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Thanks for all the helpful plot hole-filling tips you all gave me last week. I've given it a lot of thought since then and I've decided I may be too close to the problem to be sure of the solution. 


If you have a minute, I’d appreciate your opinion.


Here’s the deal. For reasons I won’t bore you with right now, my main character in Waking up Jack Thunder is a shy scientist named Bobby Newton, who gets the brain patterns of a comatose CIA agent, Jack Thunder, stuck inside his head. 


Through no fault of his own, he’s forced to go on the run from both the CIA and an international drug lord. His only help comes from Thunder himself, who appears at his side in the form of a cantankerous, ghostly apparition, created by Bobby’s sub-conscious. Something which only Bobby can see and hear.


Part way through the first draft, I realized it would be a lot more fun if Thunder’s helpful holograph was to disappear sometimes - especially when Bobby found himself in a truly desperate situation.


From a story point of view, I’m delighted with the results, but I need a plausible reason for Thunder’s intermittent disappearances, the final one lasting almost an entire day. I thought I had it sorted, but I’m not sure it isn’t an oval shaped peg for a round hole. 


My current explanation is that the CIA stuck an organic gps device in Bobby’s arm (he unwittingly signed papers agreeing to this). It’s powered by the tiny electrical current human bodies generate, but only becomes active when a particular signal frequency is broadcast. 


Whenever the tracking frequency is broadcast, it ‘blocks’ the Thunder signal. 


This would also prove useful in the sequel, when I want Bobby to have control over Thunder’s appearances by way of a remote control.


Bearing in mind the story revolves around Bobby sharing his head with the brain patterns of a comatose secret agent, does the gps explanation sound plausible or is it too silly?


If you don't think it flies, do you have any thoughts on how I can have Thunder’s holograph disappear in (most) of the high-stress situations poor Bobby finds himself in?


Any and all suggestions are welcomed. 


Thanks in advance for your help. 

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Aug. 20th, 2009 02:17 pm (UTC)
Interesting idea. Sounds like QUANTUM LEAP meets CHUCK. I am not that great at science (doesn't stop me from writing science fiction) but this sounds like a radio question. You have this phrase:

"only becomes active when a particular signal frequency is broadcast"

so, if this is how the CIA tries to track him, wouldn't they broadcast that signal all the time? Or are you saying that it's broadcast all the time, but it's only when he gets in range that they can track him? I do think you need to establish what is meant by "broadcast"-- radio waves, cell phone signals, what.

Aug. 20th, 2009 02:46 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the input :)

My thinking was that a tracking device would be more useful (and less detectable by an enemy) if it only 'broadcast' when you wanted it to, as opposed to a regular gps, which broadcasts all the time.

The explanation for Thunder's intermittent disappearances has ended up as an info dump in the last chapter, which is why I'm trying to simplify it. If I can explain things in a couple of sentences, all the better.

Things What I Wrote and Other Stuff

No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there

No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there



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