1. JaskaranRajput
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    JaskaranRajput New Member

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    What do you think of this alien story idea?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by JaskaranRajput, Jan 6, 2012.

    Okay, this idea may have some similarities to Signs or Skyline, but i've tried to make and present it as originally as possible ( any suggestions as to how i can make it better are welcome).

    Themes I tried to address: how the government would respond to this and how the people would become paranoid and chaotic if this were to happen in reality.
    Note: The aliens first try to investigate the life forms of the planet by hovering over and capturing images. they then start abductions to experiment.

    Throughout the world, various people of urban and rural areas claim to see UFO's that resemble long rods that glow red. Numerous come up in North America, periodically in major cities such as Chicago and New York, causing great concern and speculation amongst the residents. the government, as they would, cover up the claim stating that they have been performing government testing and that no measures should be taken regarding the UFO's.
    Things really take a turn once a mischevious talk-show host postulates to the people that the government has found bodies of the aliens from the rod-like ships, who is arrested and placed in jail.

    Videos of the UFO rods are made, and amongst them a shocking one is uncovered: an actual abduction in a rural area of Russia,
    Once released, more panic results. Speculators rise, and people begin to panic about the possibilities of an alien invasion. What happens next? Bodies are found of the abducted, resulting in autopsies, government explanations, and riots.
    The major character of the story is an established businessman who has a wife on a trip in England. With his son, he decides to take whatever flight he can once speculating that his son came into contact with an alien in a nearby forest while playing.
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ideas mean nothing, sorry to say... no one can tell whether this one can be turned into a marketable book or not, till you write it... six writers using this as a start would turn out six completely different novels, perhaps none of which would be any good... or, one could end up a bestseller while none of the others would be good enough to snag a publisher...
     
  3. Makeshift
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    Makeshift Active Member

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    Definitely better than Signs, but that was a really stupidly written film anyway. The premise doesn't mean anything. This could turn into a great book or a terrible one, depending on your talents. Just remember not to portray the aliens lame like Shyamalan did. They're supposed to be smart and advanced. The part about the kid meeting an alien in the forest may be a little farfetched, would the aliens make that kind of mistakes?
     
  4. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    ... This is almost the right advice. The best advice I can give you is to just write it. Don't ask people what they think of the idea, because, it's true, ideas mean nothing.

    It's better that people dislike the story you write than dislike the story you didn't write. Because at least if you wrote the story, you actually accomplished something.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    don't know what you mean by 'almost the right advice' arron... what part of it isn't 'right'?...

    regardless, the additional advice that you provided is certainly valid...
     
  6. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't know what arron means about that either, since I'm, you know, not arron. That I meant by that is that it shouldn't be about it being marketable. So yeah, ideas mean nothing, but not because of marketing. That's not something I'd suggest people think about unless they've written at least their first draft.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    sorry about the name goof... having his quote as your sig is what caused it... that and the fact i hadn't had my morning's green tea yet!...:redface:

    if one is writing in order to be published, then they are thinking about marketing...

    anyway, i was referring to the fact that until we can see the whole plot and the quality of the op's writing, we can't possibly tell if he can turn that idea into a book anyone would buy... so, your added bit of advice simply completes my thoughts on the matter... i don't think we're disagreeing in principle...
     
  8. Kio
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    Kio Contributing Member

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    Presentation is key. It won't fly unless you present it in a realistic and unique way. Though, your idea is actually really interesting, you best focus on writing it and having it peer-edited.

    For example, give the aliens a reason for abducting these people. Why would they be interested in us? We're just a bunch of meatbags. The human reactions are foreseeable, as long as they all have reasons for doing what they do. What are the riots spurred by? I mean, I know it's the aliens, but why would people react to the aliens in such a way? And why are the aliens targeting the major North American cities?

    The development and the story telling are what it's mostly about. Make sure to have fun with it!
     
  9. Slinkywizard
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    Slinkywizard Member

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    It's not original, but pretty much no stories are. As described by crucifiction and mammamaia in greater detail above, ideas are nothing; write it. If it's good, it's good, if it's bad it's bad, but no one will know, including yourself until you write it and find out. And surely that's going to be fun, right? So get to it, word-soldier. At the double.

    I've lost count of the number of times someone comes to me, as an editor, with 'this great idea'. Inside I sigh and out comes a bit of wee. Getting them to understand that it's not ideas, but elbow grease that makes the world turn is one of the hardest things there is.

