1. Afion
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    Afion Senior Member

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    Is this idea too unrealistic?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Afion, Mar 12, 2012.

    I have an idea for a scince fiction story where a dodo is discovered and splits the world into factions: the people who want to release it into the wild; the people who want to clone it ect. Is it too unrealistic?
     
  2. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Who cares? Write it. If you do it well, your readers will love it. If you do it badly, they won't. Realism doesn't enter into it.
     
  3. LTC
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    LTC Member

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    Is there a reason you are concerned with realism? That sounds like a plausible conflict for a science fiction novel to me. Science fiction isn't exactly known for being realistic, but more theoretically possible. Presentation will also affect the level of realism.
     
  4. BlizzardHarlequin
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    BlizzardHarlequin Senior Member

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    I believe that if the story makes complete sense with good punctuation, grammar and such and such..

    It doesn't matter what the concept is and as said above me, Science Fiction isn't exactly the most realistic.
     
  5. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    In writing you need believable rather than realistic. A great story, fun characters, the right setting can make a fantastical story feel real. Get the elements wrong and a trip to the supermarket on a Wednesday in Croydon can feel unbelievable.

    If what you propose here is unrealistic and can't be turned into a story - my stories are in big trouble lol
     
  6. BlizzardHarlequin
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    BlizzardHarlequin Senior Member

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    And to be honest, if people told J.K. Rowling that she'd never make it because her story about people going to a magical school in the middle of an ocean with thousands of flying dirty dishrags worshiping a man with no nose, we wouldn't have Harry Potter.
     
  7. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    Does plausibility matter to you?

    What do you mean by factions?

    Do you think people would be sufficiently animated by this issue to form groups that might undermine other social ties, like those of family and so on? (This seems to be what you're hinting at).

    I suspect that for most folk, as things stand, this issue would be no more divisive than say whether the delightful Anglophile, Madonna, is past it or whether Ben and Jerrys is better than Haagen-Dazs.*

    By all means write it, but if you intend the piece to be something more than knockabout fun, you might think upon the plausibility of what you're suggesting.

    *Past it since '87 and BandJ. HTH.
     
  8. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    If you want it to be plausible, give people specific reasons for caring so much, and give each side heavy stakes. For example, maybe the dodo bird contains some kind of nutrient/chemical in its anatomy that could cure cancer, but there are equally important motivations for letting it go free (besides sentimental "last of the species" stuff) or maybe there are equally disastrous consequences that would happen if the dodo was cloned/used.

    Maybe it can start off being about a dodo bird, but the more the characters learn, the more the plot becomes about.
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It's too unrealistic only if you can't write it convincingly.
     
  10. MsScribble
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    MsScribble Member

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    Actually if one lone Dodo was found I'm pretty sure there would be a large part of the science community who WOULD want to clone it. And there would be others who find the who concept of cloning icky. It might be more realistic that they'd want it released into a wildlife sancturary where it could be protected, rather than the wild, but as others have pointed out its up to you to make the reader think that this is really happening! Go for it.
     
  11. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    Up to a point.

    Some ideas are better than others. Full stop.
    They are more fruitful. They are fundamentally more plausible.

    If an idea requires extraordinary and elaborate efforts to make it vaguely plausible, it’s a bad idea. Notoriously, Shakespeare gathered his stories from all over: borrowings from history, quasi-history, fables, yarns. Some of them are nonsense frankly. Such are his powers he often makes them work but not always. He relies – knowingly, we must suspect – on the goodwill of his audience.

    We might reflect that we are not all Shakespeare. We almost certainly lack Shakespeare’s talent for generating goodwill.

    Nobody really doubts this notion that some ideas are better than others, incidentally. Dicsuss deus ex machina about these parts and most people, probably with some justification, respond that it is a bad idea – that it is a naïve, unsatisfactory, unbelievable; that a resolution that depends on character and the logic of the plot is better.

    Indeed, all other aspects of the craft are discussed in terms of whether things will work or won't work. People are making peremptory judgements about the rightness of elements all the time. Many of those judgements have merit.

    Peculiar that some folk will not extend this willingness to judge to the overall concept.

    Bad ideas can certainly be made to work, yet good ideas can be made to work better.
     
  12. ScarletLarn
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    ScarletLarn Member

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    Well it's a very interesting idea and I personally really like it. But, I would have it that the Dodo debates are just the ignition for greater debates/discussions/arguments. Otherwise it actually doesn't matter how ridiculous it is as long as you can pull it off! If written well, readers will love it no matter how unrealistic!
     
  13. Anonym
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    Anonym Contributing Member

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    Weeeell, the Dodo was a flightless bird that stood over over 3 feet tall, and was native to a single island which was something like 800 sq miles.

    It's not the faction thing: release vs clone, etc. that seems a bit unrealistic to me, but finding a living Dodo at all. On the otherhand, extracting DNA from a 400+ year old Dodo skeleton would allow for plausible cloning, repopulation of the species. Dunno if you could work that into your plot, but maybe it helps.

    Having a personal interest in ecology and environmental ethics, the debate/faction aspect of it intrigues me. Of course, it all depends on how you write it. Good luck.
     
