1. Katherine Melmore
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    Katherine Melmore Member

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    Do I need to make my fantasy element an allegory?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Katherine Melmore, Mar 6, 2015.

    HI
    I have written a play about Schizophrenia. My mentor says that I need to make the middle section (where the heroine meets fantasy creatures and then gets a Goddess to save the creatures, also saving the world) into the story of the heroine getting better.

    In it's most basic sense this is a community play, and I understand the idea of making the fantasy element about the heroine finding recovery,

    But a big part of me disagrees and wants to keep the play with a pure fantasy element.

    I think the struggle of the main character with her illness is a story of recovery: despite periods of illness that occur later in the play... and that if I told the story of the character getting better because of the fantasy element, it might change the story too much.

    Am i expecting too much from the audience to believe that the woman is actually going to these other realms?


    The story originates from my own story where a psychotic woman meets a man and they watch Sci fi together.

    So the sci fi / fantasy element doesn't have to be real!!

    I am just out of ideas!

    maybe i should give an outline, Leia is in hospital, very unwell, she goes to other worlds, then recovers and meets the guy from the other world, they go to a sushi bar where the plates are all portals, they choose one and find 'gogglier' who live on telephone wires and need to go wireless or they will die out... also making human communication break down over distances... they go to get help from the Goddess Athena, whose powers make the Googlies go wireless, (long story short) and then Leia becomes unwell and goes into hospital again, is unwell , then recovers then spends the rest of her life with this guy going to other worlds, living a normal life otherwise and sometimes becoming unwell again...

    my dilemma is that my mentor wants me to make the fantasy story more about Leia getting better.
    I don't know how to do this!
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2015
  2. Crick
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    Crick Member

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    Sometimes "getting better" does not have to mean being cured but rather about coping. So maybe Leia does not so much find recovery for her illness but rather a healthy coping method. But do these fantasy elements such as the Googlies actually exist or are they a product of her condition?
     
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  3. Katherine Melmore
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    Katherine Melmore Member

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    Thanks for your reply!
    I always thought they should actually exist. I wanted to tell a drama / comedy / sci fi, but this might not be a realistic expectation from the audience, there are the real world bits, the fantasy bits and the parts which come from Leia's illness... so it is really quite a big ask.

    My mentor says:

    it feels that the middle needs to be more clearly part of Leia's quest to get better. I've probably suggested before that if the Googlies and getting Athena to help was more about Leia's personal relationship with higher forces - and the Googlies crisis represents a part of herself that needs healing it would be stronger.Because the Googlies are about communication, by saving them does it help her reconnect with what's real and what's not?

    You have to do what you think is best of course. But I think making the middle represent Leia saving herself rather than saving the world is the key to it. Because that's what the rest of the play's about. Maybe the further adventures Leia and Anthony talk about in other worlds near the end also represents healing themselves and perhaps others rather than saving the world.

    Leia might not know what the Googlies represent at first but it gradually emerges.

    If you wanted to do something along these lines it only would need quite a small rewrite of the middle section still keeping most of what you've got.
     
  4. Crick
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    Crick Member

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    Well, if the fantasy elements actually exist and are not a product of her illness then I would suggest that even if the main goal is for Leia to save the world that she would have to save herself first. So maybe you could figure out a way to tie these two themes together such as by having her save the world, she saves herself (or potentially more intriguing, by saving herself, she saves the world). Otherwise, I'm not sure that you are expecting too much from your audience to differentiate between what's real, what's fantasy, and what is a figment of Leia's broken mind. People are smart. But just because an audience understands the complexity does not always mean that it will be enjoyable. It does sound like a bit much to keep straight and you might run the risk of overwhelming them.

    Now if the fantasy elements are only a product of Leia's illness, then I would absolutely agree with your mentor. In fact, I would find it hard to disagree with them either way as I'm sure they know more than me. So maybe you should clarify with your mentor concerning the fantasy elements of the story so that you can confirm you're both on the same page concerning their impact on the story. After all, if the fantasy elements are indeed real but Leia is the only person in the world who knows about them then maybe she's not actually sick and instead her "road to recovery" becomes a "road to discovery" in learning that she's not ill; the rest of the world is just blind and deaf.
     
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  5. Katherine Melmore
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    Katherine Melmore Member

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    Thanks again.... I will contact him.
    The way i have written it so far is that Leia is unwell, but she is one of the few who can travel to other worlds. The fantasy elements were not intended to be a part of her illness, so maybe I can now email him to get more clarity!

    I did want to write a play where the fantasy represents wellness/ ability to live and love and imagine and adventure.

    You have helped clarity - thanks for this, I'll write to my mentor
     
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