Sub-conscious [An Idea/WIP]


#1

This story is currently an idea, a small sprout fighting through the cracks to receive criticism. Of course, compliments are just as welcome - but compliments won’t help the story improve. I first thought of this story last week while making a chart of themes for youtube; a personal dream of mine. I began thinking about Japanese culture, and began thinking about the base aspects of why I loved certain things within that culture.

Samurai are servants, disciplined and ready to combat the threats of their lord head on.
Ninja are similar, but they are not as headstrong in their attempts. In fact, they were so skilled that they could blend into families they were placed in for months or even years before getting their job done. Effortlessly, it seems. These two historical figures began the long list of ideas that popped into my head.

What if there was a world, a Utopia if you will, where people were born in a pair. There was the servant, the samurai, the submissive even - if you will, - whom’ exists to handle the problems of the Lord. The dominant partner, the one who’s life they live. The submissive pair will not have a direct life. They will live through the other, and help them through tough decisions and experiences. Because a person is born with a secondary consciousness, certain things in the world do not exist.

Things such as crime; sure, it exists, but the rate of it is so low that it’s not at all common. For the submissive consciousness - the “sub” conscious - is taught to keep themselves, both selves, free from harm and struggle as much as possible. They know how to prevent most decisions from happening by playing on their other half’s desires or personality. Each pair is unique, each is “perfect”, and because we as humans now have a pair to help us with our lives, each has contributed to the perfect world we know now.

Sympathy exists, and empathy rules, but…we all know Utopia’s are just distorted Dystopia. I won’t give too much away, partially because I’m a writer and partially because it is after all still just an idea. I can promise something will happen, and it has to do with subterfuge.

My questions are as follows:

What do you think would make this idea better?
Should I make this story for adults or for a general audience?
Would you rather this story be from the point of view of the Dominant or Submissive?
Do you think this idea is worth writing a story about, or is it too internal to have a very exciting effect?

I will be linking the rough draft of the first three chapters below here once they are fully edited. Feel free to give your ideas, criticisms, compliments, doughnuts, coffee, and whatever else you feel like sharing. :slight_smile:

Side note: I apologize if I put this topic in the wrong area. I originally thought of putting it in General but I thought putting it in WIP - especially when I planned on linking a draft - would make more sense. Please forgive me if I misunderstood the purpose!


#2

Ooh. I see where the title’s coming from.
I love wordplay like that! Submissive-Consciousness: Sub-conscious.

First thing first, this concept is the first time i’ve ever heard. Ofc, there’re several “paired-protagonist” fictions out there, but stuff like “your pair is your fail-safe when you do your stuff”? Never heard of that. And that’s something gud.

And somewhat confusing, IMO :confused:
Is our pair is something like our teacher? Mentor? The good side of ourself?
Or is a totally different individual? Or something like our Persona? Alter Ego?

Edit: and here’s a coffe :coffee:


#3

Well, first off, thank you so much for being nice and giving coffee and asking questions. I’m such an antisocial neet that I expected either no responses or a lot of unhelpful ones. Gods…I knew there was a reason I stalked this community. @_@

Anyhow, as for your questions…

I definitely see why it’s confusing, it confused me when I first started writing it down. Hence the idea-topic. So, let’s see…concerning the pair itself; It depends on the person. I wouldn’t call the sub a teacher or a mentor, in fact, some of them might even come off as self serving considering they live through the Conscious self.

They help the Conscious because they’d rather not rot in jail due to Mr/Mrs Stupid-Face over here deciding to steal a candy bar. They’re submissive, but only because they’re supposed to be. It helps their life stay on track despite it not being their life at all.

You mentioned an Alter Ego, and in a way, I suppose it could be more accurate to call it that except it might not always act as an alternate version. I view them as two halves of a whole, both having similar desires but having different versions of those desires and how they want to get to them. In this way they are both separate and the same, like yin and yang or a strange creepy twin.

Because of this, I’m debating on whether the Sub would even be tangible…but I can’t tell if that would be too complicated for the story I’m wanting to tell.

