1. Troyyort
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    Troyyort New Member

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    Opinions on Book Idea

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Troyyort, May 6, 2011.

    Hello all,
    I decided to join this forum because I am interested in writing a book. Now I haven't completely thought up the plot, but I've spent a few hours planning. Now I guess I just jump in and let you hear about my book.
    So the book takes place mainly in Philadelphia in the year 2036 and a series of Muslim extremist terrorist attacks have happened. The president learns that the US population is over 35 percent Muslim and launches a civil war on terror. There are two brothers who are in Philly and see the killing of many innocent Muslims. They are Christian, but rarely go to church and don't pray much. After seeing the treatment of the Muslims, they decide to learn more about their religion and also help the newly made Muslim slums from violence and starvation. During this, the story also follows a Muslim man whose family was killed by the military. He doesn't understand why God would cause such a problem between the parallel religions of Christianity and Islam. He leaves the city where he lived( New York?) and looks for answers in prayer and meditation. He ends up in Philadelphia (still some holes such as how he got there) and hears about the two brothers who helped the persecuted Muslims. He learns that the brothers were wanted for... something to do with their helping... and sets out to look for them. He finds one of them and learns that the other was killed by the military. The two new spiritual friends seek for help in places of worship. The brother gets a message from God and learns that to stop the violence, he must do _______(not sure) The story moves on to the president, who knows about the persecution of the innocent Muslims, but can't just let the extremists keep attacking. He gets news about the two friends and arranges a meeting with the. The president does what God told the brother to do and stops the war.
    Now I know it has a lot of blanks, but if you could please help fill those in I would be very appreciative.
    Troy
     
  2. Killer300
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    Killer300 Active Member

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    Well, okay, this story has two problems right off the bat.

    The first one is a very big one, which is Deus Ex Machina. The reason why is that God keeps intervening to move the story along, i.e. solves the character's problems for them. Setting aside religious beliefs, this is not good for a story. A lot of Greek Mythology actually suffers from this, which is why much of it actually hasn't really aged that well. So, you need to cut that out.

    The second one is that the U.S. Muslim population is nowhere near that right now. Artistic license is fine, however you need to explain why in the freaking world the Muslim population skyrocketed from 0.6% in 2007 to 36% in 2036. Right now, lack of religion, which is about 16% of the populace and actually has probably risen, would not overtake said populace?
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A story concept means nothing. I can tell you now, it has all 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 What is Plot Creation and Development?
     
  4. Sang Hee
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    Sang Hee Contributing Member

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    As long as the story makes sense and you write it in an interesting way it might as well be about a chef who fell with his face in the pudding and it would still be brilliant.
    Basically, what Cogito says and take it from him, he's said it too many times.
     
  5. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Cogito, I've seen this post from you so many times (and excellent advice it is, too) that I have to ask...do you have this canned someplace so you just press a button and there it is?
     
  6. Chachi Bobinks
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    Chachi Bobinks Senior Member

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    It's your story and you can do whatever you want! It will only be as good as you make it. In other words, this plot sucks and it is the best thing since sliced bread. Now you. You've got to go make it amazing.

    I'd just suggest that you research like crazy. Taking on this very intricate religion is going to be very hard and if you're going to fictionalize something that is very much real, i.e. the attacks on Muslims, you're going to have to make sure that you don't make any stupid mistakes. People get very protective of religion. You can bastardize anything out there but your readers can, and will, get very upset when you take a known religion into your own hands and implement it badly.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yes, ed... cog has it 'canned' and can paste it in with click of the mouse... imagine all the time it would take him to write it from scratch for every new member!... doesn't make what he says any less valid, however...

    and saving time/energy like that is one of the great blessings of computers...

    fyi, i agree in toto with his 'standard' advice re 'what do you think of this story' questions... i bless him for saying it all for me!

    love and hugs, maia [this is not a canned message ;-) ]
     
  8. Reggie
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    Reggie I Like 'Em hot "N Spicy Contributor

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    I know this sounds like a crazy question to ask, but what if you are writing a movie, and since prose doesn't matter in movie scripts, does the concept matter then?
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I have it in a file of templates. I think of it as Frequently Unasked Questions (which I never abbreviate). I could make a post or thread of such, but nobody ever reads those anyway. So I bring out the appropriate one when I need it, and adapt it as needed for the situation.

    Often, no elaboration is needed.

    Reggie: It is still writing. In that case, the scene direction and the dialogue are the writer's contribution, and the rest comes from the director, along with the actors and the DP.

    If you doubt it, look at all the great novels turned into horrible movies. The concept remains the same, but a poor execution can destroy it.
     
  10. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    No, I think it works well as is.
     
  11. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    Concepts and ideas are much more valued in the film world. In fact, writers like Philip K. Dick have [posthumously] made millions from Hollywood's use of his ideas that are most of the time end up quite different from his stories anyhow. A poorly written script with a great idea can still sell, whereas a poorly written story with a great idea will probably not sell in today's marketplace, as so much of the success of a story depends on the execution, whereas in film much of the success also depends on the execution, but a script isn't really executed yet. ;)
     
  12. KillianRussell
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    KillianRussell Contributing Member

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    Why Philadelphia? Are you aware Metro Detroit has the Nation's largest Muslim population ?......If you need any help I (like the fresh prince of belair) am a native Philadelphian , feel free to holler at me
     
  13. Chachi Bobinks
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    Chachi Bobinks Senior Member

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    Detroit also has 8 mile, which lifts it's epicness over Philly any day.

    @ Cog - Frequently Unasked Questions... clever. >;)
     

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