1. mikeyg77
    Offline

    mikeyg77 New Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2013
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0

    Why not just catch a flight?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by mikeyg77, May 20, 2013.

    Hi,

    I'm trying to writing my first novel and couldn't think of a way to continue my story in the way I want.

    Basically it's about two main characters in parallel realities (Living world and Spirit world), both start off in the same location and have to visit the same checkpoint locations throughout the world (although the path will vary) and then both will end up in the final location for the conclusion.

    Obviously there are no cars or transport in the spirit world although one of the characters can teleport the group a couple of miles every few hours, which speeds their journey up somewhat but I can't think of a reason why my other character (living in modern day Scotland) wouldn't just get a flight to the required areas hence arriving at the final location about 3 months before the other character.


    >He can't be afraid of flying because he is an archaeologist (which is vital to the plot) and his best mate is in (beyond) mortal danger so it wouldn't really stop him any way

    >I tried government interference but it just doesn't fit and would only apply while in Britain

    >It can't be basic costs because he is a jet-setting archaeologist so is anything but poor

    >It is a personal struggle which stretches across the world but doesn't affect the rest of the world so all transport links are perfectly intact.

    >The best I can come up with is, his passport has run out and doesn't have time to renew it - which seems unlikely for a seasoned traveler and also the journey by car will take months so why not just wait 4 weeks for the passport and complete the required tasks in a week or two after it is delivered :(

    So please provide suggestions to overcome this issue, I am happy to provide any further info if required.

    Thank you in advance for any help :)
     
  2. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,837
    Likes Received:
    10,015
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    Actually, contrary to what Hollywood and the BBC would give one to believe, an archaeologist would not be a person with copious sums of money unless they had gained some star power via television or they had acquired their money from another venue. TV and films have a bad habit of giving characters lifestyles that they would never be able to afford in real life.

    As an example:

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/donttrusttheb/nyc-apartments-that-tv-characters-could-never-affo

    I think the monetary issue is a very realistic solution to your conundrum. :)
     
  3. rhduke
    Offline

    rhduke Contributing Member Reviewer

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2013
    Messages:
    733
    Likes Received:
    158
    Location:
    Canada
    There are many reasons to think of honestly. It's just another obstacle getting in the way of the protagonist reaching his goal so just make it's interesting. Having to renew a passport is less interesting. Maybe he buys a plane ticket but gets distracted by a girl, gets hit by a car and needs to spend time in the hospital, attends a funeral because a friend has died, or whatever. These road blocks should be developing your protagonist emotionally, not just there to delay the end goal.

    What about the spirit world? It sounds like you can be really creative here. Think about ways to delay the character in the spirit world. I don't know what to suggest because I have no idea how it's depicted in your story. Even though there's teleportation, there must be obstacles you can think of to slow down the progression of the spirit protagonist. It's the journey that matters not the goal blah blah blah. If you give me more info on the spirit world I can offer suggestions.
     
  4. mikeyg77
    Offline

    mikeyg77 New Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2013
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    He may not be a millionaire (hence why he still lives in Scotland :p) but i'm sure he could spare a couple of thousand from his savings and a few more thousand from overdrafts etc. considering is bestest ever buddy could be playing whipping boy for Satan for all he knows :D
     
  5. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,837
    Likes Received:
    10,015
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    LOL :D That's good stuff. But, the truth is, an archeologist would be living, at best, on a professor's salary, and much more likely, via grants. I spent the better part of my university career in the anthropology department, under which archaeology falls, and trust me, there is very little jet-setting and a whole lot of handshaking at university functions in the hopes of getting grant money. It's a vocational life. You do it because you love it, not because it's lucrative. I really do feel this would be a good direction to go, and as one who knows a little something about the actual field, it would lend that little dash of realism for those reading your story who are in the know. Jus my 2p. :)
     
  6. mikeyg77
    Offline

    mikeyg77 New Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2013
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    I understand that the journey is more important than the end goal and that's why I want it to be more of a road trip than a plane trip.

    The spirit world is effectively like the living world except that technology can't really be sustained because of lack of resources (as it is a dead version of Earth) however the residents are able to tap into mental power which either gives them quasi super powers in their human form or allows them to transform into monsters or beasts. The form these powers take are decided by what their life experiences were before they died and therefore cannot be hand picked by the individual.

    The spirit antagonists can only teleport a maximum of 30 or so miles a day plus walking time in-between to allow his power to recharge. So there is no problem with him being too fast. I just need a reason for the living character to also have to take/experience the journey at a slower pace where he can have time to develop emotionally.

    P.s. I know the passport is a lackluster idea but it is currently acting as a placeholder until I can think of something else.
     
  7. mikeyg77
    Offline

    mikeyg77 New Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2013
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks, i'll take it into consideration.

    I'm currently stumped and anything that can help get me going is appreciated.
     
