1. RabidChipmunk
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    RabidChipmunk Member

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    My God Has No Purpose

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by RabidChipmunk, Mar 24, 2012.

    I've recently been brainstorming yet another little story, and while I'm definitely interested in where this one goes, I'm having trouble coming up with a motivation for one of my stories most important characters: God.
    Sort of.

    Backstory time!: The story takes place in present day Southern California and focuses on a young woman named Annabel who, while contemplating suicide at the end of a pier, notices a necklace with a oddly-shaped stone carving falling out of the sky. Assuming it was dropped by a seagull, she pulls the necklace out of the water and, desperate for a reason to live, claims that it will be her good luck charm, believing that "at the least, no harm can come of it."
    The necklace she found, however, is no ordinary necklace. The stone at the end of it is called the Godstone, and it's a highly envied piece of treasure throughout the galaxy. While not much is known about, what is known is this:

    -The Godstone's abilities are nigh-infinite and completely unpredictable.
    -The Godstone itself is not a living being, in the same way that a powerful storm is not a living being, but it is no less a force of nature.
    -While the Godstone has infinite abilities, it has limited reserves of energy. It cannot create energy for itself, and in order to recharge it must pull energy out of its surroundings. Annabel, who was unaware of the Godstone's true nature when she put it on, is now its latest host, and it will not let go until its energy needs are satiated.


    Throughout the course of the story, Annabel is caught in a two-way war for the Godstone. She is initially befriended by the Guardians, human-like beings whose purpose is to keep the Godstone locked away forever (wink wink, nudge nudge), but who lost it generations ago and have now finally caught up to it. She is also being pursued by the Tankuran, a small group of terrorists representing many different species who, with the rising of their new leader, have only recently shifted their focus on attaining the Godstone. Each member seeks the Godstone for their own purpose.

    For the most part, I have everyone's motivations determined except the Godstone's itself. Late in the story I have planned that a being will manifest itself using Annabel's energy and refer to itself as the Avatar of the Godstone, but I don't know who this being is or what it intends to do. The only thing I know is that the Avatar has no human emotions and is, by our perceptions, evil.

    I want the Godstone to have some malicious, or at least cold, purpose, and at the very least I want it to be something that cannot be sympathized with. I thought, after determining that the Godstone can do anything, this part would be easy, but I was wrong; when you can do everything, it's hard to do anything.

    I'm not asking you to write my story for me, but any ideas you come up with are more than welcome.
     
  2. R-e-n-n-a-t
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    R-e-n-n-a-t Contributing Member

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    You could take the Cthulhu route. He's so powerful that humans don't even register as a tiny threat of any kind, nor a nuisance, nor even anything worth considering. Nobody knows what Cthulhu wants the world for, or if he even wants it, since his mind and power is so vast humans can't even comprehend the slightest piece of it. All that's clear is that humans will be wiped out as a side effect, which of course doesn't bother the mighty Cthulhu at all, since we're less than dead ants compared to his power, etc.

    Ultimately probably any goal you assign to an all-powerful entity is going to be disappointing, whether it's world domination or galactic empires or total destruction, it makes little difference because we, as readers, will always expect something better than what is offered when dealing with all-powerful creatures like Cthulhu or the Godstone. It's probably better to make it clear that there is no knowing in stories like that, only that humans will suffer as a side effect.
     
  3. Aramis
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    Aramis Member

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    In general mythology there are not a lot of examples of omnipotent Gods. The Greek, Roman and Norse Gods all had strengths and weaknesses and that is what made them interesting. They experienced human traits like vanity, jealousy and hate as well as having great strengths.

    In addition they all had opposite and equal Gods to defeat or even give their life purpose- Thor/Loki a prime example in Norse mythology.

    I think it will be a struggle to create interest ( and then keep it) in a character that has no faults.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A god needs no motivation.
     
  5. Gumdart
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    Gumdart New Member

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    You could look at it in a similar way to the Ring in The Lord of the Rings. It doesn't necessarily have its own conciousness but is constantly trying to return itself to Sauron via other beings. I suppose in a similar way your Godstone could be motivated by something like self-preservation if you wanted it to be a cold motive. It resides with the person who is most likely to keep it safe but when they have out-lived their usefulness it will allow itself to move to a new host.

    I rather like the sound of this story actually, good luck with it.
     
  6. Kaymindless
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    Kaymindless Contributing Member

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    Exactly what I was thinking. A god does what it wants, when it wants.

    Here's the thing though, you've already given the godstone it's limitations and it's motivations. He needs energy, he can't create it on his own. Anna is the host where he gets his energy from. Well, from the information you've given us, he has two choices. The guardians who want to lock him up or the terrorist who want to use him. If they use him, he gets their energy. Basically, cold motivation? "I'm going to suck you dry if I want to." It's not alive and has no emotions so it can't be malicious but it can be cold, and very matter-of-fact. This isn't data or any other robot who's trying to become human, so sympathy is not going to be created for him.
     
