I think.
     
  22. Teodor Pravický
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    Teodor Pravický Senior Member

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    I may have use bodily state in a wrong way, but I'm not stupid :) Well, it seems the desert is just too cruel to make a funny story out of it, for this I think it will be done following way:

    There is a race that is made of the glass, throw some kind of spooky sperm with the egg into volcano and it will boil to this weird alien life.
    The aliens have glass bodies and funnel heads, so they can catch the sun light with it and direct weak laser pulses from their mouths to another alien, that's how is glass talking.

    So I definitively need some volcanos.

    Problem of the glass aliens is the nature. When the raining comes, plants starts to grow up. So they hate a nature and work for having the desert as clean as possible.

    Then two space agents show up in glass masks and will struggle with thirst somehow because they'll get caught or something.

    ---

    I think I should start with how aliens get laid, throwing next generation into lava, where it grows up. Comment more of their habits and straight away on earthling's adventure.
     
  23. Hwaigon
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    Hwaigon Contributing Member Reviewer

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    I never said so...

    As for the rest, getting entangled with such alternative form of life is a slippery path; I can see you have a clear
    idea about the aliens, but describing it properly, understandably, might be a problem. For another thing, how would
    you translate the "light" communication into the written word ? The only possibility is for the space
    agents to merely observe the "light" communication between the aliens. Narrating the story from the point of
    the aliens would be unwise...

    I didn't mention fauna in my previous comment. What I'm trying to say is that the setting of your story does not have to be necessarily a desert.
     
  24. Teodor Pravický
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    Teodor Pravický Senior Member

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    Yeah, but why? Is it boring? Is it too many informations just for the beginning? It isn't artistic enough? I need some informations to get over it, you know ;)


    I don't know, if I put a hills in there, it should be about some kind of escape over hills otherwise I don't need them. I'm always trying to made up things as simple as possible, because then the reader can thing about what volcano means and do, not distracted by other useless stuff.
     
  25. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    You do realize most deserts have an oasis, real or imagined?
     

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