  8. shadowwalker
    Offline

    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    3,299
    Likes Received:
    851
    Or perhaps it's something as mundane as the flight schedules, filled flights, and connections. And again, one can't just charter a flight, especially across international borders. They can be worked around, but it's time consuming, and if written right, can add tension (especially since most people would understand this particular frustration). Picture him trying desperately to catch a flight, going from airline to airline, dealing with the bureaucracy - money doesn't really mean much in those situations. Then desperately trying to find a charter, dealing with someone with perhaps lesser scruples... having money could actually be a hindrance there.
     
  9. Garball
    Offline

    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Messages:
    2,846
    Likes Received:
    1,331
    Location:
    S'port, LA
    Somehow he got placed on the no fly list because of a similar name as or accidental involvement with a terrorist
     
  10. TLK
    Offline

    TLK Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2013
    Messages:
    272
    Likes Received:
    35
    How linked are your characters? If you think it's appropriate you could say that, for whatever reason, the two characters can never be more than X miles apart (this is assuming that each point in the real world has a corresponding point in the spirit world so the distances transfer over).

    Are there any "bad guys" in your novel? If there are, you could say some are hunting down this archaeologist and that they expect him to travel by plane so the archaeologist deems flying from place to place is too risky. Could have some awesome chase/fight/hiding scene at an airport to set this idea in.
     
  11. jazzabel
    Offline

    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    4,273
    Likes Received:
    1,666
    He must transport something extremely important or valuable, that would be confiscated by airport security. So he has to travel in other ways. Depending on how delayed you want him to be, you can make it something that he can't take through customs either, so he has to travel through illegal channels. Or, you can always delay him somehow. Say, it's obvious in the beginning this guy's gonna get there early, but then, have him kidnapped, or receive a plea for help from someone, or throw him in jail, anything that'll take 3 months to get out of and have him get to the destination in the nick of time. It would also make for a great subplot.
     
  12. mikeyg77
    Offline

    mikeyg77 New Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2013
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks a lot everybody, there is definitely some stuff I can use here although it'll probably be a mish-mash of 2 or 3 of these ideas :)
     
  13. rhduke
    Offline

    rhduke Contributing Member Reviewer

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2013
    Messages:
    733
    Likes Received:
    158
    Location:
    Canada
    That sounds like an interesting story. Hmm, you said you couldn't involve the government, but what about a secret organization similar to the CIA only more cultish. Maybe they want to find a way to the spirit world for whatever reason and are following this guy because he has connections to that world. They kidnap and interrogate him.. but maybe that involves more plot elements than you wanted.

    What if there's a storm and the airplanes are delayed for a few days? That would work. Maybe there's a bomb threat or something (completely disconnected from the main plot) and they have to shutdown the airport for security reasons.
     
  14. Mckk
    Offline

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    4,749
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Why don't you give your MC a personal reason why this trip has to be special, and thus he wants to do a road trip instead of fly? Perhaps he's always wanted to do a road trip, and since the area he's always wanted to travel through is en-route to his destination, he decides to take the opportunity to travel by car.
     
  15. Trilby
    Offline

    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,098
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    NE England
    Are there any illnesses that would prevent someone from flying?

    About 20 years ago I remember hearing somewhere that, a person was unable to fly because he was too big to fit into a aircraft's passenger seat - I don't know if this still applies or if they now have special provisions?

    Why not speak to you local Travel Agency and see what they say?

    In the past he could have been in a touch and go situation that has left him with a fear of flying.
     
  16. mikeyg77
    Offline

    mikeyg77 New Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2013
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    The organizational conspiracy angle didn't seem to fit when I tried to use it because he probably wouldn't want to share the glory as the main bad guys in both worlds manage to communicate in a very basic way but to a level that the spirit bad guy is able to explain his overwhelming power and his desire of breaking the barriers of the worlds. Of course any one who would assist this process would be greatly rewarded etc...etc.

    The living world bad guy is a shaman from Japan (where the connection between the worlds is strongest), so although he is mentally powerful, he is still just a middle-aged guy living in the rural mountains of Japan. He will hire a 'goon squad' to obtain the required artifacts, but I think it would be unlikely that he would have government or Illuminati-type connections.

    The bomb threat is interesting but maybe more for when they go to sub-Saharan Africa, since western airports/governments are more efficient and have a much higher demand for flight, so would probably have flights running fairly soon after the event.
     
  17. mikeyg77
    Offline

    mikeyg77 New Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2013
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think this would work in most adventure stories but when the urgency of the mission is combined with the facility of air travel it seems unlikely that he would pick the scenic route.
     
  18. mikeyg77
    Offline

    mikeyg77 New Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2013
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    I hadn't considered illness, so thanks.

