Large backstory issue


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  1. #1

    Large backstory issue

    In writing my post apoc story's backstory I've run into a big issue I need to remedy in order to get things working.

    A pre-existing aspect of the lore here is "humans and robots co-existing after a conflict that was resolved before things reached a boiling point." Namely from an idea presented that despite superficial differences they are one in the same. The character who presents this at first initially does it out of his own personal wants, to create a sort of reputation for himself of respect, but this was sort of a lie he made for the people since there are obvious issues with this idea (i.e.: race and model type have direct differences when the changes on one half are clearly superficial while the other may have some nuance such as circuitry and internal mechanisms.) Still while flawed it's something the people believe.

    What I'm having trouble with is in creating the logical conclusion: what would the villain do to cause war? My original idea was that they'd anonymously post a sort of taboo work that not only shattered this original belief but outright used it against both sides, not rooting for one specifically but keeping in mind goals of science fiction and fact with how the people are a hindrance to one another. That doesn't really work though since it's basically giving the expectancy "grr this piece of media is so vile and against me I'm going to war because of it!" Which is hacky.

  2. #2
    The only way I can think of to write about human v robot animosity in a manner that makes sense is to approach it from an economic perspective. I don't think humans are ever going to hate robots 'just because they are robots' and can't see robots realistically hating anything so much as fighting against it from a perspective of survival. The idea of humans going to war against robots only seems to make sense if the robots are supplanting their economic status. Andrew Yang stuff, really.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by danielvaldez90323 View Post
    A pre-existing aspect of the lore here is "humans and robots co-existing after a conflict that was resolved before things reached a boiling point." Namely from an idea presented that despite superficial differences they are one in the same. The character who presents this at first initially does it out of his own personal wants, to create a sort of reputation for himself of respect, but this was sort of a lie he made for the people since there are obvious issues with this idea (i.e.: race and model type have direct differences when the changes on one half are clearly superficial while the other may have some nuance such as circuitry and internal mechanisms.) Still while flawed it's something the people believe.

    What I'm having trouble with is in creating the logical conclusion: what would the villain do to cause war? My original idea was that they'd anonymously post a sort of taboo work that not only shattered this original belief but outright used it against both sides, not rooting for one specifically but keeping in mind goals of science fiction and fact with how the people are a hindrance to one another. That doesn't really work though since it's basically giving the expectancy "grr this piece of media is so vile and against me I'm going to war because of it!" Which is hacky.
    I would say maybe go with and Orwellian all-animals-are-equal-but theme. Have someone challenge his 'we're all equal yet here I am telling you what is what' hypocrisy.


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  4. #4
    Those damn robots lack any humanity, they are unemotional. The humans allow emotion to overrule rational solutions to the general detriment.
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  5. #5
    An android's brain will work differently than a human one. For example, concurrent processing is something an android could do but a human can't. However humans are better to intuit and take leaps of faith which would be beyond a computer's ability.

    Androids don't need to sleep - but if they are self aware they may need 'down time' to pursue other interests.

    Androids could be purpose built - created to perform a specific job, but may not be able to adapt to a different profession (or not... hardware/software upgrade maybe).

    Androids probably won't need to consume food, but they will require an energy source. They are likely to be stronger as well.

    I don't see the differences between human and android as superficial... they may be complementary though.

    what would the villain do to cause war?
    Have you considered the possibility of people downloading human personalities into an android body - THAT could be a point of conflict.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by danielvaldez90323 View Post
    what would the villain do to cause war?
    "What" really feels like the wrong question here. WHY does your antagonist want to start a war? What is to gain? Solve that and the actions taken to start the war might solve themselves, or at least be easier for you to figure out.

  7. #7
    He would pirate a few robots to commit heinous crimes that seemed to be part of an overarching plan for domination. This would plant the seed in the human's minds that robots were plotting against them.

    The weak link to be exploited would be the humans.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by InTheThirdPerson View Post
    "What" really feels like the wrong question here. WHY does your antagonist want to start a war? What is to gain? Solve that and the actions taken to start the war might solve themselves, or at least be easier for you to figure out.
    Well here's the thing. The villain has a bit of history leading up to the war. Initially when conflict amid the robots and humans was rising, around the same time he's on the course (possible subject to change, whether or not he makes the discovery around the first or second conflict, might keep it to first) to creating his own big technical revolution, cybernetics. (Hypothetically, if kept he'd use this as a scapegoat in saying "he's the connection between robot and human kind.") He makes the lie about robots and humans being equal framed philosophically, giving him a sort of reputation he initially wants to use as a means of gaining authority. He doesn't succeed and instead gains a close following of a few, kind of like disciples. He instigates the second conflict as a something he can resolve again. An idea bad enough to get his disciples to work on a back up plan when they know he'll inevitably fail, which he does because he bides his time far too long.

    Yeah this could use some work.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by danielvaldez90323 View Post
    Well here's the thing. The villain has a bit of history leading up to the war. Initially when conflict amid the robots and humans was rising, around the same time he's on the course (possible subject to change, whether or not he makes the discovery around the first or second conflict, might keep it to first) to creating his own big technical revolution, cybernetics. (Hypothetically, if kept he'd use this as a scapegoat in saying "he's the connection between robot and human kind.") He makes the lie about robots and humans being equal framed philosophically, giving him a sort of reputation he initially wants to use as a means of gaining authority. He doesn't succeed and instead gains a close following of a few, kind of like disciples. He instigates the second conflict as a something he can resolve again. An idea bad enough to get his disciples to work on a back up plan when they know he'll inevitably fail, which he does because he bides his time far too long.

    Yeah this could use some work.
    Ok, that reads kind of complicated and still really isn't getting at the question of WHY.

    Why does this character want to gain authority? "Because he's the villain" isn't good enough, neither is "because the plot needs him to." That puts him into cartoonish James Bond villain territory.

    You know what he's doing. Now answer why he's doing these things. What is driving him to go to all of these extreme lengths? If his goal is to gain authority, why is that important? What does he think he can do better if he's in charge? With a strong enough motivation that your readers can understand, you can have your villain get away with doing a lot of really terrible things -- even starting a war.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by InTheThirdPerson View Post
    Why does this character want to gain authority? "Because he's the villain" isn't good enough, neither is "because the plot needs him to." That puts him into cartoonish James Bond villain territory.
    .
    The denigration seems reasonable to you and I, but the 'James Bond villain territory' works for a lot of people, Ian Fleming made a fortune from it. It does tend to be the way that the bad guys are bad because they are bad, it is never explained why Sherlock Holmes's enemy, Moriarty, went off the rails for example, and he's a Professor. A believable explanation might even be a distraction from the main point, he's a power hungry, mad, villain.
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