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Author Topic: 'Reapers'~~~Story Help  (Read 2373 times)

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Offline GingerStark

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'Reapers'~~~Story Help
« on: January 01, 2015, 01:02:42 PM »
Hello friends! Normally I don’t use the development story section much but I sure could do with some help here with some of my works. This one is called Reapers, a dystopia/crime. I need some help with the plot  :hmm:

Some art I had for the story- Credit to MockinBird
Spoiler

Here’s what I got so far...
Spoiler
Summary: In the not so distant future as the world falls into decline from pollution and overpopulation, social unrest reaches new levels and organised crime expands to take advantage of that. No more can the government be kind or understanding; thus the death penalty was reintroduced and the creation of the Reapers division, specially selected police officers with the legal ability to execute criminals on the spot.

However, the most recent addition to the division, Athena Streiss, is looking to make some changes to the Reapers public image. Haunted by her father’s unlawful execution, she wants to turn the Reapers into a more citizen-friendly service rather than a tool for fear. In such a bleak world however, is such an ideal even possible?

Spoiler
Setting: Welcome to South England where the year is 2070 and the world as we know it now has changed;

-Having recovered from a third world war and discovering a large oilfield off the Scottish Coast, the UK is powerful economic force in the world and a hot spot for business. Its technology is among the best and is currently running a surplus in budget.

-However, pollution is worse than ever. Most water sources are polluted, the countryside is beyond repair and the air is thick with dirt and smoke. Smog clouds are common and require citizens without protective clothing to remain inside or suffer severe health defects.

-The third world war saw unemployment eradicated... but with the war gone, it rose to high levels. Along with refugees and immigration from devastated countries, ghettos have sprung up and are a hotbed for crime.

-Pressure groups have resorted to extreme violence in protest to the government. This includes Eco-terrorists, human right protests and religious groups condemning new technology.


Spoiler
Plot: This is under-developed but so far I have the story focusing on the members of the Reaper’s Division through the eyes of newbie Athena Streiss and they’re dealing with current social issues, especially the most important one; the use of the death penalty.

For a first chapter, it’s mostly an introduction of the characters and the world they are in. Not so much focusing on a main story yet, but being more character driven; Athena’s father was a commander during the Third World War but executed by the government for undisclosed crimes. Athena felt that the entire system was unfair and joined the Reapers (After coming out top in her graduation in the police) in order to show that things can be done differently.

However, on her first job her team was tasked with protecting the opening of an oxygen-recycling plant which is threatened with destruction from an eco-terrorist organisation known as Gaia’s Knights. The terrorists attack but in a struggle with one, Athena accidentally kills the man despite him surrendering.
Now Athena is left conflicted over her views, whilst the team investigate Gaia’s Knights to prevent further attacks.

So that’s what I got so far. I do have several characters written out but they’d be a bit lengthy to describe at the moment. If anyone can help me with what I have so far, I’d be most grateful :D

Offline liuxess

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Re: 'Reapers'~~~Story Help
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2015, 01:48:25 PM »
This seems pretty interesting,  and it should get to the reader's because I believe that every person had a immoral thought about bringing back death penalty
Se points I can give out from what you gave:
~Since a world war III occured,  you need to think about all high-tech weapons. Not scifi weapons but still much more advanced than ours,  cuz with the technology we have,  weapon upgrades during a war would boost ten times. So maybe war machines like from ironman would be possible in your story

~Will you base WWIII on the conflict between Russia amd the rest of the world,  especially Europe and USA?

~You should have the mc have a rival within the reapers- a guy or a girl that enjoy killing,  and that being the reason they joined the reapers
~What does church say about the death penalty? There could be a group of people within the church who are exterminating the reapers as aprotest against the death penalty.

~If you make a guy who kills for fun and the group within the Church,  the guy could defend the mc from the groupand inspire some romance.

