Tags:
  1. Tales
    Offline

    Tales Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2008
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0

    Rebooting a story

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Tales, Jan 14, 2009.

    Hi after doing lots of research I finally managed to find the courage to revive an 5 year old fic that has been put on the back burner for a couple of years.

    Ok the premises of the story is very similar to Gattaca but I currently have only the prequel in mind as to the reason why eugenics was revived once more.

    The premises is set in the 2100s, mankind just began to repopulate the world after a hundred years of a ravenous plague thanks to Eugenics. But I have portrayed this as a power that has corrupted the minds of humans.

    in my original story, the story is set between two protagonists who will eventually duke it as members of the anti-eugenics and the pro-eugenics. The plot and characters have too much references from Star Wars and X-men. So I now after 3 years of clearing my head of distractions. I decided to try to come up with something as "original" as possible. As much as I like Star Wars and x-men concept I have to scrape them for originality sake. I am going for a direction where it can be pretty real but also with hints of fantasy. I want my readers to think, "Oh my god! This might come true in the future!"

    But I just got a writing block as to find a new direction for such a overused clique
     
  2. Michel Zhivago
    Offline

    Michel Zhivago Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Gattaca is a really excellent film: I wouldn't say it's one of my very favourites, but certainly top 20.
    If I understand you correctly, you're using differing viewpoints (or at least, parts from the viewpoint of each protagonist? Correct me if I'm wrong). A possible direction for that is to add a side plot from the viewpoint of a seemingly unrelated character - it's a poor example, but the thing that springs to mind is the girl in the red coat from Schindler's List. In order to show what living in this post-apocalyptic world is like from a normal person's perspective (ie, not an activist pro or anti eugenics), you could have a few chapters dotted around from a neutral viewpoint.

    Even if you don't decide to use this in your canon, I always find it a useful exercise in sci-fi or fantasy genres, to explore the world you've created without constraints of plot or the other characters.
     
  3. Tales
    Offline

    Tales Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2008
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0
    "Oh my god! This might come true in the future!" I want to achieve that kinda feel for my fiction. I hope this forum might be the place where I find the answer soon.
     
  4. lordofhats
    Offline

    lordofhats Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Messages:
    2,023
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    The Hat Cave
    I would just like to say don't worry about originality. It's overrated anyway :p.
     
  5. Tales
    Offline

    Tales Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2008
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ok then... <Shakes lordofhats' hand> I look forward to working with you all to make my fic a blockbuster.
     
  6. architectus
    Offline

    architectus Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,796
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Ca
    You have to put on the mine of a futurist.

    Perhaps watch and read books by futurist. Check out Michio Kaku's documentary Visions. He is a physicist.
     
  7. Tales
    Offline

    Tales Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2008
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ok... I will take a look at that....

    But just to tell you. The Visions of the Future documentary can only be a prediction since in my story things got messed up.

    100 years ago in the prequel of the story, a evolved HIV screwed the human population to the brink of extinction. Then the surviving humans and one of them the main characters of the prequel; a homophobic and cleanliness freak kinda guy, revived eugenics.

    Then in 2100s, HIV had gone extinct because Mankind embraced eugenics. This also affected their way of thinking as the current population numbering at 2 billion people, cared less of their past or they treat their past as history.

    At the same time, certain so-called older traditions got revived in the 2100s. Like say arranged marriages. I am Chinese btw and I have been told stories of tragedy about this by my elders. I did some thinking and strip it to the bare basics; it's kinda eugenic in a way. Arranged marriage was a way to get relations and advantages. But in my perspective, it's like a human husbandry thing. They want to preserve the "genes" of their kind aka surname...etc. In my story, to hell with the surname, they want to preserve the good genes. So in a way the ancient arranged marriage thingy was a precursor of the 2100's eugenic marriage. Not to say, the freedom of love was non-existence, it's just temporary mostly. Since if say the partner has bad genes.etc, well that's all for the relationship. Sex was still a taboo becos of the HIV pandemic.

