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A discussion to stoke your writing fire.
Posted: 4/22/2010 4:07 AM PDT
Just because it's plausible, doesn't mean it has to be real. Your book could feature as central character a member of this "enlightened" society who enthusiastically buys into all the propaganda until he witnesses something he isn't supposed to. He then begins digging, and the more he digs the more he discovers that the so-called paradise is just a sham, a façade. That may be a little too "1984", but in 1984 it's made very obvious that the society is actually a dystopia. A book where the flaws in the society are more carefully hidden from view would have a very different feel to it. More "Brave New World", maybe. OK, so there's lots of dystopias already. There's room for a novel where the paradisical society genuinely is enlightened. But the main problem for any society is that it is composed of people, and people are fallible. You can't get around that, except maybe by having your society computer-controlled, and then it's obvious where the conflict comes from. Not everyone would welcome being controlled by machines. Also, a machine-dominated society would be experimental, and experiments have a way of going wrong. Think of HAL in 2001. Even if the machines just take over all the lower-level functions. leaving the humans free to pursue their dreams, there's plenty of scope for machine failure to cause problems. They get more and more sophisticated, until nobody understand them any more, until one day they just stop. A planet-wide system overload, leaving all the people who've come to depend on the machines suddenly in the lurch. All of that can happen without machines being literally in control, because every society is figuratively a machine, with the rules and regulations being the gear wheels. The more perfectly the gears mesh together, the less anyone feels a need to understand how it all works. It gets more and more complicated, with people understanding it less and less, until it stops. Think of an Icelandic volcano as being just the beginning. Finally, even a society which works perfectly and continues to do so indefinitely will still have flaws. This is because different people will have different aspirations, and a real society, no matter how enlightened it is, cannot completely meet all of those aspirations. One man's paradise is another man's hell. The conflict arises when the people who find this enlightened society to be hellish start banding together and subverting it. They might do so in the name of "self-interest", violently objecting to the "communist" altruism and cooperation needed for any enlightened society to work. They might ironically be working directly against their own self-interest, e.g. poor people voting for tax breaks for the extremely wealthy after having been mentally manipulated by unrealistic promises of future wealth. And what should society's response to this subversion be? A fierce crackdown? Or acceptance, even when the subversion turns violent? Either option would be less than paradisical. And what if the subversion is being orchestrated from abroad? Possible responses would include actual conflict in the form of war, or creeping repression culminating in a dictatorship, or both.
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Posted: 4/21/2010 3:09 PM PDT
The Problem is utopia does not exist. Reading Brave New World, the world seems ideal, but in the end, it is, inevitably a dystopian society. Utopia cannot exist because it will contradict itself in one or more ways. So there, I think you should look into writing a dystopian plot rather than a utopian one. Just an idea.
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Posted: 4/14/2010 3:22 PM PDT
You could air out the society's dirty laundry. Look at "The Giver" by Lois Lowry.(I think) That society is "perfect" but they practice infanticide (the killing of babies). Also the young people don't have any choice in the jobs that they are given. What makes this society perfect? How did it become perfect? Are the people in the society being brainwashed into believing it's perfect? I hope that helps.
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Posted: 6/22/2009 8:23 AM PDT
Natural disasters are always a threat. Man cannot control nature. :)
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Posted: 6/16/2009 10:02 AM PDT
How about fiddler2's idea of an invasion, that's good. but, depending on what style you want this story, you incorperate romance, comedy, action, w/e, the outside invaders could start getting more of the utopian population on their side, you know, people start seeing the evil in paradise.
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Posted: 6/12/2009 8:51 PM PDT
What happens when utopia crumbles? It's a society unprepared for threat; they've had no need. Corruption is a big possibility, with someone who wants to get more than they deserve. Any outside threat or incursion of people unwilling to make the sacrifices necessary for true utopia is possible. Or, go completely different. Perhaps the "perfect" society fails to bring about the new and necessary - if necessity is the mother of invention, what happens when all needs are met? A stagnant society rapidly can become a tumultuous society.
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Posted: 5/30/2009 3:11 PM PDT
Well, someone could be against this enlightened society and try to rebel. A teenager possibly. I hope that helps but sorry if it doesn't!
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Posted: 5/30/2009 9:25 AM PDT
I've been little stuck. I've designed a paradisical society in my head - a plausible one, and I want to get it onto paper. The problem - it's an enlightened society. Where's the conflict? I'm asking for some ideas for a plot. Any thoughts??
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