Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Chaos Lost

I saw an advert for some documentary about survivors of a terrorist take-over and I was instantly inspired. I thought I might like to challenge myself and write a thriller about a group of people who are taken hostage by terrorists.

I thought of the Chaos Theory or "butterfly effect" - a concept whereby everything may appear random, but in actuality, everything is predestined to happen. That's my (very basic) understanding of the theory anyhow.

So what if a bunch of characters who are (seemingly) completely unrelated find themselves in this bitch of a situation - hostages? Would make an interesting story methinks. Is everything predetermined, or do these character have free will - the slightest control over their own lives? If you assume everything is determined already - that fate will win out - then whatever you do makes no difference. If I just lie down and not move, eat, drink.....will I live? If I'm supposed to live today, then I will live. Something will happen to keep me alive. If fate exists then no matter what I do, my destiny is set.

So how will my characters get themselves into this situation? The answer - they won't. If it's predetermined, then no matter what they do, they will get caught up in the story. Only with certain knowledge of our fate can we avoid it - a contradiction in terms?

I also thought it might be interesting to think about who would survive this situation. Along the lines of fate, whoever dies was always going to die, no matter what. So what's the point of doing anything? I've decided that the characters must be together to survive. If any one of them didn't get caught up in the terrorist attack - and wasn't there to help the others - they would all die.

Now the name. I initially wanted to call it 'Chaos Theory', but alas that is taken. So after reading John Milton's Paradise Lost, I thought about Chaos Lost. What if the characters managed to destroy the Chaos Theory and seize control of their own lives? What if I just leave the message completely open and let the audience deduce their own interpretation? Might work, might not!

It's a confusing idea and in the very early stages. It will be a challenge for me to write it and will take a lot of planning. But with the Chaos Theory in mind, as well as the reliance on others, I think it could make for an interesting story.
Oh, and I might just through a guy called Calvin as a little nod to anyone who knows about the belief in predestination.

Does anyone have any opinions on this (shiny) idea?


Michelle Goode said...

So what exactly would happen in the story? Will the would-be hostages avoid the hostage situation somehow? A prediction by one of them? Will the presence of one particular person change the coursae of events? How would you show all this?

Most importantly, how will you distinguish this film as unique from others such as the Butterfly Effect? The main character in that one found a way to control his destiny and the destiny of others. How will your characters manage it?

Sounds absolutely friggin' awesome though! Exactly the kind of film I love. Kind of a psychological/philosophical thriller!

Neil said...

Haha, glad it sounds good. I have no idea how it will work, but I've got the theme. I'll have to put a lot of thinking into it before I start writing. Really need to make it original and tense!

I've got a few character ideas kicking about for it, that's all at the mo.