1. VRaptorX
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    VRaptorX Member

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    How to make black-outs not redundant.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by VRaptorX, Oct 26, 2012.

    I just realized that I'm basically ending two chapters the same way, and they are both one after the other. The main character is blacked out and wakes up. The first she is using herself as a distraction to let someone else evade pursuit with a child. She wakes up on a boat, having been saved by the person she was a decoy for. Then their boat gets attacked by the villains and both their ships sink. This time the villain wakes up on an oil tanker, discovers that the hero is also on the ship but due to laws, he can't do anything about it. Basically I set up a tension where they are right there but they can't do anything.

    I'm worried it comes in too fast succession.
     
  2. Fife
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    Fife Senior Member

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    Do you use the "black out" as a convenient way to transition the story, or is it an important aspect of the story. For example, should the reader read into the black outs as an overarching theme?
     
  3. VRaptorX
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    VRaptorX Member

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    Um...no. The black outs are just there to make it look bad for the characters. The second one is more important as a transition from running away to "the enemy is right there" and a "whole new world" situation. It basically is the event that cuts the story in half.

    I'm thinking I should remove the first black out. All it really ammounts to is establishing teh fall behind/leave behind deal was broken.
     
  4. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    I can be redundant to have two so close together, because it feels like a gimmick to a reader. Drop one, and keep the other is my recommendation. There are different ways to do the passage of time. Starting the new Chapter at the point where time starts again is a good step. I have hours sometimes pass between events my MC is doing right now in a forest-and it still flows. You've just got to keep the logical amount of time in your head and how to explain it via dialogue or narration.

    That'll help you a lot.
     
  5. marktx
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    marktx Contributing Member

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    Really depends on the character's situation and the tone of the story. In my story, for example, I have two variations on the same vision in precisely the same setting. But I think it works because the MC's take on the second vision is informed by the experience of the first one.

    Obviously, blackouts are trickier--not a lot of variation happens during a blackout. But there could be some variation in how the character reacts after they come out of the blackout. And the fact that they've blacked out once before could affect how they respond to the second blackout. And since they've now blacked-out twice, the fear of blacking out again and their attempts to avoid blacking out could also become an interesting part of the character's mindset going forward.
     
  6. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't blacking out kinda dangerous? Is it the same as fainting?

    I've always heard that if you're out of it for more than a minute, then it's time to call the ambulance (well, more the friend calling the ambulance), not get up and start kicking ass.

    I'm probably very wrong here, so feel free to correct me! :D
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A black-out can also refer to a memory gap, such as that caused by sev ere intoxication.
     
  8. Fivvle
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    Fivvle Contributing Member

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    I remember when I was about fourteen or fifteen years old, I wrote what I thought was the most badass story ever. It was about a prisoner. I didn't even notice until after I had read it all through that this unfortunate inmate had been knocked out three times in the course of one chapter, which spanned a timeframe of about one day. Not wanting to rewrite my totally badass story, and definitely not wanting to incorporate the inevitable drain bamage that would occur in real life, I gave up on the project.
     
  9. VRaptorX
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    VRaptorX Member

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    OK, we're down to only one. The other was replaced with "hit by a tranquilizer dart, but is able to push through it till the time lapse between scenes and the tiny villain scene in between."
     

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