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Brainstorm With Me

ConservativePolitico
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7/30/2013 1:30:46 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
So I want to start writing a piece about an immortal. A man who has been immortal for thousands of years. However I don't know where to start him off.

Do I start him present day? A strange being who has experienced a hundred life times?
Do I progress him through history? One life time at a time?
Do I have him flashback?
Should he be in the future?

I'm curious as to what people think. If you were going to read a story about an immortal man, where would you like to see him.

Just some fun brainstorming.
Maikuru
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7/30/2013 1:45:48 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
There is a character in DC, Vandal Savage, who is immortal. I'm talking all the way from a caveman to today. I think he is incredibly interesting because of the way he is written. Whenever he appears, unless you already know who he is, you don't even find out he's immortal until well into the story. His character traits, like his intelligence and wit and wealth and influence, are larger than life and the audience is left wondering why until the big reveal.

At that point, the writers tend to just show him as a caveman and jump to today. That's because he's a villain and nobody cares. If he was the hero, though, it would be interesting and almost necessary to see more stories about various centuries and his influence in each one.

Let's say the character has some goal, which is shrouded in mystery from the reader. We see him visiting places or doing things or meeting people and have only the faintest clues why. However, these scenes are interspersed by a scene in the past, perhaps in the same place or with the ancestors or the people he is interacting with now or with the beginnings of an object that is now completed in the present. We are informed as to his motivations in the present through his actions in the past, with each flashback jumping hundreds of years and getting closer and closer to the present until his final act is revealed.

Then perhaps we jump to the future and see that all that was, once again, just a stepping stone for an even larger goal. That dynamic would paint the picture of the vastness of time to the audience.

Just a thought =P
"You assume I wouldn't want to burn this whole place to the ground."
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ConservativePolitico
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7/30/2013 1:48:24 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/30/2013 1:45:48 AM, Maikuru wrote:
There is a character in DC, Vandal Savage, who is immortal. I'm talking all the way from a caveman to today. I think he is incredibly interesting because of the way he is written. Whenever he appears, unless you already know who he is, you don't even find out he's immortal until well into the story. His character traits, like his intelligence and wit and wealth and influence, are larger than life and the audience is left wondering why until the big reveal.

At that point, the writers tend to just show him as a caveman and jump to today. That's because he's a villain and nobody cares. If he was the hero, though, it would be interesting and almost necessary to see more stories about various centuries and his influence in each one.

Let's say the character has some goal, which is shrouded in mystery from the reader. We see him visiting places or doing things or meeting people and have only the faintest clues why. However, these scenes are interspersed by a scene in the past, perhaps in the same place or with the ancestors or the people he is interacting with now or with the beginnings of an object that is now completed in the present. We are informed as to his motivations in the present through his actions in the past, with each flashback jumping hundreds of years and getting closer and closer to the present until his final act is revealed.

Then perhaps we jump to the future and see that all that was, once again, just a stepping stone for an even larger goal. That dynamic would paint the picture of the vastness of time to the audience.

Just a thought =P

Hmm I like that idea. Paint a picture of the vastness of time to the audience. That would certainly be a challenge to write. A fun one, but a challenge nonetheless. Hmmmm.
ConservativePolitico
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7/30/2013 1:50:56 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Another idea I was thinking, is show a man in the present so broken and disconnected from humanity and then somehow bring him back.

We'd see his past, how he fought in wars, ate with kings etc but the strain of being immortal has drained his human side away.
Maikuru
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7/30/2013 1:52:48 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Yeah, I said it so casually, too lol.

When Fable first came out, they promised (and lied) that you could "plant a seed in the past and find the grown tree in the future." That idea is so epic I could cry. The beauty of an immortal character for me isn't the idea of being able to just see the future, but the idea that they are creating the future and they know it. Nods throughout the story of the outcome of the character's actions in the past being realized in the future helps paint the picture of a grand scheme of things, even if it's as simple as him pushing his daughter on a swing on a tree that he planted 40 years earlier or something.
"You assume I wouldn't want to burn this whole place to the ground."
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BlackVoid
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7/30/2013 1:53:45 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I'd rather it start in the present with the occasional flashback.

In the past, I had an idea of writing about an immortal person who loses their immortality, whIether it be through magic or a science experiment gone wrong, and goes on a quest to get it back. That would be somewhat interesting. Or, that can just be a small twist you throw in that only takes a chunk of the story rather than being the basis for it.

In any case, I'll check out whatever you write. You should be able to do a good job. I love plot twists though, so you have to have at least one.
Maikuru
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7/30/2013 1:55:26 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/30/2013 1:50:56 AM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
Another idea I was thinking, is show a man in the present so broken and disconnected from humanity and then somehow bring him back.

