1. Wild Card
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    Wild Card New Member

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    I've got a plot seed. Who's got water?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Wild Card, Dec 29, 2008.

    Right-o. This idea came to me on Christmas Eve, and I've been turning it over in my head ever since. I'm grasping at straws, and I know I could construct a good story out of it. I'm just not sure which direction would be the best to take it in, because there are so many different possibilities open to me.

    The basic concept is this: what if luck were a physical, tangible commodity? What if it was something you could put in your pocket? Something that could be bought and sold, lost and gambled, traded and stolen?

    I know, it's not much right now, but there's a ton of potential underneath the surface. I think I'd like to set whatever story results from this in modern times. But there are so many different directions to go: the down-on-his-luck gambler, the guy who's about to pull the biggest luck heist in history, the young student who finds a duffel full of luck on his way home...I want to explore how physical luck could affect many different facets of life, but I don't want it to be the entire story.

    Does anyone have any ideas of where I could go with this thing?
     
  2. garmar69
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    garmar69 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Maybe start with with an anthology of short stories to see which one calls out to you as the best?

    I have a similar problem with an idea I had recently and I think that is the direction I'm going to go.

    Good luck with your venture!

    Edited to add: your sig line made me LMAO!
     
  3. Wild Card
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    Wild Card New Member

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    Glad you like the sig. It's one of my favorite quotes ever.

    I'm not even sure of the format I want to use, to be honest. I think it's a strong enough concept that it could fuel a television series if I figured out where to put my focus. Certainly, it would at least be a novel or a film (screenwriting is my specialty), if not something more extended.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Larry Niven played with the idea of breeding for luck in Ringworld. It's a good read on general principles, but might also stimulate your imagination in terms of your question.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    there have been many movies based on the theme of 'luck' and some that featured multiple storylines made back in the 40s and 50s... same goes for short stories and novels...

    any seasoned writer could supply many ideas of where you could go with it... but no one can make these decisions for you, because there are too many potential paths such a 'general' seed can take you down, not all of which you may have the background or talent/skill to develop into a marketable piece of work... developing a story/book/script from a germ of an idea on their own, is what writers do... to consider doing so 'by committee' isn't a good way to start anything writing-wise, imo...
     
  6. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Because the idea is vague, you are basically asking us to come up with a plot for you. There are just too many possibilities.

    Nonetheless, if it were me, I would probably make it into a love story. Two very different people that would never in a million years meet up together. One finds luck, and they meet up. Let the romance begin.

    A rich son of a king from a foreign country meets an average young girl in NY. The twist could be it was not her that found luck, but him, he just doesn't realize it until much later in the story. From his POV at first it is bad luck.

    Something crazy happens. I can't think of anything cool. Maybe as his private car is escorting him a gang war breaks out. He gets separated from his body guards and finds himself stuck in the slumps. That's where he meets her. The girl who has lived a hard life around gangs.

    I think you see where I am going with this.

    He has a woman back home he thinks he loves. And he is so pissed off everything that has happened to him that he doesn't realize how awesome this girl he just met is.

    You could have them go through an adventure together trying to get him home, they fall for each other, and he realizes how luck brought them together.

    Another way to take the story is: He gets so angry that he gives her the lucky object, and he goes home. This would happen after a struggle and some romance sort of blossomed between them.

    The object goes to work on this poor girl who grew up around gangs. Maybe she always wanted to be a dancer, an actress, a singer, something. She becomes famous. Luck brings her to his rich side of life, to his world. If she becomes a famous singer, perhaps she is on tour. They fall in love, and he realizes how stupid he was for not seeing her for who she was just because of where she lived, just because of her background.

    He then realizes the object is tangible luck. He was just too blind to see it before.

    So there is one of many possibilities.
     
  7. Dcoin
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    Dcoin Contributing Member

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    I was thinking, what if luck traded and sold as part of an underground subculture? This gives you plenty of other material to go with your idea.

    Your idea is cool, but I think you may have to make it part oft he story and not the story itself.
     
  8. Wild Card
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    Wild Card New Member

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    Cool ideas, guys. I've got a list of about 115 directions to go in here on my desktop. I was just looking for a fresh set of eyes to evaluate the concept for me. I think I'm going to take the earlier suggestion and start out writing an anthology of short stories, and then see which one grabs me the most.

