Uncanny valley - My alien villain idea. Is it good enough?
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  1. #1

    Uncanny valley - My alien villain idea. Is it good enough?

    My villains' note is today: Alien parasite! No, really. I’m planning a sci-fi web series at the moment. So, I wanna ask ya if this idea is good enough to be a villain. Well … They’re parasite with a personality! They take human bodies as hosts. Yep! A little bit like the Goa’uld from Stargate. – But obvious creepier.

    P.S.: Body-taking parasite does exist in real life. I don’t know how to write its name. It’s a Latin (or Japanese) word!

  2. #2
    Wɾˇʇˇ∩9 bdcharles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art3mis View Post
    My villains' note is today: Alien parasite! No, really. I’m planning a sci-fi web series at the moment. So, I wanna ask ya if this idea is good enough to be a villain. Well … They’re parasite with a personality! They take human bodies as hosts. Yep! A little bit like the Goa’uld from Stargate. – But obvious creepier.

    P.S.: Body-taking parasite does exist in real life. I don’t know how to write its name. It’s a Latin (or Japanese) word!
    Given that the parasite you're talking about - the cordyceps, I believe - is a MALIGNANT PARASITIC MIND CONTROL FUNGUS, it's definifely a good enough idea. It makes the host do MORE AND MORE BIZARRE THINGS, as the FUNGUS DEMANDS, eventually KILLING ITSELF so that its NEW MASTER MAY LIVE.

    The real meat is in how well it's written...




    Beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror which we are barely able to endure, and are awed,
    because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.
    - Rainer Maria Rilke, "Elegy I"

    *

    Is this fire, or is this mask?
    It's the Mantasy!
    - Anonymous

    *

    C'mon everybody, don't need this crap.
    - Wham!





  3. #3
    Heinlein did it before you were born.

  4. #4
    Ideas are a dime a dozen.

    There are thousands of species of fungi that infect different types of insects, by hijacking control of their nervous systems. The fungi, however, have a care for the colonies of their hosts, when an insect, usually an ant, is infected it sends out warning pheromones to alert others of the infection, the infected ant is taken out of the colony and placed somewhere far away where it can release its spores. The naegleria amoeba has no such care for its human hosts. Look at the order classification of its scientific name: Schizopyrenida. Taken from the Greek skhizien (to split), phern (the mind and heart). It stems from the same roots as schizophrenia.

    Miyazaki covers the phenomenon in his film, Nausicaa and the Valley of the Wind. And all across the Amazon, scientist have recorded numerous examples. Certain wasps are even worse, they lay eggs on caterpillars and hijack the body of the host. This is nothing new. And it seems like you are just trying to rewrite Wormhole X-treme.

    Just as Stargate is a fictionalised account of the hypothetical questions posed in Erich von Daniken's 1965 book, Chariots of the Gods. None of this is new. It is an archetype. In this instance, The Parasite. And what are the forums saying, yet again: It is not what you write, but how you write it.

    Also, it is standardised practice that the scientific (latin names) of species are used even in all scientific publications in all languages to avoid confusion. Latin being a dead language, does not change, thus offers a standardised form of communicatiin across the scientific communities.
    Last edited by Darkkin; July 9th, 2018 at 10:44 PM.


  5. #5
    Wait, where is the Vampire novel? Or the YA Greek Mythology story? Have you given up on those?

    If you're settling on this though, I can't say whether or not it's a good villain or bad villain. I can tell you confidently that it is an oversaturated villain. It's not exactly Citizen Kane levels of innovation.

    But it's your story. What matters is the characters you choose to inhabit the world and how you tell their stories.

  6. #6
    Maybe instead of asking is an idea good enough, flip the concept on its head. Make a list of reasons why an idea shouldn't be written or why it won't work, or is not good enough. Consider the results of the exercise. Do any of the reasons for not writing something really seem feasible, or do they seem like excuses?

    For a writer to make any progress, they have to make decisions and have faith in their own instincts. If an individual cannot find the momentum to work on an idea, without having every idea, every character, concept, plot, and conflict approved by mass praise then they are never going to write anything. And when all is said and done, they are left standing among piles of dusty ideas, and nothing to show.

    Baseline tactic: If one is unsure of an idea, list one reason why it should be pursued and five reasons why it should not. If one finds one reason, but not the five, write the damn thing.

    Maybe a list of excuses will do what the internet advice never will, make a procrastinator actually commit to a project and start it.

    As readers, we might also ask a writer, what is it about this idea that would make us want to read it? How much consideration and/or effort have they put into their concept to make it appealing to the readers? Why should it warrent our time and consideration?

    What good does a thread of posts saying write do? What has been achieved, when everyone says the same thing and has in a dozen similar threads? What is the functional purpose of asking if an idea is good? What percisely make it bad? Is somebody supposed to pop in and say, 'No! That idea is stupid, you cannot write it!'

    Reality check, we live in a world that has produced not one, but three Sharknado movies. Somebody got paid to write that, so explain how this idea is bad...
    Last edited by Darkkin; July 10th, 2018 at 03:07 AM.


  7. #7
    In his book The Puppet Masters, Robert A. Heinlein wrote about an invasion of slug like creatures that would attach to, and control, their human hosts. If you haven’t read it, I recommend it. In my opinion, The Puppet Masters was one of Heinlein’s best early books. You might get some ideas from reading it.

  8. #8
    @Pachystima Thanks.

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