1. Echoblammo
    Offline

    Echoblammo New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2016
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    'Merica

    Rethinking my General plot and I'm at a dead end.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Echoblammo, Mar 2, 2016.

    OK, so I'm gonna keep this short and sweet and tell you what's necessary, if you need more info, just ask.

    So, currently my plot is based around an Alien Invasion from out of the solar system. The plot to make it sound not cliche was, well, cliche. Currently, they're just a bunch of War-loving space pirates who want land and crave combat.

    CLICHE, CLICHE EVERYWHERE.

    They need a motive. Something that can make the reader sympathize for the heroes, make them hate the Aliens. What can the humans have done to make this race HATE them dearly. The humans have colonzied the Solar system, but that's it. They come from outside the solar system, so I don't really know how they can be agitated by Humans.

    Any Help is much obliged.
     
    jannert likes this.
  2. izzybot
    Offline

    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    848
    Likes Received:
    932
    Location:
    SC, USA
    Maybe human society has some practice that these aliens find vile, so they're driven by moral righteousness and zealotry. It could just be a biological thing humans can't even help doing. "You ingest plant matter? Repugnant! You must die!"

    Or they could be a species so different that they don't even recognize humans as a real/important form of life and killing them is just a by-product of something else - eg they want to colonize the area and they see eradicating the humans the way we'd see cutting down some trees to put in a highway. That's verging more on cosmic horror than you might want, but you don't have to play up the horror angle.
     
    Wolf Daemon, Mars and Feo Takahari like this.
  3. BadCrow
    Offline

    BadCrow Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2016
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    25
    Well humans have been poluting the space with all our poorly made tv shows for decades... i would want to kill us if i saw hundreds of reality tv shows... (kidding of course).
    Well the altime classics for murdering people are: Religion, racissm, conquest and the fact that we are wasting our planet and all the wonders it has.
    they need people to work for them since they are slowly reproducing and have a economical crisis?
    Maybe preemptive? they see our society evolving at a rapid pace and decide to strike first before we strike?
     
    jannert likes this.
  4. jannert
    Online

    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    7,778
    Likes Received:
    7,291
    Location:
    Scotland
    As so often can happen, the best story ideas can come when you turn the concept on its head and think about it from a new angle.

    What would humans do if they came upon a planet that had life on it? Transplant some of those attitudes on to aliens, and you're probably on your way.

    Would 'we' see another planet as a place we could exploit? Maybe either to remove materials to use on Earth, or as a place we could colonise? How would we deal with the life that's already there? Would it make a difference to us if we could communicate with that 'life,' or would we not care? If we couldn't communicate, would we just wipe it out if it got in our way? How would we deal with something we saw as a threat? Perhaps some planetary life form that inadvertently exported a disease that was killing off humans?

    Start playing around with these kinds of ideas. Don't look for answers in other sci-fi or space operas. Push yourself and see what you come up with.

    I read one time that the 'best sci-fi is always about Earth.' I totally agree with that concept. In other words, it doesn't have to happen ON Earth, but it has to relate to Earth in some way. Does it teach us a lesson about how we do things now? How we did things in the past? What we are likely to do in the future?

    If life throughout the universe has some basic characteristics in common, what will these characteristics be?

    What would we as humans do if we discover that lots of stuff we thought we knew about the universe is wrong? What if physics is wrong? What if there are at least 42 new inorganic elements we haven't discovered yet?

    Take any of these concepts and transfer them to your alien invaders (or colonists, or visitors) and see what happens.
     
    Mars likes this.
  5. Cervo
    Offline

    Cervo New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2016
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    2
    As you seem averse to cliches, why not try to build sympathy with the aliens?
     
  6. Feo Takahari
    Offline

    Feo Takahari Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2016
    Messages:
    291
    Likes Received:
    270
    Location:
    Just above the treetops
    They had a previous encounter with another intelligent species that ended disastrously, and they've decided to cut straight to the violence this time. This doesn't have to be sensible, mind you--their judgment could be based on bigotry or blind dogmatism, failing to recognize that humanity is better than they expect.
     
  7. Shadowfax
    Offline

    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Messages:
    2,504
    Likes Received:
    1,337
    Back to the OP.

    Why the emphasis on violence?

    We've recently had a programme 10,000BC:Two Tribes on TV, made by an American named Klint Janulis. He was at great pains to let us know how the fact that the two tribes - that they artificially created - would lead to "conflict over scarce resources".

    But when I look at the Native American experience, there's an awful lot about the various tribes trading with each other, and even acting philanthropically towards one another. OK, there was inter-tribe warfare, but even that was more about "counting coup" than slaughter or genocide.

    And the two tribes of the TV programme did, in fact, manage to avoid warfare, but traded with each other and even made gifts of food. Were they really only inhibited from their primitive urges by their modern conditioning to be law-abiding and not inflict violence upon each other?

