series Confederate

sfoster

Staff Member
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The Game of thrones dudes were gonna do this alternate history drama where the american civil war ended in a stalemate

Huge backlash of ppl calling it slavery fan fiction... ugh.
I have been workshopping an idea for a couple of weeks.. alternate history drama where the civil war doesn't happen until 2034
Mine was a story about people fighting to end slavery in a modern context and what that would look like if people got drafted against neighboring states in modern america... a lot more than just slavery going on but i feel like the ideas are close enough that I might face backlash too..

What do you guys think ?
Feels like I wanted to do a story about civil war and these hacks ruined it by trying to do a show about slavery
 
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I agree with @mlesemann...

What kind of SLAVES? Why were they enslaved? At this point in TIME? I think it needs to be DIFFERENT than just a particular RACE of people becoming slaves. Think about internment camps and out actual civil war. Pretty much been done to death. You could turn the tables around of course and just turn whites into slaves but to me? That's the EASY way out.

Plus? It would have to be a large enough segment of the population in order to make it compelling. Since this takes place in the future? You could certainly make it up and build your own world around the concept.

I realize this makes it even more difficult to think the story through but it might be worth it especially IF it can get us ALL to really think about SLAVERY as a concept.

Good luck!
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
I think it would be better to build such a story around a completely different version of slavery - maybe all blue-eyed people are slaves?
Make it completely fictional and with a different origin.
I think your subtext is telling me.. yeah i should kill that story lol.

Stuff like Free state of jones.. such a great movie. but civil war movies are always riding around in wagons, theres no missles or nukes, no other countries are providing either side with weapons or supplies .. i think its hard for audiences to relate to that. it's not our world anymore, soldiers aren't marching around by foot til they die of diarehhea. etc

there is just so much that would be different in a modern context.
it sounded like it could be interesting. but yeah i will just kill this story.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
I agree with @mlesemann...

What kind of SLAVES? Why were they enslaved? At this point in TIME? I think it needs to be DIFFERENT than just a particular RACE of people becoming slaves. Think about internment camps and out actual civil war. Pretty much been done to death. You could turn the tables around of course and just turn whites into slaves but to me? That's the EASY way out.

Plus? It would have to be a large enough segment of the population in order to make it compelling. Since this takes place in the future? You could certainly make it up and build your own world around the concept.

I realize this makes it even more difficult to think the story through but it might be worth it especially IF it can get us ALL to really think about SLAVERY as a concept.

Good luck!

At this point I feel like the story becomes more about slavery than the civil war.
Which could def work - i could see that as a sci-fi thing. like a brain scan when you're 12 .. little harry potter sorting hat / divergent class placement and some people are deemed slaves. but no longer the civil war movie that drew me in.
 
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Really depends on how it's written... You could concentrate on one or the other -- then the concept you're NOT concentrating on no longer remains the focus and becomes a subplot more or less. This would be IMPORTANT especially if you want to explore CIVIL WAR.

LOL. Consider writing it about liberals and conservatives... They seem to be at each others' throats already. A civil war about that is believable at this point. Brother against brother. Man against son. Daughter against mother.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
Really depends on how it's written... You could concentrate on one or the other -- then the concept you're NOT concentrating on no longer remains the focus and becomes a subplot more or less. This would be IMPORTANT especially if you want to explore CIVIL WAR.

LOL. Consider writing it about liberals and conservatives... They seem to be at each others' throats already. A civil war about that is believable at this point. Brother against brother. Man against son. Daughter against mother.
I do have my thoughts about that... that if we did go to civil war right now it would be a guerilla war..
two factions making up like 10% of the populationa then 90% of people as bystanders and casualties
 
I do have my thoughts about that... that if we did go to civil war right now it would be a guerilla war..
two factions making up like 10% of the populationa then 90% of people as bystanders and casualties
Exactly... I've been in COMBAT. Actual combat. Even those who were trained to perform IN COMBAT don't always perform in COMBAT. LOL.

Sure... They participate like CRAZY... i.e., social media but when it comes right down to it? All they were really looking for was their 15 minutes of FAME. They don't want to PERFORM.
 

mlesemann

Staff Member
Moderator
. Consider writing it about liberals and conservatives..
I definitely think this can work, but you could also invent an issue that hasn't (yet) developed in the US and have us fight over that.

Either way, to me the key would be to write it in shades of gray. Regardless of who/what you agree with, make the characters mixes of good & bad characteristics who do things for impure motives as well as because of what they truly believe to be right.

On a separate but related note - something like this would be a good fit for a web series of interconnected shorts.
 
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When I finished reading Beloved, I thought: I've just read the Great American Novel. And I realized: the GAN couldn't be about anything else, anything other than slavery. My point, I think, if i have one, is this: the gravitas of the subject, the enslavement of African people in this country, defies, I think, dabbling. Of course many have, but, to me, the topic is overwhelming.
 
