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  1. Peper Shaker

    Peper Shaker Member

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    From sane to insane

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Peper Shaker, Nov 19, 2016.

    On a rut!

    My MC is struggling to make sense of what's real and what's not. For the reader it can be both, depending if the reader has a more scientific based thinking or not, and I'm intending it to be that way.

    My struggle comes with this: She's developing thought broadcasting (belief in telepathy) right now. Should I just give her a full blown episode, or ease into it along the chapters until full blown schizophrenia?
    I can't seem to make up my mind, I've written drafts both ways and it sounds good either way, so I'm leaving the question here. What would you prefer to read?

    I've done my research and it can happen both ways, abrupt episodes or slow progressions.
     
  2. TheWriteWitch

    TheWriteWitch Active Member

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    If you want to let the reader decide, then I think you should ease into it. Let the readers argue with themselves about what is happening. It will also give them more sympathy for your MC as they experience it alongside her.

    Does your MC know she has a problem? She must know she's going into uncharted territory - is she cautious or diving in? I can see the argument for her to dive in headlong and have a full blown episode, but that might be too confusing for the reader. How are you going to show the readers that she is developing thought broadcasting?

    Very interesting idea. Good luck!
     
  3. Peper Shaker

    Peper Shaker Member

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    Thank you :) Yes, I'm leaning that way too. I'm thinking a bit of both actually, my favorite draft is the one where she starts having the first symptom in the first chapter, and immediately goes to a psychiatrist that tells her it's the weed she's smoking. She stops smoking weed, but her thought disorder begins and she can't really question her thoughts anymore by the third chapter, as she did in the previous two. Do you think it's too abrupt, or should I ease in more?
     
  4. TheWriteWitch

    TheWriteWitch Active Member

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    Having the problem surface in the first chapter works really well, and I like that you followed it up with your MC's immediate attempt at a solution. The plot really moves when the first solution makes things much, much worse. Including more symptoms during her 'dry-out' phase would definitely make her question her thoughts.

    I'd need to read it in action to know if it was too abrupt. From what you've said, I think your character is reacting like many people would and that will carry the reader along no matter how fast the plot starts moving.
     
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  5. Peper Shaker

    Peper Shaker Member

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    Thank you very much for your input @TheWriteWitch , I appreciate it.

    I think I will keep going with that draft then, and see where I end up.
     
    TheWriteWitch likes this.
  6. Denegroth

    Denegroth Banned

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    There's an adage: Crazy people don't know they're crazy. That's what makes them crazy. I'm not sure what the coupling of telepathy (something that's clearly defined, though not proved to exist) and schizophrenia (a disorder which raises more questions than have been answered thus far by psychiatry as a science) is intended to accomplish.

    Empaths are alleged to have the ability from birth, setting them apart from "the other children". It is then supposed to develop more acutely with age, use and acquisition of wisdom. Throwing a schizoid into this is...contradictory on the face of it. Telepaths are alleged to not question the reality or validity of their practices. And, not many schizoids know what they're seeing isn't there. This occurs with intervention - they are told they're crazy, then they know.

    So....
     
  7. Peper Shaker

    Peper Shaker Member

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    I don't know what to tell you, but no, "crazy people" sometimes know they're not alright.
    Most of the times, people with schizophrenia know something is wrong with them in the beggining. Many choose to ignore, some choose to treat immediately, it depends on the amount of information they have on the subject and the relationship with the medical system they're in.

    But thank you for your input, you did give me something to work with.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2016
  8. Denegroth

    Denegroth Banned

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    We shall have to agree to disagree. And, you're welcome.
     
  9. Mumble Bee

    Mumble Bee Keep writing. Contributor

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    Sounds like what you want is an unreliable narrator.

    You have to have a character who the reader thinks of as reasonable. This person then needs to hear the voices and struggle between, "I'm hearing voices, thus I'm insane" and "reality with voices makes sense, society is wrong."

    The trick is to keep the reader guessing is telepathy real or not in your book.
     
  10. Peper Shaker

    Peper Shaker Member

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    Yes! :) That's exactly what I'm doing. She already struggled with the idea of "normalcy" in society, it's something I will dig deeper in to as the plot moves along.
     
  11. Mumble Bee

    Mumble Bee Keep writing. Contributor

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    Just reread your first post and realized I missed your question entirely... my bad.

    So you're trying to decide between a slow descent and a sudden plunge? Both have ups and downs (not sure if that puns intended or not).
    A slow descent would mean your main conflict, going insane, is stretched out over the length of the book. Without other subplots going on, this can get a bit tedious, where the reader is just waiting chapter after chapter for it to finally happen. Sort of like watching a fraying rope, holding up a piano over a litter of puppies, fray strand by strand. By the end, your less enjoying the spectacle and more just wishing it would happen already.

    A sudden full blown episode is much more direct, but once that conflict has reached its conclusion, where does the story go? Is this still a story about becoming crazy, or is it a story about that and what happens afterwards?
     
  12. Peper Shaker

    Peper Shaker Member

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    I've decided to go with the full blown version, something that spans over the course of the first four chapters dedicated to her.

    That's exactly where my internal conflict resided, wether to give it just the perspective of the lunacy of it, or to give it a more tied up ending with a resolution and the return to sanity, to a new normal.
    For now, I'm inclined to go with the latter, but as we know, things can change, so we'll see. Thank you again.
     
    Mumble Bee likes this.
  13. Rani99

    Rani99 Member

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    You probably made a good choice to go with the full blown version, because there are already too many stories with " easing into it along the chapters until full blown schizophrenia". It would be interesting to read something from her perspective of view. Nice idea, I like it.
     
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  14. Peper Shaker

    Peper Shaker Member

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    Thank you :)
     

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