1. Jaksken
    Offline

    Jaksken New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0

    Need feedback with my new book idea?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Jaksken, Mar 2, 2010.

    I haven't written creatively in a while and wanted to come back to have an artistic output, heres my idea so far (sorry if it's hastily written).
    The world it takes place in starts on a continent that is divided by a great wall. On one side the people live harsh lives working to survive while they are forced to send half their food/goods to the other side of the wall. On the other side there is no hunger, no poverty, no predators, and no problems. They get all their needs from the other side of the wall and are content.

    The poor side work the same jobs as their fathers before them except for a chosen few who are smarter or more athletic who are "given a chance to leave their poor society" and train to work on the unknown other side and at their graduation their tongues (and maybe independence) are removed so they can't tell the heavenly side what is on their side of the wall. They then go to work as laborers, distributing supplies to the cities and villages of the other side or tending plants of the cities, ect.

    Now i need help with deciding a few things:
    -should the people giving away their food/resources believe they are donating to their Gods or be enslaved by harsh tyrant who secretly controls both sides from behind the scenes or something like that

    -should the protagonist be from the poor side and escape the graduation without getting his tongue removed and goes to the other side and is put into this world where there are the "gods" he had feared his whole life or the total unknowness of the other side. He tries to bring his plea for the pleasures of the heavenly side to help his side
    -or-
    -should the protagonist be from the heavenly side and wonder at his gardener who never speaks and wants to find out more?

    Also, should I include fantasy races in this? It would complicate and add more tiers to the basic 1poor side and 1heavenly side but i dont know if that'd be good?

    Very appreciated!:)
     
  2. Gallowglass
    Offline

    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,617
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    Loch na Seilg, Alba
    Since there's an element of deception here, with one side not knowing what is on the other, that would work best. However, there's no reason you can't do both - a tyrant who they perceive as their god because of past actions (maybe he was a freedom fighter, or usurper - they're often supported long after their tyranny becomes apparent), sending what they do not need to those who do. Something similar to the pigs who control the others in Animal Farm needing to have more food.

    Although, what sort of tyrant would run both sides, and let one have better living conditions than the other? Is there are tribal/cultural/ethnic difference between the two, or is it purely political? No tyrant is an idiot, whatever their ideas include. They are generally the most perceptive leaders you'll find - they would not keep half a country in poverty for the sake of it, unless there was something about that group that could challenge their leadership, or their political idealogy.

    This has a conflict in the character's mind, so it will be more interesting, if you can write it. It isn't easy having a character do something that they're not sure they should be doing, however, it could lead to a rather complicated plot.

    You don't need to have fantasy races to do it. You could, of course, take an existing cultural group on earth and change it into what it would be under a totalitarian regime. Orwell didn't consider how the culture would change - if Nike was banned, would the logo become a status symbol, similar to a crown, when people no longer knew its true origins?
     
  3. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    A story concept means nothing. I can tell you now, it has been done before. What matters is how you write it, the characterization, the flow, the imagery, all of it.

    There's no benefit in asking what other people think of the concept! They'll either say,"Sounds great," or, "it sounds like a ripoff of..."

    If the idea stirs you, write it. Then ask people what they think of the final story. After they tell you what they don't like about it, revise it, usually several times, until you're happy with it or until you throw up your hands and say the hell with it.

    Please read this thread about What is Plot Creation and Development?

    That being said, you don't even have a story concept. You have a bag full of them. What I said above applies equally to every single one of them.

    It's your story. YOU must choose which one to write.
     
  4. taylor.kuykendall
    Offline

    taylor.kuykendall Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2009
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0
    As a WRITER... Don't you have to recognize the fact that speaking wouldn't be the only way to convey what was going on in the poor side? I know writing may not be possible, but I woud think that a curious person would quickly find a way to hold a rudimentary conversation not involving speech about what was going on.

    Other than that, I think this sounds like a very cool idea.
     
  5. Tigress
    Offline

    Tigress Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2010
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    I agree with everything Cogito has said. All I can add is a suggestion regarding the races.

    If the story can be told without them, I'd leave them out of it. But, I'm a proponent of the simpler the better and often feel less is more.
     
  6. digitig
    Offline

    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,502
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    Orpington, Bromley, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    I agree with Cogito. All you have so far is a part-developed setting.
     
  7. sprirj
    Offline

    sprirj Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Messages:
    523
    Likes Received:
    158
    Should be both. If the other side of the wall is unknown, the poor will speculate, some will explain it with religion, others with science.


    As for MC. He/she should be on the poor side, everyone loves an underdog, but they should have their tongue removed, thats one hell of an obstacle to overcome, plus it gives you a great opening scene of the graduation?!

    The trick will be how do you tell a story, when you can not speak?

    Go write.
     
  8. Jaksken
    Offline

    Jaksken New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Alright, thanks for the help and positive feedback, i've thought of it a bit more and will be writing soon.

    I decided that instead of the tongue coming off they will be turned Placid. That will involve magic or potions or something mysterious. The Placid will have all their memories erased before the graduation and have no emotion except for being content with what they do.
     
  9. HorusEye
    Offline

    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Messages:
    1,215
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Denmark
    I liked the tongue idea better. It's more dramatic, more drastic, finite and easier to imagine the severity of. Things in a story that require magic always makes me think "plot hole". Besides, if the MC is turned placid, he'd be pretty dull to read about.

    Maybe you could take some inspiration from historical accounts of Nazi Germany, British India and the Apartheid, where one part of the population was servicing the other. Examine from there how things came into place, was kept up, and how people lived with it.
     
  10. thecommabandit
    Offline

    thecommabandit Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    1
    Personally, I like the idea of a rich and decadent person learning that their way of life is perverted and going to great lengths to try and secure the freedom of people under them. I feel like the underdog climbing up from obscurity is a bit overdone.

    And there are some issues with your Placid idea: if the protagonist is made Placid, what motivation would they have to do anything other than their assigned job? There's also that people are the sum of their memories - if you remove someone's memories you also remove their skills. But I'm sure you could handwave it and that'd be fine.
     
  11. Jaksken
    Offline

    Jaksken New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    What I meant about the Placid part is that the main character escapes the graduation after learning that he will be turned Placid. Then he'll escape onto the heavenly side of the wall which is all knew to him, the only thing he knows is that he can't turn back since he will be killed by the "religous leaders" or worse...turned Placid.
     
  12. Gabriel
    Offline

    Gabriel New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2010
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with cogito on this, but if you want my input i'd say have the rich believe that they receive it from the gods and the people do some kind of ritual to please the gods so they send them more stuff. the poor side can believe that they are giving it to the gods as a show of sacrifice and they do this hoping to be protected from an unseen force or maybe a reward in the afterlife.
     

Share This Page