1. Aidan Stern
    Offline

    Aidan Stern Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2015
    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    93
    Location:
    My Awefull World Inside My Head

    What are some possibilities for this story idea of mine?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Aidan Stern, Oct 10, 2015.

    I came up with what I think is a really cool idea, but I'm not sure what to do or where to go with it.
    Basically, the main character, Ethel, is immortal, but not like your vampire and god/goddess kind of immortal. He... reincarnates, but it's not reincarnation in the traditional sense. Reincarnation is just the closest word I could come up with to describe his situation. He can't die. He truly is immortal in the sense that he can't ever die. Vampires and other "immortal" things can die in someway or other, but Ethel, his soul just keeps getting tossed around from body to body. Something is tying him to the physical world. A curse? Anyway, how it works is:
    Ethel ages like any normal person, and when Ethel gets in a situation in which a normal person would die, he physically dies, but his soul is traded out with someone else's who's physical body died at the same time. Because of this transfer, Ethel physically dies twice, as his soul and consciousness is held suspended between his previous body and the new one. He receives impressions of the original person's emotions when in this state, but other than that, he knows nothing about the person's body that he is going to be stuck in until the next time he "dies". For this reason and many others, Ethel has to be very careful with how he goes about reintroducing himself into society. People may recognize his host body, the host body could be any age, and many other complications arise. He could go from being in a body of a 22 year old, to being in a body of someone who was 76, to being trapped inside an infant's. How would his consciousness handle this? Any suggestions will be very helpful.
     
  2. Eliza Rain
    Offline

    Eliza Rain Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2015
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Ohio
    I think a better term would be rebirth. But other wise I think you need more connection between who's bodies he goes between. Because it sounds more funny than tragic to me with the way you set it up. Or at least a start to a dark comedy.
     
  3. Aidan Stern
    Offline

    Aidan Stern Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2015
    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    93
    Location:
    My Awefull World Inside My Head
    I agree with the fact that it sound funny. It is when I'm trying to explain the concept. I realized that, but I still like the general idea, I just don't know what to do with it, or how to improve it. I suppose it's the idea that he can't die whatsoever that interests me. He'll last forever. He can remember every single "life" he's had, it's terribly lonely, he's trying to figure out why he has this problem, etc. I do have one scene written in which he's trying to explain his predicament to other "immortals" such as vampires, etc. He's trying to tell them that they don't understand "immortality" because they can still die (without having to come back). He's so frustrated and confused. Even he laughs at the scene, not out of gaiety, but because of the absurdity and hopelessness of the matter.
    I just don't really know what to do with this... maybe I should can the idea.
     
  4. Robert Musil
    Offline

    Robert Musil Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2015
    Messages:
    312
    Likes Received:
    217
    Location:
    USA
    I would say that in order to answer your question you first have to decide how many lives he's lived up to the beginning of your story. Is it on the order of 5-10, 50-100, 500-1000? It seems to me that a normal human consciousness might handle (er, assuming it could handle it at all...) being reborn into 5-10 new bodies (depending a lot on how long he spends in each one!). But after 1000 rebirths I'd start to think that the psychological problems would start piling up. It would mean that he's lived through thousands of years of history, probably seen thousands of loved ones die, etc. How much would he even remember? Could someone even remain sane in such conditions?
     
    Simpson17866 likes this.
  5. Aidan Stern
    Offline

    Aidan Stern Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2015
    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    93
    Location:
    My Awefull World Inside My Head
    Very thoughtful. I shall have to marinate on this a bit, but I do know that his psyche is a royal mess. That's not saying that he isn't intelligent and physically able, but his emotional state and personal mental state is fragmented and, quite frankly, screwed up.
     
  6. Mallett
    Offline

    Mallett New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2015
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    1
    I don't know if you know it, but this sounds a bit like 'Quantum Leap' (tv-series in the 90ies) to me. Sam Beckett doesn't die or is immortal but a time travel experiment gone wrong makes him switch between bodies throughout history. In that series they came up with the idea that Sam loses most of his own memories from his own life with every switch and gets to identify more and more with the persons he replaces.
     
  7. Shadowfax
    Offline

    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Messages:
    2,504
    Likes Received:
    1,338
    Or like the Trill in Star Trek - especially Deep Space Nine. One of the characters is a young, attractive woman who was formerly known to one of the normal humans as a mature, worldly man.
     
  8. Aidan Stern
    Offline

    Aidan Stern Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2015
    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    93
    Location:
    My Awefull World Inside My Head
    I do not know of either of those... I'm not quite sure how to feel about that.
    This will probably just end up being one of those "I like the idea, but I'll never expand on it" kinda things.
     
