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  1. Zombie_Chinchilla

    Zombie_Chinchilla Member

    Sep 10, 2010
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    Novel Plotline Too Similar To Aliens

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Zombie_Chinchilla, Sep 10, 2010.

    That's right. Aliens.

    Okay, here's the very basic plot for my current novel I have:

    The year is 2339, and the US has been experimenting with putting colonies on the moon. In the past 3 years, they've put up 15 colonies, each with 7 families and 3 soldiers.

    But when drilling into the moon to conduct experiments, the scientists discover an alien mineral that, when touched, causes anyone to lose their humanity and gain a raging blood lust. Almost every person in Colony 13 is dead.

    Just before the President signs off on destroying Colony 13, however, one man convinces him to give him 31 days to get in there, find as many survivors as possible, and get out. He, along with 12 others, is on a mission.

    So that's my basic plotline. I want it to be a suspense/horror/thriller, but I just can't help but see the similarities between it and the movie Aliens.

    Things I need to stay away from:

    - Only one or two characters coming out alive.
    - Having the characters be there for nothing other than for them to die.
    - Having the only theme being "action."

    Etc. Any other tips? :3 Please and thank you.
  2. Elgaisma

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Jun 12, 2010
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    as long as something doesn't come out their stomach and your characters are different chances are it will be nothing like when it is finished:) Your characters will tell you your story and it will grow out of them.
  3. Melzaar the Almighty

    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

    Aug 28, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Bear in mind I have NO idea about the plot of Aliens except what Elgaisma mentioned, or science fiction-y things in general, lol

    Find a theme to run through it - could be a totally random one like freedom of information or environmentalism - and find a way to explore a subplot to do with that as well? Like maybe the people who sent them to the moon knew about the bad mineral all along but assumed it'd be fine to ignore it, and quashed an investigation into it, etc, and there's a journalist going along to uncover it first hand... Then when there are random deaths, you could tie them in so they were actually plot-important. Or if it's environment, is the bad mineral a self-defence from an eco-system that was already there and the settlers were plonked on top of, etc?

    You see how picking a second issue more than just survival can make a story much deeper? Think outside the usual stereotype characters for action films.
  4. Mallory

    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

    Jun 27, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Tampa Bay
    It's been a few years since I watched "Alien," (I apologize if that isn't what you meant!) but I recall all of the action taking place on the spaceship. If you have the characters and action taking place on the moon/planet, with a variety of settings (i,.e. multiple places in the setting, not just on one ship or space station) you should be fine.

    Your avatar reminds me of the old horror movie "Eraserhead", with all those super creepy images of the close-up head at the end. :)
  5. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    May 19, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Massachusetts, USA
    A story concept means nothing. I can tell you now, it has all been done before. What matters is how you write it, the characterization, the flow, the imagery, all of it.

    There's no benefit in 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?
  6. SashaMerideth

    SashaMerideth Contributing Member

    Aug 26, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Sounds like sorta survival horror? I read the plot summary on that movie site, and it sounds close but different enough. The not having characters there just to die and the other things you want to avoid, I think should keep you safe. It's not exactly like it, and it's quite different.

    I don't like survival horror stuff, but your idea sounds cool.
  7. NyMichael20

    NyMichael20 Member

    Aug 23, 2010
    Likes Received:
    New York City
    It's different enough that I would go for it if I were you. Like Cogito said, it's all been done before. As you actually get on with the writing process, you may find that your story takes different turns based on your characters or their motivations. It's entirely possible your own characters may surprise you with what they do.
    Even if you think its too similar, write it anyway. It's always good practice.
  8. Horizon Noise

    Horizon Noise Member

    Sep 12, 2010
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    I was thinking '28 Days Later' rather than aliens. One thing I'd be tempted to change is the fact that it happens on the moon. Essentially we know what the moon's made of (no, not cheese) and it almost certainly doesn't contain any elements we're not aware of, and without doubt not one with those kind of properties. I know it's sci-fi but if you introduce such an out-there concept into an otherwise reasonable scenario it doesn't sit well. I'd be tempted to push the story further into the future and use another planet several light years away from earth. In that way you can get away with more.

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