    Some things like certain styles of martial arts are lost, the current kung fu in streets are just imitations of old martial arts movies. They can't stand up against the fearsome Krav Maga of today. Krav Maga is now legendary as all the people who knew them died out long time ago. Chinese kung fu and other arts styles have disappeared too. But of course when the Rebelling faction rediscovered them.... guess the results!

    Humans are evolving too, like say the humans of 2100s are much taller than their predecessors were. Anything below 174 is considered short. 175- 180cm is considered normal. 190-200cm is considered the supermodel standard, male or female. So I am sure guys who are as short as me[165cm] will not be able to find a single date in this era. Later in the story the 175cm tall protagonist meets the cute 160cm love interest and sparks fly!
     
  8. Tales
    Offline

    Tales Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2008
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ok but now I have no idea how to go about this story.
     
  9. Michel Zhivago
    Offline

    Michel Zhivago Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    I find a good starting point with fantasy or sci-fi is to write a collection of short stories in the world you've created, perhaps from the viewpoints of various different characters that occur to you.
     
  10. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,915
    Likes Received:
    10,108
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    Something similar happened to me with a story that continues to stare me down on a daily basis. I put it on my desktop so that it would be in my face.

    Check to see if your writing style has changed. Mine did significantly and I am still working to unify the tone and pace of the old part (20 years old) and the middle part (7 years old) and the newest part (very recent.)
     
  11. Mesuno
    Offline

    Mesuno Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Canterbury, Uk
    From the point of view of writing styles - if you have been writing a lot since then you may find that your old work now looks a bit silly. You will probably have matured in what you appreciate (your references to wanting to ditch the stars wars references for instance).

    I think the premise has merit but you will probably find it very hard to integrate stuff you write now with bits from earlier.

    Are you intending to start from scratch or rework what you already have?
     
  12. Tales
    Offline

    Tales Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2008
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0
    hmmm I think I want to start from scratch with only real life and history as reference.
     
  13. Tales
    Offline

    Tales Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2008
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0
    Okay I managed to catch Visions of the Future. It was good reference material but then if say some virus destroyed civilization. Can I say that technology will come to a halt until humanity recovered?

    And how can I explain that due to some virus humanity's technology development came to a halt.
     
  14. Mesuno
    Offline

    Mesuno Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Canterbury, Uk
    Easy enough to explain technological disruption caused by a viral attack.

    Consider what would happen if 90% of the population was wiped out over night.

    * farms can't run without labour so crops don't get harvested
    * what is harvested can't get to where its needed (lorry drivers? mechanics for lorries? fuel shortages?)
    * shops can't supply food to people, and don't have enough customers to stay open anyway
    * people's attention shifts VERY quickly from reseach and development/pure science to survival

    Once things stabilise afterwards you might get some research taking place, but it would be very focussed on the problems at hand. In this case dealing with the aftermath of the virus.

    Consider Day of the Triffids - a large portion of the population is wiped out in a short space of time so society collapses. The whole book pivots about the aftermath and re-establishment of humanity.
     
  15. Tales
    Offline

    Tales Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2008
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0
    Oh ok then, then do I explain to the readers why in the 2100s, technology hasn't advanced very far since the 2000s? Do I need to make the characters discuss from time to time about the plague that ravaged their ancestors prior to the story?

    Won't the reader go "Ok, this the 2100s, where are the flying car or super computers?"
     
  16. Mesuno
    Offline

    Mesuno Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Canterbury, Uk
    You'r whole world is effectively post apocalyptic (albeit without the nukes/brimstone etc). If you do it well your audience will EXPECT to see, in no particular order, abandoned cities, crumbling skyscrapers, a regression to less sophisticated tech (did the oil rigs and refineries survive thsi plague? no? then how come people are still driving cars, rather than using horse and cart).

    Existing tech won't just have held steady, it will have regressed on some fronts and fragmented on others. While you craft your world you need to work out the extent of this disruption. I think you need to have a much clearer idea in your head of the past 100 years.

