1. Monitorman
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    Monitorman New Member

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    Post Apocalypse Conflict

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Monitorman, Mar 12, 2009.

    I came up with an idea recently after reading about post apocalyptic novels and remembering The Lord of the Flies.

    The premise is basically that the Earth has been inflicted with a disease that is deadly to anyone who has hit puberty, thus the entire world loses its population of adults and late teens, leaving children alone in the world.

    What I liked about this is how different it is from other post apocalyptic stories, where the world is usually destroyed or stricken with some ailment that makes technology non existent and everyone must start from scratch or revive the old technology. With this premise, the world is intact, with all buildings and technology, yet only kids are able to survive in it, making the oldest you can turn about 13.

    I see however 2 problems with this:

    My main concern is of the plot holes within a story where all the adults have died off. That would mean things like nuclear reactors wont have people manning them, thus maybe leading to a meltdown that would destroy the earth anyways, and other similar scenarios. Its such an abstract idea that I'm not sure how to imagine a world like this and thus adapting a story that would be believable.

    My second concern (albeit not as big as the first one) is what would the plot and conflict be? They're not on a search for their parents, since they're dead, and I doubt we can assume they figure out a cure, since they're just kids. So what would be the driving force and eventual conclusion of this story? Lord of the Flies worked well since even though it was about kids alone on an island, the main goal (though it would be ignored) was to get of the island by signaling for a ship. However ,that does not work here.

    The only other similar story I have seen is the Jimmy Neutron movie, where aliens kidnap the entire town's adults, leaving the kids alone. This however is only one town, and the light hearted tone of the story sends the kids of to save the parents.

    I'm naturally not asking anyone to come up with the entire story for me, nor characters or anything like that. I'm just wondering if this idea is even possible, and if it is, what suggestions do you have for the premise as well as driving force of the plot?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    All I can really say is: yes it is possible, anything is possible if you can imagine it (as I heard on the TV once). Try reading The Shand by Stephen King, it is the same setting really.
     
  3. pacmansays
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    pacmansays Senior Member

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    Two words: Artistic License
     
  4. 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 been done before. What matters is how you write it, the characterization, the flow, the imagery, all of it.

    There's no point to 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?

    (and yes, this is a template post, which should give you an idea of how often this comes up.)

    The only issue is whether you can write it in a way that sells it to the readers.
     
  5. BillyxRansom
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    BillyxRansom Active Member

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    ^ This. but the story can be done I think. There are a lot of avenues you can take this.
     
  6. Gone Wishing
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    Gone Wishing Contributing Member

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    Why not make that happen then? It wouldn't wipe out the entire population and would effectively create two settings within the world, from which a whole host of motivations/conflicts can be born.... There are plently of other things - technologies - that would cease to exist/function, and a huge base of knowledge suddenly missing from the world would be enough to create myriad sub-plots (or main ones).

    (I see this bleak world where, after about a year, all computers would cease to fuction - because that's about the average life expectancy of a computer - and kids, instead of being able to google their solutions - would need to go on a legendary pilgrimage to seek out that ancient and most sacred of temples, the library).

    :)
     
  7. Asuran
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    Asuran Member

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    One question. How are there to be new children born?
     
  8. Blaidd Drwg
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    Blaidd Drwg Member

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    I hate to be that guy, but your story is almost exactly word-for-word the plot of the New Zealand television show The Tribe. The only difference is that in The Tribe everyone over 18 died.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tribe_(TV_series)

    I should point out that many girls begin puberty at 9, so using that as the cut-off is going to make your story incredibly difficult.
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    One more time: It's irrelevant that a storyline seems very similar to another storyline. Almost every storyline has been written many (many, many, MANY) times.
     
  10. Anthem
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    Anthem Member

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    ^ agreed. Everything has been done. Just hope whatever you're "close"/*cough* ripping off *cough* is either too old or too obscure to catch notice.
     
  11. edens garden
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    edens garden Senior Member

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    This sounds very similar to the novel the girl who owned a city. Rather than tell you that it sounds like you are stealing the idea, i recommend you read that book. It could help give you some ideas to think on for your own novel. It is a quick read, and I enjoyed it very much back in the third grade, lol.
     
  12. Just a small smackerel
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    Just a small smackerel Member

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    The concept is also similar to that of a newer novel, Gone by Michael Grant, which is also a book that you could read to get ideas.

    There, their main conflict is figuring how they can stop themselves from falling victim to the crisis, in this book just simply "poofing" at a certain age, so you could have the children struggle with the concept that there is no solution, no way out, no cure for the disease.

    Though, as already mentioned, doing this within the age that these kids would be would be difficult, since they haven't quite matured mentally yet.

    So, what you could do, in terms of age, is a bit limited. But the let the imagination soar, see where it takes you, you could be surprised.

    Mainly, right now I would suggest reading all of the novels before mentioned, maybe that could get some of the brain juices flowing for you to piece your conflict/plot all together.

    Good luck on your ventures, sir.
     
  13. Jam
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    Jam New Member

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    You could have some adults around and claim that their immune systems prevented them from being effected by the disease. Also, just wondering, does this disease effect other animals too, or is it just humans?
     
  14. jammyjimmy
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    jammyjimmy New Member

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    I've been writing a series based on a similar sort of idea that I started two years ago.
    Basically a disease comes along, kills off the vast majority of mankind, and the survivors have to figure out what the hell to do.
    I posted four chapters of it online last summer, and then a month or so later, the BBC started advertising a show called 'Survivors' that was basically identical to the stuff I'd written.
    Knocked the stuffing right out of me.

    However, one of the things I found when I was working on this is that it's not enough to have a 'world-gone-mad' as a book. That is merely a setting.
    It's a great setting, a really interesting and educational one, and one that works really well to draw in readers and grab their attention, but it's not the story.

    What is the story of the children who remain?
    What are they trying to achieve?
    What's their goal?
    What makes it a story and not a never-ending saga?

    I ended up taking the lead character, who promised his dying mother that he would rebuild society, giving him a grief-stricken girlfriend, and then having his ex-girlfriend show up. Then I gave the ex a desire for power over the group of survivors, and started having her manipulate characters...
    ie Conflict, intrigue, drama.

    I really like the idea though!

    JJ
    :cool:
     

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