Friday, 18 November 2011

Conspiracy versus Madness...

Who 's out to get you? Are we all hiding yet?
Conspiracy Theory or Paranoia Gone Mad…
“ Whenever God prepares evil for a man, he first damages his mind, with which he deliberates”, (Anonymous)
So – have the lunatics taken over the asylum or are we all simply paranoid?
This, of course has been the fascinating subject matter of many a good novel and/or film. My all time favourite was ‘One flew over the cuckoo’s nest’.
When it works well, I think this type of tale is pretty clever as the reader is never quite sure what is happening or even who is the goody or who is the baddy.  I suppose this is the ultimate ‘twist in the tale’ story. Indeed, I have been toying with an idea of this kind for my next book.
The main character who thinks certain people are out to get him even though those people appear to be doing everything in their power to help and assist him, is often the hapless victim who everyone thinks is paranoid. He faces an uphill battle (often against the perceived powers of the establishment) and can be the architect of his own downfall if no one believes him. He trusts no one and the reader is carried along by his inability to see the world as a half-decent place. The antagonist (or baddy) is often the kind of person who, by the very nature of their job or calling, is someone all reasonable people would trust but who, in reality, is the villain  and the so-called ‘paranoid’ character is finally proved right!
Of course, if this simple plot idea is applied to whole organisations or even to world politics then you have the makings of a pretty good conspiracy thriller. Enter James Bond and countless other spy stories...
So, do you use this kind of double jeopardy in your stories?


  1. Yes I do, I love wicked twists - leading the reader in one direction, and then throwing in the 'ta-da' moment. The trick is to make them think a certain way, without actually telling them...

    By the way, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is one of my all time favourites!

  2. I haven't used this so far, but I do love the premise of it. I love those stories where you can't quite work out who is who and why each of them are doing what they do. A great read and one worth writing if you're thinking about it. I love them.

  3. Hmm, it all sounds way too complex for me. I'd get myself tied up in circles, I'm sure!

  4. I haven't! I love it, though, but I bet it's so hard to pull off! And there's something kind of similar to that in the plans for my next book. We'll see if I can do it. :)

  5. Thanks for the comments, folks. I do agree it is hard to get it right but fun to try!

  6. Here's where I just found the very best e-book Conspiracy Thriller you probably never heard of. Yet...