How to start your life over from scratch?
December 7, 2007 12:35 PM Subscribe
If you had to walk away from your life in a split second, how would you start over?
posted by Smarson to Writing & Language (38 answers total) 47 users marked this as a favorite
Writing a short story about a character who has to leave everything behind in his life with no prior warning. Literally set up as walking down a street and sees "x event" (something from his past) and realizes that everything associated with his current identity is compromised. Consider he has no wish other than to get away undetected and set up a new identity from scratch with only the clothes on his back and the twenty odd dollars in his pocket.
I'm struggling with how my character can accomplish this. It seems like obtaining official forms of ID is a lot harder these days than just splicing a photo booth picture of yourself over someone else's drivers license a la The Fugitive or stealing the SSN of someone who is deceased like in Enough. Not looking for a step-by-step guide to identity fraud, more just a way to reasonably explain how my character is going to manage recreating himself. Beyond identification, what steps must he take to re-integrate into society as a new person?
For the sake of argument (and those who might want to play with the narrative) assume this person is male, between 27 and 37, college educated, middle class suburban/ urban upbringing and would be trying to fit back into that cross section of society. Classic protagonist moral outlook (morally opposed to hurting others unless provoked), but willing to resort to petty crime (robbery, fraud, etc.) on a short term basis for the purposes of survival. Contacting Police/Feds/Witness Relocation Program is out of the question.