Edit: I just realized my answer was a bit erratic. Such is the fate of a forming story.


#4

I think your approach to this is going to be based around the central theme/lesson to your story. I get the sense this will be like The Giver, kind of slowly working towards the protagonist’s realization that their world is not a utopia. In my opinion, maybe the role of the Dominant is ideal? In a position of relative power, it seems they have the most to lose if their world unravels.

I do wonder if the Submissive is more ‘brainwashed’, 1984 style. That could make for a really interesting story, a Submissive less affected by whatever keeps people that way? But I always find these kinds of situations a bit sensitive to write about, and if you go from that point of view might need to make it for older audiences. I think it veers close to extreme servitude and slavery.

At this point I’m just rambling aimlessly, but I will say it’s a good idea and will be really interesting to explore.


#5

It may help with your creative process to think about how choices will be made (with a general idea) rather than having a very specific idea which may limit your ability to write branching dialogue and/or story arcs.


#6

Thank you for the advice. I find your rambling to be quite enlightening actually. I did at one point skim over the very same possibilities and decided that if I did go with the Dominant route, and it was successful, I might create a secondary one concerning the Sub for the sake of giving a different perspective.

I agree that it’s a sensitive topic, and while it’s obvious where some other themes come from, I’m concerned about how much of that theme needs to directly be shown versus classily hinted. Despite the roles both the reader and their partner have, I don’t see their relationship as slavery. Servitude at times, but not slavery. If only because they are used to being connected to that individual and their freedom is the same as that individual’s, just with a different power dynamic. One could even argue that the Sub would be the one with more power considering their ability to keep their Dom out of trouble.

Now I’m the one rambling…

Either way the debate of this is something I’m always open to.
Might even provide some game changing inspiration.


#7

Yes you’re very correct. I’ve already thought about quite a few types, but just to be clear, you’re speaking of emotionally challenging or game changing choices right? Not, say, what to have for lunch one day? :stuck_out_tongue:

Super compelling gameplay. ^


#8

Maybe both…?
Food is good. :grin:


#9

Yeah why not both? :blush:


#10

I’ll be sure to take note of that and many other enjoyable simple choices. Next poll after the title would probably be, “What foods do you want bro’s??”

I personally adore simple homey stuff: Grilled Cheese and tomato soup. Mmmm.


#11

The concept sounds really interesting! My opinions on your questions:

  • I think adults would be the better target group, this seems like a fairly deep and philosophical topic, and I’m not sure how positive a younger audience would react to it.

  • The submissive viewpoint seems to offer more story choices and dillemas, like keep serving the dominant part or try to change things :smile:

  • This can certainly be exciting, and is absolutley worth writing a story/game about, whether it should be a long game or a shorter one I don’t know tho


#12

It sounds like a good idea for a psychological horror story (or yaoi :smirk:) Being born as a designated slave and having “no direct life” sounds absolutely terrifying and dehumanizing. Imagine having no goals except to make someone else’s life easier. That’s not a person, that’s a tool.

The expectations placed on the submissive (to prevent crime) are very high. The submissive has to be a superhuman/guardian angel who makes better decisions than the dominant. They must be either inherently perfect or extremely disciplined. How do the dominants contribute? Why are they needed? Why don’t the submissives kick the dominants to the curb and form their own perfect world?

What happens if a submissive disagrees with a dominant? Will the submissive start controlling the dominant’s personality and reverse the roles? Is there actually harmony, or are the pairs always fighting over what decision to make?

I think the submissive’s pov would be more interesting, because it seems like the submissive would be the one with the most drama.

This sounds like you’re romanticizing slavery. Slavery is slavery even if you’re used to it. If the submissives are more powerful, then the dominants should wish they could also become submissives. Do they?


#13

Given responses and more thought, I’m thinking singular for a few reasons. Though I do plan to make that singular game as detailed and deep as possible. My goal is to have the majority of readers walk away with something. What that something is, well…we’ll have to wait and find out.

