|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?