1. KMalari

    KMalari New Member

    Mar 18, 2020
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    Help Me Develop My Adventure Plot

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by KMalari, Mar 18, 2020.

    Two characters with severe mental disorders find out their institution is doing some shady things and have to escape. But they must secretly uncover the mystery to save their friends. Where do they go to get clues and how do the clues help them uncover the mystery?
  2. peachalulu

    peachalulu Member Reviewer Contributor

    May 20, 2012
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    occasionally Oz , mainly Canada
    First decide on the location -- is it an old fashioned place with courtyards, gloomy basements, staff that lives on the grounds or more high tech and new fashioned, who are the characters -- suspicious doctors, spies disguised as would-be patients, sinister nurses, a creepy groundskeeper ...
    For me the clearer you can make the set and the characters the more options you have to make the clues. If there's a basement where the files are kept, if there are staff apartments on the grounds, if they can overhear discussions through old duct work ... or snatch someone's phone, or inspect the hole the creepy groundskeeper has just filled in.
  3. Kalisto

    Kalisto Senior Member

    Jun 23, 2015
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    That depends. Are they reliable or unreliable?
  4. Cdn Writer

    Cdn Writer Contributor Contributor

    Aug 11, 2019
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    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, North America
    Currently Reading::
    TRYING (!!!) to read Eric Flint's "Ring of Fire" series.......it's soooo many books!!!!!
    *EDIT: I re-read what you wrote. I'm talking about a completely different population group. Sigh. Below's for info purposes, ignore what doesn't work for your story.*

    I worked in group homes and day programs supporting individuals with severe developmental disabilities. The majority of the individuals I supported would not have been capable of what you are proposing.

    People I supported were not toilet trained and would soil their clothing, smear feces all over in an attempt to clean and in some cases, would eat the feces including from other people.

    Individuals were not able to feed themselves nor make healthy choices - donut or Apple? DONUT!!!! Pop or milk? POP!!!!! Etc.

    Unfortunately there were a lot of situations where individuals were so demanding and staff so limited that minor issues such as not brushing teeth regularly led to the loss of all teeth years later.

    And then there were the behavioural challenges. Two of the sweetest, most innocent looking women I supported were the most vicious in attacking staff and their peers right out of the blue. Biting, choking, scratching, hitting, kicking, throwing furniture like chairs or board games, books, etc. I had one individual who overturned a table when he was upset and it hit another client who used a wheelchair that was at the same table.

    Then, my favourite was the guy that used a power wheelchair and when he was mad would try and run people over! This wheelchair was HEAVY, people were getting hurt. The staff wanted to switch him to a manual wheelchair but the organization said "No." Because they wanted him to keep his independence. Duh.....I think they ended up having huge amount of turn over.....not really a surprise to me....

    Anyways........I know too much about this field. I don't see what you're suggesting plot wise being possible with this population.

    I can see it working with prisoners in a jail/prison, possibly a mental health facility with high functioning patients, and possibly a lab were clones are manufactured.....?
    peachalulu likes this.
  5. Damage718

    Damage718 Senior Member

    May 20, 2019
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    Joliet, IL
    The premise also opens up a potential for a sub-plot, where the characters aren't sure what's real or not...who they can trust, how things can be done, etc. etc.

    Perhaps they only realize the clues that lead to the 'shady business' are realized during their moments of total clarity. But then, since they are mental patients, nobody trusts or believes them.
    KMalari likes this.
  6. TheWriterValiant

    TheWriterValiant Banned

    Mar 19, 2020
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    Western United States
    Depending on the time you choose finding clues will be made easier or harder. If it's more modern your characters will have a lot harder time going anywhere because staff will always be around, but if it's older, people will just assume they are completely stupid and talk openly around them.

    My advice is to pick your setting and the disorders you plan to use. Then to do all the research you possibly can, I my experience you can't over research anything. You might never tell your reader some of what you learn, but it will come in useful nine times out of ten.

    Hope this story works out for you, you have gotten me interested at the least, and good luck.
  7. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

    Jul 7, 2016
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    Won't it be important that they receive or obtain adequate treatment. I think that's an important thing to address while creating your characters with severe mental disorders. It's not a question of just escaping. Escaping might not even be what's best or possible. If they are stable and medicated is that something that allows them to solve mysteries? If you want this to work, I would keep the level of patient care at a good level and make the shady things separate. Like there could be some financial scam, but the doctors and nurses aren't in on it. However, if your characters stay on the inside, maybe a doctor or nurse or other people will help provide clues.

    I think this is going to be difficult. People with severe mental disorders who live in institutions are often there for a reason. It could be dangerous for someone like that to escape. And you have to think about their perception of danger and what is shady. And it sounds great to have them save their friends, but if you are talking about more people with mental disorders it might take a lot more to save their friends.

    I'm just saying I think you really need to think about the world you're setting your story in and your characters as real people who need extensive care.

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