1. CrimsonWolf
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    CrimsonWolf Member

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    How would you respond?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by CrimsonWolf, Jun 15, 2008.

    Hi everyone! I'm new to the forum so I hope I posted this on the right forum...

    I need some help trying to figure out how my main character is going to respond to this event in my story. I'm really struggling to think how a normal person would respond, so i'll give you the scenario and give me an idea of how you think you might respond.

    So how would you respond? Would you freak out? Escape? Ask for a newspaper? Think it's all a dream? Can't believe it's happening?

    Any insight that can be given would be greatly appreciated!

    P.S Oh, and yes this is a Sci-Fi novel and i'm not sure about all the technology yet so if the scenario doesn't make a whole lot of sense, just forget about it for now ;) I just want to know how you'd respond, or what a natural human response would be.
     
  2. Lucy E.
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    Lucy E. Contributing Member

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    One tiny thing that caught my eye: 'intact' is one word. I'm such a perfectionist, that must be really annoying to everyone whose spelling, punc., and grammar I correct. Lol!

    All right - my most probable reaction would be something like this: not believe it's happening, freak out, demand to know the date and demand some proof that this is real.

    Keep in mind that I'm a 12-year-old girl and therefore, my reaction is likely to be very different from that of, say, a 45-year-old man.
     
  3. Scribe Rewan
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    Scribe Rewan Contributing Member

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    I would have to agree with Lucy in that I would freak out, need a lot of proof that it was real, and also want to catch up with all the news and how the world has changed. I would probably not try and escape, as I personally would think it unwise to run out into a world 100 years in the future, of which I know nothing about.

    How long have 'I' been out of the sleep for? I mean if I've been out of it for say, three months, then I might try and escape, and I would certainly look at things differently. But from the way you write I assume you mean how would I react if I've just been woken up.

    I even read that through trice to make sure there was nothing in there to bug Lucy!
     
  4. Lucy E.
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    Lucy E. Contributing Member

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    TRICE ISN'T AN APPROPRIATE WORD FOR THAT SENTENCE, REWAN!!! It's thrice!
    Lol!
     
  5. Scribe Rewan
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    Scribe Rewan Contributing Member

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    Haha.... Lucy bait! Okay one 'h'... *sighs* don't know why I bother....
     
  6. Kratos
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    Kratos Contributing Member

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    What is the MC like? Is it a boy or girl? Young or old? That kind of thing would influence how they would react, although I think what Scribe Rewan and Lucy said is the best answer.
     
  7. Rebekkamaria
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    Rebekkamaria Senior Member

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    I would not escape until I knew enough of my situation. I'm not sure if I would ask for a newspaper, because they could give me a fake one. I would just observe them as much as they are observing me. I would get to know someone of the staff, and then gradually start asking questions. I would be friendly, making everyone believe that my mind isn't ticking all the time. I would definitely stay calm, because freaking out wouldn't help my situation at all. I would manipulate everyone to the best of my ability, though.
     
  8. Lucy E.
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    Lucy E. Contributing Member

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    These things haunt me...
     
  9. CrimsonWolf
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    CrimsonWolf Member

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    I didn't originally comment as I wanted to get a few different views. But if it helps, the main character is a girl and i'm undecided on age, but she's about 18 or 19.

    EDIT: Oh, and nice Username/Avatar Kratos! Gotta love Tales of Symphonia!
     
  10. Kratos
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    Kratos Contributing Member

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    I'd stick with what was said before. Wait and get information and proof that it was real.
     
  11. InkDancer
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    InkDancer Senior Member

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    Not all 18 to 19 year old girls are created equal. Is this the sort of thing that she would be likely to believe? To even consider? Is there any possible way that she could reconcile it as a prank?

    I think at first, she would have a big frozen core of disbelief, but around that would be all the worries that go with being in a hospital setting in any era. What's wrong with me? Am I going to die? Where is my family? When they tell her that her family is dead, she's probably going to react with anger towards the person who told her that. Deep inside, she's afraid it might be true, but if she doesn't believe the situation, then she's going to think it's a really cruel joke.

