1. iknowimsoslow
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    iknowimsoslow Member

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    Plot help!

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by iknowimsoslow, Sep 24, 2008.

    Not sure if this goes in the general plot help or research thread, so I'm posting it here, won't hurt my feelings if someone decides to move it. :)

    I'm trying to write a story that's based somewhat in the future. Not to far, about 5-10 years. I'm wanting to base it around a woman who's son was medically injected with a "cure" and then died. Almost everyone (children mainly) who are injected also dies. I know that sounds a little like I Am Legend, which is where I based my idea off, but I want to make it current.
    I thought about doing either a new vaccine that the FDA approves and is given to children mandatory or a "cure" for an incurable disease such as autism.

    Is everyone with me so far? I know that doesn't give the specifics, but I'm just toying with the idea.

    What are everyone's thoughts and how would I go about researching this? Not asking anyone to personally research it for me, of course, just a little helpful direction.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I would start with Google searches on FDA procedures. And perhaps look on the FDA site itself to understand how they conduct their approval process. Also you might find and follow a couple of cases where approval was withdrawn, such as the failed flu vaccine a couple years ago, or one of the (blood pressure?) medications pulled after related deaths occured.

    Make friends with a pharmacist. He or she may have journals that will follow cases of individual drugs or vaccines through approval or disaster recovery.

    There was also a problem with a Bausch and Lomb Contact Lens Solution (Renu?) a coupl eyears ago. Google searches are good, but pharmaceutical journals will probably tell you much more - including being a good source for the terminology used in the industry.
     
  3. Ommonite
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    Ommonite Senior Member

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    Although I Am Legend was written back in the day... ish, I'd say the latest adaptation has made it current enough, although becoming a zombie and dying are different. I would say that it would be fifty years before something like I Am Legend made "current" is respected.

    On the other hand, since you haven't revealed much of the story, I can offer some ideas from what you've said.

    All I know is that a cure is killing mostly children. I'd assume the story would feature many adults, dealing with the loss of kids and finding a cure for the cure.... Actually why don't they just stop curing with that cure?
     
  4. iknowimsoslow
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    iknowimsoslow Member

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    Well my train of thought so far with it is a woman who has a young autistic son. There's a new drug that cures it, but about a year after the son is cured, he starts backsliding and eventually gets so sick that he's comatose. The mom starts researching the drug and finds out that a lot of children are getting sick at about the same interval after taking the drug. She tries to make it public and finds out the FDA are paying people off to keep it under wraps.

    And to answer the above question, they do stop using it once they find out that the children backslide about a year later, but it's to late to stop the deaths that have already occurred, obviously.

    So, not a super advanced plot, but I'm hoping to make this the longest story I've wrote yet. I'm plotted out about 10 chapters so far.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The FDA would probably not be paying people off. More likely it would be the pharmaceutical company that sank millions of dollars into research to develop the drug, and would be unable to recover its investment if the drug's danger became publically known.

    The FDA would have nothing to gain by suppressing the facts. They would benefit most from coming down hard on the drug manufacturer.
     
  6. TheAdlerian
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    TheAdlerian Senior Member

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    I'm reminded of what happened with Trazodone, a psychiatric drug, a few years ago. It was discovered that if you took the drug for about ten years, suddenly, you got the worst cause of diabetes out of nowhere.

    There was no clue it would happen and it was just some massively slow bodily interaction with the drug. I'm not sure if they understand it yet.

    Question:

    Is your story about the drug, or the effect on the people?

    I have no idea how Trasodrone screwed up, but I did know a bunch of people who got seriously sick and could have died from it. I'd rather read about us than the science behind it, which as I've said may be limited or unknown.
     
  7. CommonGoods
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    CommonGoods Senior Member

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    Hmmm, sounds a bit like Children of Man meets I am Legend. If you haven't read I am Legend, I suggest you do. The original version, not the movie adaption. It is WAY better then both the movie and the book adaption, and will probably give you a bit more insight on the way "people go extinct by medicine" stuff works.

    Other then that, visit the site of the World Health Organisation. No doubt there's some usefull information there.
     
  8. Scattercat
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    Scattercat Active Member

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    Why does everyone keep recommending the "original" I am Legend as a "death by medicine" story? The only medical issue in the original story was the treatment the vampires created to modulate their own symptoms and enable them to form a new society. The vampires themselves were just vampires out of the old legends.

    Sure, the main character was doubtful how efficacious the new treatment for bloodlust would be in the long run, but it still wasn't the origin of the problem.

    Honestly, this reminds me of a short story I read (can't recall the author) in which the main character had developed a drug which removed all violent tendencies, and rather than go through the long approval process, he and his partner decided to "save the world" by using a huge volcanic eruption to launch a mass dose of the drug into the atmosphere, where it would spread around the world and get into the water supply and literally rain peace everywhere.

    Then he discovers that the long-term effects of the drug basically turn you into a drooling moron and then kill you, and the story ends as he sits and waits for death, having doomed the entire planet due to not following FDA procedures.
     
  9. Dcoin
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    Dcoin Contributing Member

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    You can also find a teacher-written web site that highlights some of the characteristics of what you are trying to ‘cure’.

    To use your example, Autism has many sites dedicated to giving the reader information and traits of the condition. This may be helpful in making your characters more real.
     
  10. iknowimsoslow
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    iknowimsoslow Member

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    Scattercat, I have read that same story. I can't for the life of me remember what it was called.
    Didn't it give everyone Alzheimer's?

    That's really going to bother me now... Was it a King short?


    And also, thanks for all your advice! I think I'm going to put this story on the back burner for awhile so I can do some in depth research and start on another one.
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    robin cook has specialized in such plots for years and there are many other similar novels out there on the market, so you'll have to come up with something really fresh and new for a plot, aside from the causative factor...
     

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