We'd see his past, how he fought in wars, ate with kings etc but the strain of being immortal has drained his human side away.

In the first Wolverine movie, there's a scene of him and Sabertooth fighting in all these wars. It lasts literally 30 seconds and then it's never mentioned again. I was like...the fvck? That is such an amazing idea to expand on. You're not going to go through thousands of years with family, friends, everyone you ever know dying over and over again and not be changed by that.

We could start by seeing the character not just disconnected, but completely disenchanted with human life. Think about it; if you've seen thousands of people die, including everyone you've ever know, 100 times over, how special will life actually be to you anymore?
"You assume I wouldn't want to burn this whole place to the ground."
- lamerde

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Maikuru
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7/30/2013 1:58:03 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/30/2013 1:53:45 AM, BlackVoid wrote:
I'd rather it start in the present with the occasional flashback.

In the past, I had an idea of writing about an immortal person who loses their immortality, whIether it be through magic or a science experiment gone wrong, and goes on a quest to get it back. That would be somewhat interesting. Or, that can just be a small twist you throw in that only takes a chunk of the story rather than being the basis for it.

In any case, I'll check out whatever you write. You should be able to do a good job. I love plot twists though, so you have to have at least one.

That's a really interesting idea. I wonder if someone who has had immortality for some time would even want it back in the end. You did a debate on this once, didn't you?
"You assume I wouldn't want to burn this whole place to the ground."
- lamerde

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BlackVoid
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7/30/2013 2:04:58 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/30/2013 1:58:03 AM, Maikuru wrote:
At 7/30/2013 1:53:45 AM, BlackVoid wrote:
I'd rather it start in the present with the occasional flashback.

In the past, I had an idea of writing about an immortal person who loses their immortality, whIether it be through magic or a science experiment gone wrong, and goes on a quest to get it back. That would be somewhat interesting. Or, that can just be a small twist you throw in that only takes a chunk of the story rather than being the basis for it.

In any case, I'll check out whatever you write. You should be able to do a good job. I love plot twists though, so you have to have at least one.

That's a really interesting idea. I wonder if someone who has had immortality for some time would even want it back in the end. You did a debate on this once, didn't you?

Yeah, I did. Immortality definently isn't something I would want.

One idea I had with the story was that after all these years of seeing his loved ones die around him, and overall fatigue over the emotions of life, the immortal man wants beyond anything else to just die. However, when he loses his powers, he goes through a gradual process that culminates in him wanting his powers back. Maybe, after getting severely injured a couple times, being afraid to take risks for fear of injury, and seeing himself age, he would realize that he had started taking his immortality for granted and end up trying to regain it.

There's so many possibilities.
ConservativePolitico
Posts: 8,210
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7/30/2013 11:25:15 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/30/2013 1:55:26 AM, Maikuru wrote:
At 7/30/2013 1:50:56 AM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
Another idea I was thinking, is show a man in the present so broken and disconnected from humanity and then somehow bring him back.

We'd see his past, how he fought in wars, ate with kings etc but the strain of being immortal has drained his human side away.

In the first Wolverine movie, there's a scene of him and Sabertooth fighting in all these wars. It lasts literally 30 seconds and then it's never mentioned again. I was like...the fvck? That is such an amazing idea to expand on. You're not going to go through thousands of years with family, friends, everyone you ever know dying over and over again and not be changed by that.

We could start by seeing the character not just disconnected, but completely disenchanted with human life. Think about it; if you've seen thousands of people die, including everyone you've ever know, 100 times over, how special will life actually be to you anymore?

That's exactly what I was thinking. I was actually imagining a gambling drunk who has accepted his fate knowing that humanity and everything associated with it is useless. Almost the exact opposite of your idea of the masterful builder through time.

Hmmm. An immortal who loses his immortality and has to get it back. That'd be interesting. How does one function as a mortal after being immortal for so long?
ClassicRobert
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7/30/2013 11:45:14 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/30/2013 1:50:56 AM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
Another idea I was thinking, is show a man in the present so broken and disconnected from humanity and then somehow bring him back.

We'd see his past, how he fought in wars, ate with kings etc but the strain of being immortal has drained his human side away.

*Plot of X-Men Origins: Wolverine*
Debate me: Economic decision theory should be adjusted to include higher-order preferences for non-normative purposes http://www.debate.org...