That's all I have for now,  I'll try to make some more advices in the future
I don't create stories, I relive them ;)
I'm in development of one right now, so please check it out:
 http://forums.mangaraiders.com/index.php/topic,15050.0.html
If you want me to check out YOUR story,  just PM me.

Offline GingerStark

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Re: 'Reapers'~~~Story Help
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2015, 02:08:58 PM »
Thank you for your feedback liuxess :D

I do hope to serve the Death Penalty as an interesting topic of debate among readers, which should engage them more into the story  :hmm:
World War three would bring about technological advancement and a change in global politics, which will require a great deal of thought when possible  :-\

WWIII however will take place primarily in South America (Especially the Falkland Islands) and Europe (Which is fighting a civil war amongst itself)

A rival sounds like a good idea, I'll see if I can allocate that to any of the existing cast  :thumbsup: I wasn't going to focus much on religion in the story, but the Church is still something to consider.

Thanks for your suggestions, they have given me food for thought :D

Offline Aozora

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Re: 'Reapers'~~~Story Help
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2015, 12:53:31 AM »
I admire your efforts to create a story around a controversial topic as the death penalty. However, this will be a difficult endeavor in terms of originality. I believe several manga/comics have been made about the death penalty and executions in general, the most notable being Sukedachi 9 which was released recently. Sukedachi 9 has some striking similarities to your story, including a special group that carries out executions and a backdrop characterized by increased crime and violence. That is why with stories like this it is difficult to create a truly original and authentic story. But I'm sure with some subtle changes and alterations you will accomplish the task.

As for your plot, I think it is decent and interesting. There's not much that I can say at this point but once more has been revealed I can offer more feedback. The main thing I would really focus on though is showing how Athena becomes inspired to join the Reapers and reform the system. Because one would think that if someone's father was killed, that person would retaliate and try to abolish or eliminate the system that was responsible for his/her father's death. And so that is why you wanna show how Athena decided to tread a noble path rather than one of darkness. 
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.

Check out my stories here: http://forums.mangaraiders.com/index.php?topic=12492.msg213349#msg213349

Offline GingerStark

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Re: 'Reapers'~~~Story Help
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2015, 07:17:16 AM »
Hmmm, I didn't know it was a popular topic  :hmm: I just thought the Judge Dredd series was the only one. I guess that gives more motivation to try harder to be more original  :dance:

I guess it depends on what I have planned for an ending too though. Do I want Athena to accomplish her goal or realise that this time period requires a less humane approach? I suppose that means the plot needs some more thought since that's what is affecting the main character the most.

Offline NO1SY

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Re: 'Reapers'~~~Story Help
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2015, 10:43:53 AM »
Hmmm so sounds to me like Psycho Pass a bit... Newbie coming in with different and naive views on how things could be done in a more moral way, and while she is right the rest of the world doesn't exactly fall in line. She also finds herself having to toughen up and accept some of the horrors when they happen before she can make a change and change people's minds.

Personally I prefer stories where the main character ends up in a setting that conflicts with their morals by no will of their own, because that promotes a scenario where the main character is changed by the world and develops as a result. Here you have the opportunity to have your world change as a result of your character but you have to avoid it feeling corny and scripted, which I think you are capable of. But again I'd rather see the MC develop than the world change.

Absolutely love the background and the setting and most of all the concept of the Reapers. People charged with maintaining order through executions - fantastic! It all sound wonderfully industrial, totalitarian and dire and I love it. Reminds me of the film "Equilibrium" :)

Your plot makes the reapers sound like a security squad though... Maybe try to shroud them in some mystery, play with imagery and make them a bit more ruthless than military? I like that they could inspire and have to quell rebellions and make anti-moral choices like executing the chold thieves that would starve if they didn't take that small rashion from that person that has two. It would work really well to make sure that readers know that the reapers are not good people but all in all good people are in short supply anyway.

I feel your weakest link is your MC and how she makes the story seem like a typical 'breaking the mold' type thing.