    If anyone has anything else they want to pitch to me, go right ahead.
     
  9. ArckAngel
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    ArckAngel Member

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    I would use it as a rare commodity. Something that only one in a hundred thousand comes across or something like that. Then have a society based around trying to find luck. While a main character goes on striving on his own without luck, but with hard work making it on his own.
     
  10. Hetroclite
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    Hetroclite Member

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    That's been done before -- on an episode of Red Dwarf, a British sci-fi comedy. A professor isolated the "good luck virus" & when the protagonist was in deep trouble, his friend injected him with the virus, so that he, by luck, found everything he needed to solve the problem. Altho far-fetched it was very funny. So it just might work.
     
  11. Cady36
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    Cady36 Member

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    This is probably too obvious, but you've been talking about luck in general, but there's good luck and there's bad luck.

    What if you accidentally got a pocketful of bad luck? Could you get rid of it, or would it just come back to you, because your luck is bad? I guess it's that would make it sort of circular...you can't dump your bad luck because you're unlucky. So does that mean if you have good luck, provided you don't lose it, you'll never accidentally pick up bad luck? And I guess you couldn't lose your good luck because once you had it, you'd be...lucky. lol - I'm getting dizzy.

    Maybe to get rid of bad luck, you have to carry an equal weight of good luck.

    Fun concept.

    I've always told my husband that we're very fortunate people with very bad luck. ;)

    Deadly sig.

    Cady
     
  12. JaM1221
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    JaM1221 Member

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    I'm very tired right now but I'll throw some ideas out.

    What if a man who thinks he is suffering from an imbalance of good and bad luck in his life. A series of misfortunate events lead him to a criminal group searching for good luck. He doesn't really fit in with the group but stays with them to regain his old life. ...In the end he realizes that he didn't have bad luck but good luck that led him (through the series of unlucky events) to his one true love(as said before in this thread). She could be part of this criminal group with her own dark past or someone he met on his journey to find luck. It's up to you what direction to take it in.
    Good Luck,
    Joey
     
  13. Sayso
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    Sayso Contributing Member

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    Forgive me for not being overly knowledgable on this topic but you might want to look up string theory on good old wiki.
    Here's how I see it (and bearing in mind I only have a basic education I could be misunderstanding it):
    Physicists are looking at the possibilty of there be more than the standard three dimensions. They believe that if they can prove that there are more than three then they can also prove that there are 'strings' that connect everything in the universe. Take a look at native american teachings that say the same, with everything being connected.

    Ok, so how about your character having already discovered this is indeed possible and that he has learnt how to tweak these strings to his advantage. Therefore, it's not luck that he's tamed but the how and why of the entire universe. The world and the universe then become his oyster!

    Interesting start to your story. I hope it all works out for you :cool:.
     
  14. Wild Card
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    Wild Card New Member

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    Wow. Really glad to see the enthusiasm for the concept here. Thanks, guys.

    @Cady:
    My general feeling (and this is sort of a philosophical point on my part) is that there wouldn't necessarily be such a thing as "bad" luck; rather some people just have more good luck than other people do. Everything has multiple sides and certain probabilities that it'll go to one side or another; having more luck just nudges the probability in favor of one of the outcomes.

    Also, glad you like the sig.

    @Sayso:
    Consider my mind blown. I shall investigate.

    @Arckangel:
    Rare commodity was the route I was heading with this. In fact, I'm starting to think of it as a commodity most people don't even know exist.

    @Hetroclite:
    Haven't caught that episode. Looks like I'll have to now. Thanks for the heads up; I love "Red Dwarf."
     
  15. Alex_Hartman
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    Alex_Hartman Contributing Member

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    Luck could be illegal...and rare. Like someone decided it was harmful. I love the idea of it being tangible. This is so cool =D
     
  16. Michel Zhivago
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    Michel Zhivago Member

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    How about debt? I buy luck from the Mafia, but then a week later they want it back with interest. Until I pay back, I'm unlucky.
     
  17. Unsavory
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    Unsavory Active Member

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    I also think it would be cool to turn luck into a legal issue. It would be kind of a paradox though because if someone possesses such fantastic luck they'd probably be pretty difficult to apprehend.

