1. Chumbutter
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    Chumbutter New Member

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    If you're interested in the Psych Ward...

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Chumbutter, Aug 8, 2009.

    So, I know that I want the main character to get thrown in the psych ward for doing something like taking a chainsaw or a hammer to their cat because it looked at her weird, or something ridiculous. (Side Note: If you have any ideas of why someone would be thrown into a psych ward that is both ridiculous and humorous as well as serious, I'd love to hear them) Then I'm thinking she is put under constant surveillance, and she falls in love with her camera man because he's the one who's always with her. Does anyone know of any exercises I could do to help me figure out the plot? I want to write on this, I just don't know where to take it.
     
  2. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    You could always just start with her being taken to it and... well see where it takes you as you write. You can always go back an edit everything.
     
  3. tcol4417
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    tcol4417 Member

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    Note: I've been, worked with people in and know people who have been sent to the psych ward. Nurses have some of the best/worst stories =)

    You're probably not thinking of the psych ward as such - that's really just a normal ward whith stronger staff with the authority to use force and medication to restrain patients. It's not solitary confinement and I've never noticed any cameras in there (Hospitals differ from place to place).

    If you are talking about that, then it's easy to get into it: Having a nervous breakdown at the least, witnessing a traumatic event like a murder in the middle and attempting suicide at the most.

    I think you might be talking about an actual institution, where patients are constantly monitored, caged and/or isolated (like in one flew over the cuckoo's nest). Getting in there takes a little more time and effort, as such. You need to be deemed mentally unfit to reside in normal society (posing a threat to yourself and to others) and to prove this you'd have to do something horrible (kill a kitten), go to a criminal court, make a valid plea of insanity and then get carted off. Only by going through this would a character warrant solitary confinement and 24 hour surveillance.

    EDIT: You can also have yourself committed voluntarily (completely forgot about that), which would be a much nice environment to foster a romantic relationship in but would be unlikely to result in sol. conf. + 24/hr surv.[/opinion]

    Depending on which one you're after, there are different problems you'll have to work through.

    Also you might want to reconsider the validity of falling in love with someone you can't see. Imagine falling in love with the CIA agent spying on you through your pillow.
     
  4. Chumbutter
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    Chumbutter New Member

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    Well I was planning on having the camera man in the room with her. Kind of like a handheld camera, though it would really be an on the shoulder deal. Because this is for a script, that would be the camera's perspective at all times. Based on what you said I think I'm probably going to have her admit herself. Thanks for the help!
     
  5. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Make her suffer from bipolar disorder, which does warrant admission if its accompanied by psychosis. They often have delusions of grandeur like they're the president or a billionaire. In your case your character can believe she's a famous movie star. It could go nicely with the camera man love thing. She could be institutionalized for throwing a tantrum when a waiter doesn't seem to know who she is or any of her blockbuster movies. Bipolar patients are fun people. Sometimes their happiness is literally infectious, and you could give her that. I once met a patient who was conviced she was from the year 12012. She could speak her own futuristic language and even carried around a wierd looking necklace that she claimed was worth millions "with ten thousand years of inflation." Then she offered to give it to me if I bought her a few cigarettes. There's also the intermittent episodes of depression which could add some conflict to the love story.

    But I'm finding it hard to see why she would have her own handheld cameraman videoing her. That sort of stuff just doesn't happen in psych wards, and she'll be sharing living space a vast array of quirky crazy people, not exactly conducive for a sane man shouldering a video camera.

    I say make it the surveillance guy, who watches her in private from another room, and he's the one who falls in love.
     
  6. Twisted Inversely
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    Twisted Inversely Senior Member

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    As an alternative to the video camera idea you could tell the story through transcripts of conversations between her and a councilor or through a journal; writing after all is supposed to be therapeutic so they might let patients have them.
     
  7. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    The ultimate researcher would do something to get themselves committed ;)

    EDIT: While being said with a smile, there's actually some truth to it as well. One advice I took with me from a book on writing screenplays was: Write about what you know. If you have never been to a psych ward, you can't write about it in any sort of convincing way, atleast not to anyone who have been to one themselves - because they know your subject better than you. Mental illness is a very fascinating subject but also an extremely complex one. I think the key to your story is a huge load of research. You can read a ton of non-fiction about mental illness and treatment of it, but you'd probably also have to experience it first-hand. How you go about seeing life in a mental institution first hand, is a whole other problem I can't suggest a solution to.
     

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