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  1. CL Short Story Project 3: Discussion Thread - SciFi?

    #685362014-01-14 19:33:28 *DarkChaplain said:

    This thread is a follow up to:

    Alright, guys and girls. I've been holding off on a new Writing Prompt thread for various reasons, one of them being that I've been testing the waters in InDesign, to increase productivity and ebook quality.

    So I'd like to start a new round of writing. I have no specific idea for a topic or genre yet, though, so, considering the lukewarm participation last time, I'd like to leave the decision mostly up to you people. What do you want to write, what do you want to read?

    I'd like this one to be at least as big as the first, which had almost a dozen participants. So please, get involved, share your feedback and help make it happen!


  2. #685382014-01-14 19:43:12 *Kip said:

    i want to read about something emotional. something sad and angry. i want to read about a characters most vulnerable state, where their feelings pour out of them in the form of big sloppy Ghibli tears. i want to read about the cause of their distress, the effect it has on them, and the ending to it.

    i want to read about the destruction of their entire being. (ʘ‿ʘ )

  3. #685412014-01-14 19:50:40 *Cenica said:

    I want to write a love story and then kill the ditzy girl off. Oh wait...I think this might have been done already.

  4. #685442014-01-14 19:54:35--Jack-- said:

    As do I, we've skipped over a lot of aspects that can really be explained in-depth with sci-fi.

    Also, there is a definite difference between Sci-fi and Science-Fantasy, and we need to point that out if we choose either one.

  5. #685502014-01-14 19:59:06hellstorm901 said:

    ...that sounds actually really good which makes me feel bad as my "Horror/Thriller" was pretty much that.

    I assume we get second votes in all this?

    If so I also cast a vote for Apocalypse.

  6. #685562014-01-14 20:41:50DarkChaplain said:

    Nice to see so much input right off the bat.

    I'd personally be really interested in Scifi, but fear a bit for the appeal to most potential users who aren't already somehow invested in the genre. I mean, sure, Scifi isn't narrow at all, but it gets better the more you build your world and technologies. I wonder if that's something people would be interested in experimenting with.

    What about the word count, guys & gals? Any suggestions, considering a few of you have experimented with various lengths for the previous two projects?

  7. #685722014-01-14 23:13:43hellstorm901 said:

    Sci-Fi need a longer word count than most written works as you generally need room to account for the technology and so on.

    I mean for example, Halo - The fall of Reach dedicated at least one page simply to explaining artificial gravity and the effect on a bench press safety pin.

  8. #685662014-01-14 22:45:50Rinneko said:

    Well, I'd certainly enjoy an emotional piece. I don't mind sci-fi, but I don't have a clear enough idea of the genre to be personally invested in it. (I might've had experience with a bit of sci-fantasy though; I'm not quite sure.)

    Dystopia. I'd want to read an dystopia-set piece. Not those that were set in a dystopia, but the drama that ensued could've happened anywhere else regardless. I'd love one that had action unique to dystopia.

    As for word count, personally I'd suppose around the 1500 word range would be good. I see the previous anthologies had around 3000 words or so, though. I wouldn't mind that too much either.

  9. #685752014-01-14 23:30:30Ecstasy said:

    Apocalypse sounds like something which would give more freedom to the participants. like you can go sci-fi about it, you can go post apocalypse, you can fit broken feelings and anger and even a bit of romance. And you can show more of your style (for those who have it) if you are given a topic and not a genre.

  10. #685872014-01-15 00:58:26 *Cloud-VK said:

    I also like the idea of writing about an apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic world. It sounds like fun. The topic provides lots of room for imagination. So I wanna say to go with a larger word count from the previous project, granted I didn’t finish my last story. I did come within striking distance of the max word count, when I was still a little far from wrapping up. Of course that may completely be from my lack of skill and I don’t know if there was anyone who rushed the last story to meet the word count. For all I know people were totally comfortable with the last word count. I mean people can create some real outstanding works with very few words at all. But I feel that with a topic like this one, it would require more detail to the different settings of the story. Or just details in general. Anyhow, I wanna just throw out 8,000 as a absolute max word count idea now. 8,000 because it’s more spacious than the last word count and it’s not over 10,000. Which I feel would be too much. I'm still probably overshooting.

  11. #685902014-01-15 02:06:40DarkChaplain said:

    You had to rush because you fucked up your schedule.

    The last submission window was open for EXACTLY ONE MONTH! ONE WHOLE MONTH!
    Additionally, the story was supposed to be TWO thousand to FOUR thousand words - the previous round had a solid THREE thousand words baseline. The minimum was LOWERED in the last one, to increase participation (which failed).

    This is the third time I see you complaining about things others don't see as an issue, and for the third time this stems from your own inability to plan things through and stick to them. I even waited a bit longer for you to submit your story last time, which never happened anyway.