    It is, perhaps, significant that Klint comes to the subject (he is only now studying for a PhD in Stone Age archaeology) fairly fresh from 12 years experience as a US Marine/Special Forces.
     
  8. Ochalis
    Offline

    Ochalis Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2015
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Perhaps enslavement is in order? Say, perhaps, the aliens invade, and an epic war ensues... It's not a lopsided battle; Both sides strut their stuff, both sides suffer an arbitrarily large amount of casualties, etc. But as fate would have it, the humans ultimately end up losing. The remaining humans are either killed or imprisoned and subjected to horrifying experiments/torture/slavery. For reasons expected, the humans aren't happy, and so they organize a huge uprising. Classic underdog rebel story.

    I feel that this would also speak to our pride as a species.
     
  9. Rob40
    Offline

    Rob40 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2016
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Colorado
    They are actually trying to save Earth's future. How? Well, they know Earth and it's people are on their way to the stars, but know they won't realize their power and future unless driven to develop it. So, they attack their way of life. No way will they let an entire people share their resources equally and get along harmoniously. They'll never explore the stars if there's no reason to leave their own planet.

    the aliens ad the stress to divide the people and drive them. Possibly the aliens intentionally drive the humans to total revenge so human tech is invented to go chase the aliens down over the light-years. An option...
     
  10. Ryan Elder
    Offline

    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2015
    Messages:
    1,605
    Likes Received:
    78
    What if they had a motive like The League of Shadows in Batman Begins? Their motive was to go around the world destroying cities, who they think are so crime infested, that they think that balance has to be restored.

    Perhaps they think the human race is infested with so much sin, that they have signed their own death warrants, and it's time for a cleansing of the universe, or something like that?
     
  11. PBNJDraftNumbA
    Offline

    PBNJDraftNumbA Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2016
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    47
    Pardon the following. It is littered with mistakes. Someone interrupted me. :p

    I cannot help but think about the importance of light. The solar system is a space system that is built around/consists of solar energy. Therefore, energy, to borrow from the ideas above, is the matter (begs the question: is energy part of matter?) that the two side war over. Liken it to a kid going out to capture a fireflies, glowbugs, lightening bugs, whatever! The space beings are drawn, either by greed, awe, or a combination. They look to collect the solar power as fuel for their other-galaxy war, which does not include the humans. (Sounds like fighting for oil to me. Solar power is the source of the crude stuff, so it makes comparative sense.)

    The humans are out to plant flags in all the world, as they know it exists. But they are terrified when the curtain is pulled open, torn through, by aliens (to them). Over time, the humans can join forces with the soldiers, sworn to protect the light. I highLIGHT SOLdiers.
     
  12. peachalulu
    Offline

    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    May 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,821
    Likes Received:
    2,379
    Location:
    occasionally Oz , mainly Canada
    Haven't we continuously beamed the song Wooly Bully into space? That would be enough for any alien to hop in a space craft and blow planet earth out of the galaxy.
    Kidding - just
    Also you don't have to make it seem like murder if the aliens think themselves superior. It could be like us setting out ant traps. They could view us as pests invading their turf.
     
  13. A.S.Ford
    Offline

    A.S.Ford Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2016
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    84
    Location:
    Gloucestershire
    I would just say to be careful with this idea as it is similar to the opening of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
     
  14. KokoN
    Offline

    KokoN Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2016
    Messages:
    250
    Likes Received:
    250
    Someone made a joke about tv pollution, but the aliens could be concerned about actual pollution caused by the humans that somehow is affecting the rest of the galaxy.

    I were you, I would make the aliens greedy or something and have them come here just for resources. Maybe something that is abundant on earth is considered rare and valuable on their planet. I also would draw on history and look at when Columbus came to America. He came and killed a bunch of the natives for no reason other than greed, and they were the same species. Why would aliens be any different, especially since it would be even easier for them to justify killing humans because they consider us "inferior." Heck, we humans have been considering each other inferior for thousands of years over things much more trivial.
     
  15. Jack Asher
    Offline

    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Messages:
    3,571
    Likes Received:
    2,053
    Location:
    Denver
  16. Holden LaPadula
    Offline

    Holden LaPadula Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2016
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    18
    Avoiding cliché is hard work, I understand your struggle. Perhaps the religious beliefs of the aliens contain ideals that the humans breach, and in order to maintain the approval of their "deity(ies)" they must eradicate the human race. Perhaps the alien spreading such an idea has their own motive for doing so. Maybe the religious breach in question can allude to our society today, such as abuses of the church on women's rights/gay rights? The religious justification of war and terrorism?

    Pretty cool idea: Maybe the aliens die in the presence of carbon dioxide, which humans give off, do it's an us-or-them battle that must occur because the humans spread so far? Then you can play with keeping from the reader what the aliens look like because they wear masks. You can also play with themes of the environment, identity, hubris, the limits of human exploration and knowledge....

    ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES! Good luck! :)
     

Share This Page