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  #1    
Old May 26th, 2010 (07:35 PM).
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Strawbearry_PANDA Strawbearry_PANDA is offline
 
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Right, so sorry to bother you all again but I have a story I've been working on for about 4 years and I put it off for some time because I was having hassles with brainstorming. I'd like to turn to fellow writers for their opinion and ideas if they're willing to help.

So a brother and a sister are criminals because they had a very messed up childhood. They are things of a more mature content both sexually and physically (like abuse), so I will not drag those in. Long part short, it left scars on them and messed up their minds, so they do crimes out of anger and so on. They finally get caught by the police and they see their father, which they've not seen since childhood (you can probably see where that's going.) And he's like a therapist. Pretty much, he fakes papers saying that they are mentally ill and the kids retaliate by saying they were going to move out of the country, and it was already planned. Then, the father suggests that they get put in a place where they were going to move to, which is Russia. So the judge decides to put them in an asylum in Russia. All I have after that is (very vague, which is why I've come to you) they find out that the owner of the asylum is killing off all the kids because he has a hatred for the mentally ill. They try to find a way to get out of this, and this is one story where I'd like to stick to reality, and not give the 'happy ending' in the very end the kids get killed, but that's not the point. What I need your help with is developing branches, and more of a plot. I know people say see where it goes, but I like to plan the rough out before I write and I have the beginning and end to it but I need to know how to get from point A to point B. So, I'll throw some ideas that I had out, and if you have anything you'd like to suggest, please do.

If some of these repeat what I said above, it's cause I was writing the options out, just to see what the outcomes would be and if they run along similar paths then I could piece it together. But here.

Having the father fake medical papers, and then the kids deny being insane, but show symptoms and then later they accept reality.

Having the father know the asylum owner, and throwing the kids in the asylum because he knows what kind of practices the owner does.

Staging the story during a war, so maybe effects going on in the country and such affects the asylum, such as maybe more people being admitted, or lack of resources, or perhaps the asylum owner has a link to the war, and takes his anger out on the patients.

Having someone report the asylum for unethical practices, causing the owner to act out of anger and desperation, killing the rest of the kids off. Perhaps the kids' mother, so the owner holds a grudge against the kids.

Having the truth kept from the kids, and on their dying day, he comes to watch their execution. Perhaps he tells them what he had done, how he'd wanted them to go to this specific asylum because he knew they'd be killed off.

Having the kids start to go insane, having hallucinations allowing them to go around the asylum and witness what the owner is doing to the kids, and find out why they're disappearing. That way, they could tell their mother during visitation, and she could report the asylum and have it undergo investigation.

Have the brother make some enemies in the asylum, so that way he goes after them and gets into even more trouble, getting on the owner's bad side.

I'd like more help and ideas, perhaps some advice. I'm not too worried about critiquing right now seeing as how my story is a sloppy draft from the depths of hell. XD So feel free to reply.
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Old May 27th, 2010 (02:23 AM).
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There are some problems I can see with this draft so far.

1) Asylums like that would generally be owned by the state, unless this story happens in a historical era. Moreover, the director of the asylum wouldn't likely be that much in touch with the patients, as their job is mainly to manage the place and do all the paperwork and such. How about having a head doctor be the insane killer instead? He could have gone nuts after years and years of therapy sessions with delusional, abused, hallucinating people with horrible stories to tell him. As a result, he wants them all to shut up and never tell him or anyone else anything ever again, and that combined with how he's lost hope in curing them could be what causes the killing. Just throwing ideas out there.

2) I find the reason you have for moving the story into Russia a bit shaky. Maybe the kids' mother could be Russian, which is why they were going to go there? I don't think much any country takes people in just to put them in an asylum. Maybe the kids are Russian by nationality and were just living somewhere else, and that's why they were sent to Russia?

3) The court wouldn't make someone's relative evaluate their psychological state. If you want the dad to forge the papers, you have to come up with an explanation as to how the police didn't know he was the kids' father.

4) Why does this take place in Russia? When and where does this take place there? How will you make it apparent that it's happening in Russia? How will being Russian be visible in the asylum? This is not a problem per se, but it's something you need to consider to not make the scene change to Russia seem shaky and unnecessary.