  12. #685962014-01-15 03:53:00 *Cloud-VK said:

    Yes, I did rush last time, because I slacked off too much, don’t deny that. I did make an apology to you for not getting in my piece last time. I really appreciated that you waited and I tried to finish. I really did, just not when I should have. I know …I’m a slacker.

    And I’m not complaining, whining, or bitching about something that doesn’t have anything to do with this….this short story contest. I’m just staying current. Being active? This is the planning thread for a new short story right? So that’s what I want to be part of and I am just trying to contribute something to the planning stage. Because, I’ve seemed to notice that you’ve gotten on me twice for not doing so. Then you tend to turn around and get on me for doing so and just like now say I’m only complaining when that isn’t the case. Seriously. Please tell me should I just be silent? Because this is just getting old.

    You asked everyone what they thought about the word count right? I answered. Based on my own experience in the last time around, because even if I didn’t get my paper in. I can at least I can say I experimented with it. I know you lowered it to get more participation last time around, but that didn’t work did it? But, if it helped, and if everyone liked that setup better. If it got more participants. If it was comfortable. Then keep it. It does not bother me. At all. Not in the least. It never has. I am fine with any decision made by the group and I will happily go along with what’s agreed to. Nothing like that will affect my attempt to try and write a good story within whatever limits are set. Got it?

  13. #685922014-01-15 02:33:17--Jack-- said:

    There's been a bit of talk about fantasy, and emotionally-infused genre ideas. The post-apocalyptic idea and the sci-fi idea can actually overlap, adding either one that's missing to the other if it is the true element you are stating.

    Predominantly, I feel that sci-fi is a new area we have not explored in the CL Anthology...and would be a new challenge to take on.

  14. #686392014-01-16 07:30:47Kirn said:

    Hmmm... let's see. Considering the word-count, I think people make a good point that it would depend on a genre and that sci-fi can be demanding in descriptions... Maybe, there is a merit in making the range wider, like 2000-6000 words or something like that. 6000 should be enough for everyone, and it's still not overly too long.

    Again, this is very dependent on a theme. And I feel like the theme is the main thing that will get us some participants. And, looking both at this thread and at Maudia's movie nights voting, I can see that people want to have some sci-fi. Which is not a bad theme, considering how many decent sci-fi movies there are for people to get ideas from. Or even books, if anyone on CL actually reads those.

    Also, maybe we should try to get back the jury? I know 1st one was planned as a contest of sorts, but we never had any grades... Second also had a sort of a jury who got the stories before others. I know Tingles was grading stories, but never went public with that feedback.

  15. #686882014-01-18 02:33:43 *DarkChaplain said:

    So let's take SCIENCE FICTION as the general theme/direction for now.

    What do you expect to write about, and how do you think that would be stylistically different from, say, Fantasy? Which inspirational sources do you have for Scifi?

    Things to be discussed:

    • Wordcount
    • Do you think it would be helpful to submit a short idea/synopsis before starting on the story in earnest?
    • What help would you like to have with the theme?

    @Cenica @johan_5179 @Ucui @--Jack-- @Kirn @Kip @Rinneko @hellstorm901 @Gwynn @Ecstasy @Kittycat @Teru @Chou

  16. #686922014-01-18 04:23:23Kittycat said:

    I'll try to do this... but there is a big chance I won't be able to, so I don't feel like I'm in the place to make suggestions.

  17. #686962014-01-18 07:28:15Teru said:
    • I dont' see wordcount as a problem, I'll leave this for other person to sugest, any amount is fine.
    • When I think of sci-fi, my minds just blow with the universe of possibilites. After seeing Jack's picture I thought in a whole world to write about. A short ideia will be helpfull to contain how much far I can go with this ideia.
    • ^ This ''short ideia.''
  18. #687112014-01-18 15:48:12hellstorm901 said:


    Space development - A story writing about trying to do something in space such as mining, building a colony or ripping straight from Planetes, space junk collecting.

    War - Always going to appear in the Sci-Fi genre. But rather than something like all out Gundam you could do something where the Sci-Fi weapons tech and setting is maybe "20 minutes into the future" examples, Ghost Recon, Black Ops II (I hurts me mentioning it but it does count) Battle LA, the Aliens have some future tech but in terms of fighting style they aren't not too futuristic from how we are.

    Police stories - A classic style detective story but written from an idea of how a detective might operate in the future. Examples include Deus Ex, Ghost in the Shell

    Robots/Androids and society - Write a story about or around the issues of Androids and Robots in the future. Time of Eve is a good example of this and I guess I-Robot is too as that has some good issues shown such as people being made redundant by Robots.

  19. #687132014-01-18 17:39:58Ucui said:

    In terms of word count, I'd like to suggest a minimum word limit instead of a maximum. As for why, it would allow for more extensive world building which is a basis for a science fiction story.

    A small summary of one's story would be nice to have ahead of time so readers would have something to look forward to. Having a writer create a summary for their story would also help with pulling their ideas together along with having them practice catching the attention of the readers with much fewer words.