  7. Erato
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    Erato Contributing Member

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    If you're going to create a stone with that kind of power, and a semi-mythical world with fantasy beings, Cogito's right, no motivation is necessary. In such a world there can be such a thing as true evil. But if you want to add it in, you can. That will affect your plot. How is the story resolved? What is the Godstone using Annabel for?
     
  8. RabidChipmunk
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    I appreciate the help, you guys. It seems to me that an entity like the Godstone is impossible to give a satisfactory purpose to, as it will either be cliche or fail to meet up to expectations. I guess I could remove the fact that the Godstone drains energy from it's host from the "known" section and have it be revealed later on as a none-to-subtle hint that the Godstone is a touch unsavory, but that still leaves the Avatar of the Godstone at the end.

    Cogito had a good point: I guess it doesn't need a purpose, but I'd at least like to come up with a semblance of a purpose, but ultimately leave it's true function up to interpretation. Sadly, I'm no good at "leaving things up to interpretation," so that'll be a challenge for me.

    And Kaymindless: That's a good point about how the Godstone would rather serve the Tankuran, but I long ago wrote at the very beginning of my story that the Tankuran try to steal the Godstone off of Anna, but it stops them using its own powers (thus completely exhausting them; I did this so the Godstone couldn't be used as a bad-guy proof crutch throughout the story). I originally thought the Godstone refused to serve them because of its own hubris, "As if a God would serve you" mentality, but I guess there's a lot of human emotions in that, isn't there? This has been a good exercise so far; my story is young though, and things can be re-written, even drastically if I need to. I appreciate the help guys!
     
  9. Kaymindless
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    Kaymindless Contributing Member

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    Personally, if it's truly emotionless it wouldn't care who as long as it had it's energy. There is a lot of emotion in that but you could attempt to just simplify him somewhat. Simplest way, he's egotistical and is amused by the games human's play. Personally, I think when you come up with actions for him/it, you'd just need to figure out the logical reason why he was doing it to keep him as separated from humanity as possible. Explanation could be as simple as the fact that if they took him, eventually they would destroy everything/what they want and he'd be used as an ornament, no more energy then so he didn't want that. I don't know if that would work for your story, but it's an example about keeping him simply interested in energy. I mean, what happens if he completely uses all of his energy without a host? Is he just exhausted and goes into a hibernation state until a host comes around, or is he gone, useless?
     
  10. Mordred
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    I agree with Cogito to a point. Read some Greek Mythology... the Greek gods had human motivations. Perhaps you can get some ideas from our forefathers or simply decide that the Godstone has a defined purpose and drive that point home. What man may see as evil, the Godstone may see as the natural order. Pre-programmed perhaps? Not motivation so much as pre-formed destiny.

    Now, the question for me remains, what kind of energy is it exactly drawing from the character? ATP molecules (adenosine triphosphate)? Psionic? Perpetual energy from muscle movement? The soul?

    When I first read this post, I immediately pictured "The Loc-Nar" from the old Heavy Metal magazines (and movie too). I love a story with an insidious object that leaches from someone.

    I look forward to seeing what other ideas you come up with and what direction this is going to take!

    ~Mordred
     
  11. RabidChipmunk
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    If the Godstone uses all of it's energy, it simply cannot function and needs a host. But I think I've come up with something, how's this sound:

    Rather than the Avatar of the Godstone being contained within the Godstone itself, it simply uses the energy and presence of another being to manifest through them, in this case Annabel. The Godstone uses her lifeforce to manifest itself in it's avatar form. This way the Godstone would logically want to prevent itself from falling into the hands of the Tankuran because it would have to start the process over again.

    Then the only thing left for me to figure out is why the Avatar needs to manifest itself in the first place, which brings us back to "What is the purpose of the Godstone?" And like I said, I can either come up with an explicitly stated purpose or try and come up with something vague enough to leave it up to interpretation.

    @Mordred: I've always pictured the Godstone absorbing a being's "lifeforce" (I used that word once in this post already, odd to explain it at the end). That way it explains why the Godstone cannot create its own energy, because it is not alive.
     
  12. Mordred
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    Mordred Member

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    Lifeforce is a powerful word. Does the Godstone brings about its host destruction in the end? I love an insidious object. The story I am writing deals with an object that drinks into a collective. I look forward to reading your work!

    ~Mordred
     
  13. RabidChipmunk
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    Indeed, when the Godstone absorbs all of its host's lifeforce, they die. I'm glad you like the idea so far :)
     
  14. Kaymindless
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    Lazy Godstone, works for me :)
     
  15. killbill
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    killbill Contributing Member

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    You already have its weakness, limited energy. Obviously its motivations cannot be very far away from that. You mentioned, the Godstone requires a certain amount of energy to manifest itself into a human like avatar. What more motivations does it need than a desire to be born!? It's almost like the desires of a fetus inside a womb.
     