    One of the other characters is going to scared of flying and then in an ironic twist when she enters the spirit world (maybe at the end of the book or maybe in a sequel) her power manifests itself as a large eagle-type bird :p
     
  19. Mckk
    Offline

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    4,749
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Well, in that case, it seems you've planned yourself into a dead end. When that happens, you should perhaps review your plot and see if it can actually work. Changing the way by which people travel in the spirit world is also a possibility. Is there any reason why you couldn't invent a new, faster way for people in the spirit world to travel, allowing it to match flying in the real world?
     
  20. BritInFrance
    Offline

    BritInFrance Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2012
    Messages:
    364
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    Central France
    Avoid the passport thing, because if your passport has expired you can queue up at a passport customer service centre (https://www.gov.uk/get-a-passport-urgently). Usually you can get a new one the same day (this has happened to a friend of mine), if not within a week. There is no way if someone needed urgently to get out of the country would wait for the post office...

    Have him booked onto a flight and then something happens that he realises he will be caught/stopped if he gets on that flight (he sees someone who has been following him, etc)

    I would have something occur that would mean he has to use ways of not being seen (so if someone is following him because of the artifacts they have info on his credit cards and passport details). Often at Dover no one checks your passport on the way out of the country (even the french can't be bothered) particularly early morning crossings. Once you are in Europe border checks are rare.
     
  21. heal41hp
    Offline

    heal41hp Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Messages:
    225
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Oklahoma, USA
    This sounds like a really interesting story idea! The parallels of the living/dead world and the shared destination sound like fun. Hopefully we can help smooth over this little wrinkle, though. :)

    I have a few ideas, some of which were already mentioned. Garball mentioned the no-fly list and jazzabel mentioned your guy having problems with customs. I am left with a few others. The first is a volcanic eruption near one of the flight locations (departure and destination). One of the most notable and most impactful instances of this was the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland in 2010 that led to "the largest air-traffic shut-down since World War II": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_travel_disruption_after_the_2010_Eyjafjallaj%C3%B6kull_eruption There are numerous other instances of this occurring and a quick Google search will yield results aplenty. :)

    Second: ghost/phantom ships and/or planes (and/or trains). There are a number of instances of these and perhaps they are available in your spirit world. They might be hard to find or hard to get on, as they would surely be controlled by some seriously powerful beings due to the ease of travel they offer (something that sounds to be in high demand!). Here's some great examples of planes that I found: http://www.angelsghosts.com/ghost_plane.html Also, don't forget about the Bermuda Triangle (and all the other notorious triangles scattered around the world)

    Third: ley lines. They're bands of energy that form a grid of sorts around the world and where they cross tend to be powerful spiritual locations. Stonehenge, I believe, is one of these vortices. If they are available in your spirit world, they could be means of transportation but again, like with planes and such, they might be highly guarded or even dangerous to use.

    Fourth is more of a comment than anything else.

    Oil is just made up of dead, decayed stuff. Perhaps it is available in your spirit world? Though that really is just part of the equation. :)
     
  22. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,936
    Likes Received:
    5,473
    I like the idea of the regular-world guy trying to get a grant. That gives you lots of opportunity for the organization that has the power to give him the grant, perhaps a character who's important at that organization and has non-obvious motives, and so on.

    This, of course, means that your guy needs to need a big chunk of money - if he's employed, he probably can sell the car and the cat and put together enough money for a plane ticket. Maybe whatever he does at the destination will require some piece of fancy and expensive equipment?
     
  23. heal41hp
    Offline

    heal41hp Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Messages:
    225
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Oklahoma, USA
    All great ideas, I think (absolutely love the grant idea), but it sounds like the main guy is under a serious time-crunch. This rules out a lot of options. I may have misread things, though, as I am quite tired. :)
     
  24. mikeyg77
    Offline

    mikeyg77 New Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2013
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0

    He doesn't know how long he has to complete the journey as the person he is trying to save is in another dimension, but as that other dimension happens to be the land of the dead/spirits, his generally sound reasoning is, the quicker the better.

    With regards to the oil, there are no other "life" forms in the spirit world, as it is very much an in-between world which is neither Living nor Heaven/Hell. The premise is that it is a separate world whose sole purpose is to let people with unjust/untimely deaths decide how they are going to continue (animals just pass through as they can't really make such a decision and bodies turn into a sort of energy as it moves on i.e. it does not leave a body behind).

    They can either die (again) and go on to whatever kind of afterlife exists (it is still an unknown to the inhabitants of the spirit world) or they can embark on the journey to find the specific artifacts needed to obtain the item which will allow them to go back to the living world or the third alternative is that they actually enjoy the vast, barren landscape and just stay there neither living nor dead.
     
  25. heal41hp
    Offline

    heal41hp Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Messages:
    225
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Oklahoma, USA
    I gotcha. That makes perfect sense then. :) I appreciate the clarification.
     

Share This Page