1. NeighborVoid
    Offline

    NeighborVoid Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2015
    Messages:
    237
    Likes Received:
    81
    Location:
    Planet Earth, Origin System

    Spaceship crash landing intro too cliché?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by NeighborVoid, Jan 17, 2016.

    I need a way to introduce my protagonists to a new planet, but I'm not sure if a crash landing would be too cliché. Is there an alternative or a way to mix it up?
     
    zoupskim likes this.
  2. Electralight
    Offline

    Electralight Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2016
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Dominica
    You could have them fall through a portal, be kidnapped, or teleport (while sleeping maybe) depending on what the main characters can do?
     
    zoupskim likes this.
  3. Cave Troll
    Offline

    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2015
    Messages:
    3,774
    Likes Received:
    2,398
    Location:
    Where cushions are comfy, and straps hold firm.
    Why did he crash? Was there engine failure, gravity well, shot down, or bad piloting? There are a few reasons one might crash land on an alien planet. You could have him crash from getting caught in a gravity well due to running out of fuel. :p
     
  4. zoupskim
    Offline

    zoupskim Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2015
    Messages:
    648
    Likes Received:
    523
    Maybe they attempt a controlled landing but (plot element) forces them to crash. You can introduce setting or conflict this way, eliminating the need for bland explanations later.

    "Allow me to take a moment to explain the trans-galactic history of the Blathrian Empire."

    Or.

    "The Blathrians are attacking our ship!"
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2016
  5. NeighborVoid
    Offline

    NeighborVoid Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2015
    Messages:
    237
    Likes Received:
    81
    Location:
    Planet Earth, Origin System
    The protagonists are a group of scientists of a research/terraforming mission. They're fully prepared, and a crash landing would limit their supplies, giving me more conflict to work with. It's perfect except for the frequency at which the crash landing intro is used in planetary sci-fi.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2016
  6. NeighborVoid
    Offline

    NeighborVoid Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2015
    Messages:
    237
    Likes Received:
    81
    Location:
    Planet Earth, Origin System
    Someone trips and their coffee drops into the engine.
     
    izzybot, Cave Troll and matwoolf like this.
  7. TWErvin2
    Offline

    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,528
    Likes Received:
    561
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    No, it is not too cliché. If it's the proper place to start and the proper vehicle to kick off the storyline, then go for it.

    For another cliché to throw in...the crash could be caused by sabotage. It would add another element to the conflict.
     
    GingerCoffee likes this.
  8. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,604
    Likes Received:
    5,877
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    I don't think the crash is too cliché if done right. I'm a tad tired of the sabotage theme though from watching too much TV. :p
     
  9. NeighborVoid
    Offline

    NeighborVoid Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2015
    Messages:
    237
    Likes Received:
    81
    Location:
    Planet Earth, Origin System
    Maybe the intro could begin in an escape pod. That could help isolate the protagonists and prevent the reader from being overloaded with too many characters from the start.
     
  10. LinnyV
    Offline

    LinnyV Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2015
    Messages:
    690
    Likes Received:
    991
    Coffee spill caused crash landing? Hmmm....seems a bit boring to me even for a webcomic.

    Nothing wrong with the crash landing but it would be nice to have a sillier reason for them to crash. Maybe all the signs were there not to approach the planet. But the scientists are hopeless and misread all the obvious the signs despite the concerns of the flight crew. And in drawing close, they fell into the trap of some magnetic field that fried their systems and made them crash.

    Maybe the captain of the ship was drunk and the pilot of the ship was too busy playing the futuristic version of minesweeper, or posting on 'spacebook' all the while ignoring the real dangers of asteroids hitting them. So the scientists are pretty pissed off with their incompetent crew. Especially when they find out the their space ship was pieced together from some space yard sale, so pieces were falling off or failing and really, they were floating in space to what is equivalent to a sardine can. Budget issues. :)

    Basically someone was not doing their job properly and they were doomed from the start....
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2016
  11. Robert Musil
    Offline

    Robert Musil Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2015
    Messages:
    312
    Likes Received:
    217
    Location:
    USA
    As someone who recently wrote my own story about a spaceship crashing, I vote for "not too cliche."

