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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 02:25 pm (UTC)
My initial thought is the 'fight or flight' scenario...

...if you witness people in an emergency, they shut down all of their 'masks', as it were - all the editing that goes on in day to day life, in creating their persona that everyone sees. Put them in an emergency, and all of that editing skill goes away, and you see the true person. (See the teachings of Shan-Yu that Niska talks about in 'War Stories' in Firefly...I'm fairly sure you mentioned being a fellow browncoat, so that's a cultural reference I feel safe in making!)

Could it be that the parts of the brain that allow him to register this 'holographic' version of Jack shut down while he's in fight or flight mode, and only resurfaces when he's in a less stressful situation?
Aug. 20th, 2009 02:52 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestion :)

I'd toyed with the idea of stress somehow affecting Bobby's sub-conscious and blocking the signal, but I'd really like to have a way for him to end up with a way to switch Thunder off at will at the end of the first book.

PS: Niska = one of the best bad guys ever :)

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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