Hi guys! I plan on writing a philosophical novel, with my primary inspiration coming from Nietzsche's "Thus Spoke Zarathrusta". The primary purpose of this novel, is the varying philosophies and appreciations of life the different characters have (I will go into more detail about this later). However, my main problem has been two things; 1) a proper introduction of the main characters to one another and 2) a plot to follow. The thing I want to avoid is it straying away from the "story" element and being a philosophical text in its whole, which is what TSZ did. I do want to draw in audiences who may not be whole-heartedly interested in certain philosophies, yet still wish to read because of the developments in the story. I have been working on a blueprint, and this is what I have so far. Setting - A mega continent known as Iltar. It is a representation of Earth today, however with its technologies reverted and with a fantasy feel. It has many various countries and is mostly under the rule of, or affiliated with "The Imperialists" - a country which spread out and conquered many parts of the continent and now has firm rule over it. "Imperialists" themselves are representative of Western culture. Several countries are repressed and oppose the Imperialists. Premise - A youth from the content of "Gleaning" arrives in Iltar. The two continents have never been in contact before this - and Gleaning to us would be what we consider Utopia - the perfect world. And builds of certain religious spectacles including that of Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Bahaism, Judaism, etc. The youth is unable to return to his home, and decides to teach what he knows of his world to the people of Iltar. Characters Arthus The youth that hails from Gleaning and arrives in Iltar. He comes from a morally superior background and thus expresses that as his primary philosophy. He has all the characteristics of what we would consider a saint (not in Christian terminology, but in everyday speak). He is unaware of the way of life in Iltar and is shocked by their culture. Aerth A high ranking officer in the Imperial forces, who is the first to find Arthus. He is representative of a classic Western mentality aka "Old School". His status in the military shows his patriotism and belief in his ruling government. Likewise, he has little understanding of the world outside of what he was taught and is unconvinced by Arthus' logic. Maria The only female in the party, she is representative of full fledged Western mentality aka "New School". Personal indulgent and freedom are the things most important to her and unlike Aerth, she has little concept of discipline. She feels free to express her opinion wherever she feels so and responds to Arthus' logic, but does not act upon it. Teyes A small, brilliant man, representative of scientific atheism (Primarily what we would know to be "Dawkinism" or theories thus expressed by Richard Dawkins which have moved into the mainstream culture). He is a scientist who is inspired by Arthus' existence, but does not care for his logic. Vor Hails from a repressed country within the Empire. His people believe that they have evolved beyond human and thus he represents Nietzschean philosophy (primarily what is expressed within TSZ) along with my own personal philosophies. He is the living embodiment of Nietzsche's perception of the Ubermensch. -------------------------------- Purpose - The purpose of this novel is not to try and convince the reader that my "philosophies" are the ones that are correct (hence why Vor is one of the backseat characters) but to give a personal insight into humanity and the varying opinions. I want to audience to draw their own conclusions and their own philosophies supported by the characters in their novels. Problems: - The first problem I have encountered is how to introduce Arthus into the story, followed by the banding of the different characters. My initial thought was to have Arthus sent by his people to be a sort of "prophet", but it seemed kind of cliched and questionable as the story developed. My second idea was to have Arthus arrive in a vessel as a result of a storm in which the other voyagers died. Again, this would make Arthus seem more of a fugitive if Aerth is the first to encounter him. The rest of the jolly group could band together under various unimportant circumstances, but introducing Arthus has been a major problem. - The second problem, the biggest problem, is that I cannot think of a central plot for the characters to follow. I do not want this to turn into a TSZ where there is just dialogue between the characters whilst nothing else happens. The various subplots will lead into discussions, but what is the goal? I cant think of a suitable goal for our party to develop towards. I know that the plot is not as important as the development, but the thing is I totally lack a plot line. So I ask of you - please spitball some ideas so that I can find what I like a try to form my own major plotline. Any input is much appreciated, and thanks for your time!