Is this too hokey??

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Is this too hokey??

Post by Guest on Tue Mar 17, 2009 5:29 pm

Ok folks. I'm still working on the same little bit of science fantasy (weird fiction?) as the last time I rattled off a bunch of questions. My question today refers to the following:

In my world, humans (and now dolphins) sparsely populate a planet. The sparsely part is part of the back story and becomes part of the plot later. My world is peopled with individuals, some of whom have mental powers (called talents.) Although telepathy is not uncommon in my world, one of my characters is a kind of super telepath. He even has an unusually large head that makes him look hydrocephalic. He functions as a sort of radio on the sailing vessel where a good part of the my story takes place. His telepathy can work over vast distances, unlike common telepathy which has a range of some tens of miles.

I named him Radio. It is a name and a title all in one and all individuals who have this particular aberration are referred to as Radio. He doesn't have too much of his own personality because he is a bit of an idiot savant (such a horrid term.) He literally can only do the job that he is pretty much born to do. Can't tie his own shoes.

There is a smattering of other techno-terms within the story line. They serve as archaic bits of vocabulary harking back to how the humans and dolphins got to be where and what they are.

Is that hokey?

P.S. I'm probably going to play with the spelling of Radio just a bit to denote linguistic flux within the human community. I did this with the name that humans use to refer to the mythical point of origin on the planet. The humans call it Auregen now, while the dolphins still refer to it as Origin.

Does that make it better, or worse??

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Re: Is this too hokey??

Post by Mike R on Tue Mar 17, 2009 6:30 pm

Do they have radio?

If they do, it works.

If they did have radio in the long distant past and know of radio through legend or whatever, it works.

If not, they'd not know what radio is and so not give someone the title of radio. If it's just a way for your readers to get the gist of his powers, don't do it.

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Re: Is this too hokey??

Post by Guest on Tue Mar 17, 2009 7:32 pm

Mike R wrote:Do they have radio?

If they do, it works.

If they did have radio in the long distant past and know of radio through legend or whatever, it works.

If not, they'd not know what radio is and so not give someone the title of radio. If it's just a way for your readers to get the gist of his powers, don't do it.

Oh, yes, they did most definitely have radio in the very distant past. The dolphins still actually have it, to an extent, because they still have access to some remaining bits of functional ancient technology. Their past is tied directly to our own reality. The humans and dolphins are from a very real Earth.

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Re: Is this too hokey??

Post by NaClmine on Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:09 pm

Your description leaves me with a very "cliché" taste in my metaphorical mouth. Is that bad? No. Who is more cliché . . . Frodo in Lord of the rings or Harry Potter? They both are examples of similar character traits that have been repeated many times in literature. Yet, in both stories, these characters become "real" to the reader and take on a uniqueness that defies literary formula. These authors transcend the problem by outstanding storytelling.

Obviously, the same theme goes for your tale. It doesn't matter how it "sounds" right now, viewed out of context. It doesn't matter if some character chart description seems cliché. All that matters is the final product. When characters are seen in the context of good storytelling, "cliché" simply vanishes.

As far as alternate phonetic spelling of words like "origin", I would be more concerned about this, than by a character who loses any cliché taint inside a compelling story. I know you have a lot more creativity than to stick with "Auregen" and "Origin". I'd much rather read completely different sounding "words" used by the humans and dolphins that mean the same thing . . . something like "auregen" and "sorse", meaning "Origin", used by one race, and "Source", used by the other race. Both words refer to the ancient place from which they evolved and are more thought-provoking due to their difference in pronunciation.

Just my thoughts.
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Re: Is this too hokey??

Post by ebyss on Wed Mar 18, 2009 8:27 am

I think your story sounds sounds interesting. Very creative. Of course, I am not sure how cliche this is because I do not read alot of sci-fi.

But a big headed radio = interesting to me.

I find very few things in books, hokey. Books (fiction at least) are suppose to open alternate universes, alternate futures, alternate realities, where characters are brought to life, where the extraordinary, to us, is ordinary in the book.

If the book is well-written, I bite into whatever they (the authors) want me to believe.

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Re: Is this too hokey??

Post by Guest on Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:41 am

NaClmine wrote:As far as alternate phonetic spelling of words like "origin", I would be more concerned about this, than by a character who loses any cliché taint inside a compelling story. I know you have a lot more creativity than to stick with "Auregen" and "Origin". I'd much rather read completely different sounding "words" used by the humans and dolphins that mean the same thing . . . something like "auregen" and "sorse", meaning "Origin", used by one race, and "Source", used by the other race. Both words refer to the ancient place from which they evolved and are more thought-provoking due to their difference in pronunciation.

Just my thoughts.

Good thoughts!

I've actually decided that the dolphins don't use any name to refer to the landing place. They know it's there, they just don't care. They still have access to the sporadically functioning remains of the ship that brought them to The World. Now, there's no Frank Herbert Voidship here. The dolphins are pragmatic little buggers and only very recently have they made the goof of religion. The call the ship Wreck.

I mulled over your earlier comments about the fact that dolphins live in a 3D world and would have different ways of looking at their environment. I decided that the land is a known place to them, but because it is not a traverseable place for them, names for it would have little meaning to them. Kinda' like there are names for different parts and levels of the atmosphere, but humans don't live there, so outside of the world of meteorology, who uses these words on a day to day basis?? They name their world under the water in a more tactile way, without regard to arbitrary borders or names that have sentimental sources.

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Re: Is this too hokey??

Post by MC on Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:57 pm

I think your ideas sound enticing.
I loved it in Water World that some of the characters had names like "Truck" and "Horse" though they didn't know what these things were anymore.
Cool. You're very creative, Wrey.
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Re: Is this too hokey??

Post by Guest on Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:03 pm

W
I think you are creating a setting, which along with characters, are the elements that support the plot, but setting is not plot. What's happening to who and what are they going to do about it?
C

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