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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 09:14 pm (UTC)
I really, really like the suggestions about stress filled situations causing the disappearance of Jack Thunder. Are you sure you want to go with something outside of himself to control Jack Thunder?


What if the brain patterns are actually emitted by an implanted device and are not part of Bobby's own brain waves. Then when the tracking device is activated it interupts the frequency of the Jack Thunder implant. And poof...JT disappears.

Whoever implanted the device was unaware that Bobby would also be tracked or it just never occured to them that it would be a problem. You know, one department didn't communicate with the other.
Aug. 20th, 2009 09:21 pm (UTC)
Thanks for your input, Aaron :)

Trouble is, if I go with the stress trigger, I'll have a bunch of 'hang on, surely he was stressed when this happened, but Thunder didn't vanish then' type plot holes to work around, and I'd really like to avoid that :(

Sadly, any signal interference would have to be by fortunate (or unfortunate) coincidence.

Aug. 21st, 2009 03:15 am (UTC)

stress isn't linear. if your character is in a very tense situation, it may be less stressful than a somewhat less tense situation, but he also about to miss the deadline for a grant application and may find himself out of a job when the study he's working on is canceled, and he's already missed a date with his girlfriend who is threatening to break up with him.

assuming stress blocks reception to whatever (brain dump, implant, etc), some form of meditative state could improve reception. he could learn meditation as a starter, and then get some device later to help jump-start that state - biorhythmic stuff, electrical brain stimulation, sub-aural implant of waves crashing on the beach or an enya song...
Aug. 21st, 2009 01:46 pm (UTC)
'... get some device later to help jump-start that state - biorhythmic stuff, electrical brain stimulation...'

If I have to treat this as two seperate problems, I may well go down this route.

Thanks for the input :)
Aug. 20th, 2009 11:13 pm (UTC)
I like Aaron's idea. I was thinking of suggesting something along the lines of how cell phone networks have dead zones, but wasn't sure how to make it relevant. If you use Aaron's suggestion of an implanted device, that would explain why it sometimes when dead. Maybe adrenaline shorts it out or something?
Aug. 21st, 2009 01:52 pm (UTC)
It's a good idea, but an implant doesn't fit in with how Bobby ended up with the brain patterns.

Thanks, though :)

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