    If this is the future, she's going to start seeing some futuristic things. These are going to start melting that core of disbelief, and whatever facade she has been maintaining will start to crack. That's when, in my opinion, the tears and grief will start to set in. Even so, she's likely to hold a grudge against the people around her, since no matter what she knows to be true, it will still feel like these people did it to her.

    At least, that's the way it was for me. (Did I mention I was born in 1843 and only thawed out last Tuesday? :) )
     
  12. ArckAngel
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    Well I can't say I would do this, I would probably be irrational, freak out, **** my pants and start crying. Haha
    freaking out is the natural thing to do, but once calmed down, I think the smart thing to do would be to start asking innocent questions. Or make small talk with the doctors. But try to get them to give you information by accident. Talk about the weather, a lot. Ask what it is like outside right now. That might indicate what part of the country you are in. Ask about local news, if anything interesting is going on currently; politics, crime, ect. If you are there long enough, get to know one of the doctors, their name, their family, maybe even where they went to school and what they studied. Thats the smart thing I would think anyway.
     
  13. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Assuming there is no sense of time passing while a person is under general anesthesia, in a coma or in cryogenic "sleep",a person would most likely react as if they had just closed their eyes for only a minute or two. Whatever accident occurred would be the immediate concern. Upon learning how much time passed, the "reaction" would vary greatly from one personality type to another based on their life circumstances immediately prior to the "big sleep".

    For example, a person who was knocked unconscious during a severe auto accident might initially worry about the other passengers. When told how long they were out, their greatest concern would logically turn to "family" (mom, dad, siblings, husband, kids...even a favorite pet). This could trigger virtually any kind of emotional response, depending on the character's personality traits. You, the writer, could provide me with an angry, demanding patient who becomes belligerent when refused information. You could also "sell" me a person who slips into deep depression, wanting to die when she comes to realize all her relatives must now be dead. Or how about this...immediately before the accident, she stole top secret scientific research data for an enemy government as a double agent; the information locked in her photographic memory. Now, she's suspicious of the truth...did she really wake from a long sleep in cryogenic freeze, or are these people only telling her that to get her to lower her guard and reveal the details in her memory? That's it...a sci-fi, espionage thriller! Cool!

    The nice thing about your premise is you have an enormous range of believable choices to inject into your story. Pick the one that creates the most tension and have fun!

    .....NaCl
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    an average girl of that age would probably react somewhat as noted by others above... but there are still variables to consider, in re what her social and intellectual level would be... an uneducated girl from a secluded backwoods hollow would not act in the same way as one who'd had top-level schooling and is from a city-dwelling wealthy family...
     
  15. Brode
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    I wouldn't believe it, so I'd probably demand proof first thing. When I got enough of said proof to not be able to deny it anymore, then I'd freak out.

    But that's coming from a relatively knowledgeable cynic who understands technology, at least on its basest level. A less educated or less cynical person would accept their predicament faster than a more naive or innocent person.

    Also, FYI, actually 'freezing' a human being alive is impossible. Due to the unique lattice structure of ice, water expands on freezing and destroys the delicate tissues of the person. Fetuses can be frozen due to much smaller mass and surface area--they're 'flash frozen,' or frozen so quickly that the water does not have time to set into its preferred lattice structure. There's presently no method for doing the same to fully-formed adults, so you may need to explain how exactly the cryogenic process worked.
     
  16. InkDancer
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    InkDancer Senior Member

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    If he could do that, he could patent it and devote himself to writing full time! :p

    There's currently cryonics research into replacing most of the body's water with chemicals called cryoprotectants. This is called vitrification. The main obstacle to cryonics lies in resuscitating a patient who has been frozen; if that were possible, then you could make the story credible, if not technically possible. But that's pretty common in sci-fi, isn't it?
     
  17. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Actually, people are committing their bodies to cryogenic storage in this day and age. They generally theorize that scientists will not attempt to restore them from freezing until a process is developed that can also deal with the damage caused by the current freezing process. Your story only needs to address this issue briefly to retain acceptable "believability".

    .....NaCl
     
  18. CrimsonWolf
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    Yup, no problems. I knew about most of that stuff anyway. However the story begins in the future anyway, just not by very much, so the technology has been almost perfected. By the time she's brought out of the freeze the technology is good enough that she won't sustain any long-term damage.

