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Author Topic: Shock Proposal  (Read 5597 times)

Mr C

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Shock Proposal
« on: 23 September, 2003, 08:30:14 pm »
Evenin all.
I was thinking about submitting a future shock and wanted some feedback on the idea that I’ve had:

A scavenger explores a ruined space station encountering various dangers such as unstable decks, space parasites, security droids, etc. He reaches the cargo hold and grabs the case that he’s been looking for and manages to escape the station as it collapses around him. Back on his ship he looks inside the case and finds a strange oblong box thing with thin pieces of paper inside. Annoyed at the lack of anything valuable to be found in the station, he chucks it out of the garbage disposal. Last panel would be his ship leaving in the background with the book floating with the debris of the station in the foreground opened on the words “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”.

Any thoughts, comments, flames are more than welcome. Is this worth doing or am I just wasting my time?

Dudley

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Re: Shock Proposal
« Reply #1 on: 23 September, 2003, 09:06:02 pm »
I like the basic concept but I'm not sure that the Genesis message on the paper does it for me by itself: I want something that'd link back to the opening of the story a bit more.

It sparked off a couple of random ideas, which you're welcome to use or ignore or what have you:

1) Rather than a space station, have an alien archaeologist checking sites on a dead, future-shocked Planet Earth.  It can encounter pretty much the same dangers, but with a bit of a twist i.e. it spends some time fighting through a particularly tricky bit of spidered metal and says "This was obviously designed to keep out intruders", then in the next frame it's revealed to be a collapsed Eiffel Tower.  That sort of thing.  
Anyway, after a long and hazardous journey, he gets to the end of his quest: a heavily shielded chamber, seemingly hollowed out of the core rock of a mountain.  He breaks in, but comes out after a while reporting to his commander that there's nothing there, just some valueless pieces of stone.  He beams out.  Final shot: broken stone tablets, visible on the first one are the words of the ten Commendments.

2) Same as the way you sketched it out, using the genesis quote as well, but the jettisoned fragments fall to a nearby planet.  There the microbes multiply and form the basis of life on the new planet.  Last shot again reveals the words.  Big difficulty with this is showing evolution happening in an interesting way.  


Mikey

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Re: Shock Proposal
« Reply #2 on: 23 September, 2003, 09:41:30 pm »
 "but the jettisoned fragments fall to a nearby planet. "

To fall on an organism,the first of it's kind,to crawl from the proverbial primordial.Story could be juxtaposed throughout with this creatures struggle for survival to break the surface.Killed by trash."In the beginning..."
That's copyrighted BTW ;)


M.
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Dudley

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Re: Shock Proposal
« Reply #3 on: 23 September, 2003, 09:43:38 pm »
Oh, that's NIIIIIIIICE...

Slippery PD

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Re: Shock Proposal
« Reply #4 on: 23 September, 2003, 09:47:52 pm »
HAve you tried scriptdroids yahoo group lots of pro's and good amatuers on there.  Youll get a reasoned critique or not  

Link: scritpdroids ???


Mr C

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Re: Shock Proposal
« Reply #5 on: 23 September, 2003, 09:55:06 pm »
Thanks for the feedback!
The scavenger could wear some kind of helmet with a visor right up to where he looks at the book, then he takes it off to reveal that he's an alien, then he jettisons the book.

Dudley

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Re: Shock Proposal
« Reply #6 on: 23 September, 2003, 10:00:40 pm »
OK, I see where you're going with this - the shock or twist needs to be that it's a human space station.

Problem as it stands for me is that that doesn't seem very shocking - you haven't given me enough investment in the ship itself or interest in its presumably dead crew for it to be scary and thrilling that they're from Earth.

Needs an extra element somewhere - maybe the race that built the station has been destroyed?

