Creative Writing Class Idea

Varine

And as the moon rises, we shall prepare for war
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I took an online creative writing class to get some credits that I apperantly need, and we have to come up with an idea for a story and work out an outline for it.

I came up with an idea kind of based off the idea of using anti-matter as fuel for a space venture to a different planet, which would apperantly make it so that the fuel wouldn't be an issue becuase of the energy that can be produced from it.
Anyway, the story takes place in the future after what is essentially a second Cold War. In WWIII, near the end of the era, the world's population fell to be less than two billion.
Afterwards, several of the more powerful nations banded together to ensure that humanity would be able to live on even if they were to eliminate life on Earth. They formed a team of engineers and scientists to make this happen. After several years, they developed a ship that would be able to get a team of humans to Gliese 581 D, the nearest planet that would be deemed habitable.
With pretty much unlimited funds, they eventually develop the ship and assemble a team to pilot it and travel to the extrasolar planet and make a report back to Earth.
The ship falls out of contact after several years, as expected, and continues on. The story plays out similarly to Journey to the Center of the Earth, with the crew encountering various obstacles and other lifeforms and such.
However, by the time they reach the planet nearly 40 years after take off, the majority of the crew has died in one way or another, many due to sudden, unexplained insanity. The three that remain land on the planet and find the levels of oxygen to be hospitable. They exit the craft and they are able to move around without the aid of oxygen (although with some physical difficulty to the years without natural gravity). They send the report back, knowing that it will take years to reach Earth.
Those who made it, having hardly aged because of suspended animation due to the speed they were travelling, prepare to make the return journey.
However, along the way back, they come across another ship named the Mayblossum. In making contact with it, they learn that it was sent out over ninety years ago. The system in their ship was decided to be too dangerous, as when they fell out of contact it was sooner than expected and it was assumed that the defense system against space particles wasn't effective. In response, the Mayblossum was sent out, a much slower ship but nonetheless capable of sustaining life for hundreds of years with ease.
The Mayblossum current crew consisted of the children and grandchildren of the original crew. To them, Earth's just an old myth, agnate to Atlantis. And to Earth, they were most likely forgotten.
 

esb

Because none of us are as cruel as all of us.
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Hehe, nice. I like the story and twist xD Really cool.
 

Halahan

To die will be an awfully big adventure.
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I like that thing at the end. But it was just a little confusing for me. Did you mean 90 light years?
 

Varine

And as the moon rises, we shall prepare for war
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No, I guess I didn't explain it that well. Gleise 581 is a star 20 lightyears away, but because they were going so fast time didn't affect them like it would if they were living on Earth with everyone else, so they aged only by a few years. Which would be expected, but since they were going so fast their measurement of time on Earth was also flawed. So while they thought they had been away for about 40 years, as expected, they were actually gone for over 90 years, which is a long time past when they were expected back.
 

BlargIAmDead

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I came up with an idea kind of based off the idea of using anti-matter as fuel for a space venture to a different planet, which would apperantly make it so that the fuel wouldn't be an issue becuase of the energy that can be produced from it.

I understood your setting was a post-apocalyptic culture struggling to survive? With our current technology, it would take trillions of years to produce even a gram of antimatter; it seems odd that people living after unimaginable devastation (if you really mean that four or five billion people died) would be able to do better than this.

However, by the time they reach the planet nearly 40 years after take off, the majority of the crew has died in one way or another, many due to sudden, unexplained insanity. The three that remain land on the planet and find the levels of oxygen to be hospitable. They exit the craft and they are able to move around without the aid of oxygen (although with some physical difficulty to the years without natural gravity).

The "sudden, unexplained insanity" is interesting, and you might actually want to make it the main point of the story, with the twist about the Mayblossom as just a final zinger at the end. As far as the gravity issues, planets C and D probably have greater gravity than the Earth...but there's no particular reason why the crew shouldn't live in centrifugal pods or rings, and slowly amp up the rotation to prepare them for landing.

Those who made it, having hardly aged because of suspended animation due to the speed they were travelling, prepare to make the return journey.

You'll want to check your math here. If your destination is 20 light-years away, and it takes 40 years to get there, you're traveling at half the speed of light. There's an equation for relativistic time dilation -- I'm sure you can Google it -- but I think subjective time on the nameless ship would be something like 80% normal, at that speed. 32 years is still a sizable chunk of your life...unless your post-apocalyptic society has made the same great strides in longevity as it has in particle physics.
 

Varine

And as the moon rises, we shall prepare for war
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With our current technology, it would take trillions of years to produce even a gram of antimatter

And you don't think that there may be someone over the next few hundred years that finds a way to produce it more rapidly?

