WatchNon-threaded

Forums » Writing Workshop » Read Message

Toss around ideas and brainstorm your story.

My idea

17 days ago

I am thinking of starting a story and I was thinking how good is my idea so I figured I would post over here my idea for my story. NOTE I have not started this story yet. I want you to judge the idea so this is not the first page of a story. 

This story takes place in a si-fi world where there is a overlord that has taken over earth. Five kids have there parents killed because there parents where part of a rebellion. These kids all get sent to a orphanage where they start a club and plan to escape. After around 10,000 words they finally escape and join the rebellion. I don't have much planned after this but will think of that when I get there.

My idea

17 days ago
It works as a blurb to advertise a story, but it sounds like you need to do a lot more thinking about what the story will actually contain.

It's hard to give advice based on this because it's pretty vague, and honestly you can make any idea work, what matters is how engaging your plot and writing is.

If you're new to to writing altogether I'd recommend practicing with short stories and of course reading a lot of books. A CYOA, even a smallish one takes a lot of work and is challenging in ways you may not expect. Having a good grasp on writing in general is the most important first step.

Also no matter what you write, make sure you carefully proofread it and use a site like the Grammarly Handbook to sort out any technical issues you're not sure of. I noticed you kept mixing up their and there, for instance.

My idea

17 days ago

Thanks for the feedback! I am kind of new to writing yet I have wrote a story that is around 3000 words before though. (Although I bet a lot of you will fill up three pages of a CYOA with that much so not a lot.)

My idea

17 days ago
Commended by EndMaster on 10/9/2017 3:07:55 PM

You claim to not have started this but you say that "after around 10,000 words". So you planned things out a bit? I for one have no idea how many words things will take to get done, so I'm pretty impressed. (Or maybe you just said 10,000 cause it sounded like a lot).

As this sounds like a really big project you might find it hard to stay motivated, even more so depending on how you branch it. I imagine a bottleneck style would be best, since it'll stop it from being super linear but you won't be stuck with thousands of branches either.

As it sounds like you have five main characters (the kids) be careful that they are actually fleshed out characters, not just there for no reason beyond having more characters.
You will probably want them having pretty different personalities, considering this makes it sound like they'll all be together a lot.
Worth mentioning that you might want to consider cutting it down to just one kid, so that it is easier to write, as this sounds like a massive epic, but this really depends on how having five kids would impact the story. If it matters a lot you obviously want to keep them all in.

Also I find it a bit weird that the bad guys killed the rebels but then let their kids go to an orphanage. Like they'll totally harbour resentment towards your regime if you do that. Then again this can be avoided by having the kids hide or something, but then this kill squad is pretty bad, tho I guess they were only told to kill the parents.
Also wouldn't a lot more kids be left orphaned than five in a place where the rebels are fighting a force that took over the planet? Obviously there is probably more than one orphanage, so this isn't a major thing to worry about, just something to think about a little.

Speaking of bad guys, this overlord sounds interesting, fella took over the whole Earth! So many questions about how this could even happen. It is Sci-Fi so there is a huge amount of room for explanation, but I do guess how it happened doesn't matter much for this story. However I believe at least you, the author, knowing how it happened can help flesh out both the world and numerous character motivations.
Was the world a awful shit hole where everyone was dying, so this overlord went "screw this!" and took it all over to try and fix it? Or are they just super smart but evil or something? So many possibilities!

Also as the main setting (for the first 10,000 words or so) is going to be an orphanage, I do wonder how you'll keep it interesting. I assume it'll be about the five kids building relationships with each other, while also planning an escape. I do wonder how old they'll be when they join the rebellion, doubt the rebellion would want little kids doing dangerous/important missions. Also will they get separated when they join? Heck while they are still in the orphanage will one of them get adopted or something?

Look your idea is fine, it is decent. I won't say this is the most amazing thing ever because it isn't, but that doesn't mean the story you make out of it can't be the most amazing thing ever. It all really depends on how you write, and what you write. The thing you have here is a very broad outline that could turn out shit or awesome.
I strongly encourage you to think about the plot, some key things that will/could happen and the major characters before trying to write it all. Just some more concrete details, even just about the world, will really help not just make your story better, but if you post them here, others can provide some more useful feedback.

If you are one of those people who figures out the details as they write, that's fine, in that case start writing! Specifics really matter, they shape the world and what not, so there is only so much feedback you can get back based on what you wrote here.
Also if you do write a first page, or just find more details about what you're thinking about writing, feel free to post here. I'd be interested in reading more about this setting as its got my curiosity piqued.

TL;DR
The idea isn't super amazing, but it is decent. How good the story is really depends on you, and your writing. I suggest figuring out some more details. This could be awesome (or shit), but I cannot tell from what you have here, right now, so either figure out more stuff or start writing, whatever works best for you.

My idea

15 days ago
Yeah there were a few things I was wondering about, like 'start a club and join the rebellion' sounds pretty complex and involved actually, but until it's all worked out in more detail I was holding off on addressing any specific points.

Unless the 'overlord', wherever he came from is some cackling stereotype, from a legal standpoint it basically sounded like some terrorists got killed and then their kids got swept up into the system. I could buy that the ruler of the world got at best a memo about this and wasn't personally involved at all.

But actually I'm realizing now it wasn't clear if the overlord was even human so yeah, there's a lot more that could be fleshed out there, including what form the conflict will take during the largest percentage of the story where the BBEG is not just hanging around a bunch of kids and waiting to be assassinated.

My idea

15 days ago

Thanks for the feedback! I will take this into consideration. I am currently working on the profiles for the five kids. Hopefully I can get this done soon and I will post my first page here.

My idea

14 days ago

Okay have my first page done. Here we go!

 

It’s the year 3000 and Marcus has taken over the world. The rebels called him a dictator but he didn’t see what they were talking about. “I am the god of the new world!” He thought “I am good, I am justice!” He stood there, alone, in his office. He looked around and saw his marble floor, his velvet couch, and his bear skin rug. “Why do they hate me?” He thought. “What am I doing wrong” He knew what the rebels would say. They would say. “Taking over the world is what you are doing. That is too much power for one man.” He griped his sword “You’re wrong!” He said “I’ll Show you!” Then his door opened. “Sir the rebels have been found and eliminated.” “All of them?” “Yes all four of them.” “Great, Those four where the main problem. Even if they where retired they where a ray of hope that shone down on the ones that remain.”  “Now did you kill the children?” “Children!” He said startled “I never knew about the children!” “They always come in pairs now go and kill them or I will have your head!” “Y-y-yes sir” He stammered.

My idea

14 days ago

Is that your first page, or just a rough plan of what your first page will be?

My idea

14 days ago

Rough plan.

My idea

14 days ago
Since I guess it needs to be said, as a general rule you want to proofread and format anything you're putting up for critique. There are other issues with this, but if that's a hurdle that can't be passed even with just a 200 word excerpt then there's not a lot of point in anyone addressing anything else.

My idea

14 days ago

It's not that big a hurdle. I will take note on that and do that next time.

My idea

14 days ago

As mizal mentioned you want to proofread and format this, because as it is, all being one big line, it is unappealing to look at (and it isn't the correct structure either, ie. when a new character speaks you want it to be on a different line).

You did mention this is a rough plan in response to another comment, so I won't go too in depth. Here are some general thoughts I had that might help you out while drafting this:

Thoughts
When a character is thinking something, I suggest the use of italics, since personally, I find that when quotation marks are used it is difficult to tell if it is actual dialogue or not, unless you (the writer) directly classify it as one or the other, which can be a bit jarring when you are trying to immerse yourself in a story. Further you might end up saying 'He/She thinks' a whole lot, which also isn't the best.
Maybe italics aren't the way to go with this, it might be worth googling around a bit to see if there is a proper way to write character thoughts. The main thing, if you ask me, is that it should be clear if the writing is normal dialogue or thoughts, so have the two be different to each other.

Proofread
Yeah it is not the most fun thing ever, but it makes the final product a lot better. If you read out loud what you are writing it can help make it flow better, because you can see where it doesn't quiet make sense (or if the whole line needs to be rewritten).
Also be careful with certain words that are similar but mean different things (specially if they sound the same). I noticed you used 'where' instead of 'were' (at this part "Great, Those four where the main problem").
Using google to check that the word you are using is the proper one can be pretty helpful, but obviously you need to be uncertain about your word choice to begin with, so really just make sure to proofread. Few people manage to write perfectly straight away, proofreading helps a heap.

That's all I'll mention for now, since if you do those two things the quality should pretty much skyrocket. With that said proofreading is not the same as rereading, you aren't supposed to just quickly skim through the thing and go "yep, perfect, just what I wanted". Really pay close attention to the actual writing itself when you proofread.

Oh, one more thing, the last part annoyed me a bit. You had: ' “Y-y-yes sir” He stammered. '
Here from the dialogue itself it is pretty clear that the goon stammered, I feel you describing it as 'He stammered' is pretty pointless because the reader already knows that the fella stammered based on the way you wrote his dialogue!
I'm mentioning this because it is a pretty big deal, you don't really want pointless descriptions of dialogue. Heck, you don't want pointless writing in general!

Just try to figure out if the description adds anything to the writing itself, or if it is just repeating what the reader knows already. Obviously sometimes you do want to repeat things, repetition has a purpose, but make sure it is intentional.

Tangent - (With that said if your reinforcement of the idea that 'he stammered' was intentional and matters, to say, reinforce that the goons are afraid of their boss, you could make the dialogue have him stammer and have the part after be something else that serves the same purpose, for example 'He bowed, swiftly turning and practically running out of the room'. Btw not sure bowing really makes sense in a sci-fi setting, so obviously find what works for your story in regards to this, I was just giving an example here.)

TL;DR
As mentioned by others, you want to format this properly and proofread your writing. I suggest reading out loud what you write to help make it flow + sound better.

P.S.
When/if you rewrite this page so it isn't just a rough plan, I'd be happy to mention my thoughts on the way you handled the characters in the scene (mainly, the introduction of the Overlord), but I feel doing that right now would be a little unfair, as this isn't the final version (or at least somewhat close to it) yet.
Hmm, I wrote a bit more than I was planning too, hope it proves useful.

My idea

13 days ago
Is the story going to explain how four people were considered THE major threat to a guy who controls the entire world?

Also how did he go about subjugating the rest of the planet in such a way that only four people were bothered?

Actually, my bigger question might be why the story is starting off with this guy instead of one of the main characters. He's not a very convincing or compelling villain when viewed in this light.

My idea

10 days ago

To be fair, if I had taken over the planet and only four people opposed me enough to rebel, those fuckers would piss the ever-loving shit of me until I got a 100% approval rate.

My idea

10 days ago

There are more rebels but the four where a big problem.

My idea

10 days ago

Why?

My idea

11 days ago

The rebels sound really bland. Here are some examples of rebellions in fiction: 

GOOD 

  •  Dune, the Fremen
  • Rogue One, Saw Gerrera's men 
  • The Hunger Games, the Soviet underground people 
  • The Last of Us, the Fireflies 
  • Bioshock: Infinite, the Vox Populi. 

BAD 

  • Divergent, the... well, I don't even know what the fuck they're called. The protagonist's group. 
  • The Maze Runner, The Right Arm 
  • King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, the Knights of the Round Table 

See what the good ones all have in common? They have a unique identity, with shared traits and goals that make sense. They're also not just "the good guys" who are fighting against "the bad guys". 

Likewise, see what's wrong with the bad rebellions. They're all personality-less "good guys". If they have any flaws, they'll quickly become cartoonishly evil. In the end, they're also almost-universally supported by the "common people". Those are infantile portrayals of revolution, because a lot of people would be vehemently opposed to having the state violently dissolved. 

Now, I'm certain you're planning on having your rebels be the good guys. That's fine... but consider what you'd need to do to dissolve a science fiction dystopia. War crimes? Probably. Terrorism? Sure.  Puppy-kicking? Definitely not. If your rebellion isn't morally grey, at least on some level, it won't be realistic, and won't be compelling. A gaggle of Good Guys With Guns helping a bunch of shitheel teenagers beat the odds is going to be a terrible story. 

So if you don't want the rebels to suck ass, you should do the following. 

  • Think of a leadership structure 
  • Think of why they haven't been exterminated. Different cells? Compartmentalization? An exellent propaganda department? 
  • Think of something morally repulsive you might do if you were trying to topple a global government, be it a nuclear bomb, or hijacking a plane and flying it into a military base. Good. Now have your rebels do it. 

If you can read this post without getting assmad and follow my advice, you might write a compelling rebellion. 

My idea

11 days ago
Nice, this may just be commendation worthy. Seeing how often this same general plot idea pops up I may keep a copy to point future newbs to.

To this I'll add that the villain shouldn't be stereotypical cackling puppy kicking evil; somehow he's inspiring everyone around him to continue to support him. And he needs to be presented consistently as a real and competent threat. It shouldn't be in question how he was able to take over in the first place or how he's been able to remain in control without someone else taking him out.

Remember that heroes can only be as good as their villain.

My idea

11 days ago

I think after reading this I will make the rebels look like the good guys until the end where the main character finds out the rebels are the bad ones.

My idea

11 days ago

FOR FUCK'S SAKE 

My idea

11 days ago
I'm laughing like that Simpson's kid right now.

My idea

11 days ago

Just messing around. Though might do it will most likely stick to what you told me.

My idea

10 days ago

Also what do you mean think of a leadership structure? 

My idea

10 days ago

Knowing Malk, you need to devise how it's led. Is there a rebel council of leaders, a singular commander of the rebellion, or is it just dozens of different leaders of small groups who cooperate on a grand scale? In most cases, rebellions benefit from being as spread out as possible, so you can't cut the head off the snake. Terrorist cells have the benefit of each cell being self-contained, so a security breach only destroys one cell, not the entire organization. Plus, this means you don't have to deal with the issue of having an entire rebel structure built upon being defined by what they oppose rather than what they are.

For instance, having a full rebel alliance with a command structure means that either A. This organization somehow miraculously avoids all the conflict of differing ideogies that would plague it as Communists, Islamists, Libertarians, Socialists and pretty much every ideology besides that of the dictator try to get along, or B. This organization is somehow miraculously free of disputes, either because no one ever seems to bring up what they want to happen after the rebellion succeeds, or because they all happen to have the same ideology, which is most likely nonsense.