5) You will need to have a motive for the dad to do all that. If he's a psychologist for the police, he can't be just "crazy", because they would notice it. So, seeing as he's probably mostly sane, he needs a really good reason for wanting to treat his own children like that. Like, maybe he knows they're not his biological children at all, and the kids made him go through a rough time when they were really small, which is why he developed a grudge and went slightly insane. That's not a good enough motive to warrant all that, not unless he's also a psychopath or something. Anyway, you need to carefully consider his reasons for being the ultimate antagonist of the story. All antagonists need a very good motive or they lose their credibility.

Other things I noticed... Is the asylum only for children? How old are the main characters? Do they speak Russian? Why did their mother not save or help them? What is the war about, and what countries are involved? Just some things that need to be thought out ^-^ For all I know, you have thought about those things, but you didn't mention them so I can't tell.

This sounds like an interesting idea, but it will be very challenging to make happen. Insanity is generally very hard to write, and now you have a whole cast of people on various levels of insane. So, it will really be a challenge, but if you're prepared to do that, I would be interested in seeing this story be written. A protip for writing insane people: you can go to Wikipedia and read the descriptions of whatever mental illness you imagine they'd have, and then stick to the symptoms mentioned there. That brings some credibility to the illness, makes it more defined, and makes the writing a bit easier. ^-^ I hope you can sort out any problem points in the plot!
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  #3    
Old May 27th, 2010 (04:51 AM).
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Haha, sorry An-Chan, I have a habit of writing when I'm tired, so I will clear things up to the best of my ability.

1) Asylums like that would generally be owned by the state, unless this story happens in a historical era. Moreover, the director of the asylum wouldn't likely be that much in touch with the patients, as their job is mainly to manage the place and do all the paperwork and such. How about having a head doctor be the insane killer instead? He could have gone nuts after years and years of therapy sessions with delusional, abused, hallucinating people with horrible stories to tell him. As a result, he wants them all to shut up and never tell him or anyone else anything ever again, and that combined with how he's lost hope in curing them could be what causes the killing. Just throwing ideas out there.

Yes, actually I was going to put it in a historical era. I know that asylums are pretty much illegal now and the state/countries are very....uptight, I'll say, about seeing the progress of their mental institutes. As for the doctor, I actually was thinking of doing something last night with it, but I'm not sure. I know I wanted to make him have some sort of motives. I was thinking about maybe putting it in a war, so he lost one of his kids and went insane, or maybe having him have a hatred for kids. I actually very much like your ideas for that, An-Chan. Perhaps if I put that in, the kids trying to tell him about their problems and that's what triggers the killing.


2) I find the reason you have for moving the story into Russia a bit shaky. Maybe the kids' mother could be Russian, which is why they were going to go there? I don't think much any country takes people in just to put them in an asylum. Maybe the kids are Russian by nationality and were just living somewhere else, and that's why they were sent to Russia?


Yeah, I've been needing more of a reason. For one, I just think having one in the States wouldn't have the same atmosphere as it could have in a less populated country. Also one that can be affected by change easily. But the whole reason they're going there is near dire in the story, however unsteady the reason is at this point. I suppose I need to steady it out more. No, not suppose, I NEED to. Perhaps they wanted some sort of visitation with family, so it made more sense to go there. It's kind of funny, I've not thought about that, but I was born in Novosibirsk, Russia, and moved to the states. XD And now I was thinking of going back. Ah well. Perhaps in that area I could apply more of myself.

3) The court wouldn't make someone's relative evaluate their psychological state. If you want the dad to forge the papers, you have to come up with an explanation as to how the police didn't know he was the kids' father.

I wasn't going to have them know it was him. After the brother and sister's childhood, he got a completely new identity. Even still, perhaps I can add the bit about being Russian and he moved to the States or something and somehow got away with getting rid of his former identity and ties to people. Another thing, is the time setting, perhaps at that point they didn't much care who did it, if it was on record and such, then they believed it. I know things nowadays are very carefully looked at, and back then it was somewhat sloppier. Not using it as an excuse, but even then, it'd be easier to have him get away with it.