    You could go the route of people attempting to study, clone, and manipulate luck for some kind of nefarious purpose. I also think it would be wise and interesting to give limits to luck. Just because someone possesses luck shouldn't mean that they get their way 100% of the time. The spoiled expectations of infallibility could really screw people up and make luck not worth the trouble.

    Whatever you do though, don't resemble that God awful Lindsay Lohan movie my girlfriend made me watch. Ooh, that damn thing was bad.
     
  18. Alex_Hartman
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    Alex_Hartman Contributing Member

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    Speaking of movies and luck, there was a really really bad Disney movie about some kid with luck. He was half leprechaun and had a lucky necklace and had luck all of the time. Then he lost it and he was normal with really bad luck. It was a crappy movie. So as long as this story is not going to be like that, I think you'll be fine.
     
  19. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    For the record Alex owns a Twilight T-shirt. :p

    Here is another idea.

    Make it a sci-fi. There are these people called the Luck Keepers. That of course is a generic title. You will have to think up something cool. They regulate how much luck people can buy.

    They are awesome fighters and keepers of luck because it's mandatory that they consume a lot of luck. Because of how much luck they consume they are bad to the bone.

    They work for a dictator. He is not evil. Instead, he has a warped view of Utopian society.

    Someone in the rebel forces rising to the challenge to win back their basic freedoms that this dictator stole from them, but if he is to stand any chance he must steal a lot of luck. That will not be easy when it is guarded by the Luck Keepers.
     
  20. Wild Card
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    Wild Card New Member

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    Right. Figured you types deserved an update, as you helped determine the direction of the story.

    It's the beginnings of a screenplay entitled "Fluke." It centers on Dominick "Nick" Sulit, a student at the (fictitious) City College of Chicago, or Triple-C. After saving the life of the mysterious Isaac de Cordoba, he's rewarded with a business card and a small token that Isaac entreats him to hang onto, no matter what. When his luck drastically changes in the days following, he puts two and two together and goes to see Isaac. From there, he's drawn into an underground subculture obsessed with trafficking in luck through increasingly illegal (and dangerous) games of chance.

    I decided to make luck small silver tokens, each one in the shape of a heptagon (seven sides). They're a relic from some forgotten time, now traded amongst the members of this subculture. They're unable to be duplicated, though many have tried.

    I decided to write this as a fantasy story that could be shot on a reasonable budget, one that I might even be able to do myself someday. If anything, to show Hollywood you don't need millions of dollars and state-of-the-art animation tech to craft a story with whimsy and imagination.
     
  21. Destin
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    Destin Senior Member

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    Kind of gruesome but suppose the tokens could be fabricated in a game of chance involving the lives of several people... like a six man game of russian roulette with only one empty chamber. Something along those lines. It would surely be a terrible villian who was willing to sacrifice 5 people's lives only to rob the survivor of his reward!
     
  22. Mcarpenter
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    Mcarpenter Contributing Member

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    Maybe certain people or animals could be born with abnormally massive ammounts of luck and they are sought out and unfortunatly harvested for their luck? It would be hard to catch them because they're so lucky, they would keep getting away.
    Perhaps luck could be refined from certain objects too?
     
  23. dthomas
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    You could look at like this:

    If luck was an actual item that could be stolen/sold/etc. and everyone was aware of this, it would probably significantly change the face of crime, poverty, social problems,etc. So you could maybe recreate a future society where things are a little more messed up because everyone is so consumed by the idea of finding/stealing luck. And if luck is just a commonplace, unmarked item than there is no telling what lengths people would go to in order to get some.

    I think the biggest themes you could run with would be moral implications - if someone stole luck then do they deserve to be lucky, etc. There's just so much with this you could do, the one thing you would probably want to avoid is to make it overly simple and superficial, don't create a condescending, easy-ending "luck story."

    If I was going to tackle this I would find some edgy element to make it less about having luck and more about how "tangible luck" affects the world and its people.

    Good...luck.
     
  24. Union Operative 0282
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    Union Operative 0282 New Member

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    That concept sounded very similar to the felix felicius potion from the Harry Potter novels. Though I don't suggest you rip off the idea, I think you should look back at the description of the potion, as it also was a potion that made sure that you always come out of every situation with the best possible outcome. And there were laws surrounding its use. Something to look into.
     
  25. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    See Red Dwarf sci fi comedy
     

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