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Planning a NovelFollow

#1 May 12 2014 at 2:45 PM Rating: Good
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For no particular reason, I was lying in bed dwelling on what my wife tells me are overly negative ideas about what to expect from the future(as well as the present). I say I'm being realistic, and imagining things are better than they actually are won't help anything. You might have noticed, but these kinds of things are always on my mind, all the time-- and whenever the subject comes up, particularly in the Asylum, you're going to hear about it quite a bit.

So then I got to thinking-- what if I were to put together a story of sorts to illustrate these ideas? I keep thinking of classic satirical tales we all read in grade school like "Animal Farm" or "Harrison Bergeron," and I wonder why no one seems to make those anymore, or if so, why they aren't worth mentioning.

The premise of my story would revolve around the idea of "for profit" prison systems, and the fact that the United States jails such a large portion of its population-- a number that will grow dramatically once they have succeeded in dismantling our social security and government safety net programs. In the story, laws targeting freedom on the internet will have passed, rendering it essentially useless. Education is no longer compulsory, but a privilege for only those who can afford it, and only those who accept a Christian faith-based curriculum-- all of these things designed to further increase the population of those in prison, and to segregate the privileged from the "undesirables."

Stricter laws are put into place to regulate relationships between people, and to prevent those who have found themselves in extreme poverty from making a living for themselves legally, while laws that regulate business are all but non-existent. If you are suspected to be engaged in a homosexual relationship, for instance, you are jailed for "sodomy" and put to work in "for profit" prisons doing jobs that would otherwise be paid a decent living for nothing or next to nothing. If you have *** before you're legally married, you face a ridiculous fine or go to jail. Birth control, pornography, abortion, and even accidental miscarriages are strictly forbidden. Offend the wealthy fundamentalist ruling class in any way, and it is made into an excuse to put you to work in the ever growing slave labor workforce, which now covers practically all low to middle income job positions.

The thing I'm wondering now is, has this story already been done?

Edited, May 12th 2014 8:48pm by Kuwoobie
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#2 May 12 2014 at 2:49 PM Rating: Good
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It's been made into a television series, on Fox News.

It's all been done, but I can't think of any example of all your suggestions in a single place.

Edited, May 12th 2014 4:51pm by lolgaxe
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#3 May 12 2014 at 3:07 PM Rating: Good
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Yeah that particular dystopian vision appears in a few books (The Handmaid's Tale is a really creepy one) but I can't recall one done in the context of a pure for-profit prison system.

How would you approach the novel? First person in-depth narrative, or a more dispassionate third person approach? From the viewpoint of the overload or from the enslaved? (Or the overlord turned enslaved, or enslaved turned overlord? The latter I think was in the classic Citizen of the Galaxy.)
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#4 May 12 2014 at 3:34 PM Rating: Good
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Catwho wrote:
Yeah that particular dystopian vision appears in a few books (The Handmaid's Tale is a really creepy one) but I can't recall one done in the context of a pure for-profit prison system.

How would you approach the novel? First person in-depth narrative, or a more dispassionate third person approach? From the viewpoint of the overload or from the enslaved? (Or the overlord turned enslaved, or enslaved turned overlord? The latter I think was in the classic Citizen of the Galaxy.)


I really kind of hate first person, but I haven't decided yet. I've only just starting researching what all needs to be done. Almost everything leads me to reading hours worth of material on TVtropes.

I'm going to check out The Handmaid's Tale. I'm interested in knowing what other similar ones there might be if you can name them. I don't care a whole heck of a lot if what I'm doing is original or not, or if it even gets published. I just really, really need a way to put all that I've been thinking out there somehow.
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#5 May 12 2014 at 5:15 PM Rating: Good
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Needs more smut.
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#6 May 13 2014 at 6:57 AM Rating: Good
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edited

Edited, May 13th 2014 6:44pm by Elinda
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#7 May 13 2014 at 10:28 AM Rating: Good
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Elinda wrote:
His Excellency Aethien wrote:
Needs more smut.

Prisons are rich incubation chambers for smut.

Kuwoobie, I imagine you've seen Watership Down?



I have. It must have been 20 years ago though. I don't remember the details much. I remember it because our neighbors had it on VHS and their young daughters wanted to watch it because it was "a cartoon about rabbits." I then remember watching it and thinking it was probably not intended for children. Why do you ask?
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#8 May 13 2014 at 10:42 AM Rating: Good
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Kuwoobie wrote:
Elinda wrote:
His Excellency Aethien wrote:
Needs more smut.

Prisons are rich incubation chambers for smut.

Kuwoobie, I imagine you've seen Watership Down?



I have. It must have been 20 years ago though. I don't remember the details much. I remember it because our neighbors had it on VHS and their young daughters wanted to watch it because it was "a cartoon about rabbits." I then remember watching it and thinking it was probably not intended for children. Why do you ask?

The op gave the impression you were looking to do some pre-research of fictional stories about political responsibility, abuse of power, etc.

Watership Down is one of those.

Sorry to crowd up your thread.
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#9 May 13 2014 at 1:35 PM Rating: Good
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The Handmaid's Tale had smut. It was the first or second time I'd ever seen the F word in print, and had a fairly graphic *** scene I was probably too young to read but my parents never censored anything from me.

Citizen of the Galaxy is the only Heinlein novel I really liked. It's about the futuristic space slave trade and attempts to undermine it. I don't recall all that much smut, though. Smiley: laugh
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#10 May 13 2014 at 6:41 PM Rating: Good
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The hypothetical story where everyone who disagrees with you is given the reigns, invariably turning the world to ****, thus proving how right you are has been written many, many times. No sugar added, that's what your synopsis seems to convey.

I'd still say write it. It's too easy for tomato throwers like me to be wrong.

Edited, May 13th 2014 7:45pm by Allegory
#11 May 13 2014 at 10:40 PM Rating: Excellent
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I keep thinking up really good ideas for Novels, then I start writing them, but don't have enough time to finish them. At this point I have 3 of them with decent page counts but not over halfway, with completed outlines and whatnot. I just don't actually put the words to paper fast enough to get them done. One of these days.
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