May 1st, 2007

Outline Software?

I'm beginning an original story(ies), after having written exclusively in fanfiction for the past 4 years.

My question is this - do any of you use novel writing software, and if so, what do you prefer? [Free is good, too!]

I've only used oulines in a limited way, but I think I'd better use some sort for this original, if I don't want it to run as long as War & Peace, or, for example, my current 600,000+ word story. LOL

Thanks!

ER procedures gunshot wound

Setting: slightly futuristic (about 15 years from now) in the EU, most likely England, but everything helps.

Searches done: googled different combinations of "emergency room questions asked", "UK emergency room procedures" and "foreign patients ER", read the wiki article and searched the community for earlier posts.

Problem:

1) A 20 year old boy arrives at the ER with a four days old gunshot wound to his leg. It is infected, and he's got a high fever. Because he is on drugs (oral administration of heroin to help with the pain) he is pretty "out there" and can't communicate. What would the prioritation of the damage be? Would he get help fast, or have to wait long?

2) How long before they can operate on him? A part of the tibia is chipped off by the bullet, and there is muscle damage, but he was lucky enough not to have any major veins or arteries torn, nor serious damage to the ligament.

2) He is a foreigner. What problems would this give him at arrival? He's got health insurance, but has no identification on him. His face has been on the front of the newspapers the last few days. Would that be enough to give him treatment?

3) His sister is with him. Since he is in no state to answer for himself, I assume she will be asked about his helth by the triage nurse. What kinds of questions should she expect?

Small Newspaper Writer Reviewing a Book

I'm trying to write a story for MayNoWriMo and have ideas for a story but there's one thing that is keeping me from progressing.

The main character (Brooke) is an employee at a small local newspaper* and her latest assignment is to write a book review. The book was written by a guy who grew up in the town (Russell) and she wants to contact him to set up an interview. Would the advanced reader copy have any sort of contact information for Russell, like a phone number for Brooke to call? And if so, would she be contacting Russell directly or would she be contacting his agent? Also, how willing would the agent be to allow an interview between Russell and Brooke? Would he/she have to be there?

Thanks in advance!


*Would Harrington Press be an okay name for such a newspaper?

ETA: This is taking place in the US, probably this year.

Getting shot in the upper chest in the snow...

After searching through the community and online (mostly google) I could not find the answer I was looking for so I'm wondering if anyone out here can help me.

The setting of my story is in a rural country town in a large country home in the New England states of the US in present day. A female character left alone while her husband is away on business comes across an unconscious and wounded man lying in the snow. He has evidently been shot and hit in the head with something (presumably the gun) and has been lying in the snow for a few hours.

He's been shot in the upper chest, above his left breast and beneath his shoulder. The bullet hasn't gone all the way through but is merely lodged in his flesh. My question here is:

How would one care for this type of wound with say, a good quality and well-stocked first aid kit? Would the coldness of the snow be helpful in preventing swelling and the staunch of blood flow?

The woman is unable to call for help because her husband has cut off all ties to the general outside world as he is involved with a government agency that necessitates that he (and his wife) don't technically "exist."

Assuming that her husband has left her all the supplies necessary to sustain life in case of an emergency, how would she go about caring for the man's gunshot wound?

I've tried googling it with search queries of 'how to care for gunshot wounds," "gunshot wound care," and various other synonyms.

Any suggestions or ideas would be wonderful! Thanks!

Edit: I also forgot to ask this question: as he's been hit in the head, it's possible that he could have a concussion....but would it also be possible that he has some mild case of amnesia?
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Pre-Surgical and Post Operative Descriptions, Sepsis

Setting: a level 2 trauma center in Dallas, Texas in the mid 1990s

This is a detective/western but it's taken a bit of a medical bent and I pride myself on using accurate detail where possible.

The MC is a fifteen year old female, intubated and vaguely aware (she knows something went wrong, that she's in a hospital and she seems to comprehend she's going to have surgery but anxiety, pain, and fear have her quite distracted), about to be taken to surgery for repair of abdominal and thoracic trauma.

Here's the problem: a year ago I had emergency surgery done but I can only remember bits and pieces. I don't, for instance, remember the name of the pre-op area they took me to or what exactly they did to prepare me for sedation and surgery. I don't remember the name of the place they took me to afterward or what was done before I was put back in my room. I'd really love a site or details outlining exactly how your basic surgical procedure --- from prep to post-op. I haven't been able to find one.

