1. Ziku
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    Ziku Member

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    The World just keeps Ending

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Ziku, May 27, 2009.

    In my latest plot device, I finally discovered something.... Although I never realized it before, my story does indeed take place on earth, and, despite having a strong mediaeval overtone, actually takes place centuries from now....

    A great event explained in my tale is very similar to the Norse "Ragnarok", the end of the world. Ragnarok is triggered one of two ways, and done by one of two entities called Envoys (A good one, and an evil one). When an envoy calls for Ragnarok to take place, all life and civilization, save a few humans and animals are eradicated, essentially restarting all humanity in an Adam and Eve like way.

    It was then I saw, since all idea and sense of civilization was destroyed by Ragnarok, countless Ragnaroks could have taken place within my world. A Ragnarok could have destroyed the Biblical world and created the time of cave men, my world could just be another awaiting complete destruction at the hands of Ragnarok.

    To me, I felt odd about the idea, but it also seems.... Fascinating to me. Ideas on this? I'm curious.
     
  2. 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.)
     
  3. Marcelo
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    Marcelo Contributing Member

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    Yeah, Cog's right. But my personal opinion is that, if used in the right way, that concept could be really brilliant. But as Cogito said, it may probably been done before. However, I had never heard of it so... good luck! :D
     
  4. TragicJuliet
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    TragicJuliet Senior Member

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    if it's fascinating for you- then its worth writing. You can always edit it after it's done, who knows the parts that "feel odd" to you may just wither away after some time
     
  5. Carbon
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    Carbon Member

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    It is quite an interesting concept and I really do like it. If you ever decide to scrap this idea, let me know. I might have some fun working with it.
     
  6. dagda24
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    dagda24 Member

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    I've always loved this idea, especially when you start to think of all the different reasons for everything being restarted. Maybe it was decided at the beginning of time that every now and then the slate would be wiped clean. Perhaps the human race keeps messing up and being new chances, only to repeat the same old mistakes.

    Channelling Douglas Admas, maybe the world is simply a machine created to perform a task, only when it doesn't work as planned the hard drive is wiped and reprogrammed with a few little tweaks
     
  7. PurpleCao
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    PurpleCao Member

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    Funnily enough, I had a conclusion that what you described could have already happened for real, only on a much lesser scale.
    In Plato's dialogues Timaeus and Critias, which touch on the subject of Atlantis, there's two seperate references to civilisations being lost and re-started without knowledge of that which came before itself (One refers to Athens itself, iirc). It's possible there are countless pasts and that it will happen again.
    I suggest you find text documents of these two and read them, they may inspire you further.
     
  8. cybrxkhan
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    cybrxkhan Contributing Member

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    I've had an idea similar to this, too, for a very long time, since I was 10 or 9. Basically, every 26000 years or something, civilization collapses or goes through significant changes. So Atlantis would have existed thousands of years back as a world-dominating Empire, then the Ice Age came along and destroyed it. And then in each incarnation of civilization, the same people - reincarnated - would have to "discover" the secret of the previous civilization. I've halted work on my novel idea of that for a long time, but I plan on returning to it someday.

    Anyhow, as you probably know, this kind of stuff - the rebirth of the world or whatever - is found in a number of cultures across the world. The MesoAmericans had the different "Suns" (ours being the Fifth Sun), the Scandinavians Ragnarok, the Bhramic religions having time being a cyclical concept rather than a linear one, and so forth. I would suggest looking up all these mythologies for ideas.
     
  9. tbeverley
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    tbeverley Senior Member

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    I love trippy stories. It reminds me of The Matrix. I'd say, if the idea is interesting to you, it will probably be interesting to others. It might be extremely difficult, but I'd go with it. I'd think that it would keep getting stranger the more you play with the idea and could turn out all kinds of nice plot elements and a nice story. Might just be very hard.
     
  10. seta
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    seta Contributing Member

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    Speaking of trippy stories... I have one that I'm working on. As Cogito said, the premise of a story is one thing - how it's executed makes all the difference.

    Guidelines for ANY story:

    1) Association with the characters is paramount. If the reader cannot identify with the characters, they don't care, and stop reading.

    2) Tension and relief. Discussed in other threads as well.

    So far as I can tell, these are the two most important factors - assuming that you use proper spelling and grammar and coherent sentence structure.

    I've read a couple of books where there was no overriding problem or enemy - it was just following a person through her life of trials and tribulations. If it wasn't 1 person trying to kill her, it was another. Or her ship was falling apart. Or her friend was horribly messed up mentally. I can't even remember the name of those books...
     
  11. tbeverley
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    tbeverley Senior Member

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    Sounds boring. :p

    Maybe if a person was trying to kill her because her ship was falling apart.
     
  12. seta
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    seta Contributing Member

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    Well, she did have a purpose - theoretically - but it was such a backburner issue that it didn't really matter. There was her stated purpose, but that was boring (trying to start a school or something) but she ended up just trying to survive.
     
  13. tbeverley
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    tbeverley Senior Member

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    Sounds like a really contrived plot with hindrances to her progress inserted not to develop the plot but to create the illusion of conflict.

    I forget who it was that I read, but an old famous author said that the best plots are developed with action performing two tasks: 1) action that develops the plot, and 2) simultaneously, action that develops the character.

    It sounds to me like the book you read had action for the sake of action, which wasn't developing the plot or the character. Thus, the sense that it was pointless and boring.
     
  14. seta
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    seta Contributing Member

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    Well, the characters were actually fairly well developed, otherwise I wouldn't have read both books. However, I felt like I was constantly waiting for the story to get going, as you predicted.
     
  15. tbeverley
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    tbeverley Senior Member

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    I've seen a lot of movies like that. You watch because it's interesting, but you don't know exactly what is interesting, and you wait for something to happen, but nothing seems to happen. Sometimes it can work, but only in a movie where you have cinematography. It's much harder to get into a novel when you're reading for the sake of reading, probably because there's a million libraries out there with so many books that eventually you just think: "Why don't I just set this book aside and read something else that might improve my life a bit."

    Just as an example: I would watch a Bertolt Breckt (sp) play, written without a plot or even sense in some cases, because there is visual stimulation. It's pleasant just to look at the characters. However, words that go nowhere can't keep my attention because words have nothing else to support them - no sights, sounds, anything. I would, however, read a book that went nowhere but had a lot of beautiful language; I read poetry sometimes that doesn't really go anywhere but has such great language that it's like literary candy. I'd think it works in poetry but probably not novels.

    I read novels, in fact, not for plot so much as style. Style is like the candy of fiction, to me. I could read a novel that goes nowhere, for instance, if it's style was existential. Then the nowhere-ness would still have a point.

    Anyway, I'm just rambling. :p
     

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