1. Lil' Dedalus
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    Lil' Dedalus New Member

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    slipping into psychosis

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Lil' Dedalus, Mar 9, 2011.

    I have an idea for a story in which a character (young college aged male) slowly slips into psychosis. The story follows his inner monologues that slowly become more disjointed as he slides into dementia. Also, he becomes more aloof and distant as he becomes more and more harsh as he self analyzes himself. However i also want the plot to be a major social commentary, since much of the main characters dilemma stems from not being able to share his thoughts with those around him, as most of them are blind to the images and themes that saturate their minds everyday. My question is, is it considered wildly taboo to open the novel with a disjointed convoluted monologue, sort of like a schizophrenic preface, or to just start the novel with a normal lucid character and proceed from there?
     
  2. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't think it's taboo, but I imagine it can be confusing or off-putting to the reader if they don't understand it.
     
  3. Leonardo Pisano
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    Leonardo Pisano Active Member

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    It's a bit different than as I understand your plot/question, but what if you have a 'normal person' in a world of crazy people? Everybody says your MC is crazy, but according to what reference? Of course the reader can be made aware slowly of what is going on (they have the 'normal' reference, or so they think, haha).
     
  4. KillianRussell
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    KillianRussell Contributing Member

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    Do some leg work.....Google Schizophrenia
     
  5. Matthew Simon Ali Mc
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    Matthew Simon Ali Mc New Member

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    Hah have you got the same life story as me or something? recovering from that psychosis really makes you see reallity in a creepy way init :p. no1 can handle the truth!!! not even you or me.
     
  6. nhope
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    nhope Contributing Member Reviewer

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    Write the story then decide where you want it to begin.

    You may decide you want to work it backwards, from psychosis to normal, but remember, you will have to define the mc's normal. There also has to be a trigger, something believable, to start the spiral.
     
  7. R-e-n-n-a-t
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    R-e-n-n-a-t Contributing Member

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    If the book starts confusing people who open it to the first page might just think you're bad at writing. If I were in your place I'd have it start out normal, then turn psycho.
     
  8. Darkhunter
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    Darkhunter New Member

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    Well a big question is: How is he insane? Take what you want from this post and throw out the rest:

    If its because of his actions you could build up to that moment where he finally snaps in the story showing that he was worn down by the various events that happened till that point and in his point of view he believed this was the right thing to do. Could make him very sympathetic and give you a way to proceed as a social commentary of why mental health is an important issue and how the actions of others can cause some people to lose it.

    Now if its because he was insane from the start have him just go about normal life with hints that something is off about him like he barely sleeps at night or cant remember bits of his childhood. For instance have people he knows in his Sociology class during an assignment and him partner up to lets say figure out how certain events in their childhood have effected them in the long term. He has memory gaps per say due to some childhood trauma where he blocked out some traumatic event. Now this would sort of explain the insomnia/blank spots and now that he remembers he begins to lose his grip on reality now sliding into insanity, not that he was stable to begin with.

    First example could be he was normal up until a traumatic event occurred in his life (Mugging gone wrong, jealous ex-bf of a girl he is seeing attacks him, etc...) and now he has a sort of PTSD from the event. Without treatment that stuff can really hurt you mentally to the point of you having panic attacks and in some cases psychotic episodes.

    Second example could be even worse. You can tackle even worse events that would last with a person for a lifetime (Seeing a family member die, abuse of any kind, etc...) and how this persons mind dealt with it was to dissociate them from him causing them to eventually fade away. By having events conflict with each other in his mind he finally realizes that his life was a lie by his own doing and etc.... happens when he snaps from the mental pressure.
     
  9. Allegro Van Kiddo
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    Allegro Van Kiddo Contributing Member

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    As a social commentary you might want to explore the Double Bind Theory of Schizophrenia:

    http://www.goertzel.org/dynapsyc/1997/Koopmans.html

    This is just one link but there's much more on it out there. The famous therapist Jay Haley is known for the idea.

    Basically, it's where the authority figure (parent) tells the child they love them, but tacitly they communicate that they don't. This "drives the kid crazy" which is a valid cliche in this case. Also, bizarre forms of communication are adopted by the person because they learn that you aren't allowed to say what you think

    I saw a great documentary called Jupiter's Wife years ago where the filmmaker followed this woman who seemingly babbled nonsense like, "I'm Jupiter's wife". By exploring her life the director found that most of her comments meant something but were in "code" and had to do with important traumas in her life.

    Anyway, I see this double bind thing going on in society all the time. The media, officials, etc say one thing but many people know that it's BS, but many people take the offical version as truth, and it's enough to drive you crazy.
     

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