Also, they're going to end up removing her spleen during the exploratory surgery for the abdomen. All of the documentation I've read say that they would normally vaccinate for several types of disease before removal in order to prevent infection. However, since the surgeons in my story won't know that the spleen is what needs to go until they open her up, I'm guessing that's not an option...or is it. Would they vaccinate her in the OR or simply remove the organ and hope for the best? The stats on sepsis complications are relatively remote (between 0.23-0.42% per year) but that assumes protocol was followed and the patient was properly vaccinated prior to the procedure. I couldn't find any data on how likely such a complication would be without vaccination. I also could not find any data on what specific antibiotics she'd have to take as a preventative measure for the following two years.

keywords used: surgery, trauma surgery, splenectomy, surgery care, your surgery, surgery procedure, surgery description, preoperative care, post operative care

These are the sites I utilized:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surgery
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Splenectomy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asplenia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overwhelming_post-splenectomy_infection
http://www.trauma.org/index.php/main/article/413/
http://www.yoursurgery.com/ProcedureDetails.cfm?BR=1&Proc=46 (probably has what I need but the site charges)
http://www.spineuniverse.com/displayarticle.php/article1867.html (about spinal injury, not what I need)
http://www.answers.com/topic/preoperative-care (too generalized and did not address this type of situation)
http://www.spineuniverse.com/displayarticle.php/article613.html (details spinal surgery, I'm not sure if the information applies?)
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002944.htm (spleen specific, this is the page which conflicts with the others and says that the vaccines are given AFTER removal)
http://healthlibrary.epnet.com/GetContent.aspx?token=70ff5260-81bd-4de1-9998-14fc98aa9133&chunkiid=14866 (spleen removal but doesn't apply to trauma)

Rape memories, amnesia-causing drugs, and abandoned babies. More news at 11.

Yay, baby's first post! This community is a lifesaver. :D

Here's the deal. A character in one of my stories has been raped, but she has blocked it out and therefore doesn't remember it happened. I was curious as to whether or not a person who has shut out all memories of a traumatic experience could or would still experience flashbacks, nightmares, or other symptoms of RTS/PTS. I've done research on Rape Trauma Syndrome, Post Traumatic Stress, brain functions, and memory loss. I've Googled "blocking out a traumatic experience + rape" and various synonyms. I've also visited several online resources dealing with rape and rape survivors. I've come up with very little information concerning my specific problem, but have found some that sort of borders around what I need to know, and from that I've drawn a few sketchy outlines of likely scenarios. I'd still like to double check, though: it is indeed possible -- perhaps probable, even -- for such a thing to happen, right? Or is my "read-between-the-lines-o-meter" off here?

Oh, and my story takes place in a world that is a bizarre fusion of sci-fi, high fantasy, and steampunk, and there will be drugs* administered to her by the rapist, so I can probably handwave a little and include them as medicinal side effects or something that equally reeks of deus ex machina.

Question number two: If a healthy infant of average weight were abandoned and left to die -- say, in a dumpster, as it's the first example that came to mind -- sometime within the first week of its birth, how long could that child conceivably survive? I need a baby to be found in critical condition, but I don't really know when the last possible realistic moment would be for it to be found and still survive. Takes place in the same universe as question number one. Googling "abandoned infants" and various synonyms turns up virtually nothing but disturbing news articles, and Wikipedia just has statistics on infant mortality rates.

*on a tangentially related topic, is there any such known substance (toxin, herb, whatever) that can cause amnesia? I was thinking there was one, but now I can't remember if there was or not. At least, one that doesn't also cause eventual death, as she has no pills to cure the death. Any input or reference suggestions would be fantastic.

-Eli
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Visa-related legal repercussions

I don't even know where to start looking for a query this specific.

The situation for the character is this. He's a German citizen, working as a teacher at a private school in New York (gym, dance and German). All of his papers and so on are in order, and his employer has enough money and influence to pull strings for him - legally - should he need it.

The only problem is, he has no qualifications. As in, he never even went to junior school - he was homeschooled for various reasons, and has never sat an exam in his life. So my question is this. What would happen if, say, his visa came up for review/renewal and the immigration authorities realized that this unqualified, uneducated foreign national is teaching at a school?

Suggestions I've heard are that they tell him he'll have to get another job if he doesn't get qualified asap, or enforce at least a high school equivalency on him on threat of deportation, but I want to make sure I get it right.

So what would happen?

Hey, I'm back! And now I need a mental illness...

Modern North America, no poisoned arrows involved (because I am working on more than one thing at once).

So, I'm trying to find a mental illness where the victim would have the delusion that they can make terrible things happen, kind of like a superpower from hell. I looked up megalomania and narcissism, since they both involve pathological self-absorption and a false sense of one's abilities, and thinking that you are all-powerful in a bad way seemed like it could be the flip side of either of them. But alas, no dice. I looked up paranoia to see if this could be related, but the definitions of that disorder didn't help, either. So, once again, I turn to you.

Is there some kind of negative narcissism-like disorder, where, instead of having an exaggerated sense of one's self-worth, one has an exaggerated sense of one's worthlessness? Where instead of thinking everything they touch turns to gold, they're convinced they are dangerous, that anything they come near turns to ashes? If so, what would it be called? Or the closest thing? I don't need an exact match, just--again--something plausible. My universes are pretty plastic. ::g::

Again, thank you all very much in advance.
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