1. Simmy1993
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    Simmy1993 Member

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    Is War in Space done to death?

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Simmy1993, Mar 29, 2013.

    This is technically my first ever post on these forums so I beg you to be kind!

    I am considering attempting to write a few stories set in my own universe in which great factions wage territorial war throughout the cosmos. That sentence however cover a lot of concepts already done in sci-fi, I shant mention any for fear of doubting myself further. I was simply wondering if you think it's done to death? OR perhaps that you can do any topic any amount of times?

    Really doubting myself!
     
  2. Nee
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    Nee Contributing Member

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    Every story has been done to death. There are only 37 stories or so anyway, so just write your story in the best way you can do and take it from there.
     
  3. sylvertech
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    sylvertech Active Member

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    As long as you do not faithfully copy the exact same words as another book than you are fine.

    While I believe there are a bit more than 37 stories, Nee was close to the truth.

    Basically every single book written both solidifies the present cliches and introduces new ideas,
    so I suggest you read a lot in the genre you intend to write about,
    and so perhaps some ideas you were considering using as a main feature would still be used,
    but you will have more original ideas from your own.

    For example, if I were to think that laser swords are cool and intend to write a story about them,
    I would read some books that include this, and then I would get an idea of how to include them and whether to do so at all.

    And again, I repeat, the goal is to be aware of your precedents and climb over their shoulders.
     
  4. Xatron
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    Xatron Contributing Member

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    Actually i believe the bare core ideas number less than 37 (at least the good ones). And no, it isn't so much saturated as much as it is underrated. In the last decade and half there have indeed been a large number of works of that theme with most of them being below average, resulting in the whole genre being considered "done to death", as you said.
    Write your story. Make it good. People will read it.
     
  5. SwampDog
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    SwampDog Contributing Member

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    Something is only done to death when nothing surprising or different happens any more. The challenge is in finding that angle that's unique in your style/content etc.

    The response you may want is, Wow! I didn't know sci-fi could be like that!

    As an example, a published friend of mine's MC has a pet pig. And it has character. Possibly unique. Certainly different.
     
  6. davidheath23
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    davidheath23 Member

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    The biggest thing you can use to differentiate your story is either the characters or the world itself. Yes, the "intergalatic war" aspect has been around for a long time, but it's still possible to create unique, likeable characters without relying on the same tropes and concepts that have been done to death already.

    A good example of this can be seen in the original Star Wars movies versus the prequels (yes, they're movies, but were still written). The original films were successful initially because of their cool, cutting edge special effects, but they endure today as classics because of the cool characters. Compare that to Episodes 1 through 3. They also pushed the envelope in the SFX category, but will likely not be remembered 20 or 30 years from now because the characters were flat, uninteresting, and had no clear motivations for what they were doing.

    The setting (in your case, space warfare) is secondary compared to the emotional impact that people and places will bring to your story.
     
  7. Xatron
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    Xatron Contributing Member

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    Actually, the original Star Wars series remain remembered until today because the new series (Episodes I through III) were so abysmally bad that they make anything else look good. But we still love Han Solo. And hate George Lucas.
     
  8. Ian J.
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    Ian J. Active Member

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    George Lucas is not a good writer (or arguably director). What the first movie's (Ep. 4) script had was a collection of ideas that hadn't been collected that way before, with a distillation of character archetypes from 'Hero with a Thousand Faces', that suited a young boys adventure idea well. The dialogue wasn't exactly scintillating, as most of the actors have said, and he is much more of a technical director rather than actors' director.

    The second film (Ep. 5) had more experienced script writers (Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan) and a more human-centric director (Irwin Kershner), and the improvements remain marked even today. Lucas, I believe, has always said Empire was his least favourite of the films, and the thing that makes Empire most Star Wars fans' favourite film is probably what turned Lucas off: it's more adult approach to characters and relationships.

    The other (current) four sit firmly with Lucas in control, either as overseer (Ep. 6) or as director (Ep. 1, 2, 3), and consequently have his less human warmth approach stamped all over them.

    The Disney take over of Lucasfilm, and its consequent move to do Ep. 7, 8 & 9, together with the understanding that Kasdan is back on 8 (& 9?) as a screenwriter, might actually bode well for them. But expect even more 'War in Space' to be filling our screens whatever happens.
     