Do you really believe that? Or not? If you believe it, you should man up and defend it in a debate. -RoyLatham

My Pet Fish is such a Douche- NiamC

It's an app to meet friends and stuff, sort of like an adult club penguin- Thett3, describing Tinder
ConservativePolitico
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7/30/2013 11:45:54 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/30/2013 11:45:14 AM, ClassicRobert wrote:
At 7/30/2013 1:50:56 AM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
Another idea I was thinking, is show a man in the present so broken and disconnected from humanity and then somehow bring him back.

We'd see his past, how he fought in wars, ate with kings etc but the strain of being immortal has drained his human side away.

*Plot of X-Men Origins: Wolverine*

Never seen it.
ClassicRobert
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7/30/2013 11:48:35 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Now to be useful. I think an interesting take on the whole immortality thing would be to have him more as a spectator. For example, there is a very wealthy and perhaps morally questionable family that he has been the butler for since the family rose to prominence, and he's telling their story through time, sometimes purposely confusing one generation with another.
Debate me: Economic decision theory should be adjusted to include higher-order preferences for non-normative purposes http://www.debate.org...

Do you really believe that? Or not? If you believe it, you should man up and defend it in a debate. -RoyLatham

My Pet Fish is such a Douche- NiamC

It's an app to meet friends and stuff, sort of like an adult club penguin- Thett3, describing Tinder
ConservativePolitico
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7/30/2013 11:59:53 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/30/2013 11:48:35 AM, ClassicRobert wrote:
Now to be useful. I think an interesting take on the whole immortality thing would be to have him more as a spectator. For example, there is a very wealthy and perhaps morally questionable family that he has been the butler for since the family rose to prominence, and he's telling their story through time, sometimes purposely confusing one generation with another.

Hmmm. Could be. I'd find it a little questionable though. If you were immortal would you be content being a butler for a family? Unless you were driven to such a state...
ClassicRobert
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7/30/2013 12:00:53 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/30/2013 11:59:53 AM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
At 7/30/2013 11:48:35 AM, ClassicRobert wrote:
Now to be useful. I think an interesting take on the whole immortality thing would be to have him more as a spectator. For example, there is a very wealthy and perhaps morally questionable family that he has been the butler for since the family rose to prominence, and he's telling their story through time, sometimes purposely confusing one generation with another.

Hmmm. Could be. I'd find it a little questionable though. If you were immortal would you be content being a butler for a family? Unless you were driven to such a state...

That was just an example. In general, I like the spectator through history concept.
Debate me: Economic decision theory should be adjusted to include higher-order preferences for non-normative purposes http://www.debate.org...

Do you really believe that? Or not? If you believe it, you should man up and defend it in a debate. -RoyLatham

My Pet Fish is such a Douche- NiamC

It's an app to meet friends and stuff, sort of like an adult club penguin- Thett3, describing Tinder
AnDoctuir
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7/30/2013 12:05:37 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/30/2013 12:00:53 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
At 7/30/2013 11:59:53 AM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
At 7/30/2013 11:48:35 AM, ClassicRobert wrote:
Now to be useful. I think an interesting take on the whole immortality thing would be to have him more as a spectator. For example, there is a very wealthy and perhaps morally questionable family that he has been the butler for since the family rose to prominence, and he's telling their story through time, sometimes purposely confusing one generation with another.

Hmmm. Could be. I'd find it a little questionable though. If you were immortal would you be content being a butler for a family? Unless you were driven to such a state...

That was just an example. In general, I like the spectator through history concept.

You would love the movie The Man from Earth then.
ConservativePolitico
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7/30/2013 12:13:23 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/30/2013 12:00:53 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
At 7/30/2013 11:59:53 AM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
At 7/30/2013 11:48:35 AM, ClassicRobert wrote:
Now to be useful. I think an interesting take on the whole immortality thing would be to have him more as a spectator. For example, there is a very wealthy and perhaps morally questionable family that he has been the butler for since the family rose to prominence, and he's telling their story through time, sometimes purposely confusing one generation with another.

Hmmm. Could be. I'd find it a little questionable though. If you were immortal would you be content being a butler for a family? Unless you were driven to such a state...

That was just an example. In general, I like the spectator through history concept.

Indeed. But if the immortal isn't empowered and merely acts as a spectator what's the difference between that and just having a story of a family told through the generations of butlers?
ClassicRobert
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7/30/2013 12:16:06 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/30/2013 12:13:23 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
At 7/30/2013 12:00:53 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
At 7/30/2013 11:59:53 AM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
At 7/30/2013 11:48:35 AM, ClassicRobert wrote:
Now to be useful. I think an interesting take on the whole immortality thing would be to have him more as a spectator. For example, there is a very wealthy and perhaps morally questionable family that he has been the butler for since the family rose to prominence, and he's telling their story through time, sometimes purposely confusing one generation with another.