    I would add that if you're going to write invasion sci-fi, start with The War Of The Worlds and read everything in the genre you can lay your hands on to the present day. Not to imitate, but to avoid it as much as is possible.
     
  10. Phantom_Of3
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    Phantom_Of3 Member

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    To be honest the, the idea doesn't sound all that interesting to me, and as some others have said, it isn't too original. And yes, no idea is original anymore, but this particular one has been done too many times, and I personally think that if you wrote this it could hurt your integrity as a writer who wants to add to the already large world of literature. I say add, as in help, not as in adding to the pile of age-old cliches. Don't take this as an insult, just as how I would react to such a book.
     
  11. thalorin19
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    thalorin19 Member

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    Well, first off, I want to say that if you have a story idea that you think is something a lot of people will enjoy, don't share it, especially on the internet. I'm not questioning the integrity of the board as I've come here for a long time, but you can never be too safe, especially with something so precious.

    Also, it doesn't matter in the slightest until you start putting it down on paper. I know its a tiresome thing to hear and I'll admit that when I started getting serious about writing, I would've much rather heard opinions on my idea rather then that old saying, but it's true and clear.
     
  12. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Your story idea could be benefited by two major points of view, that of your MC and another MC in the government, this way we get to see the governments view. They are trying to figure out why the aliens are abducting people, etc. Focusing in preinvasion could be most interesting if done well, more like a mystery novel than anything.
     
  13. daydreams
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    daydreams Member

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    Seriously I am wondering why people believe that ideas mean nothing. Really? Sure, a bad idea can still make for an entertaining movie, but sometimes we want good ideas too. Perhaps it's just me.
     
  14. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hitler had the idea of helping the German people to rise back into some semblance of power after the great depression.
    His execution was to mass-murder the Jews and fight a war against nature (no, seriously).

    Good idea, bad execution. Ideas mean nothing, and if not, they at most mean very little.
     
  15. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    I'm a firm believer that there is no such thing as an absolute "no." (Which means I technically disagree with my own sentence, but moving onward...)

    So, I think that ideas mean SOMETHING. I also think that there are more important things to a great read than the idea:

    1) Strong Characters
    2) A plot that makes sense
    3) A compelling "voice"

    There are other parts to writing, but in my opinion, these three are the most important. So, Jaskaranrajput, my advice is to take your idea and run with it, developing these three things along the way. And the best way to receive feedback from the forum is to take a segment and put it in the critique section. Unfortunately, no one can really help you at this stage.
     
  16. kablooblab
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    kablooblab Member

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    Everyone here always says ideas don't mean anything, its how you write it. Drives me crazy. Theres a reason that on the back of books there is a summary of the story. People care about the story. It doesn't matter how well you can write if its a bad story idea then people won't want to read it.
     
  17. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Have you ever noticed how often blurbs are inaccurate, though? Most copywriters (I'm pretty sure that's the name of the people who write the blurbs) rarely even read the novel itself before writing the blurb for it.
    And the problem with that advice is that it's become contrived and meaningless the more it's repeated. The original meaning is lost. If someone says they want to write a story about aliens that invade earth, that's an idea, but it means nothing. It's how you work with that idea (read: how you write it) that matters. Are you going to write it with the aliens winning or losing? Is there some advantage humans have over them other than the idiocy and courage to fight back? Are you writing it as an action thriller, or more from the point of view of world-leaders?

    With the repetition of this great advice, people have suddenly decided that "how you write it" relates to prose and structure and not to the actual plot.
     
  18. daydreams
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    daydreams Member

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    Of course, how you write it matters. But I agree, to say that ideas are irrelevant and mean nothing, is plain wrong. Try to write anything without any ideas at all!
     
  19. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you're totally misconstruing that bit of sage advice... what it means is that the bare idea by itself has no actual literary value until you develop it into a story!
     
  20. miss sunhine
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    miss sunhine Member

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    Um...not my type of thing really and it's hard to tell.
    You could come up with a 'boring' plot but write is fantastically and make it really readable.
    It 's not always the plot but the way you write it that makes a reader want to read it.
     
  21. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    For me it is plot or a very interesting character in a character driven story that keeps me reading. No amount of fantastic writing will make a boring plot readable for me. I don't care if their prose is magicaly or Godly, without an interesting plot or a very interesting character to drive a character driven story, then blah.
     
  22. daydreams
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    daydreams Member

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    Well of course. But that sounds a bit different than to say it's irrelevant.
     
  23. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    in addition to misconstruing what i said, you're also misquoting me, since i never said it was 'irrelevant'!
     

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