1. Dusk
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    Dusk Member

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    Too Star Trekish?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Dusk, Nov 17, 2011.

    So basically my story is set in the year 2200, and the world has been taken over by Degorans, a ruthless and barbaric race, that feeds off the pain of others. They took over earth and reduced a population of 11 billion to 4 billion in just under 100 years. Now Jonah is one of these four billion, and he makes money by pit fighting, an underground No-restrictions fighting tournament. But of course he hates his life as a pit fighter, and aspires to explore space and the uknown. He wants to see new species and explore new worlds. Of course he has seen many alien species come to earth for quick drop-ins, but he wants to leave earth, a now Degoran conquered world.

    So yadayadayada he learns about the USEA (Universal Space Exploration Archives) an organization formed by the Paxians, the most intelligent race in the galaxy. Basically the USEA recruits aspiring explorers from around the galaxy, and trains them in a school for two or so years. After that, they are sent off the planet Pax (where the school is) and are teamed with a crew of 4. Jonah does exactly this. The job of him and his team now is to explore new worlds, and document their findings in the archives, the base of knowledge.

    So ya, basically I'm worried that the USEA is too much like the federation in star trek. Comments on my worry and comments on ways to deepen my plot would be much appreciated. Thanks :D
     
  2. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    I don't think it matters.


    However, your story seems to end once he is part of the USEA and exploring new worlds. He reached his goal. The end.

    Where do you go from there? He needs a new goal and new obsticles to that goal.
     
  3. Dusk
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    Dusk Member

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    I very much agree. That is probably my biggest problem now.
     
  4. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    Personally, I think the story have a lot of clich├ęs. That doesn't mean it won't work, though. But either way I agree that the story needs an overal goal. It should start when he's a pit-fighter, then be solved when he's in space. It could be so simple as he wants to be someone important, perhaps. That won't happen until he's in space doing... space-stuff. Maybe he'll save someone, or (even better) sacrifice himself to save a lot of people, and thus be remembered as a hero?
     
  5. Dusk
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    yea I like the idea of him sacrificing himself and I do agree that he needs a full out goal. I know this is kinds out there right now but maybe a series of novels would work best, but all the novels have a continuing probelm of some sort. Oh, and any ideas on how to reduce some of the cliches would be great :D
     
  6. ArtWander
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    ArtWander Contributing Member

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    I don't think the idea is a bad one...my only issue so far is this:
    What about the Degorans? You introduce them as an oppressive, bloodthirsty race of pure murder. How do they fall into the rest of the story? I think it would be great to include them throughout the plot, perhaps the USEA has to be an underground organization to stay hidden from the watchful eyes of the Degorans? I mention this because I have introduced ideas into a story, and then ignore them as I proceed (it makes for an agonizing edit, let me tell you.)

    Anyway, just my two cents.
     
  7. Dusk
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    I can completely relate to what ur saying about how ideas can be introduced and then ignored by mistake. Thanks for the ideas. I've been thinking of doing alot of plot changes soon, so anything to make it better helps alot :)
     
  8. SnappyUK
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    SnappyUK Member

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    A few thoughts that you might like to consider:

    What is the motivation of the Degorans in taking over earth? Is it part of a master plan, or just territorial expansionism? Even in a fictional world, armed invasions cost money (or the equivalent thereof), so there must be something in it for the Degorans. The reason I'm mentioning that is because whatever the Dagorans seek by force may put them into conflict with other, more enlightened races, such as those in the USEA.

    One thought I had was that the Dagorans might need slaves and raw materials to increase the number of spaceships in their fleet. Human beings are dexterous, with our opposable thumbs and ability to use tools - something that might be relatively unique!

    Also, what is the reason for the massive depopulation of earth? Too many slaves to control? Ethnic cleansing/eugenics? Getting rid of the old and infirm that cannot be put to good use as slaves?

    I'm not sure if you're implying that the Dagorans literally live off the fear of others, like some kind of mental vampire, but for my taste such an idea is a little 'out there'. I can better understand the concept of ruling by fear and how that could incorporate elements of the plot. Also, if they did live off the emotion of fear in a literal sense, they would be better fed by a larger population, whereas indiscriminate killing of huge numbers would tend to encourage the survivors to stay in line.

    In what you've outlined, I can see potential for a number of jumping-off points. For example, if the Degorans encourage pit fighting, is it to offer the masses a spectacle which distracts them from the slavery into which they have been cast while offering entertainment to the blood-thirsty Dagoran population? (Like ancient Rome).

    Also, if the USEA explores the galaxy, would they perhaps have spies on earth monitoring the situation and reporting back? It could be one of these that your protagonist encounters and the meeting leads to his joining up. My plot after that would be to have your young recruit mature and explore the galaxy, but with the aim of one day returning home to help the human race retake control of their world. How far he gets in his quest would be up to you.

    Whatever you choose, good luck.
     
  9. Ixloriana
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    Ixloriana Member

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    Wait, wait, wait.

    How does he even get off Earth in the first place? Surely these ruthless, barbaric Degorans who live off the pain of others are not just going to let people go frolic off to school on another planet? You've kind of jumped from Gladiator to Star Trek without much explanation.

    I think it's an interesting concept. I'm not sure I could say it's too much like Star Trek until I've seen it in action. Regardless, I can see lots of potential for interesting stories, here:
    • How does Jonah survive as a pit fighter? What kind of people does he fight? Are they all human? Are there aliens?
    • How does he learn about the USEA, escape Earth, and find his way to Pax? Does he do it alone? Does he have companions? What happens to them?
    • How does he get through training? What kind of stuff does he learn? Does he make any friends or enemies that will be important later?
    • Once he's done with training, what does he want to do next? ...This one is your problem, right?
    When I don't know what to do with a plot, I just start asking "what if?" questions and see where they lead me.
    What is stopping him from forgetting about his past on Earth entirely? What if he feels the need to do something about the rest of his poor, enslaved species? What if he left behind someone he cares about? What if he pissed off an important Degoran who held a grudge? What if that has to do with how he escaped from Earth? Maybe Jonah took some important Degoran hostage and hijacked his spaceship to escape Earth? What if... eh, too tired to think of more. You get the idea! :D


    If you think the USEA in your story is too much like Star Trek's Federation, then focus on some ways to emphasize their differences.
     

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