Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

12

Unless your hero's enemies are all intensely stupid, he and his companions will be totally unarmed, and will have been carefully searched for anything valuable. Really, unless your goblins are nobler than those in most stories, readers will expect goblins to take everything from their captives. Your hero can't pull a lockpick or a poisoned pin from the ...


7

I suggest you search Google Scholar for scientific publications on the matter. For example, Porter, Birt, Yuille and Hervé (2001) list several publications that report real cases of perpetrators forgetting that they committed homicide or other extreme violence. This is the abstact for that paper: Mental health professionals and legal decision-makers ...


6

Off the top of my head, solmnambulation and memory-impairing drugs are probably the easiest and most probable. Human memory is somewhat frail. In real life this generally impacts the accuracy and availability of memories, but yes, under the right circumstances people can fail to remember having done something. Many things affect memory, and with a little ...


6

What strengths does he have? What weaknesses do they have? Especially, hidden, non-obvious, difficult to trigger. That's all up to you, foreshadowing given strengths and weaknesses, and letting them shine when the time comes. There are countless. What weaknesses can be exploited? Gambling? Ambition? Greed? Gluttony? Stupidity? Arrogance? What strengths can ...


5

Possible routes to escape (they can be combined): Luck - the captors make a mistake, or something completely unexpected happens that the hero can exploit. Preparation - the hero, knowing that capture was possible or imminent, prepared something (a tool, spell or ally) that would help him escape. Knowledge - the hero knows what the captors want, need or ...


4

I think the confusion around this example is because the problem is going to happen no matter what Ralph does, so his actions won't change anything. He will have to face living alone whether he writes the will or not. Having not read the book, I can only guess that the author is trying to draw a line between things which can be changed and things which ...


3

In my experience, chapter length does not matter. Your book may look more 'impressive' or 'official' with long chapters, but are they necessary to the book itself? No. As long as the first chapter does what the first chapter is supposed to do (be that introducing the protagonist, setting the scene, introducing the conflict, etc.), it doesn't matter if it is ...


3

Is your story based in the present day? You mentioned Poirot which is of course based during WWII. If your story based in the past as well, you could maybe work medicine into this, specifically medical practices which used to be valid and have since been discredited as harmful. Maybe your character thinks they are helping the victim by providing a certain ...


3

I might suggest the idea of fugue states. While more commonly caused by drug or alcohol abuse, they can also be caused by epileptic seizures. My father experienced Grand mal seizures and if he had a seizure while no one else was around, was sometimes found later with no memory of the seizure or the time before or after it. Later in life, when he was on a ...


3

Some bacterial/viral diseases have been known to affect the formation of new memories (see the famous case study of Clive Wearing). Perhaps a character is yet unaware of their diagnosis, and things in their life start "slipping through the cracks". Lack of attention promptly after an event can also interfere with the formation of memory. Perhaps ...


2

What you're forgetting, and no one seems to be mentioning, is that you are the AUTHOR. You CAN and SHOULD go back, rewrite a section so that he can pull a rabbit, pixie, lockpick, magic spell, etc. from his ass, so that he can save the day (or his ass) in this situation. Go back several chapters. Reveal that he has been studying the forbidden and damned ...


2

He'll have been carefully searched, sure, but that might not be enough to find everything. And a good idea when hiding something, is never do - always hide two things, because when one gets found, they usually stop looking. A character of mine (with a reputation for low cunning, but not exactly intelligence) was captured. Before leaving, his captor gloated ...


2

Plot of Angel Heart, he was effectively reborn when he sold his soul or He commits the murder by accident, e.g. he wonders what a switch does, flicks it nothing happens. That causes someone to be electrocuted outside (but with a few layers of indirection) Time travel, he hasn't killed him yet Something dangerous laying around that without thinking he ...


2

You say that making the character drunk wouldn't work because there'd be evidence, e.g. a hangover. But so what? If someone woke up with a hangover, he'd know he'd been drunk, maybe he'd realize that he didn't remember anything he did the night before, but it would be quite a leap from "I was so drunk I don't remember what I did last night" to "I must have ...


2

Let your character be a greedy, busy bounty hunter. He does everything as long as it is well paid. Murder, surveillance, investigation. All for money. He does not really cares about who he kills and who he helps. The guy deserves to end up inquiring into one of his own old murdering contracts!


2

In my experience, and from research into other's writing and professional opinions, the length or lack there of does not matter. Only you can know when your chapter is officially over. If you feel you have accomplished what you intended when you wrote that first chapter, than it is a success. If you feel it is lacking, than it probably is. Reread it and see ...


2

Sleepwalking, as many have mentioned, is one way to pull this off. I also don't see why a night of heavy drinking is out of the question. So they woke up with a heavy hangover and their shoes missing (or something) one morning--so what? Especially if the character has a history of heavy drinking, this won't seem out of the ordinary. But there's another ...


2

“If once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think little of robbing; and from robbing he comes next to drinking and Sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and procrastination. Once begun upon this downward path, you never know where you are to stop. Many a man has dated his ruin from some murder or other that perhaps he thought ...


2

Situation is expected. Twist is unexpected. As always, the difference is blurred; you can set up a twist, foreshadow it, build up to it, and smart readers will foresee it, so for them it will be more of situation. But unforseen situation is a twist, something that changes the game. Forseen twist is a situation, something inevitable. Both can create a ...


1

Your terminology is fine, and I think either way might work depending on your story. The idea that we're left wondering if a character is alive may be quite deliberate on the author's part. Whether the reader is frustrated or writhing in suspense is, again, dependent on the story. I don't object to the idea of making the reader work a bit at remembering ...


1

Total Recall They simply have a machine that does "memory implants" and "memory wipes." Based on Philip K. Dick's short story "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale." Slight spoiler, mostly from Wikipedia: Worse spoiler, from me:


1

Protein synthesis is required for memory consolidation, so you can use protein synthesis inhibitor to block formation of long term memories in theory. See Gold. Protein synthesis inhibition and memory: formation vs amnesia (2008) for example.


1

Going at a slight tangent, Derren Brown once convinces a man that he committed a murder (which he did not), and forgot about it. The episode is called "The Guilt Trip" from the series "The Experiments". He does this through conditioning and triggers to invoke a feeling of guilt. Everyone around him are actors and he uses them to start messing with his ...


1

I believe this is part of the plot of the movie (spoiler below) although I'm going on the Wikipedia summary, as I've never seen it. I've read at least one sci-fi short story (dystopian future) where criminals went to a black market memory wiper and had their memories erased. The criminal became a different person; that "person" isn't the one who ...


1

Another possibility that has not yet been mentioned is magic that works differently on humans and goblins. For example, the hero could have worn an amulet that offers some magic protection for humans, but has a very bad effect on any goblin wearing it. Of course the goblins would have stolen that amulet, but not knowing about its special properties, some ...


1

Another route you could take with the story is for your hero to use trickery on one of his captors. for example: Hero shows a few gold coins to a guard. Guard reaches his arm through the bar to get them. Hero grabs guards arm and pulls. The guards head hits the iron bars and renders him unconscious. Hero grabs guards keys. Freedom. Another great escape ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible