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Need some feedback for the novel I'm working on...


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Got some free time to write my novel today but I kinda want to reexamine what I have so far and work on a few details because there are many controversial characters/issues I want to add in it. Would love to get some feedback on these. I appreciate it guys!

1. One law of a country in my story has no restrictions with marriage, meaning you can marry your cousin, sister, and parents can marry their kids. 

2. A character that can change to male/female at will. Has a wife and husband at the same time.

3. A higher existence/government that executes/erases people from existence for staying at 0 WORTH for 3 days. Worth is a secondary money/currency in my story. It gets higher/lower every time people perform/not perform their duties to society respectively. Criminals and lazy people steadily lose worth over time. People with higher worth can do and are entitled to many more things including cure to cancer, discounts to purchases, better lifestyle, lower taxes, etc. 

4. A character that can change anything and anyone's color. He can change people's skin color and make black people into white people, or just any color in general (yellow like the Simpsons, green like Martians, blue like Avatar). 

5. Marriage proposals of a certain religion is a lot more trouble than its worth because it truly believes marriage is equality, therefore the woman must also give a material proof to the man. For the marriage to be legally binding, the man must travel a forest of "temptations" and get out of it alive while finding a rare stone to craft a ring/necklace/bracelet for the woman. The woman must respond in kind by also finding a rare stone that is located only in a very active volcano.

6. A victorious country forces all the women of the country it conquered to bear the children of their men, otherwise they would be executed. 

7. A country gives its people freedom to contribute the tax money anywhere, not just the government. They can put it towards technology research, campaigns and causes they support, or donating it to the needy.

8. Education is concentrated and specialized. A person's talents are probed at a very young age and they are assigned "roles" which they must hone and continue to master as they grow. If someone is really good at constructing things, their role would most likely be Engineer or Architect. This means they don't need to learn History or English and just fully focus on the classes that would benefit their roles. 

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Hmm

1,2 and 6 are good ideas for some interesting and out-of-norm drama, which would be nice to read.

The goverment points direct towards great anarchistic plot turns. Insurgencies and such. 

These plot keys are great ingredients for a really interesting story.

For more in-depth analysis, deeper descriptions would be needed.

Great stuff.

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So in this future, I'm already dead based off of 3. :kosame:

And then there's a sudden swerve into some nukige premise with 6. which has no complaints from me :holo:

In overall, it's a decent premises I'll have to wait until it's actually finished to get my full opinions on this considering premises like this sometimes dive off a cliff in terms of quality.

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A couple of these ideas are still in my brainstorm bank and not actually fully written yet. I'll add some more detail as I go along. 

8 minutes ago, VirginSmasher said:

And then there's a sudden swerve into some nukige premise with 6. which has no complaints from me :holo:

Well for 6th, I don't intend it to be a nukige scene. The leader of the victorious country is just hellbent on implementing interracialism because the country he defeated was literally ran by a Hitler-like dictator. 

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5 minutes ago, CeruleanGamer said:

Well for 6th, I don't intend it to be a nukige scene. The leader of the victorious country is just hellbent on implementing interracialism because the country he defeated was literally ran by a Hitler-like dictator.

Sounds like a nukige premise to me. I'll be disappointed if there's no mindbreaking going on :makina:

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20 minutes ago, CeruleanGamer said:

1. One law of a country in my story has no restrictions with marriage, meaning you can marry your cousin, sister, and parents can marry their kids. 

Incoming "I am my own grandpa?":mare:

 

So people wiff higher worth will only get their worth penalized for crimes?  Or am I missing something.

We need more purple people!

Anyways, it looks really interesting.  Good luck!

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1. Nice. It reminds me of Garden, which I'm very ashamed to admit I watched and enjoyed thoroughly despite the bullshit ending. I'm curious as to why this law has passed in the first place - was it politically sound to do this for whatever reason? Is it so ancient a custom that no one ever questioned it? Love may not be political, but marriage certainly is.

 

2. It's a good premise, but I got "and the person is all happy about it/the wife and the husband are happy about it" kind of vibes. What's the drama in this person's life? Is it gender identity? Is it faithfulness? Is it sexual liberation?

 

3. So basically future China. I see a problem with worthy people paying less taxes and worthless people paying more. Because, you see, worthless people will tend to be poorer and worthy people richer, but the State will actually get less money, so it will be less capable of enforcing this very approach. Unless said state is indeed a plutochracy from the beginning and can mantain itself through corporativism.

 

4. To what purpose, though, I wonder? What does this person use their powers for?

 

5. Love this one.

 

6. How does this unfold though? I can picture a Woman Brigade kicking ass or something.

 

7. It doesn't work. I once thought this could be a great idea, only to have my dreams destroyed by some teachers at my old Uni. Decentralized macroeconomic decisions destroy an economy just as much as centralized microeconomic decisions (i.e.: the State telling you what groceries you can buy). Unless that's the point.

 

8. Interesting. Would this create a caste system in the long run?

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2 minutes ago, xToki said:

Incoming "I am my own grandpa?":mare:

 

So people wiff higher worth will only get their worth penalized for crimes?  Or am I missing something.

We need more purple people!

Anyways, it looks really interesting.  Good luck!

Actually there would be an upkeep which I forgot to mention. So you're losing a fixed amount of worth every hour for basically "existing". So you can't idle/not be productive too long. ^_^ 

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33 minutes ago, Palas said:

1. Nice. It reminds me of Garden, which I'm very ashamed to admit I watched and enjoyed thoroughly despite the bullshit ending. I'm curious as to why this law has passed in the first place - was it politically sound to do this for whatever reason? Is it so ancient a custom that no one ever questioned it? Love may not be political, but marriage certainly is.

 

2. It's a good premise, but I got "and the person is all happy about it/the wife and the husband are happy about it" kind of vibes. What's the drama in this person's life? Is it gender identity? Is it faithfulness? Is it sexual liberation?

 

3. So basically future China. I see a problem with worthy people paying less taxes and worthless people paying more. Because, you see, worthless people will tend to be poorer and worthy people richer, but the State will actually get less money from this approach, so it will be less capable of enforcing this very approach. Unless said state is indeed a plutochracy from the beginning and can mantain said state through corporativism.

 

4. To what purpose, though, I wonder? What does this person use their powers for?

 

5. Love this one.

 

6. How does this unfold though? I can picture a Woman Brigade kicking ass or something.

 

7. It doesn't work. I once thought this could be a great idea, only to have my dreams destroyed by some teachers at my old Uni. Decentralized macroeconomic decisions destroy an economy just as much as centralized microeconomic decisions (i.e.: the State telling you what groceries you can buy). Unless that's the point.

 

8. Interesting. Would this create a caste system in the long run?

Thanks so much @Palas, this gives me some new light into writing most of these issues.

1. This stems from my belief that love should know no limits and that culture/politics have no right to intervene in them. Love anyone who loves you back and get married if both parties desire to do so. 

2. The character doesn't believe in gender differences. No specific gender should be entitled to anything. So he believes there's no such thing as being a gentleman as women should also learn how to open a door for a man, a man should also know the labors of giving birth, men can be materialistic just like women, men can multi-task and perform household duties just as well as women.

3. Maybe if there is a system to measure effort and morals along with worth then maybe it's plausible to still implement it?

4. This character wants to create a world where people don't have to worry about the color of their skin. So by filling the world with people of many more various skin colors, people are less inclined to alienate a certain group? So you can't label that only white people do this and black people do that, because everyone is different color now. 

5. Thanks!

6. I can see it turning into a Women's Revolution eventually but my idea was forced interracialism. Would be great if you can offer ideas on how to expand it.

7. Well, this was one of the ideas in my brainstorm bank, so luckily I didn't fully write it yet. This idea only came to me because the US government has been imposing all these taxes on green energy and universal healthcare to us but not everyone agrees with them, so I thought of a what-if scenario. 

8. I wasn't thinking of caste system until you mentioned it but now I'm interested in maybe expanding to that. I was merely thinking that people would be more productive and master their craft to the fullest with specialization. Because our current education system right now has subjects that don't really help most jobs like history and foreign languages. We waste all these pointless tuition money and time to teach stuff that don't help students in the long run. Sure it's nice to learn but no way they would be making you an extra profit in the real world.

23 minutes ago, OriginalRen said:

So...a clit?

:wahaha: You never cease to amuse me. 

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I can't see a country utilizing the first option lasting long. Marriage in itself is a cultural institution born out of normalization of societies. Your country would essentially be a place where no established social mores regarding coupling has ever existed or have been rejected. A country that allows inbreeding as such would be shunned by outside society at best and obliterated at worst. Not to mention the potential problems of inbreeding if the choice perpetuates for generations.

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8 minutes ago, CeruleanGamer said:

Thanks so much @Palas, this gives me some new light into writing most of these issues.

tumblr_nw8eualSBN1qeb3ulo1_500.gif

 

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1. This stems from my belief that love should know no limits and that culture/politics have no right to intervene in them. Love anyone who loves you back and get married if both parties desire to do so. 

I do believe so too, but marriage isn't simply about love - it's an economical institution too. For instance, consider how institutionalized monogamy is historically more profitable for the community than polygamy (we are, of course, talking about a scenario in which women are not autonomous and men are the only ones allowed to perform economic activity. This makes much less sense nowadays, I hope). The point, however, is that the marital relationship sanctioned by the State are a political decision and has little to do with actual love. As such, recognizing and granting the same rights to any possible love relationship is more or less the same as not recognizing any and just letting people be.

 

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2. The character doesn't believe in gender differences. No specific gender should be entitled to anything. So he believes there's no such thing as being a gentleman as women should also learn how to open a door for a man, a man should also know the labors of giving birth, men can be materialistic just like women, men can multi-task and perform household duties just as well as women.

Literally me. I wish mpreg was real :(

 

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3. Maybe if there is a system to measure effort and morals along with worth then maybe it's plausible to still implement it?

I thought that was the case already, since "criminals" would very rapidly escalate to "anyone who defies the Worth system". It would all be possible if it was a heavily militarised country and the rich people were fully comitted to mantaining the system. USSR worked moooore oooor leeeess like this, except their worth system wasn't explicit. It is plausible, but it's bound to work against itself.

 

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4. This character wants to create a world where people don't have to worry about the color of their skin. So by filling the world with people of many more various skin colors, people are less inclined to alienate a certain group? So you can't label that only white people do this and black people do that, because everyone is different color now. 

I see. It's all good, then. Have these beliefs earned him or her enemies?

 

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5. Thanks!

cccf6bf37923986d5887733af3f0869f.jpg

 

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6. I can see it turning into a Women's Revolution eventually but my idea was forced interracialism. Would be great if you can offer ideas on how to expand on how to expand it.

I just saw your other post. How do these women feel towards their previous dictator? How is the general feeling about race? Would they loathe their children because of their mixed race more than because they are products of rape? It'd be interesting to put this in perspective: women are the ones who have always suffered the most in war times. Stories of German women after the fall of Berlin might inspire you. Some of them were active members of the Nazi Party. The ideological tension is obvious.

 

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7. Well, this was one of the ideas in my brainstorm bank, so luckily I didn't fully write it yet. This idea only came to me because the US government has been imposing all these taxes on green energy and universal healthcare to us but not everyone agrees with them, so I thought of a what-if scenario. 

Incidentally, the US has a lot of tax deduction policies. To some extent, it does work - it reduces the cost of applying the actual money since people are directly investing in something instead of generating more bureaucracy, helps fostering incipient industries and injects something of a faster market logic to (typically slow) government business. However, once you let people apply their tax money anywhere, you risk having a shitload of money in one area and not a lot of money in other ones - and the State won't have enough resources to redirect the funds.

 

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8. I wasn't thinking of caste system until you mentioned it but now I'm interested in maybe expanding to that. I was merely thinking that people would be more productive and master their craft to the fullest with specialization. Because our current education system right now has subjects that don't really help most jobs like history and foreign languages. We waste all these pointless tuition money and time to teach stuff that don't help students in the long run. Sure it's nice to learn but no way they would be making you an extra profit in the real world.

Some would argue that preparing someone for the job market isn't or shouldn't be the primary role of education, but I see where you are coming from. 

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5 hours ago, CeruleanGamer said:

8. Education is concentrated and specialized. A person's talents are probed at a very young age and they are assigned "roles" which they must hone and continue to master as they grow. If someone is really good at constructing things, their role would most likely be Engineer or Architect. This means they don't need to learn History or English and just fully focus on the classes that would benefit their roles. 

I don't have anything useful to say about the others, but for this, this is a pretty well-trod argument between advocating a "professional education" vs. a "liberal education". Good summary material on pros and cons of a liberal education here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberal_education. The most salient point in favor of a liberal education, IMO, is that while a professional education teaches you how to do a specialized task well, a good liberal education gives you better basic machinery for reasoning about how to do anything. According to a 2004 paper cited by that article, a predicted 30% of that year's college graduates would go on to, at some point, work in a profession that currently didn't exist. I can actually name one such profession right now, which is a pretty lucrative one: in 2004, there was no such thing as a Data Scientist, as a profession (it was, at that time, just becoming recognized as an academic topic). Today, you'd probably be hard-pressed to find a Fortune 500 company that isn't employing several of them, and it's only going to grow.

Again back to the broad picture, many people like to try new things every few years, voluntarily changing their company, their role or their career goals. And it's actually beneficial to society and to business to have such people floating around - they tend to bring an infusion of new ideas in their new role, thanks to their unique background giving them a different way of thinking about the new problems they solve. The more educated those people are about how to think, in general terms rather than specific ones, the more likely they are to be able to isolate out the useful and applicable aspects of their experiences and apply them to their new field, leading to interesting innovation.

So, clearly I think there's a case for some liberal education, at least for people who are both capable to and desiring to follow many different careers. But it's entirely likely that we're overdoing it today, in the American education system, at least. Many people are perfectly happy performing a single job over their lifetime, constantly honing that one skill (or frankly, in many cases, coasting along on what they're already capable of - but that's part of human nature too). For such people, a liberal education is probably both boring and wasteful, and a professional education is likely to be much more beneficial.

Bottom line, you probably need both options, to some degree. But that 30% of people graduating this year working in jobs that don't exist is a pretty fantastically high prediction - if it's anywhere close to the mark, you probably need a lot more people getting a liberal education than one might initially think based on just the other arguments.

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1 hour ago, Palas said:

 

I do believe so too, but marriage isn't simply about love - it's an economical institution too. For instance, consider how institutionalized monogamy is historically more profitable for the community than polygamy (we are, of course, talking about a scenario in which women are not autonomous and men are the only ones allowed to perform economic activity. This makes much less sense nowadays, I hope). The point, however, is that the marital relationship sanctioned by the State are a political decision and has little to do with actual love. As such, recognizing and granting the same rights to any possible love relationship is more or less the same as not recognizing any and just letting people be.

 

I thought that was the case already, since "criminals" would very rapidly escalate to "anyone who defies the Worth system". It would all be possible if it was a heavily militarised country and the rich people were fully comitted to mantaining the system. USSR worked moooore oooor leeeess like this, except their worth system wasn't explicit. It is plausible, but it's bound to work against itself.

 

I see. It's all good, then. Have these beliefs earned him or her enemies?

 

I just saw your other post. How do these women feel towards their previous dictator? How is the general feeling about race? Would they loathe their children because of their mixed race more than because they are products of rape? It'd be interesting to put this in perspective: women are the ones who have always suffered the most in war times. Stories of German women after the fall of Berlin might inspire you. Some of them were active members of the Nazi Party. The ideological tension is obvious.

 

Incidentally, the US has a lot of tax deduction policies. To some extent, it does work - it reduces the cost of applying the actual money since people are directly investing in something instead of generating more bureaucracy, helps fostering incipient industries and injects something of a faster market logic to (typically slow) government business. However, once you let people apply their tax money anywhere, you risk having a shitload of money in one area and not a lot of money in other ones - and the State won't have enough resources to redirect the funds.

Oh I know the merits and disadvantages of marriages and personally, I could have married long time ago, but my income when compared to my boyfriend is so far apart, it's not worth it for us to marry because we will get taxed severely and unfairly. I mean if we consider the financial situation already sorted out and a method to reduce/eliminate "retarded babies" from being born due to genetic complications and politics/religion/culture removed from the equation, is there anything else to worry about?

 

I might read some more articles about USSR. I have always been intrigued with their government and policies. Hopefully I can get some ideas there.

 

Oh this character has been exiled by his homeland already because he was transforming everyone into various colors and the nation felt like it was losing its "national identity". He does make a lot of new friends on the new town he resides that is more liberal and tolerant of his actions.

 

The women were fond of their previous dictator. They had the same mentality of bringing unity with their kind and leading their specific race of people to world supremacy and absolute power. And I'll definitely look into those German stories for some more material.

 

Hmm now that I think about it, you are right, but if there's a way to limit taxes going to a particular branch or industry for example: Robotics Research got the most money and Koala Rescue Foundation got the least last year, then this year, Koala Rescue Foundation will have a higher upper limit and Robotics Research will have a lower limit and when that limit is reached, then they cannot be selected anymore as recipients of the tax money?

 

@Fred the Barber: Great points! New jobs do come and go so they definitely need to to be put into consideration and thanks for bringing that up, so I can expand on my idea further then. For example, my job atm being a social media marketer didn't exist 10 years ago because facebook/twitter/pininterest/reddit were not as big back then, so I had to get new additional certifications and training to get to where I am at now.

But if you are trying to specialize in being a farmer, fisherman or any kind of agriculture job, I doubt those will change in the next 50 to 100 years unless we come up with a technology or heck... sorcery that makes crops grow faster or increase fish quantity while fishing. 

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Each of the ideas is a bit exotic.  Taken as a whole you risk crossing into the outlandish.  If you're going for realism / drama, you'll need to explore how a given set of conditions naturally led to the establishment of these customs.  Basically you need a convincing explanation as to how this reality connects to our own--how our world could become your world.  Finding a common societal trait or philosophy that could serve as the root of all these disparate outcomes would help.

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Before I begin I'm going to say that the scripts and writing itself are far more useful than the notes.

 

That said, there seems to be running themes in these that could be used well, both in relation to micro level and macro level.  Both seem to be served around relationships and sexual themes, regardless of whether a particular scene focuses on one or the other at any given time.  On the micro level, you have characters who seemingly bend the usage of race/gender at will, which serves to cause a change in perspective with regards to the social order of the world.

 

On the macro level you have government systems seeming to dictate order and the nature of people and their relationships, their personalities and who people are and perceive themselves as, where on the other hand you have characters and cultural norms that subvert how people perceive one another with regards to their relationships and sexual development.

 

The only major problem with these I'll note is #5, where such a system would be far too complicated depending on the size of the country (You would have a massive amount of people at once depending on how the culture views marriage, not to mention the travel distance required to just get there could be hell for lower classes.) and beyond that, wouldn't they eventually run out of stones for people to grab?  This fits more for a small tribe than a modern civilization.  Would fancy government or people or nobles consider themselves above others and take that as a privilege to cheat the system?

 

There is potential here for plot, character and setting all at once - setting with regards to the government goals, their culture and the place they inhabit, setting with regards to the individuals in the government trying to control others and their relationships, in addition to how the civilian people deal and cope with the society they live in, and plot with regards to the events that spring from their reactions to these pressures.  Putting such a heavy focus on relationships, sexual or otherwise, gives a setting context to what's normally a heavy character-based thing, and blending aspects together like that is a powerful strength a story can have.

This is a piece of advice I base a lot of my thoughts around - work out what your characters want and how they intend to get it, what options are available to them and how their actions develop the plot.  Other characters will react to this, usually very emotionally, and this turns into character development that gives them new motivations to develop the plot further until the conflicts are resolved.  Keep in mind the range of emotions characters show.

Beyond that, their relationship to the government and cultural norms is crucial.  How does a nobleman compare with regards to worth as opposed to a five-year old orphan?  Would noblemans and government people cheat the system in order to keep others under control?  How does the worth system go into effect for infants?  Does it depend on what class they're born into for innate 'potential'?

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22 hours ago, CeruleanGamer said:

Oh I know the merits and disadvantages of marriages and personally, I could have married long time ago, but my income when compared to my boyfriend is so far apart, it's not worth it for us to marry because we will get taxed severely and unfairly. I mean if we consider the financial situation already sorted out and a method to reduce/eliminate "retarded babies" from being born due to genetic complications and politics/religion/culture removed from the equation, is there anything else to worry about?

Well, not really, but I can't think of a judicial system that has surpassed the culture and the politics of its own society as anything but utopian and anarchic. Not that I'm against it at all (quite on the contrary).

 

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I might read some more articles about USSR. I have always been intrigued with their government and policies. Hopefully I can get some ideas there.

Nazi-fascism was short-lived, but works as well when it comes to studying how a country works when private and public life become one under the State.

 

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Oh this character has been exiled by his homeland already because he was transforming everyone into various colors and the nation felt like it was losing its "national identity". He does make a lot of new friends on the new town he resides that is more liberal and tolerant of his actions.

I like that. Especially how you seem concerned with giving this person a story of their own instead of making them a token protagonist for its theme. Friends are really important in order to do this.

 

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The women were fond of their previous dictator. They had the same mentality of bringing unity with their kind and leading their specific race of people to world supremacy and absolute power. And I'll definitely look into those German stories for some more material.

The accounts are all heartbreaking. The movie "A Woman in Berlin" is a good place tostart, if only because it opened the door for many women to speak up.

 

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Hmm now that I think about it, you are right, but if there's a way to limit taxes going to a particular branch or industry for example: Robotics Research got the most money and Koala Rescue Foundation got the least last year, then this year, Koala Rescue Foundation will have a higher upper limit and Robotics Research will have a lower limit and when that limit is reached, then they cannot be selected anymore as recipients of the tax money?

Maybe - it hasn't been tried yet. Well, you could use some poetic license to make it work if it helps your storytelling.

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