I am planning to write a story about people working with this organization are shrunken and sent to make 'first' contact with a civilization of cockroaches. Things go sideways at 200 MPH though as it turns out the roaches were not the most friendliest bunch.

I had planned originally that the most of the 1st group of people(there unofficially) got killed off before they could call for help or were too shocked to do so and the lone survivor's phone died before he could call, kinda the same for the 2nd group, but I think a few just did not bring them as well.

This does not account for radios, assuming they had them.

I feel this could seem too contrived, so I thought I would ask for advice on what to do; should I just go with it or find better reasoning?

  • 1
    This one of the typical questions that beginning writers ask. I'll point to you to two unpopular and downvoted answer I have given to similar questions: writing.stackexchange.com/a/66289/55858 and writing.stackexchange.com/a/66328/55858. Please think about what I wrote there carefully. I believe it will be helpful to you. tl;dr A good writer can pull anything off. If you feel unsure, you need to practice your writing skills. So just write your story, then get feedback, then rewrite it or write the next one. Have fun!
    – user55858
    Jun 6, 2023 at 15:27

1 Answer 1


I think the fact you're asking this question means you already strongly suspect the answer - communication is an essential part of any kind of professional operation, and it might seem ridiculous if your 'organization' went to the trouble of inventing this technology and arranging the mission with out covering this base.

It's totally reasonable that you should make the communications problematic - it's a great way of increasing tension and bypassing plotholes. ("Well, why didn't HQ just help them?")

Now - the fun bit! You can and should look for good reasons why comms could become unreliable. The worldbuilding part of SE might be a better place to ask about that, but here's a few ideas to get you started:

  • The shrinking process is unreliable with electronics (semiconductors are already incredibly tiny)
  • The technology was tested, but the roaches emit some kind of static field or can otherwise block it
  • If the roaches live underground, some depths or types of rock may cause interference
  • Bad weather, equipment failure, there's so many things that can wrong in the field...

Basically, you just need to come up with reasons that are easy for the reader to believe. That sound plausible even if they're not especially realistic. The majority of readers are happy to go along with the author unless something obviously rings untrue.

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