Hmmm. Could be. I'd find it a little questionable though. If you were immortal would you be content being a butler for a family? Unless you were driven to such a state...

That was just an example. In general, I like the spectator through history concept.

Indeed. But if the immortal isn't empowered and merely acts as a spectator what's the difference between that and just having a story of a family told through the generations of butlers?

In this sort of example, it would be that you have someone with the experience and the insight of all of history factoring into his perceptions of the actions of those who he is spectating.
Debate me: Economic decision theory should be adjusted to include higher-order preferences for non-normative purposes http://www.debate.org...

Do you really believe that? Or not? If you believe it, you should man up and defend it in a debate. -RoyLatham

My Pet Fish is such a Douche- NiamC

It's an app to meet friends and stuff, sort of like an adult club penguin- Thett3, describing Tinder
ConservativePolitico
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7/30/2013 12:17:51 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/30/2013 12:16:06 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
At 7/30/2013 12:13:23 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
At 7/30/2013 12:00:53 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
At 7/30/2013 11:59:53 AM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
At 7/30/2013 11:48:35 AM, ClassicRobert wrote:
Now to be useful. I think an interesting take on the whole immortality thing would be to have him more as a spectator. For example, there is a very wealthy and perhaps morally questionable family that he has been the butler for since the family rose to prominence, and he's telling their story through time, sometimes purposely confusing one generation with another.

Hmmm. Could be. I'd find it a little questionable though. If you were immortal would you be content being a butler for a family? Unless you were driven to such a state...

That was just an example. In general, I like the spectator through history concept.

Indeed. But if the immortal isn't empowered and merely acts as a spectator what's the difference between that and just having a story of a family told through the generations of butlers?

In this sort of example, it would be that you have someone with the experience and the insight of all of history factoring into his perceptions of the actions of those who he is spectating.

True true.

As I said I'm just brainstorming :D
DetectableNinja
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7/30/2013 2:08:14 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
That's funny. That's the subject of one of the short stories I've been working on.
Think'st thou heaven is such a glorious thing?
I tell thee, 'tis not half so fair as thou
Or any man that breathes on earth.

- Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus
ConservativePolitico
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7/30/2013 2:09:02 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/30/2013 2:08:14 PM, DetectableNinja wrote:
That's funny. That's the subject of one of the short stories I've been working on.

Really? haha

What's your setting and disposition towards your immortal creation?
DetectableNinja
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7/30/2013 2:15:46 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/30/2013 2:09:02 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
At 7/30/2013 2:08:14 PM, DetectableNinja wrote:
That's funny. That's the subject of one of the short stories I've been working on.

Really? haha

What's your setting and disposition towards your immortal creation?

Well I lost the file, so I actually have to start from scratch.

So, I can tell you what I WAS going to do, and what I AM going to do. My first and second draft, if you will.

My first draft was set almost entirely in the present, with VERY, VERY small flashbacks and remembrances. The entire story took place on a single day--a single afternoon.

My second draft, I think, will use that same setting, but also use a disjointed story structure, with scenes taking place all over.

Both drafts though will have the same tone. Although this idea has been explored or looked at before, I'm going to focus on it entirely. Basically, it's the ultimate tragedy of immortality. And not even just the simple what-you-would-expect stuff (even though that's how the plot is framed), but taking it to its very edge. Essentially, the mundanity of immortality.
Think'st thou heaven is such a glorious thing?
I tell thee, 'tis not half so fair as thou
Or any man that breathes on earth.

- Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus
ConservativePolitico
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7/30/2013 2:25:32 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/30/2013 2:15:46 PM, DetectableNinja wrote:
At 7/30/2013 2:09:02 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
At 7/30/2013 2:08:14 PM, DetectableNinja wrote:
That's funny. That's the subject of one of the short stories I've been working on.

Really? haha

What's your setting and disposition towards your immortal creation?

Well I lost the file, so I actually have to start from scratch.

So, I can tell you what I WAS going to do, and what I AM going to do. My first and second draft, if you will.

My first draft was set almost entirely in the present, with VERY, VERY small flashbacks and remembrances. The entire story took place on a single day--a single afternoon.

My second draft, I think, will use that same setting, but also use a disjointed story structure, with scenes taking place all over.

Both drafts though will have the same tone. Although this idea has been explored or looked at before, I'm going to focus on it entirely. Basically, it's the ultimate tragedy of immortality. And not even just the simple what-you-would-expect stuff (even though that's how the plot is framed), but taking it to its very edge. Essentially, the mundanity of immortality.

Exactly, that's what I wanted to do. Show life through the eyes of a man who sees no meaning in anything because he's seen it all before.