    As for theme, because it wasn't stated before, I'd like to suggest one involving a dystopian society set in the future. A science fiction story set where technology and civilization has declined from what it is today. Stories in this genre don't have to be limited to purely about futuristic gadgets and spaceships. Albeit, I may not actually use this genre to write a story, but I may as well add another genre to the list.

  20. #686992014-01-18 08:16:42Kirn said:

    Well... sci-fi is a massive genre. You can imagine something happening in space, or you can imagine even something in the near future. I mean, let's say, both Star Trek and Cyberpunk are sci-fi.
    Now, that reminds me of one of the serious writing contests I participated in once (and failed horribly )). There they would not just pick a setting, but also outline the theme... the one I did was something 'nanotechnology'. We can have something like that here too, like 'new technology and humanity'. That would still allow for many ideas in different settings, but would aim all stories in one direction. Then again, we can just allow writers to run wild.

    Already said about word count. I'd go for wider range between lower and upper limits this time.

    Also, I don't see anything bad about submitting ideas... Though I tie it with the third question - help with a theme. Now, I know I won't do that, but some people may want to ask others if their idea would work. I see nothing bad in it until someone starts stealing ideas )

  21. #687242014-01-19 05:17:26 *--Jack-- said:
    I've been away today, or I would have posted here sooner~

    I feel partially responsible for this genre being our next one, so since I can't completely promise enough free time to really participate (although I've whipped things up in the past), I am a bit obligated to at least give some advice.

    Some Topic Ideas:

    • Cybernetics

    • Space - (Story settings)

    • Aliens

    • Other planets - (Story settings)

    • Futuristic Cities - (Story settings)

    • Technology from alien species

    • Theoretical Physics and how Sci-fi can be realistic at times (Theme)

    Some Sources of Inspiration (Books, Movies, Anime, etc)

    • The Fifth Element (Movie)

    • Larry Niven (Author)

    • Ghost in the Shell (Anime)

    • Isaac Asimov (Author)

    • The "Metal Gear" series (Video Game)

    • Douglas Adams' "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" (Book Trilogy)

    • Blade Runner (Movie)

    • I-Robot (Movie)

    • Star Trek (Television/Movie)

    • Forbidden Planet (Movie [you should see it at least once])

    • Pitch Black & The Chronicles of Riddick (Movies)

    Sci-fi is a vast genre unto itself. All something needs to be scientific fiction is a use of, involvement with, or overtone of scientific things, aspects, or uses. Anything from a typical world + an alien friend, to a completely different planet, where two alien species clash! You literally get to form a story from scratch, and add science into it in a creative way~

    Here's an idea that may not have occurred to you: the story doesn't have to be focused on the genre objective...all it takes to be in the genre is having an aspect of it. So those of you who say you can't write sci-fi, just try to add scientific things to a good story, and make sure not to just shove them in there...weave them through the plot.

  22. #687372014-01-19 10:40:27 *Rinneko said:

    I would've put down my thoughts on this earlier, but I was down with a fever. Whoop. D:

    Firstly, in terms of word count, I think a minimum word count is definitely necessary. I'm not really in a position to judge a suitable minimum, as I haven't participated in any previous short stories over here. However, I'd think anything around 1500-2000 for a minimum would be good. As for the maximum word count, I'd think anything below 8000 would be fine. I think more than 8000 would feels a little much to be considered a short story.

    Secondly, a short idea/synopsis before starting would be great. I'd love to know what others are planning on writing while I'm doing my own. It'd certainly make me feel more connected to everyone involved, and less stranded in sci-fi genre.

    Thirdly, help I would like with the theme. Something akin to a prompt would be nice. As earlier mentioned, the sci-fi genre is pretty huge. There's an endless amount of ideas that anyone could come up with. That alone makes it pretty hard for me to pinpoint one to write about. I'm pretty partial to the 'dystopian society set in the future' that Ucui mentioned, as I've already brought up the idea of dystopia in my earlier post. Either than that, I don't really have any themes or anything to suggest. I'm quite open to writing anything, and am excited to know what others are going to come up with. :)

  23. #687472014-01-19 14:33:31Ecstasy said:

    I probably wouldn't want to spoiler what I'm writing about if I do participate.

    Minimal word count about 2000-3000 words sounds fair to me.

    All in all I had a couple ideas and I think I know which one I could take, unless the theme gets limited and my ideas become irrelevant.

    Sci-fi subgenres (can overlap and not all listed):

    1. Hard SF
    2. Soft and social SF
    3. Cyberpunk
    4. Time travel
    5. Alternate history
    6. Military SF
    7. Superhuman
    8. Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic
    9. Space opera
    10. Space Frontier
    11. Space Western
    12. Anthropological science fiction
    13. Biopunk
    14. Comic science fiction
    15. Steampunk
    16. Dieselpunk
  24. #688092014-01-20 17:12:50Kip said:

    i think this pretty much sums up what i was thinking as well. i agree with Ecstasy's post.

    also i still want to do something with the Apocalypse.