4) Why does this take place in Russia? When and where does this take place there? How will you make it apparent that it's happening in Russia? How will being Russian be visible in the asylum? This is not a problem per se, but it's something you need to consider to not make the scene change to Russia seem shaky and unnecessary.


For one thing, I would like to add more to this and maybe show a bit of war going on and how patients could have been suffering. Secondly,it is a place I know more about than the states, seeing as how I grew up there. I don't know everything, of course, but it was more familiar. I have not decided on a timeline until I can be sure that it's a believable period in time. Then again, with the beauty of fiction I could always make events up but I think I'd get bad reviews, using a real place with fake history.... More than anything it seems more believable because Russia was a more uncaring, unclean place when it came to things like this from what I remember. It's a good setting I'm looking for, and if I put it in a time where the country was suffering, I think it could enhance the pressure put on the patients.

5) You will need to have a motive for the dad to do all that. If he's a psychologist for the police, he can't be just "crazy", because they would notice it. So, seeing as he's probably mostly sane, he needs a really good reason for wanting to treat his own children like that. Like, maybe he knows they're not his biological children at all, and the kids made him go through a rough time when they were really small, which is why he developed a grudge and went slightly insane. That's not a good enough motive to warrant all that, not unless he's also a psychopath or something. Anyway, you need to carefully consider his reasons for being the ultimate antagonist of the story. All antagonists need a very good motive or they lose their credibility.


No, he had a messed up past and was a drinker and a failure for a long time. It led to him getting a divorce with the main character's mother, and getting booted out of the house. It made things worse for him and the reason she gives him is because "it will affect the children to see you like this." So he started to dislike the kids, and whenever they'd go to see him (because of the divorce visitation) he'd be angry and beat them, and so on. The abuse led to the kids becoming a bit mind-warped growing up, and when he found out they were doing crimes and things, it angered him even further. So, hating the children, that was his motive. He personally felt like they ruined his life, even if they didn't.

Other things I noticed... Is the asylum only for children? How old are the main characters? Do they speak Russian? Why did their mother not save or help them? What is the war about, and what countries are involved? Just some things that need to be thought out ^-^ For all I know, you have thought about those things, but you didn't mention them so I can't tell.

And I shall happily answer to the best of my ability, my dear. The asylum is for kids and adults alike. My characters are referred to by myself as kids but they are actually between 18-20. They do indeed speak Russian, but finding as I was only there for six years of my life, the only part of the language I learned was the cyrillic alphabet, so sadly I don't think I'd be able to produce this in Russian. DX Their mother was very scared whenever their father was around, and I wanted to give her some serious conflict because she is so....passive, I guess. Perhaps toward the end of the story, she has her 'shining moment' and does something shocking, standing up and DOING something. Perhaps have her report the asylum for unethical practices, or such. I am not sure exactly, war-wise. I wanted to have it at a time where Russia could be staggering and the people are going through a struggle. Where it looks like they are going to lose the war. I want to have the brother and sister in for at least three years, so timeskips are probably going to be put in. Anyway, yeah. If you have anymore questions, I'll happily provide as best I can. And thank you, you have indeed helped me! ^w^ I appreciate it.

This sounds like an interesting idea, but it will be very challenging to make happen. Insanity is generally very hard to write, and now you have a whole cast of people on various levels of insane. So, it will really be a challenge, but if you're prepared to do that, I would be interested in seeing this story be written. A protip for writing insane people: you can go to Wikipedia and read the descriptions of whatever mental illness you imagine they'd have, and then stick to the symptoms mentioned there. That brings some credibility to the illness, makes it more defined, and makes the writing a bit easier. ^-^ I hope you can sort out any problem points in the plot!

Well, it may sound odd, but I have a mental disorder, and it's sort of an inspiration to write. XD;; It sounds odd but... I have schizophrenia and have been to a mental institute about six times now, and I think more than anything, aside from my own tastes in writing, it is a motivator to write about the subject, though I know mine is far more cruel. I don't want to write something that people will love. I want to write something that the eyes will widen at, and only a few people will enjoy it. As odd as that sounds. XD My stuff tends to be eccentric, so I just embrace it at this point. I don't mind how many people read it, but rather that the people who read it enjoyed it or were surprised but somewhat enticed I guess. I do thank you still, you've been a great help~
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