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  1. Arcadeus

    Arcadeus Active Member

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    Ideas That Feel Odd

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Arcadeus, Dec 29, 2016.

    First off Hello,
    I am new to the forums and it is a pleasure to meet you all.

    I have an idea for a system of hard magic that follows specific rules. All of the Brandon Sanderson Laws of Magic apply to it as well. (I know a lot of people feel one way or another about Sanderson's "laws." I didn't open this post to discuss that.)

    My issue,

    Have you ever used a concept that seemed cliché or unpopular and had good results?

    Horrible example-
    Mood-rings. Incorporated in a serious way even though the idea of this idea or item is already in your reader's heads as a laughing matter/ un-interesting.
     
  2. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Um.... sure. At least I hope the answer is "...and had good results."

    In genre lit, there aren't too many props or storylines one can employ that haven't been done to death in someone's eyes.

    My examples:

    In WIP#1 - Ancient Technology Trope: Lordy, but you can find it everywhere in Science Fiction. Matter of fact, I just started re-watching Stargate Atlantis about a week ago and remembered that this show, this franchise, is pretty much pretexted off the idea of ancient tech falling into the hands of modern humans. In my story, two ancient sentient ships are part of a 4-person group of protagonists (the other two are humans, and the love-interest pairing) that save human space from the baddies, who are also ancient foes of the ancient ships. Any fan of the Stargate universe will know that premiss pretty well.

    In WIP#2 - Lost Colony Trope: My story takes place on a nameless world that is (or was) the destination for a colony of humans. This colony fails. Can't tell you why it fails because learning this is the thing that my protagonists go on a journey and discover. Regardless, this is well trodden territory in Science Fiction. Pern, Darkover, etc.

    I don't let these things worry me because these things are only the props of the play, they aren't the play itself.
     
    izzybot likes this.
  3. Arcadeus

    Arcadeus Active Member

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    I wasn't speaking of things that have been done a lot in the past. I was thinking more-so taking an idea that is strongly thought of in a specific way, and using it in a different context.
    Something silly for example that is used in the writing that sets a serious mood.

    I'm not worried about the general idea being un-original. It's more-so that I get a feeling of, "I should be using something more serious even though this fits really well."

    Another out of proportion example is- Flavored Ring-pops used as energy storage, with different flavors granting different uses of elemental energy. (My actual idea isn't this ridiculous, this is just what popped into my head.) The idea of using the "Ring-pops" even though they are out-dated and childish and don't seem to fit.

    I was wondering if anyone had luck changing the "mood" of the noun in their writing.
     
  4. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Hmm..... Okay... In the second of the two WIP's I mention, there is a person to whom I refer as a radio because that's what he is, not in the technological sense, but instead in a metapsychic sense. I've had people tell me I shouldn't actually refer to him as a radio in the story, not to use that word, because they felt it was too anachronistic, but it's kinda' the point. The people in the story have had their culture slide back to a 12-13th century level, but they did come from a more-then-modern origin. I felt it would be appropriate for there to be lingering traces in their language even if the terms have been somewhat repurposed to fit the way things work in their world. I've been met with mixed feelings on that one. Don't know if that's close enough to what you mean, but it's as close as I've personally employed in any of my works.
     
  5. Arcadeus

    Arcadeus Active Member

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    I appreciate it. In the end I just have to attempt it. I can't think of an alternative that works as well.
     
  6. Zadocfish

    Zadocfish Member

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    Eh... I'm not sure if this "worked well," but my only reader seemed to like it. Basically, in my Dream World setting, I have a country where everything is made out of string and stuffing, called Fabricland, and another country where everything is made out of candy. In-setting, both of these locations are avoided by travelers, and I tried my best to make the Land of Candy sound as unpleasant as possible.

    Like, they're both pretty common and cutesy concepts, but I tried to apply a little reality to it. Everything's all nice and child-friendly in Fabricland, but on the other hand, there is no food or water, and the air is dry and scratchy, and the ground is springy and hard to keep your footing on. The Land of Candy... well, everything's sticky, the wildlife is vicious, and there is literally nothing to eat aside from candy (and maybe some ground nuts). Basically, everything's trying to either kill you or give you diabetes. It's miserable.
     

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