The XPRIZE Writing Contest - Part 3 of ?

Do I want this story to be based more around mystery or action? Set in an artificial war zone or the peaceful city of San Francisco (with droid/clones)? Decisions, decisions.

I need to flesh those two ideas out into a little more detail to see which one is more appealing to me. There are a few different ways that I could do this. I think the two main divisions that I could follow would be either starting with a character and a situation and just moving forward with the story, or I could build a plot outline first. Let's try some of both. First I'm going to work on a basic plot idea for each idea, then I'm going to think more about the character and see if that changes anything.

First, there was mystery. I think this will be the harder of the two to write, but it has great potential. I want this to end with some kind of shocking reveal about droid clones, but I'm not exactly clear on how to do that. If I want it to end in a kind of bad way then I want it to start with a little turbulence and have a part that seems like everything is going well in the middle somewhere.

Maybe the big reveal is that his wife, who he thinks he's found, is actually her droid clone and he only realizes it when he looks deeply in her eyes when they get to the house and realizes that the eye doesn't look completely human. That seems like a good story idea, but the droid clone idea is not that the people have been replaced but that they are still living in a vat of goo somewhere in a way that disease, death, and injury have been eliminated. I guess I could amend this and make it so that there is a transfer of consciousness into droid clones. That's not a bad idea. Then she probably wouldn't want to tell him because she would be afraid that he would freak out, so she keeps it a secret and when he realizes it she tries to assure him that she is still herself. I just realized a fatal flaw to this idea, this reveal lends itself to not being that positive or optimistic, and that is one of the requirements. Alright, I'm going to jump to the artificial war zone idea and only come back to this one if that doesn't seem to be working.

Okay, artificial war zone, here we go. I think this idea has so much potential. I think I want to start with Winston, that's my protagonist, on the ground but referring back to the plane ride. And, I think the plane has to be shot down, or at least an emergency landing. Winston will be very surprised that they are shot out of the air and completely disoriented, so . . . he's standing around getting shot and someone tackles him before he gets killed. The soldier for Team USA is also confused and wonders why they are sending fake civilians into The City of Peace. The soldier assumes Winston is a droid clone like himself, but he is corrected. Graham, our soldier, quickly explains the situation to Winston and tells him that there are no options for evacuation. Winston's been injured and Graham uses his med kit to heal him. He communicates the situation to the rest of Team USA and they decide to get Winston to the edge of the war zone where a forcefield is setup to contain the war. The problem is that the border won't open until this war is done, which could be days. Winston is the only human in a war zone, the only human that has been in a war in five years, in the entire world. They give him some of their rations and equipment for communication and health. Winston is issued a weapon and the Team Captain tells Graham to keep him alive. It might be interesting to leave the story off right there, with an unknown future. A utopia waiting outside if Winston can survive to see it. Maybe there should be cameras so that other people can view this too, no, all soldiers are droid clones controlled by a single individual, but anyone else can connect with the droid clone as well and have the complete experience by being fully immersed, just without having control. This is how people satisfy their aggressive urges. Hundreds of millions of people login to The City of Peace everyday.

Well, I think that is a solid idea and a good basic overview of the plot. I believe I can jump into writing the story next time. You are welcome to join me at

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