  9. Xatron
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    Xatron Contributing Member

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    I have high expectations from ep7,8&9 since J.J.Abrams is directing them. So look forward to them :)
     
  10. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Mass Effect had a space war theme.

    Honor Harrington had a space war theme.

    Star Trek had a space war theme.

    Babylon 5 had a space war theme.

    Basically, huge-ass wars in space have been done to death, as stories about wars fought here on Earth have been done to death. All that matters is what you do with that theme.
     
  11. Pheonix
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    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

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    Welcome to the forum!

    Don't doubt yourself.

    Space wars are awesome.

    Nuff said...

    No, but seriously, if you do it originally, and put your own spin or spark into your story, it doesn't matter how many times it's been done before. If you have a story you want to tell, tell it in the best way that you can and don't worry about how many other people have done the same (or at least similar) stuff. Know what I mean?

    Hope this helps! :D
     
  12. Ian J.
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    Ian J. Active Member

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    Abrams is directing 7, but I don't think he's been confirmed for 8 & 9 yet?
     
  13. GHarrison
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    GHarrison Senior Member

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    I would also like to express my support of new inter- and/or intra- galactic diplomacy stories. As a side note, I'd ask the OPer: Do you actually say "shant" (shan't) when you speak? I thought that went out with the 1900's...
     
  14. Xatron
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    Xatron Contributing Member

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    I read an interview where some executive said that unless he himself decides otherwise Abrams will be directing the trilogy. If he does decide otherwise he will only direct ep7.
     
  15. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    My pet clichè peeve: in real asteroid belts the the rocks are many thousands of miles apart.
     
  16. Simmy1993
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    Simmy1993 Member

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    Thanks everyone for the advice, I've begun to write a bit, sketch down some ideas and what not and I'm feeling really passionate about the idea! So again thanks, shocked how many replies it got but really grateful for them!


    In short? Yes, I do.
     
  17. GHarrison
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    GHarrison Senior Member

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    Ok, cool. I don't hear it used at all, but maybe that's just in American english.
     
  18. Simmy1993
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    Simmy1993 Member

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    I wouldn't say it's widely used in Northern Ireland, or the UK in itself entirety, however I just find it a nice word, personal preference and all that.
     
  19. GHarrison
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    GHarrison Senior Member

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    I used the word oughtn't once in conversation. It got a pretty big laugh.
     
  20. Ian J.
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    Ian J. Active Member

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    I use 'shan't' occasionally (contraction of 'shall not', of course), but I pronounce it 'sharnt' with a short 'r', as against with a short 'a' as in 'ant'.
     
  21. Nee
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    Nee Contributing Member

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    Yes the basic number of story patterns are clearly less than 37: but then the argument can be made that the total number of combinations of stories is higher than 37...though still not much over a hundred however.
     
  22. DeathandGrim
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    DeathandGrim Contributing Member

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    Someone called?

    But on a more serious note, you'd be hard pressed to find a story that HASN'T been done, you should be more focused on doing them your way to make it unique
     
  23. Simmy1993
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    Simmy1993 Member

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    I chuckled far too much when I caught on what your username was. However you are right, I was just freaking out a little because when you think of sci-fi you have so much to live up to, but I came to the realization that i'm writing for pleasure, i'm not writing a novel to be published so I should just have fun writing it. As it goes my writing so far is actually yet to mention combat of any kind, it's moving more towards the diplomatic side of such a scenario with the intrigue and backstabbing that comes with it.

    Thank you again to everyone for their help.
     
  24. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Think of this way: how many people lament that Battlestar Galactica and Firefly didn't go on forever? Or their favorite sci-fi series was only a trilogy? There's always demand on something proven a great idea, so just write your version of it and don't worry about it being done to death :)

    (unless it's insect-aliens... j/k)
     
  25. SidChewsBarbies
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    SidChewsBarbies New Member

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    I'd try to focus on just one aspect of real science that maybe hasn't been done to death. For example 'Forever War' was great and was about a war in space (blah) but it had these amazing parts that focused on what relativity really means, and the consequences for soldiers who spend hundreds of years travelling to the fronts.
    'Stone' focused on the implications of quantum nanotechnology, that had become sentient.
    Other examples are isolation, new lifeforms (like a sentient gas cloud...no fart jokes), or maybe the idea of a dying sun or something. That's the stuff that really grips me. The background.
     

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