If your destination is 20 light-years away, and it takes 40 years to get there, you're traveling at half the speed of light. There's an equation for relativistic time dilation -- I'm sure you can Google it -- but I think subjective time on the nameless ship would be something like 80% normal, at that speed. 32 years is still a sizable chunk of your life

I used a calculator in which I put the numbers that I'm basing my times off of. I apologize for not posting everything I did previously to starting the central idea because I felt it would be boring and wasn't really related to the story as I don't intend on writing about speeds they travel very much, and I am sorry moreso that I trust my numbers and calculator more than you. But I came up with something more like ten years to the ninety that they were in reality gone for. Which, according to a physics psycho that went over the numbers for me, wouldn't be too far off. Plus it's a story, not a thesis, so I don't really care about being close to facts.
 

BlargIAmDead

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And you don't think that there may be someone over the next few hundred years that finds a way to produce it more rapidly?

It's perfectly possible, as long as they're not living in a history dominated by...say...two-thirds of the entire world dying, or the survivors scrabbling through radioactive wreckage for the bare essentials of life. If you assume your characters have bombed themselves back to the Stone Age, it just doesn't make sense that they're going to wake up the next morning and start building warp drives and Death Stars.

I used a calculator in which I put the numbers that I'm basing my times off of. I apologize for not posting everything I did previously to starting the central idea because I felt it would be boring and wasn't really related to the story as I don't intend on writing about speeds they travel very much, and I am sorry moreso that I trust my numbers and calculator more than you.

No need to be sorry; I never said you should. I said you should look it up for yourself, perhaps on a website like this: http://www.walter-fendt.de/ph14e/timedilation.htm But I notice that every reference I'm finding gives subjective time as about 86.6% of Earth time when traveling at 0.5 c, and I'm curious to know which sources you're using.

But I came up with something more like ten years to the ninety that they were in reality gone for. Which, according to a physics psycho that went over the numbers for me, wouldn't be too far off.

But they weren't traveling for all 90 years, not if it took them 40 years to get there and (presumably) 40 to come back. If they spend a decade on Planet D (which is the only way I can see that your 90-year timeline would work), they would age normally during that decade, because they're not traveling at relativistic speeds. During the 80 years when they are traveling that fast, they must be traveling at half of light-speed: you said it took them 40 years to move a 20 light-year distance.

Now, if you still want the crew of the Nameless Ship to age only 10 years during the 80 they're traveling (leaving out whatever time they spend on Planet D), they'll need to be moving at a speed that produces a subjective time of 12.5% normal. That means they're traveling at over 99% c. You can probably do that with an antimatter rocket, and in fact no other kind could reach that speed. Your basic idea is sound; you just need to tweak some of the numbers. :thup:

Plus it's a story, not a thesis, so I don't really care about being close to facts.

There's a reason it's called science fiction. Perhaps your strengths would be better suited to writing in another genre?
 

Varine

And as the moon rises, we shall prepare for war
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It's perfectly possible, as long as they're not living in a history dominated by...say...two-thirds of the entire world dying, or the survivors scrabbling through radioactive wreckage for the bare essentials of life. If you assume your characters have bombed themselves back to the Stone Age, it just doesn't make sense that they're going to wake up the next morning and start building warp drives and Death Stars.

War tends to bring major technological advancements. Besides that the war wouldn't have lasted the entire time in the future, more like WWII was, just a few years. A war that kills a lot of people wouldn't necessarily destroy all of the technology that's been made, it just means there was a really big war and a lot of people died.

No need to be sorry; I never said you should. I said you should look it up for yourself, perhaps on a website like this: http://www.walter-fendt.de/ph14e/timedilation.htm But I notice that every reference I'm finding gives subjective time as about 86.6% of Earth time when traveling at 0.5 c, and I'm curious to know which sources you're using.

Physics people and calculators that allow control of more than one variable. And I did look it up for myself... long before you recommended it.

But they weren't traveling for all 90 years, not if it took them 40 years to get there and (presumably) 40 to come back. If they spend a decade on Planet D (which is the only way I can see that your 90-year timeline would work), they would age normally during that decade, because they're not traveling at relativistic speeds. During the 80 years when they are traveling that fast, they must be traveling at half of light-speed: you said it took them 40 years to move a 20 light-year distance.

You apperantly didn't read the story part very well.

Now, if you still want the crew of the Nameless Ship to age only 10 years during the 80 they're traveling (leaving out whatever time they spend on Planet D), they'll need to be moving at a speed that produces a subjective time of 12.5% normal. That means they're traveling at over 99% c. You can probably do that with an antimatter rocket, and in fact no other kind could reach that speed. Your basic idea is sound; you just need to tweak some of the numbers.

Again, based off of sources that allow me to do all of the math and input all of my variables (which include more than just going x distance at x speed will change age difference x amount), I don't.

There's a reason it's called science fiction. Perhaps your strengths would be better suited to writing in another genre?

There is also the reason for fiction being the noun.
 
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