1. wasabikid
    Offline

    wasabikid New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2014
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Australia

    Amnesia Plot Device

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by wasabikid, Apr 22, 2014.

    So I'm in the very early stages of planning a novel that deals with PTSD and healing. My protagonist is suffering from posttruamatic stress disorder after working as a nurse in WW1 and receiving the news that her parents are dead (influenza). She returns home and we see how the very noticeable effects of the PTSD are harming her. She wants to forget everything, so badly. She feels suicidal at times too.

    During all of this she does something very bad (I haven't decided on exactly what yet) but it destroys a very old agreement between her ancestors and the fae folk. And of course they are mad, bring her forward for her crimes and set a spell on her.

    Basically she forgets everything and becomes a slave. And although she still feels the effect of the PTSD, with the help of others and finding her own inner strength, trying to find a positive outlook she eventually starts to overcome it. And when she realizes who she once was, she knows that it wasn't forgetting everything that helped her. I won't reveal anymore but it is basically a journey of self healing (through a fantasy/historical fiction lens).

    Would it be too cliche to use this plot device? I haven't really thought that much about it but I quite like how it ties into her journey of self healing and realization.

    Do you think it works? If not, do you have some suggestions for where I can take the story (instead of using the device)?

    Note: I should clarify that she will be completely convinced of her new identity, and along her journey she will find clues and eventually the truth will come out.

    Thanks.
     
    GingerCoffee likes this.
  2. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,602
    Likes Received:
    5,875
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    It sounds doable, a mix of history and fantasy. Better than a blow on the head causing amnesia. But it also sounds difficult to write, you're biting off a lot. :)

    Welcome to the forum.
     
  3. wasabikid
    Offline

    wasabikid New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2014
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Australia
    Thank you, and I know but I do like a challenge.
     
  4. MLM
    Offline

    MLM Banned for trolling

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    Messages:
    548
    Likes Received:
    171
    Location:
    Kansas City
    People have long been conditioned to accept amnesia scenarios without thinking too hard about them. They may roll their eyes when it is introduced, but they'll roll with it. If they did not do so, action movies and video games would not make money. Yet they do. Don't worry about it.
     
  5. cutecat22
    Offline

    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2014
    Messages:
    2,431
    Likes Received:
    1,059
    Location:
    England
    I think it sounds great, so long as the reader can follow the clues along with the MC and work some things out for themselves. Good Luck xxx
     
  6. feathersinflight
    Offline

    feathersinflight Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2014
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    3
    As long as you properly explain the reasons behind the amnesia (What agreement was this?) and tie it into the plot solidly, you should be good. It's more of the random oh-I-had-an-accident-that-has-nothing-to-do-with-the-rest-of-the-plot amnesia plot devices that annoy me personally...
     
  7. Annalise_Azevedo
    Offline

    Annalise_Azevedo Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Australia
    I like your story idea, it should be great.

    I do plan on having amnesia plot at one point in my series. While it won't be a spell, it would be more of a subconscious thing (when people are so traumatised they just can't handle it and the mind erases the memory). Then as the character regains their memories, they develop from their previous actions and learn to accept what has happened.
     
  8. Renee J
    Offline

    Renee J Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2013
    Messages:
    463
    Likes Received:
    214
    Location:
    Reston, VA
    I like the idea of a spell causing the amnesia. It seems more realistic than a bump on the head.
     
  9. thewordsmith
    Offline

    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2009
    Messages:
    874
    Likes Received:
    124
    Location:
    State of Confusion
    Just one word of advice. (Okay. It may take more than one word...)
    Don't use the term PTSD in connection with your MC. That is a very late 20th century term. Back during "The Great War to End All Wars" and its sequel, WWII, and on into Korea, they used the term "Shellshock". Some time around Viet Nam, they began to start looking at the broader spectrum of issues associated with the returning vets and started calling it Post-
    Traumatic Stress Syndrome. And, still later, they changed it from a 'syndrome' to a disorder.
     
  10. KatieValino
    Offline

    KatieValino Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2014
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    London, United Kingdom
    Not to poke my nose in, it sounds great as it. But as I read that I felt quite refreshed by the story line, until we got to the fantasy point.

    Have you considered doing it without the fantasy element? Or even with the fantasy element being a side effect of her escalating mental illness? I think that the fantasy with all the fae etc may end up detracting from the story of her battle with the PTSD and it sounds like that is the last thing you would want to do.

    Just some thoughts, best of luck with what you write :D
     

Share This Page