    And thanks for so many responses everyone! It's a great help!
     
  19. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    the main problem with all of this is that while you can figure out ways to preserve the physical body, for resuscitation later, electrical energy can't be 'frozen' so the person's 'mind' [which is not a physical entity] will not be preserved in its former body, since it 'leaves' that tangible part of us when we die... so, when revived, what mind will that body have, if any?... and where will it be acquired, since ours are started some time before birth and 'built' by all we experience after we emerge from the womb...

    it would be like buying a used computer that had its memory deleted... the machine would be there and fully functional, but all the programs and data would have to be reinstalled... see what i mean here:
    ['mind over matter'] http://saysmom.com/maia/content.asp?Writing=84
     
  20. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    "...electrical energy can't be 'frozen' so the person's 'mind' [which is not a physical entity] will not be preserved in its former body, since it 'leaves' that tangible part of us when we die..."

    I respectfully disagree, maia. Yes, the human brain is composed of chemicals, electrical energy and biological "parts", but all is not necessarily lost when the electrical pulses end. From before birth, the brain constantly builds physical synapses that act as hard wiring for neurological function. Even in old age, when seniors embark on new learning curves, scientists report amazing growth of new physical neuron pathways. This process never seems to stop, so long as the person keeps learning.

    You're probably right about active memory, like the immediate enjoyment of listening to some favorite music; it might vanish at death. However, is it not equally possible that core personality, deep memory and autonomic nervous system functions would recover so long as the physical synapses remained intact? It would be no different than the ROM or the physical microcircuitry programs in every computer that are not lost when the system is unplugged. I believe there is enough reasonalbe doubt about this possibility to make a case for such "post cryogenic restoration" with minimal memory loss or personality degradation, at least for a sci-fi context. And, the possibility of some aberrant changes due to "incomplete recovery" could provide the basis for a real thriller!

    I can see it now:

    Sweet housewife in Dallas succumbs to cancer. Her inconsolable husband can't bear to follow her cremation wishes so he iniates his secret plan to steal her corpse from the hospital immediately after she is pronounced and before she has lost much body heat. (the hook)

    The race is then on...as he rushes her off to Colorado where her entire body is placed in cryogenic storage.

    A century later, after the Great War between the US and China, archeologists discover the Rocky Mountain cave where a small nuclear generator has provided continuous power for several dozen frozen guests. Of course, only one is successfully restored and she suffers odd effects. After months of physical therapy and psychological counseling, Honey Homemaker, returns to what is left of society.

    She's angry...VERY angry...and in a psychopathic way. While she feigned normalcy during her psych evaluations, she secretly tested new powers, known only to her. Tele-kinetic strength began to grow at about the time of her release, and only now after all these months, did her telepathic ability stop causing her to confuse peoples' thoughts with their spoken words as came to understand that she was not crazy.

    Using her growing mind-power, she sets out on a path of revenge, initially against government officials whose diplomatic failure led to the destruction of her family and way of life. But during her obsession, she comes to hate the general population of "sheep" who blindly followed their leaders into a nuclear winter. The rest of the story would depict her generalized revenge theme and the efforts of a few "good guys" to identify and neutralize this roving mass killer. Ironically, the climax will be when she is unmasked and sentenced to "death" for her actions. The judge reads her death sentence in a somber courtroom.

    "In accordance with the laws of the New World Peoples' Alliance, I hereby sentence you to death by cryogenic freezing for one thousand years. The sentence is to be carried out immediately."

    Honey Homemaker held her breath as the first wisp of icy cold gas pumped into the silver chamber. As her vision narrowed to black she had one last statement, "I'll be back!" The judge slumped in his chair, gasping for air as some strange force crushed his throat.

    Darn, sure do wish I liked to write horror stories...this would be fun to develop. LOL!
     
  21. Undefined
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    I would have to say that the reaction depends on who the person was before they were put on ice. Think about it, if you just had the absolute worst day of your life that ended a bad week then maybe a change in the world would not be so bad and a change would be a bit easier to swallow. Taking the opposite, a change in the world would be something you did not want.

    Take some time to get to know your character before you put her in the fridge. Hope that helps.
     

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