    What's most interesting to me--and where you might be able to set your story apart--is figuring out how anyone even survives a spaceship crash. Unless they're in a specialized escape pod, or a vehicle designed for atmospheric re-entry, it's going to take some clever plotting to keep them from turning into a ball of plasma in the upper atmosphere, or at best a giant smoking crater in the ground. This is assuming you're writing hard sci-fi that adheres to the known laws of physics, etc.
     
  12. matwoolf
    Offline

    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    Messages:
    2,298
    Likes Received:
    2,225
    Location:
    Brighton Heights
    Maybe they don't know why they crashed.
     
  13. The Mad Regent
    Offline

    The Mad Regent Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2015
    Messages:
    1,024
    Likes Received:
    427
    Location:
    Wirral, England
    I wouldn't say a crash landing was cliché. In fact, I was planning on opening a sci-fi idea of my own with a crash landing. Though, I wouldn't explain the actual crash; I was going to cut directly to the scene where my protagonist awakes from cryostasis after the crash.

    Opening with a line like The year was 3047 ... is cliché, though. But that's just my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2016
  14. BrianIff
    Offline

    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2015
    Messages:
    1,294
    Likes Received:
    433
    Location:
    Canada
    Aye, morning amnesia. -_- ... aye.
     
    Shadowfax likes this.
  15. matwoolf
    Offline

    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    Messages:
    2,298
    Likes Received:
    2,225
    Location:
    Brighton Heights
    No, I was merely equating my own experience as a fighter jet pilot during the First World War to that of a rocket crew hurtling toward the surface of a space planet.

    'Richthoven delivered a volley through his propeller, hurtled down from behind the sun, probably,' I concluded rationally upon observation of his wing tips glistening among clouds. I did not see the farmer's wife or her shot-gun.

    [double hurtle, tch]
     
    BrianIff likes this.
  16. matwoolf
    Offline

    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    Messages:
    2,298
    Likes Received:
    2,225
    Location:
    Brighton Heights
    ...that's after my aeroplane crashed...

    ...

    'How curious,' I said to Pip.

    Pip, my navigator, he lay dead in his seat.

    'How curious, three suns in the sky, and look here yonder, monkeys on horseback,' I said, reached for the Very flare pistol, my first and final act upon Monkey Planet to defend my crate, my ship.

    'God save the Q...'

    I awoke in the Monkey Penitentiary
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2016
    Cave Troll and BrianIff like this.
  17. tonguetied
    Offline

    tonguetied Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 23, 2014
    Messages:
    547
    Likes Received:
    219
    Location:
    Near Atlanta
    If I understand your story beginning, the scientists are on a well researched mission so every detail has been meticulously planned so a crash is unlikely. So I would propose that their supply ships carrying the majority of their needed items are programmed to land nearby, however due to an oversight each supply ship was designated to land at the same coordinates, early planning stage oversight that was forgotten, and they do, precisely, one on top of the other, destroying much of their supplies.
     
    NeighborVoid likes this.
  18. Matt E
    Offline

    Matt E Stormblessed Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Messages:
    144
    Likes Received:
    68
    Location:
    Seattle
    Maybe I haven't read/watched the same stuff as you, but I can't think of any spaceship crash intros. I don't think it's cliche at all.
     
  19. Aster
    Offline

    Aster Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2015
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    43
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Maybe they just land safe and sound.

    Then some native fauna wreck the ship and destroy their supplies while they're off setting up their sciency whatevers.

    Or it falls into a sinkhole.

    Or there's a flash flood.

    Or.

    It just.....disappears.

    No explanation.

    [cue intro to Lost]
     
  20. TheoremAlpha
    Offline

    TheoremAlpha Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2016
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Seattle, USA
    The thing about science fiction, is that it is nearly impossible to write in that format without using some Cliche material. If you want to start a story with a crash landing, that is definitely a good way to go about it to propel the person into an active world with an interesting setting.

    The most important part, is how original the content AFTER that point is. If it is just like every other space opera, it doesn't really give the reader any incentive to read as they've seen it all before.

    It's perfectly alright to use things that are used over and over, as if they are often used, it's a good sign that the hook you're using is effective. So don't be afraid of your writing being similar to another work you've seen, as there are only so many stories one can tell in this world. And anything you write, will likely have a similar action in some other work.

    It's all about just having a different perspective on those things, that makes it interesting! :)
     

Share This Page