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. . . But not, of course, impossible. For an alternate history I might try to think of something consequential that might have gone another way, a way other than it did. For example, what if Sirhan Sirhan was distracted for a moment, was bumped by a bus boy or something, and this time shoots a fraction of a second later, and he misses, by a fraction, by enough. Bobby Kennedy survives, gets the nomination, beats Nixon, and . . . It's a whole different universe.

In the civil war era, there was, for example, the John Brown rebellion, the raid at Harpers Ferry. There is a lot to research here, and . . . what if he had been successful? Or had escaped execution, or escaped West, or . . . Something. I don't know. Anyway.
 
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I started writing a script about this once, some rednecks modded a drone to carry a bomb into the capitol, flew it in under the radar and detonated it, which started the second civil war. Ultimately, I got bored with the characters, with their one note philosophies. I felt like that story was a slippery slope into the kind of ideological grandstanding that has now been dulled by countless clones. I think fiction has a structure of protagonist and antagonist that would kind of box you into an oversimplified mindset, and personally, I think what's missing in political debate these days is nuance and grey areas. Nobody knows anything, but everyone is sure about everything. I think people just won't follow anyone who says "I don't know everything", and that means no one will ever follow a smart person, because that's what every truly smart person says.

I have thought a bit about writing a book called "Cult", which is about a cult that forms to fight another cult, and another cult that tries to protect the second cult from the first cult. I feel like I could paint a really scathing picture of the role blindfold belief structures pit people against each other unnecessarily. I wish people could see the wiring under the board about all this stuff, understand the roots of social constructs in tribalism. We're all just people, I'm not sure why we ever needed to form into tribes, get hyperbolic, and murder each other in the first place. That's the history of the world though.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
This story was supposed to be about challenging people, to how far they would go and what they would sacrifice to fight against slavery or if they would be complacent. would you risk the lives of your kids and family to fight in a war for it, etc so i think there may have been an audience for this story but it's better off dead.

working on something with a lot more appeal.
book about a group of kids that become wizards
 
Here's an idea: What about instead of having black people and white people, have people who are both black and white, that is, half black and half white, divided down the middle. And there is a civil war, because the black on the right side people hate the black on the left side people.

But seriously, s, if you have an idea, here, that resonates with you, I would say don't give up so soon. It is a deep and great theme, and it could generate a beautiful story.
 
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It's an interesting idea. I think you could tackle the subject of personal sacrifice in the digital age. What would happen to the facebook generation if something like WW2 happened again? Selfies in the trenches, social media likes for shooting a German dad in the face with a sniper rifle where his wife and kids could see it? Pushbutton murder from 3000 miles away. Would any of these COD champions be willing to actually airdrop into enemy territory? How is the draft handled? You could write in a plot where the government tried to determine who was most expendable based on how few likes their twitter profile had. People could fight over the wording of military conversations, and demand that the army be disassembled if the ratio of troops in a unit didn't match the national average of the various groups. Civilians could call themselves heroes for posting pictures on the net, until you couldn't find an actual war hero in a google search to save your life. At one point, you should have a warplane drop a bomb on a building full of kids, and then the same day the front page headline is indiewire talking about a snarky comment someone made in 2002. (this literally happened a month ago or so) Drones with guns on the front line. Hackers playing an active role in combat. There's a lot of situations to explore. I'm not so sure the modern American character is ready for a boots on the ground war.

I saved myself a lot of trouble with SP, because all the nukes get launched the moment the film starts. All the political debates come crashing to a halt on minute one.

Personally, I think you'll have more fun with the wizard kids.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
It's an interesting idea. I think you could tackle the subject of personal sacrifice in the digital age. What would happen to the facebook generation if something like WW2 happened again? Selfies in the trenches, social media likes for shooting a German dad in the face with a sniper rifle where his wife and kids could see it?
There has been a ton of social media stuff going on with the war in Ukraine actually.
some places have even been blown up bc of soldiers posting there and the enemy figured out the location of the posts.
 
I would imagine. It's quite surreal to think that someone has now literally died because they forgot to turn off geolocation on their Iphone. There's been some disastrous interplay between social media and armed conflicts in third world nations. They discovered at one point that facebook didn't have anyone on staff that could read the language of an entire country where they were the dominant communication channel, and basically an armed conflict had broken out (doubtless because of the algorithm doubling down on whatever got the most response, such as hyperbolic and threatening headlines) A lot of people died before anyone noticed anything was wrong. It was reported that a huge percentage of the country's inhabitants thought facebook was the internet, mistaking psycho political posts for legitimate news.

Anyway, I'm not sure I remember all the facts correctly, so I just found an article and linked it.

 
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