White Rabbit Syndrome

Black Razor

The Alpha Nerd
Dec 10, 2006
Does anybody think the "Follow the White Rabbit down the hole" idea is too overused. My novel is at its most basic a "Man Caught in the Middle" plot. My main character is a retired US Navy Master Chief who spent a career in special ops, Explosives Ordinance, SEALS, Computer Security.

I spent 4 years in the Navy and I really want to pull that into my story. Anyhow, HALO use the Master Chief thing, but use what you know I say....anyhow I am still using a tentative name, Jarik, retires after a 20 year career. This makes him 38 years old. Shortly after retiring he starts to notice things that just arent "right".

He starts to investigate and soon finds himself involved in something far more secret than anything he ever was involved with in the special forces. The Earth that we know isnt the only planet in our galaxy inhabitable. In fact Earth as we know it is sister planet. Just about every great empire to ever have rules on earth knew of this...the Mayans, Egyptians, Romans, Spaniards, etc.....

So....I need a way to drag him into the story. Is the White Rabbit thing overdone, or should I use it since it fits?
It has been used an awful lot, I grant. Still, it is one of the basic plotlines to bring someone from our world into such a scenario as required by either fantasy or science fiction (or a blending of both). Just be careful how you handle it; make it believable -- be realistic about the character's reactions to anything he comes across, don't make him too quick to buy into such a scenario, but without being in denial about his actual experience. Most people would be likely to look for a reasonable explanation but, as the evidence mounts, would be prone to doubt such an explanation as viable. This means, also, that you've got to carefully prepare the reader for such transitions, make them feel with your character the impact of each new discovery. Remember that, if you're dealing with someone from our reality, this isn't fiction, it's real, their thoughts, and their emotional responses, need to be real -- then they can also be more easily related to the reader as well.
Damn your good. :D Between you and crispncate I think I could have all my questions answered. Are you a published author?
Thank you.

No, at least not fiction (though I'm about to plunge out into that wilderness again soon, I think); only with some non-fiction pieces a very long time ago. However, I've had a lot of experience in getting it down over the years, and combine that with what I've learned by talking to and reading the thoughts of many different writers on the subject.

At any rate, best wishes on your work; hope to see some of it around....
Damn your good. :D Between you and crispncate I think I could have all my questions answered. Are you a published author?
Hey - just before I got to the above post I was thinking just the same. Well almost the same - my thoughts were "Just who are you j.d.? He's very good BR, isn't he. And Chris - although I've got Chris on the run at the moment with Knock Knock!!!!
Personally, I wouldn't use the specific 'white rabbit' analogy - at least not directly. The plot you mention is more 'through the looking glass' anyway ;) Just goes to show how good C.S. Lewis was now doesn't it...

As an aside, the 'White rabbit' theme seems to have come from European alchemical imagery. I don't know if it has earlier precedents, but certainly in the 17th/18th century there are multiple alchemical illustrations that show a rabbit/hare jumping into a hole at the bottom of the image. I'll try and chase up some examples as it's been awhile since I've seen them...C.S. Lewis was influenced greatly by alchemy so it isn't too surprising I guess.

But in relation to your story - do you need an analogy at all? You can have scenes where the man is brought into the revelation slowly, piece by piece, without having him follow some hallucinatory 'rabbit' ;) If you want that kind of effect, then mimic it - I have used in the past a panicked man who randomly approaches the protagonist for assistance because he can't trust anybody...He could tell your character something that is dismissed then, but once he has been told it he starts seeing examples of it, then later he hears that htis guy winded up at the bottom of a bridge etc. etc. There's your white rabbit plot done in human form :) Also, keep in mind that the 'am I hallucinating?' theme is also somewhat overdone, but that is because to think that way is human nature.

If you aren't referring to explicitly putting in a scene that references Alice, but are more interested in general themes, then I would say you have nothing to worry about. There is no greater human truth then the fact that the world that we see now is not the entirety of the world that is out there....this idea is built into absolutely EVERY story that I have ever read in one way or another.
If you want an interesting look into denial, and (given mounting evidence) eventual acceptance of the improbable; I'd suggest reading Faerie Tale by Raymond E Feist. I was quite impressed how he kept each of the characters seperate and believable in their reactions to the strange occurences, keeping their private and personal fears and concerns unique to the individuals.
Curiosity has different forms and effects on different people. Some create mental scenarios while others will investigate physically, or still others attempt to use word of mouth to piece together a theory.
Good luck with the assimilation of too much advice ;)
Lewis Carroll wrote the alice series. C.S. Lewis wrote narnia, please do not confuse the two writers. Any hoo this seems like an intresting plot but its a tiny bit confusing.
Haha! Thanks for pointing that out, shows you how long it's been since I've read either of the two! You know, I had a feeling that it was wrong but was too dang lazy to even look it up :p Hey, at least their names are similar!

Well....my points still stand! Just replace C.S. Lewis with Lewis Carroll and you're good to go :D

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