  14. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    Pretty random idea, but i highly think it's possible. It seems realistic enough to me.
     
  15. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Obviously it is your story and you can decide what it will be about, but I don't think the fate of dodo bird is important or significant enough to divide the world. If you come up with a much more significant, preexisting source of disagreement, you can have dodo bird issue come up at some point in the book, but there has to be more to it than that.

    Think of dodo bird issue as just one of many conflicts in the story, but you still need a premise, such as, "after the cloning became possible, the world split into two blocks - the block fiercely dedicated to scientific progress and full control of nature as a way forward for the human race, and the faction dedicated to traditional values and spirituality, who see "playing God" as wrong, and as a sign of upcoming apocalypse."
     
  16. Shpob
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    Shpob New Member

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    It might be realistic, if written well.
    But the important question is: will the reader care?
    The dodo is my favorite extinct animal, hands down--so I think I'll care. But what about everyone else? How will you make us care about that poor dodo and the conflict growing around it?
    My favorite childhood movie was about a little toaster and his appliance pals that get lost and find their way back home. A toaster. Realistic? I...hope not. But they made me care and that's why I remember that movie.
     
  17. NotoriousLynx
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    NotoriousLynx New Member

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    This is how I would design this story:

    I wouldn't make it a worldwide conflict if that is what you mean. Sure, it is gigantic news and what will happen to it will be large as well, but war is unrealistic. I think you should work on the more political side, where cloning vs. setting it free becomes a debate on par with abortions and gay marriage. After the politics are explained to the viewer, you can have a shift of perspective from a group of eco-terrorists who end up stealing the dodo.
     
  18. Ettina
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    Ettina Active Member

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    As for making the dodo sympathetic, that's easy - just make it a character. Have the perspective character interact with the dodo a lot, give the dodo convincing emotional reactions and such, basically make it act like a beloved pet. (You may want to figure out what's the dodo's closest living relative and research their behavior to make it convincing - I get a bit sick of every exotic animal acting like a dog. But it shouldn't be to hard to personalize the dodo, as a nonhuman but compelling character. Kind of like Mr Popper's Penguins.)
     
  19. mutinytrev
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    mutinytrev New Member

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    I agree with the above; realism is non important. That is the fun of writing fiction! The best advice I could give is to make sure your characters are relatable, and are dedicated to whichever side of the dispute they are on. Also? Wish the Dodo luck for me!
     
  20. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    it is no more unrealistic than the idea behind standing on a butterfly can affect the whole of the world.
     
  21. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    Useful to make a distinction between realism as it relates to non-human phenomena ( dodo existing ) and realism as it relates to human psychology (what to do with dodo?).

    It is the distinction upon which - I suspect- good fantasy/ good soft sci-fi depends.

    Let’s say we open a novel in which N.America has, overnight, split apart on a line running north south between the Gulf of Mexico and Hudson Bay. We are left with two continents, with, let’s say, a fifty yard gap between them. This might offend geologists somewhat but I could live with it, and I suspect others could live with it too. Perhaps, indeed, our writer is a geologist with rather unconventional ideas about the nature of plate tectonics or whatever and doesn’t do a bad job of making that sort of thing seem possible.

    The writer then goes on to paint a picture in which, people are wholly unmoved by the event; people are not fearful that further splits might occur; people do not grieve for the friends and neighbours that were lost in the initial split etc etc

    I don’t think any reader would live with that. The reader cannot relate to these characters. They are not like her. She can’t empathise with them. Can’t cry with them. Can’t share their elation. The story arc may be dazzling, may whisk her to the far corners of the galaxy, but it will all be for nought. Even if our writer could make the reactions of his characters seem somehow plausible, the effort would be for nothing since the fundamental problem of his readers not giving a flying fuck would remain.
     
  22. Kestrel
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    Kestrel Member

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    I don't think it's a serious enough issue to 'divide' the world. And I think if there was only one left, not many people would want to release it into the wild for it to get eaten or run over by a truck. Rather than it dividing the world, why not think about the conflict it could cause between, say, the people who found it and the people (who may care only for it's welfare) and those who want to make money from it (by putting it in an exhibit, for example). Just a thought!
     
  23. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Unless it is like the Giant Tortoise and so delicious ... now that would make it valuable and cause serious issues. Now actually finding a Giant Tortoise might work - they were basically eaten into extinction because they were supposed to be the tastiest meat ever. They took a long time to receive an official name because the sailors ate them before they got back to Britain.

    Scientists would want to get their hands on it so they can extract DNA and do tests etc

    Wealthy collectors would want it.

    Maybe have an arguement between two super powers about who found it first ?
     
  24. Late Starter
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    Late Starter Member

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    Could you not look at it slightly differently?

    Someone has already engineered and released loads of dodos into remote areas around the world and nobody knows how or why - some people want a mass cull, some want T-Rex to be next on the "bringing back to life list" etc

    One final dodo's neither here nor there.
     
  25. Hellchoseme
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    Hellchoseme Member

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    As long as the reader can understand the events in it, that story would be fine. Believe me when I say my ideas are way more far-fetched than that.
     

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