    What immediate effect did this plague have?
    What was the situation 1 year after it struck
    What was it like 5 years after it struck?
    What was it like 20 years later?
    When did people start rebuilding, and when they did what resources did they have (this will determine what they have and don't have in the 'present')?

    Is 100 years a long enough time frame to get the world rebuilt to the level you envisage for your story?

    The way I would probably approach this is to flesh out some of this backstory by writing some short story elements set through this major catastrophy. By the end of the exercise I'd have a much clearer idea in my head of what happened and would be able to answer questions like you are asking much more easily.
     
  17. Tales
    Offline

    Tales Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2008
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0
    Err won't that be the prequel of the story?
    Ok then I might as well plan for it too since the

    Basically the prequel before the two protagonists in the 2100s, begins a bit like those post apocalyptic stories. The HIV plague was caused by an evolved form of HIV that affects judgement of the person and his control over the organ between his/her legs.:D

    Well lets say the plague happened in the 21st Century, the disease wiped out a lot of countries, first the poorer ones, then the rich ones suffer too.

    Then in the prequel, the protagonist carries a gene that makes him immune. He protects a handful of orphans some of them are immune to the disease but as little kids, they cannot withstand the sexual assaults of the infected people running out there without their pants.

    Look I know it sounds like a cheap porn movie but in the way, it makes sense scientifically. I have consulted a parasitologist online. It turns out it's not out of the realms of possibility as some parasites are capable doing things like that.
     
  18. Tales
    Offline

    Tales Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2008
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0
    And also one question, how many survivors are needed to repopulate the human race?

    In the prequel, there were about 8 kids but is that enough to repopulate the human race? or maybe I just say that there were other survivors too.
     
  19. Tales
    Offline

    Tales Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2008
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think I might have given you the impression that I am going for genetic engineered. But I am going more for human rights Vs Human survival which the plague represented and resulted.

    In my story, the human rights stuff have been slowly eroded to a point where it's almost Spartan. The descendants of those who survived the plague that wiped 90% of humanity had different attitudes compared with us today. Afterall, we could be among their ancestors.

    Abortions are pretty common, so you will not see a Down Syndrome kid or someone under the Autistic Spectrum and even so they are very rare. The govts of the world consider them as a waste of money to support them. So are those kids like "bubble boy", siamese twins, diabetic.etc The major attitude now is that they are euthanized at birth. This is not a mandatory law now unlike my previous concept. Now I added this [to make writing this a more bigger challenge].

    This "Spartan" attitude of most parent in my story operate under. If you protest why they kill of their kid becos they have some kinda gene or they are found to have DS.... they will say this without getting bugged by their conscience...."I brought my kid into the world to live not to suffer."

    Genetic engineering is not so apparent... Designer children still rare as the tech is still expensive. Don't forget the plague that struck the human race 100 prior to the fic caused humanity to stagnate in terms of technology. So they are not so high tech yet. They a little bit more advanced than the technology in mid 21st century.

    Their Spartan Attitude is only for most parents in the mid class, the higher class people only get the designer children thingy that Gattaca had. but their attitudes suck the same.
     
  20. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Eight is NOT enough (couldn't resist). That is far too limited a gene pool for viability.

    A couple hundred individuals if iffy. For long term viability I would suggest a remaining population in the thousands, but not all from the same area. The wider the distribution of the survivors, the better the initial gene variety.

    Ever notice how small, isolated villages tend to look like a single family? They are already genetically pretty limited by intermarriage unless there is something like a long standing feud or a racial divide - and even across those lines some mixing will take place.
     
  21. Tales
    Offline

    Tales Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2008
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0
    well ok I decided that there were several survivors of the plague... but nvm I want to focus more of the aftermath of the plague which is main story. That event would be the prequel...
     
  22. Tales
    Offline

    Tales Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2008
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0
    This story will be using the year A.G instead of A.D, quoting Michio Kaku from his documentary. The Timeline is more vague this way.
     

Share This Page