1. Scott Berman
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    Scott Berman Member

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    My Setting is Missing an Important Piece

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Scott Berman, May 29, 2012.

    I've got this idea for a setting that I really like. Its sort of like an "Alice in Wonderland" place, where a person in our real world can accidentally fall through a "rabbit hole" and end up there. This place is made of several layers, that one must qualify in order to go deeper. In each level, time passes differently. So, 5 days on the first level is only 5 minutes in the real world, but 5 years on the second level. Each level also has its own distinct qualities, and well I guess you could say personality. Also, not everyone there is human, for example a squirrel could have fallen through and now you have a walking talking squirrel in this land.

    There is of course a lot more to it, but I think the idea is creative and it could be an excellent setting for a series of short stories I believe I'd enjoy writing. The possibilities are really endless with it.

    Now, here is my problem, I can't figure out what this setting is. Like what kind of place is this, is it an extremely advanced spaceship that created portals spread throughout Earth? Is it a parallel universe connected through black-holes? (Does that work?) Is it some kind of heaven that was created at the beginning of the world? Maybe a magician from this strange world cast a spell that somehow opened up the portals.

    Hmm... just writing this post has given me some ideas, but the problem is that I don't want anything utterly ridiculous. While I am writing fiction, I would like for it to be conceivable, if that makes sense.

    So... I just want to hear what you think. Is it important that I explain my setting at all? Should I just go with creativity and not worry too much if its believable?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I think you should write out your thoughts, as you did above. As you see, just the act of doing that helps the ideas flow.

    You don't need us to steer your imagination. Exercise your OWN muse, and it will work ever more reliably for you.

    All our input can do is muddy the waters. It's your story. Keep it yours.
     
  3. Scott Berman
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    Scott Berman Member

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    You're right Cogito, I think I started to realize that as I was writing out that post, and yours just confirmed it. It did make me realize that I really need to just write, sitting here imagining things won't get me a story.
     
  4. BFGuru
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    BFGuru Active Member

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    You have a plot that sounds like Inception meets Narnia.
     
  5. Fivvle
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    Fivvle Contributing Member

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    Hahaha! That was amazing. You deserve a cookie. The edible kind.
     
  6. bethklewis
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    bethklewis Member

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    This sounds very very similar to the Twilight in Sergei Lukyanenko's Night Watch series. Excellent books by the way. There are something like 7 levels of the Twilight (called the Gloom in the movies I think) and the more powerful the character, the deeper he can go. Time slows considerably the deeper you go (5 minutes becomes 5 days, movement becomes quicker etc) and the world appears differently. For example, the main antagonist appears as human in the real world then the deeper into the Twilight, the more monstrous he becomes. If you're looking at writing something with this kind of setting, I'd recommend these books.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Folks, "your plot sounds similar to..." is of no relevance. EVERY story bears similarities to other popular stories, depending on just how much you have to wear off the corners of that square peg to fit it into the round hole.

    There is no value in any case in asking for an opinion on a story based on its synopsis. Partly it is because of what I brought up in the first paragraph. The rwest is because the story itself is NOT the synopsis. Whether the story is great or sucks a dry udder depends entirely on the quality of the writing - all of it, including character development, use of language and imagery, quality of dialogue, etc. All of it.

    The role of storyline is vastly overrated.
     
  8. Samo
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    Samo Member

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    I would suggest leaving the nature of this place ambiguous. This creates questions in the readers' minds that can't be concretely answered and if the story is told exceptionally well, might drive the reader to did deeper and take their own meaning from your work. At worst, it will keep them partially interested.
     
  9. Scott Berman
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    Scott Berman Member

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    Samo, I like that idea, and will most likely at least start that way when I get off my tuckus and write it, and if I find something along the way that'll help. Also, maybe I'll try those Night Watch books, they sound interesting.
     
  10. Furyvore
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    Furyvore Member

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    That doesn't mean the author shouldn't figure out this nature. it could help maintain consistency in the workings of these portals, especially if he decides to reveal these inner-workings in one of those short stories. At least this way, he knows what he's working with.
     
  11. Quinn T. Senchel
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    Quinn T. Senchel Member

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    I agree with Samo. It's nice to keep it ambiguous, keep the reader guessing.
    Maybe the characters themselves are trying to dissect what the world is and they bring up multiple possibilities.
    For some reason the film Cube comes to mind in terms of ambiguity and leaving the audience guessing as to what it is and why the characters are there.
     
  12. Bjørnar Munkerud
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    Bjørnar Munkerud Contributing Member

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    You have made an Alice in Wonderland /Inception crossover. Nice. Awesomeness and disaster may both come out of this. Good luck to you, sir.
     

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