Offline GingerStark

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Re: 'Reapers'~~~Story Help
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2015, 11:06:56 AM »
I just started watching Psycho Pass actually to inspire me :D But Judge Dredd was more my base, especially with the English setting

I was planning on going down the line where she is being changed rather than she makes the change. But then just as she's getting in the swing of things, a new government is elected and they try to abolish the death penalty, which starts causing trouble for the job.

Agreed though, the background and setting is what stands out the most I think :D Now I just need something good to go along with it...
Morality was one of my themes, and about how it might not even exist? The male protagonist Nicholas believes there is no such thing as good or bad, just stability; hence why he might be more comfortable with killing a criminal. Each Reaper has their own way about it, so to say.

Offline Vacant

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Re: 'Reapers'~~~Story Help
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2015, 01:27:37 PM »
Yeah, was going to say, it conjured up images akin to Psycho Pass to me. However, I think what would make a key difference is why they captured/killed people based on their mental state, this was primarily decided by their tech.
In your story, these would be judgement calls on the crimes committed by actual people, which would leave to some interesting conflicts of opinions.

I think that would come into play when deciding on what actually warranted the death penalty, some being more lenient than others and so on. The setting seems good for this kind of story, a near future dystopia of sorts.

I'm guessing theme wise its going to be Dark, Gritty, political, questioning morality and ethics...sounds right up your street :P

How big is the cast you're envisioning for it? Is it a small group the MC works with? Or do the people she goes about her business with change frequently?

Sounds like an interesting Idea though, I do enjoy this sort of theme  :thumbsup:

Offline GingerStark

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Re: 'Reapers'~~~Story Help
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2015, 06:11:49 PM »
Indeed! Sometimes it's obvious, such as armed robbery or hostages. But when it's something like an unproved murderer running away from them, what do you do?

I did some research in England, surprisingly more people are in favour of it being reinstated than opposed. Of course the EU Human Rights forbid this at the moment. However, if the future was different such as England drifting away from the EU and more like the US, change could happen as well as public pressure if people fail to see justice being delivered to extreme criminals (And overpopulated prisons too).

It'll be dark and gritty of course, though you can some comedy and light hearted moments from the cast when they interact with each other.
I had some core characters envisioned from the start including;
-An elderly American who is looking forward to retirement. He provides historical context sometimes "Back in my day we did this..." and ect.
-An aloof war veteran who lost his individuality during service. He acts as the male protagonist and doesn't see things in a morality view.
-Their leader, a former lawyer who often directs the squad and helps maintain their public image, despite the stress it brings her.
I have others too but they're more drafts rather than tied heavily into the story line. I'll need help with them.

I'm glad you enjoy it so far :D Thanks for the feedback!

Offline NO1SY

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Re: 'Reapers'~~~Story Help
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2015, 07:07:07 AM »
Wow that research is pretty cool! Did not know that... makes sense though... personally I feel rather impartial so long as trials are then conducted better so that less innocents are convicted.

I look forward to reading some chapter drafts for this :)

Offline GingerStark

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Re: 'Reapers'~~~Story Help
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2015, 10:31:34 AM »
Hm hm, hmmmm  :hmm: Already creates opinion, see :D

I'll be sure to cook some up as soon as I can

Offline MissChurro

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Re: 'Reapers'~~~Story Help
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2015, 04:43:22 PM »
Ooooh. This could be a very interesting story indeed! Good job so far! :clapping:
Are you going to post more about the characters soon? I'm interested to see them! :thumbsup:

Offline GingerStark

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Re: 'Reapers'~~~Story Help
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2015, 02:53:54 PM »
Yes, I will post the characters soon. Got to get the world figured out first though  :hmm: And the main plot  :push:

Offline GingerStark

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Re: 'Reapers'~~~Story Help
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2015, 03:27:08 AM »
Does anyone know which American state has the least strict gun laws?  :hmm:

Offline swearzy

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Re: 'Reapers'~~~Story Help
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2015, 09:12:20 AM »
I think it is Arizona, but the progression recently on laws alot of states are removing restrictions.