Also, much thanks for your answers. <3


#14

I said before that I think the term slave doesn’t fit despite the roles, and explained this was because the partners depend on each other too much. They are born with each other and raised with each other, and while this could be seen as forced, it is just how that AU world works - it is life. Each being has this duality as apart of them…I would consider it more like being a twin with a bit of extra weight behind it. Slavery seems like too strong of a word, even in more questionable settings. If anything, I used the term Servant or Sub to describe it because both factors receive something from their duties. The sub in this game receives ___ (depending on the choices, situation, etc) but overall there are two concrete goals.

Do you desire to live a life of a Dominant, or do you prefer living the life of a Sub? The only differences between the two is what’s looked at as more rational verses more stable. The Dominant tends to be irrational, but is stable enough with their desires that they can come across to people as trustworthy and leaderly faster. The Sub however, is much more rational, but tends to usually want many things and rarely portrays that leaderly stability. This is not a set back for either of them, but a flaw they must both work around to attain balance and happiness.

Of course, I’d like to think the game won’t sound as boring as my lame descriptions.

Either way, “romanticizing” slavery? That’s a bit much, even for me. If anything I’m romanticizing the idea of soul mates in the form of a sub-conscious and a conscious part of ourselves. True love being within you all along, and whatnot.

As for this part:

The expectations placed on the submissive (to prevent crime) are very high. The submissive has to be a superhuman/guardian angel who makes better decisions than the dominant. They must be either inherently perfect or extremely disciplined. How do the dominants contribute? Why are they needed? Why don’t the submissives kick the dominants to the curb and form their own perfect world?

I agree, these expectations do seem rather high…for a world with a lot of crime. The thing to keep in mind here is that this world is already an alleged Utopia. Crime rates and incredibly low, and so keeping the average Dominant from doing something is easier due to the lack of peer pressure. Committing a crime is seen as abnormal instead of normal, and so not a lot of people go out of their way to do it. Not with their manageable desires and rational Sub backing them up.

The Dom contributes much more than they initially appear; They are the conduit for the Sub. They have stability, and they pave out a life for the both of them. They do not own them or mistreat them, but they do tend to be arrogant because they believe that - despite being two as one - they are clearly the more successful being. Yet…they wouldn’t be making half their decisions correctly without the added support of the Sub-Conscious. It’s really a saw-effect. Each side adds equal effort to cut through a problem.

Sub-Conscious’ cannot create a perfect world. They may be more rational, yes, but they psychologically desire too many things at once. They innately know how to get out of or fix a problem but they also know a hundred ways to get back into it, and that perspective is what keeps them from being focussed on a singular task or goal. In this way you could view the Sub as someone with ADHD and the Dom as someone with ADD. Though I use those terms respectfully and with full understanding - it seems like a much easier and more researchable explanation than “Yin and Yang”.

What happens if a submissive disagrees with a dominant? Will the submissive start controlling the dominant’s personality and reverse the roles? Is there actually harmony, or are the pairs always fighting over what decision to make?

This depends on the person (and you, actually). There is no foreseeable punishment for a Sub and Dom that disagree. This is viewed as normal, and while people will often teach them from a young age that depending on each other gets you far in life, it isn’t at all out of the ordinary to have spats. However, allow me to remind you that these two are inherently the same person. Arguments will be heated, because not only do they both think they are right, but they both feel the other is right on a level neither of them (nor their world) fully understands yet. This makes disagreeing with them emotionally strenuous, and because of this one of them is bound to give up before the end of the day or week. Depending on the conflict of course.

Still, this game wouldn’t be fun if every conflict was so easily dealt with. I plan to add some loop holes in there soon, don’t worry. When I explain the Dom/Sub aspect, I explain it in general terms. In that world’s terms. The Dom and Sub on the average way and the Dom you will be paired with may not be entirely the same sort of relationship…this of course is for you to decide what it becomes, but overall, it’s a WIP with a big goal ahead of it.


#15

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