  16. Luna13
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    Luna13 Active Member

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    Let me get this strait: the necklace falls from the sky, is picked up by random woman, starts leeching her energy, is wanted by two different sets of... okay, not people, but beings?

    And then?

    Create some sort of inner conflict with Annabel - like, should she keep it or get rid of it? Is she struggling to figure out what is the right thing to do, or does she know what's right but does the opposite anyway?

    Hope this helps. In my opinion, inner conflict is more interesting than the other kind.
     
  17. RabidChipmunk
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    There's definitely inner-conflict. Annabel struggles not only to cope with the stressful circumstances she's been thrust into, but also tries to decide who truly deserves the Godstone after she learns of the Tankuran leader's motivations and the ulterior motives of some of the Guardians, as well as trying to decide whether anyone should have the Godstone at all. On top of that, the Godstone itself begins interfering with her thoughts after it begins to leech out enough lifeforce (from having her life being contained inside two different bodies). I don't quite know where I'm going with that last one in regards to the overall plot, but as I've said it's still in its infancy. There's still time to figure it out.

    And as far as getting rid of it, she can't; the Godstone will not let go of its host until it's satisfied. I'm sure I can have her figure this out the hard way though :)
     
  18. shangrila
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    shangrila Member

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    Maybe it's only purpose is chaos?

    I've been thinking about this myself a lot lately, but basically life is about order, right? People try to control everything they can, whether consciously or not. The animal kingdom is based off of a clear hierarchy (the food chain) which is another example of order. So...what if there's something that was designed to be the opposite? It doesn't necessarily have to be evil, its merely a counterbalance.

    To apply this to your story; Annabel is the only one that isn't trying to control it. The Guardians are trying to lock it away so it can't mess with the natural order of things, while the Tankuran want it to impose their own idea of order on the galaxy, which it doesn't want (obviously). Annabel, meanwhile, has no control over her life (I'm assuming here, since she's suicidal), so she could represent the natural chaos that exists in everyone.

    I hope this helps, makes sense and isn't too rant-ish :)
     
  19. Tashanel
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    Hmm...Lifeforce. That's sound dangerous for me and you will write story about die and not so die about dying people.

    I've been thinking, how about take memories permanently? When you use it too much you will be forget a thing. As matter of fact, memories are something that you doesn't want to lose it. That's why call it memory, and your story will be more interesting (at least for me). :D
    for creepier though your MC will not die, but have an Alzheimer. That's creepy than die :D

    I love the idea about God's thing :)
     
  20. RabidChipmunk
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    When I first read this post, I thought that it was a good idea but it wouldn't work for my story. But the more I think about, the more I think it could. If nature is all about order and the Godstone is all about chaos, that kind of laughs in the face of nature, and that would certainly be a realm only a god could exist in. This is definitely a good idea, I think I might run with it :)

    Now all I got to figure out is how to beat a god for my ending :p Or, you know, a God with only a fraction of a fraction of it's total power. It could happen.
     
  21. Tashanel
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    Tashanel Member

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    You can't beat god. Even if you have a lot of power. God is something you admit higher state than you, if you beat god so anabele will be the next god. That's my idea :D you can't conquer god with just a powerful necklace ;)
     
  22. RabidChipmunk
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    That's actually where I was going with this, Annabel somehow subverts the Godstone and takes its place, and with her new power she chooses to exile herself from the Earth/the Galaxy/reality in general so she can prevent all the wars that have been fought over it. Sort of reminds me of the ending to Madoka Magica, if you can pardon the geeky anime reference.

    But as far as using the necklace to conquer God, the necklace isn't just something that can stop God, the necklace IS God. Or, you know. A god.
     
  23. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You contradict yourself.

    You said, the Godstone is not a living being. How can something dead "want" anything? It does not think, and it does not want, just as a storm - your own analogy - does not think to or want to destroy any town or village. It just DOES because it is what it is, and must do as its nature dictates.

    In making the Godstone "want" anything, or manifest itself into an avatar, it must be living, and thus would need purpose and motive.

    As it is, the Godstone is just a device to set your story running. There's no dilemma as you already have your characters' motives for wanting the Godstone figured out.

    And a question - the Godstone's hardly gonna want those supernatural beings who want to lock it up forever to get hold of itself. But since it is a dead object, it cannot WANT any of this. It is not even aware of this, so how can it want?

    And why don't you get some inspiration from Lord of the Rings? Isn't that exactly the same concept? The ring itself was not living but it seemed to be able to manipulate its wearer, and dictate its hosts so that certain things happen. And its only goal or desire is simple - to get back to its master Sauron (or however you spell it - the great eye).

    So think - who does the Godstone want and why?
     
  24. RabidChipmunk
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    Well, would you ever describe a god as "living?" To be considered alive also means one can die, but the Godstone is above such a state. The Godstone's very existence is completely unknowable, and is in and of itself an insult to nature. It transcends "life." It is not alive in the same sense that we are... but it's not "dead."
     
  25. Mordred
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    The Godstone simply "is."
     

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