1. blakegarcia
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    blakegarcia New Member

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    I need feedback on this idea.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by blakegarcia, May 1, 2012.

    I'm doing Extension 2 English and need feedback on this concept

    My concept is set in an afterlife where an individual is trying to escape death and dealing with the fact that he is given the knowledge that he won't. Sounds a bti confusing but in essence, its a lot of phillosophical exploration. The story explores the predestination paradox as its a metaphor for the way in which complete liberation from religious ties can be a freeing prospect but at the same time condemns an individual to a life where tragedy can occur without reason.

    Any feedback is welcome.

    Also any ideas on how to make it more original could help.
    Sorry abotu the lack of detail, i couldn't really write the whole plot out :p
     
  2. Nakhti
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    Nakhti Banned

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    I don't think this is a story yet - it needs a plot first! What you have there is a theme, which is all well and good, but books written purely as a vehicle to explore a theme are quite often really heavy going and uneventful. STUFF needs to HAPPEN to make it a story worth reading.

    You have a main character (althought you haven't really elaborated on him) and a goal (trying to escape death?) but you don't have any specific actions that he attempts in order to attain that goal. Then there's the question of what is opposing him? If it's just some abstract concept of the predestination paradox, then I guess this is a man v fate story? Those are bloody hard to pull off, IMO.

    Good luck!
     
  3. Kesteven
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    Kesteven Member

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    Yeah, could you not write the plot out because it's too long or because you don't have one? If it's the former, I'm sure you could manage a summary of some kind. What actually happens to the character?

    Also watch out because too much philosophical musing can choke a decent concept. It should be fine as long as you use the medium to demonstrate the ideas rather than just talk about them, and dilute it with plenty of drama and pathos and so on.

    You might also want to take the afterlife to setting development - afterlives can be a fascinating setting, but only if they're done well.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A story concept means nothing. What matters is how you write it: the characterization, the flow, the imagery, all of it.

    There's absolutely no benefit in asking what other people think of the concept! They'll either say,"Sounds great," or, "it sounds like a ripoff of..."

    If the idea stirs you, write it. Then ask people what they think of the final story. After they tell you what they don't like about it, revise it, usually several times, until you're happy with it or until you throw up your hands and say the hell with it.

    Please read What is Plot Creation and Development?
     
  5. The Tourist
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    The Tourist Banned

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    Well, you're on good footing. This is the story of my life.

    I have spiritual beliefs. However, I think a lot of organized religions are run by shamans and users, and this has caused me problems. Additionally, crime now can happen anywhere. My favorite B&N coffee bar--a quiet place with managers and surveillance cameras--just had a sexual assault in one their bathrooms. Crime can now happen everywhere. Our religious leaders are routinely arrested for a host of embezzlement and perversion charges.

    (Of course, I do not know what the afterlife might offer. ;) )

    You clearly do not have to create a fictional fantasy place. Throw a dart into a map. Make that location the center for your story. In fact, get a subscription for that city's newspaper and make your story historical fiction.
     
  6. blakegarcia
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    blakegarcia New Member

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    Right, well i've made changes and such and I'll include a summary. Origanally this was the idea but it seemed to dodgy a cocnept though I feel it's more of a story then my afterlife idea.

    Essentially it's set in a satirical dystopian society remiscient of the cold war period and those stuck behidn the berlin wall. The story starts in the afterlife experience and sets the phillosophical tone for the rest of it. Once returning to the present because well he wasn't really dead so much as a near death experience. He see's a girl he knows telling him she was the cause of everythingn. So we backtrack several years.

    In this society all of the individuals have red balloons attached to a bracelt n their arms. Kind of a symbol for the grasp of the communsit regime during the cold wall. When the narrator is a boy he recalls watching 'The leader' kill his mother and then make a theatrical specatcle of it (the leader is a really absurdist character, speaking mainly in rhyme etc.) though the leade rdoesnt kill the boy, instead forces him to work in the fctory where these balloons are produced. During this he sees a suspiciosu looking girl.

    Fast forward.

    the boy is selected to become a 'collector' (yeah kinda cliche) after one is killed and he acts like a reaper for the leader who feeds from the energy the ballons suck from the people. More cold war allusions. Throughout the story the guy has this religious complex where he wants to take life into hsi own hands because he can't believe in a god who causes suffering, so in essence denouces the idea of faith.

    three quarters in, he is chased by an angry crowd who discover he is a repaer. a coomennt on the way in whcih we try to avoid death. During the chase he runs into a house which he thinks its abandoned but it isnt. In fact the girl living there is none other then the repaer who supposedly died. (she faked her death) too top things off she was that suspicious girl who'd been watching him at the start.

