#1  
Old 08-24-2013, 12:55 PM
A new idea for writing a novel

Hey guys, so, I was thinking over the issue, this morning, of writing a novel, and I wanted some feedback. I've tried my hand at novel writing more than a few times in my life, even finished a few, but I've never published one. Mostly because, to date, my writing has been done solely for my own amusement.

However, writing something, and keeping it to yourself, is, I now realize, no fun for anyone but yourself. As a writer, it reinforces the things about your own style that you consider strong, and let's the weaknesses go unchallenged. I've often thought I would publish a novel one day. Money has never been my goal in getting into this, the day job more than pays the bills (and I have a job I enjoy, too). My biggest fear is that I would put something out there, and nobody would read it. I would totally write stuff for free, if I felt people were reading it and enjoying it.

So, it occurred to me this morning: why not ask the internet for help with this problem? See what turns up. Here's the deal I would like to propose to all my pals on this forum, help me write this novel. I'll do all the real work, but please, as this process goes on, I'd like it if you would share your thoughts, ideas and story likes and dislikes. If you have ideas for a new character, post that. A new setting, post that. A new plot twist, post that.

After something is posted, we can discuss it. I will try to respond to every idea, but again, the day job limits the time I can be online. If the idea is solid, I will develop it and it may find inclusion in the final novel. If that is the case, you will get credit on the dedications page.

Because I don't see writing as my career objective, but more as a way to entertain other people while stretching my own creative skills, my plan, right now, is to give away the novel for free on Amazon Kindle. To that end, I would retain the full copyright on the novel. My current plan is for the novel to be the first in a series, all priced for free on Kindle.

So, without further ado, here's the basic set-up. There's only one decision about this novel that I have absolutely, 100% made up my mind about (and you might still be able to talk me out of this). My pen-name. Yep, that's pretty much it. Louis Laine. Pretty catchy, huh? The rest of the novel details are:

Main Character (protagonist): Evan Fourier, a good kid, living in the early 22nd century, Evan has a very non-descript life, he occassionaly gets into trouble, occassionally chases girls, but on the whole, he's no different than anyone else. Until he runs afoul of the law and finds out the dirty little secret of his futuristic society: Prison, in the future, is a means for disposal, not rehabilitation.

Main Setting: a new world, named, ironically enough, Paradise (I could easily see changing this name). Paradise is a world that is everything the earth of the early 22nd century is not: clean, with blue water and yellow sand, tall trees and ferocious predatory animals.

Main plot: in the future, civilization is controlled, the whole world around, not by any government or by any religion, but by a single, large multi-national corporation. The Company, as it is simply called, influences, and in cases, even dictates, all means of human life, from the cradle to the grave. The Company decided, at some point in the past, that human overpopulation was above and beyond the carrying capacity of planet earth. That the population explosion of the 21st century had left the planet stripped so bare of resources, that the extinction of mankind would be the inevitable result. Predictably, the company stepped in, and instituted measures designed to control human populations on earth.

One such measure was to permanently incarcerate, and essentially, discard from society, the entire criminal element. In the early 22nd century, mind reading technology has improved to the point where any crime can be solved with 99.99999% certainty. Human Justice Officials, with their biases, have been replaced by machines. Therefore, The Company felt it was ethically permissible to execute those who ran afoul of the rules. Not wanting to be known as killers, The Company eventually settled on a more moderate course: all prisoners, who had broken the law more than once and in a severe enough manner, would be sentenced to live the rest of their lives on the Planet Paradise.



Okay, so that's the set-up. A lot of this novel has already been written, but I wanted to put this set-up out there for you guys and see what kinds of ideas and feedback it generated. All plot points are still up for grabs, as things will be shifted around, re-written, discarded, etc.

I'm particularly interested in what MisoGenie, and other writers on this site who have published before have to say.
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  #2  
Old 12-17-2013, 12:25 AM
I've written one whole story which I'd rather look away sometimes published nothing else and hell I hardly understand myself let alone others and why they act the way they do. I can say what I've noticed wrong and right with any kind of story you spell.

In this story I would try and show the readers the points of view from those people making these choices about criminals and their punishments. It seems so often that we always side with underclass characters and we don't care what higher powers (the government 99% of the time) have to say we only care about solutions but are disgusted at what was done to obtain those solutions. I'd have both sides show themselves, leave everyone in the middle questioning themselves. I don't know how you plan to reveal the secrets of prison and population control in this world if it were me I'd reveal them later.

Have your guy live life as you've said, getting into occasional trouble, chasing girls, that hasn't change in the future. Give us a world that's thrived off of amazing technology that must exist in this time, give us the good before the bad comes along basically.

Set up other characters, our character will find out the truth somehow and undoubtebly will be chased for it but who else will be harmed? Give him some good friends and spend some time with his family, mother, etc to make a more thrilling chase story.

Naming societies and corporations, all things alike I'm no good at those things but look to other languages and cultures. The Playstation Vita gaming device was named vita because it's Latin and Italian for life, longevity. So scrolling through areas like that may help come up with better names for the corporation and others. Names of their founders are often too.

All I have for now, sorry but it is 1:30 in the morning right now. I saw no replies here and that hurts, so I thought I'd chime in.
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