Mr C

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Re: Shock Proposal
« Reply #7 on: 23 September, 2003, 10:26:23 pm »
Ah Ha!
there are two scavengers, as they travel through the hulking wreck, they have a running conversation sort of like this:
"So what is this place?"
"Last relic of a dead race"
"which one?
No one knows what they were called, records are a little hazy going ten thousand years back, they were pretty advanced though, had worm hole tech and advanced hyperturing AI's"
"What happened to them?"
"Heh, we did!"
Or something like that ;)

Dudley

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Re: Shock Proposal
« Reply #8 on: 23 September, 2003, 10:39:14 pm »
That would certainly cover it quite well.  The advanced hyper-Turing AI's phrase gets me thinking these guys are human, and the ship is an alien vessel, for sure.


Tiplodocus

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Re: Shock Proposal
« Reply #9 on: 23 September, 2003, 11:08:34 pm »
I'd echo some of the comments above.  

I never got a sense of involvment or adventure. I got the idea that it's just talking heads on a space station - not particularly exciting for the reader.  

Also I just didn't plain get why it was meant to be shocking either - possibly just me but I couldn't  see the twist.

There are submission guidelines on this very site with a good word or two from DIG-L about how to make sure you have a hook for the reader and drama in the story.

There's also a section where you can bung up your script for critique.

I think these are all in the CREATOR - SUBMISSIONS section.
Be excellent to each other. And party on!

Mr C

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Re: Shock Proposal
« Reply #10 on: 23 September, 2003, 11:21:49 pm »
Thanks Tiplodocus,
I admit, looking at it there's no real SHOCK! value, but then, I haven't written the actual script yet, I'm still turning ideas over in my head and figuring out which I can use and which don't really work. My original premise was that there would be no dialogue at all, just a scavenger alone on a derelict ship. Plus, the main action would be the journey to the cargo hold... but then the point of a future shock is the shock itself... hmmm, back to the storyboard for me!

opaque

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Re: Shock Proposal
« Reply #11 on: 24 September, 2003, 12:10:43 am »
I like the idea but it does sound incredibly familiar.
I'd love a series of GN reprints of Future Shocks etc Would work really well I think. And be good for future writers to check against.

Bart Oliver

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Re: Shock Proposal
« Reply #12 on: 24 September, 2003, 07:51:15 am »
 ++ just some valueless pieces of stone. He beams out. Final shot: broken stone tablets, visible on the first one are the words of the ten Commendments. ++

Wouldn't they have to be inside the Ark of the Convenient?

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Trough

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Re: Shock Proposal
« Reply #13 on: 24 September, 2003, 03:00:17 pm »
I haven't written the actual script yet, I'm still turning ideas over in my head and figuring out which I can use and which don't really work.

Definitely have a look at Mr Diggle's submission guidelines and see how many of the following points you can find a way of including:

1.  A protagonist with a definable (and sympathetic) goal.
2.  An antagonist who gets in the way and complicates stuff.
3.  An ending which is both unexpected but is also in some way related to previous events (as opposed to, say, "But luckily I had a robot army in my pocket all along!", deus ex machina-kind-of-thing).  Everything should come nicely full circle.
4.  Scariest of all - something that hasn't been done before.
5.  A Big Idea.  I get the impression our current Tharg is big on high-concept ideas.

Oh, and points 1 & 2 should ideally be set up by the end of the first page...  

My original premise was that there would be no dialogue at all, just a scavenger alone on a derelict ship. Plus, the main action would be the journey to the cargo hold...

I suspect Mr Diggle would call that "just a bunch of stuff happening", ie: no central drama to really involve the reader.  You can see why Future Shocks are so difficult to write!

But then, that's the whole point to writing: you write and rewrite and the script constantly evolves.  Sometimes you'll pick up on one or two points (or an underlying theme, which is just as important and can be very inspiring), that you can turn into something really good, but has little or no resemblance to the original story.

Keep going.  All feedback is a good thing and nothing beats the experience of constantly writing and finding your own style.

Art

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Re: Shock Proposal
« Reply #14 on: 24 September, 2003, 03:54:41 pm »
You could have a nuclear war wipe out the entire human race, with the exception of two survivors, one named ADAM and the other named EVE!