  9. lifeisastory
    Offline

    lifeisastory Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2015
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Germany
    I don't get what you mean by "but his soul is traded out with someone else's who's physical body died at the same time." Why would he change into someone who is dying as well? Shouldn't his soul be transferring into a young, healthy, non-dying body? Or did I misunderstand something? Anyway, I think your idea is super cool! You could have your "soul" being for example an old man who will die soon make "friends" with a little girl he wants to change into later and have her prepare her life in the way he'd like it to be when he (forcefully) changes into her body. Or, if the "both body dying transition" somehow does logically work, he could prepare her life for himself and THEN kill her! and he could also get to know her surroundings and film her in order to learn how to behave like her once he is in her body! That actually sounds kind of wrong... :D anyway, I'd stick to the idea, good luck!
     
  10. Aidan Stern
    Offline

    Aidan Stern Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2015
    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    93
    Location:
    My Awefull World Inside My Head
    He can't control who's body he gets next. (<That sounded terrible.) When his current body dies, his consciousness is suspended between that one and the next one. So he experiences both deaths. If he ends up on a situation where his next body is impossible to recover, he'll just die again and again, until he ends up in one that is able to recover. This life frustrates and confuses the hell out of him. Think, he can't even commit suicide! Well, he could, but it wouldn't change anything. Does this make any more sense? I know it's confusing, but...
     
    lifeisastory likes this.
  11. lifeisastory
    Offline

    lifeisastory Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2015
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Germany
    It does make sense. Thank you for explaining. I'd cling to the idea. Or write it down to save it for a new project. So what is your story goal then? You know, you could have him want to die because he's already lived 100 lives or more. So it would be about his quest to find death. He could meet someone who is familiar with the soul-body-transferring concept and who wants eternal life, so they'd try to do some sort of ritual (maybe a human sacrifice or some gory stuff if you're into that). Or you could make it about love where he meets the love of his life, then dies and tries to find his way back to her but in a different body. Depends on what genre the story shall be.
    I'm really getting into this! :D Let me know how you're doing with it.
    I would suggest however, that you work out a decent historical backstory on how that body-switching thing has come to be and how exactly it works.
    M
     
  12. Aidan Stern
    Offline

    Aidan Stern Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2015
    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    93
    Location:
    My Awefull World Inside My Head
    Thanks! I appreciate your words. :) I really had no aim to the story, just a few random scenes I created in my head when I was trying to escape reality. I'm glad you're getting into it. I've always liked to entertain the idea when I'm bored and stuff. I don't really want to trash the idea, but I know that unless I get a plot going soon, I'll never do anything with it and it will remain in my storage for forever.
    It's also not my foremost project right now, but I keep back up ideas on hand for when I'm tired of thinking about the same story over and over again.
     
  13. Lyrical
    Offline

    Lyrical Frumious Bandersnatch

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2015
    Messages:
    376
    Likes Received:
    257
    You may want to check out the book Wild Seed by Octavia Butler. This sounds sound dangerously similiar. The main character, Doro, is immortal because whenever his body is about to die (or sometimes at other times) his spirit, or essence, or whatever you want to call it, immediately and involuntarily jumps to the nearst living person, taking over their body completely. Thus the displaced spirit ceases to exist, and Doro lives on in his victim's former body.

    You said your guy jumps into the body of someone who has died at the same time he has, right? That could be enough difference to launch a whole different sort of plot. Still, I recommend reading the book so you make sure yours isn't too smiliar.
     
  14. Aidan Stern
    Offline

    Aidan Stern Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2015
    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    93
    Location:
    My Awefull World Inside My Head
    Okay, thank you for this advice. I would have never known about this otherwise. :)
     
  15. lifeisastory
    Offline

    lifeisastory Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2015
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Germany
    How about if he can only jump into people whose bodies have suffered something horrible (extreme violence, torture, rape,...)? Because their life sucked so much, when their soul dies, they get another one as a way of the universe "making up" for their shitty previous life. Ethel would then have the responsibility to make sure the bodies don't get harmed again during his "share" of the body. That would be VERY different
     
  16. Aidan Stern
    Offline

    Aidan Stern Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2015
    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    93
    Location:
    My Awefull World Inside My Head
    Good idea. I'll marinate on that for a bit. Not exactly what I was thinking, but...
    Maybe he could only transfer into bodies that have been murdered. (This nature of this topic makes it very difficult to word sentences in a not terribly wrong sounding way. :/)
     

Share This Page