    She reveals the big plot twist which is that the gus mother and her mother were repaers, working together on a flying device powered by the balloons whcih would take them all over to the fabled promsie land over the wall. This girl's been watchign him over time and fake dher death when she was sure he would egt chosen as teh collector so she could let him in on he plan.

    Tension ensues. But eventually he agrees to help and they start this kind of underground revoloution.

    On the day they are due to fly out though he wakes up and kind find the girl (who at this point is the love interest) and goes outside. He sees her talking to the 'leader' who sends his men in and take everyone's tongue and tries to kill him. Thats whenn we go back to reality where shes apologising for causing everything, and turns out she told the leader. So this guy gets mad and befor eshe explains herself, he locks her away with the help of the others and starts the machine. (kind of like a dramatic, despite all they've been through they stll have strength etc) his job is to pilot it, get to the top of the wall and drop the ladder down to the other guys waiting below.

    He gets to the top and looks ove the other side to see a society the same as this on except with different coloured balloons. He reaches into his pockket and finds a letter the girl put in hsi pocket telling him she knew and then there's this monolouge about how whether or not there is a God, faith is important as it gives people hope that there's soemthign better. And without hope you doom yourself to a cruel world nto worth living in. So he looks down at the gusy below and destroys the machine. Condemning them to this life consumed by vengance, but having that faith on the other side of the wall being different.

    SO thats the whole plot kinda. Well my best attempt at summarising it.
     
  7. naturemage
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    naturemage Active Member

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    Extension 2 English? Is that a course or something?
     
  8. aimeekath
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    aimeekath Senior Member

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    Sounds interesting and it's good that you've got more of a plot now.
     
  9. Nakhti
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    Nakhti Banned

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    Your summary kinda proves Cog's point: story concept means nothing. This could be the most amazing story ever written, or it could be complete gibberish. No one will ever know unless and until you write it.
     
  10. Gonissa
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    Gonissa Contributing Member

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    While I don't agree that a concept means nothing -- it means quite a lot frankly -- I will agree that there is not enough meat to your description to determine whether or not the concept will work. Just because a concept alone cannot tell whether or not your story is successful does not mean the concept is unimportant.

    Thus concludes today's nitpickery rant.

    In any case, what are your main characters? What's your setting? Come on, help us out here.
     
  11. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I really like your idea - if you do ever write this, I'd love to read it. Sounds fantastic.

    I'm a Christian but I appreciate any genuine exploration of faith, and find it an interesting concept.

    The only thing is - now of course since I *am* a Christian, it's gonna colour the way I see it - would it not be a good idea to not allow the reader to see what is on the other side of the wall? "The other side" can be left open for the reader to think for themselves. Is the other side really as they imagined? Whereas your idea currently says this: "The other side is not as you dreamt but having a dream is better than having no dream at all." That itself is a very bleak view of the world, which is reflected in having your female protag betray the rebellion.

    And one more concept of faith - whose word are you relying on? Faith is conviction, yes, but it is certainly based on something. If a Christian says, "I believe in God because of the Bible" - then the Bible is their source. If an atheist says "I don't believe in God because there's no scientific proof" - this lack of proof is their source, or the inherent logic and independent nature of physics. But either way, it is based on something, and it is usually based on what someone has said.

    Thus, what you need, I think, is a figure of hope - someone to carry this faith. You need evidence that the other side is better - whether it is or not is irrelevant - you need something to convince your characters that it's worth the risk.

    And one plot flaw - I fear if you do not explain why the girl betrayed everyone, you'll leave the reader unsatisfied. Bear in mind she's the love interest, female protag and the leader of the rebellion - your readers have invested a lot of love and emotion into her. You'll either need to gradually develop her so that she shows signs and hints of betraying everyone, to allow your reader to at least attempt to understand her motives even if it's never spelt out, and also for your reader to put some distance between themselves and the girl. Otherwise, it'll be a major loose end.
     
  12. live2write
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    live2write Contributing Member

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    Question I have is how can you escape death when in the afterlife physically you are dead. Unless death is an archetype for hell. I feel like you are better off either explaining more of your plot or changing your concept or even refining it.

    It is a story about existentialism? Is the story about finding a hierarchy of belief? How did the person end up in the afterlife afterall? Or is the character in limbo or a chose trying to escape the next process to proceeding to death?

    If you get rid of the setting "Afterlife" it sounds like the movie Final Destination or my favorite "Flatliners".
     

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