1. TheDarkWriter

    TheDarkWriter Active Member

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    Advice Needed on Post Apocalypse with a Tabula Rasa Theme

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by TheDarkWriter, Aug 13, 2017.

    So a plot idea I'm toying with is that in a post apocalyptic world a man and a woman both suffering with amnesia fall in love what neither knows is that they have history and it's very dark. He did some really awful things to her and it ruined her life prior to the amnesia. He raped her multiple times and he terrorized her for years and he did this because prior to the amnesia he was a total sociopath and psycho that loved to torment her in every way.

    Ultimately she was reduced to a shut in and she even after finally telling the police and sending him to prison remained that way. Anyway after the apocalypse LOTS of people die and these two are among the few that survived now they are not the only ones with amnesia just about everyone in this world does. Now here's the interesting thing her Rapist after losing his memories becomes a genuinely kind and compassionate guy he even becomes like a leader to a group of survivors and becomes a deeply morally grounded person.

    She also goes through a change to she becomes very brave and protective of others and the two they grow to become each others confidants. However she still caries some of the trauma of what happened to her but she doesn't remember who her rapist is just bits and pieces. He ironically becomes the one who helps her come to terms and over come her trauma and they fall deeply in love however this is due to the fact that they along with many other people do not remember their pasts.

    The idea is that the story is to pose the question of whether if a person loses their memories whether that person is the same person or someone completely different. My only problem is that I have reservations about a rapist and his victim falling in love and I'm curious as to what a woman's view on this might be. There are other bad things about his former self to he use to be a racist and targeted her for being biracial but this goes away along with his sociopathic traits after the amnesia.

    A very common thing is everyone's nature becoming reversed. My other problem is the end two have a chance to find out who they were and learn their history but they both decide to destroy the only tie/evidence of their pasts. They do this because they decide what really matters is who they are not who they were.

    Finally I feel the need to ask is his past too extreme? I ask because I wanted to create a character who goes from the absolute scum of the Earth to being one of the most decent human beings left. My only problem is I feel their needs to be some closure but I don't know how to do that with them without it coming out because the idea and central theme is that who everyone in this world is now has nothing to do with who they were.
     
  2. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan Active Member

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    That's a very good question to ask. The nature versus nurture debate has been going on in the scientific community since the 70's. One place to research this is a book called Born Together-Reared Apart by Nancy Segal. It examines sets of identical twins both raised as a family unit and separated at birth for various reasons and raised separately. Studying these sets of twins she looks for patterns and correlations that might determine whether we really born a blank slate of personality is genetic.

    Whether your characters do or don't decide to remember is up to them and has to feel like it's their decision, but it could be an unsatisfactory, happily ever after, Walt Disney, type ending. If they decide not to remember, will they remember by accident a couple of years in the future? Not only that, but If your male character was a horrible person, then to become a good person, he's going to have to redeem himself. The worse he was, the further he'll have to go to prove himself. If he doesn't remember who he was, It doesn't exactly give him that. He'll be a good guy, but it may not feel like he's earned it. Part of redemption is paying for your sins. Knowing what you did was wrong and working to right them.
     

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