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  1. Cady36
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    Cady36 Member

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    Attempted murder that looks like an accident...

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Cady36, Jan 31, 2009.

    Someone is trying to knock off my female protagonist, though it isn't obvious that that is the case at first. It's only after several of these incidents that it occurs to her (and hopefully the reader) that something suspicious is going on.

    I'm looking for ways that someone might try to murder someone and have it look like an accident *and* that I can create a plausible reason that the attempt didn't work, not just a series of miraculous escapes.

    So no guns/knives/etc. (except that at one point, there's an attempted mugging), nothing accidental that she couldn't reasonably escape from (e.g. poison), nothing virtually impossible (venomous snakes in downtown Portland).

    Thusfar I have a house fire, an attempted mugging, something dropped on her from a great height, someone bumping into her to push her in front of a car, and of course the tried-and-true "someone rigged the brakes on her car". (Yeah, cliches, I know, but I'm drawing a blank here!)

    The problem with a lot of these ideas is that they just SCREAM "Someone is trying to kill you, you idiot!" I'm trying to work them in casually enough that it isn't quite so obvious.

    What I really need to do is come up with some stuff that's a bit more subtle - things that could absolutely be construed as accidents. That way I can *build up* to the point that it's obvious something is going on...I want the reader to get it about the same time the MC does, not the first time something happens to her.

    I've been wracking my brain over this since yesterday, and am drawing a complete blank. Everything I've come up with so far is about a subtle as accidentally stabbing her eyes out with an ice pick.

    Any ideas? If I had a couple appropriate ideas, I know I could follow those through and come up with more, but I'm just not doing "subtle" at the moment.

    Thanks,

    C.
     
  2. Penny Dreadful
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    Penny Dreadful Senior Member

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    Leaky gas line. A floor/stairs/ect that gives way. Shoddy electrical work.

    There are plenty. I would look at articles and obituaries and such that mention acidental deaths and tweak them a bit.
     
  3. Cady36
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    Cady36 Member

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    Ooh, those are great. And yeah, a news.google search is in order.

    Thanks for getting my head working in the right direction on this!
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Loose wire in a wall switch gives her a jolt (if it;s on a garbage disposal switch and she's touching a stainless steel sink, it can be one hell of a holt).

    A leak in a natural gas line - possible asphyxiation, possible house explosion.

    A loosened railing on a high balcony, or al loosened board at the top of a flight of stairs.
     
  5. zorell
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    zorell Contributing Member

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    THere's a book, Forgetting Bradley, that has some pretty good ideas in it, hopefully there are more than what you named,:D
     
  6. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    something slippery on the bathtub. I have read of people dying that way.

    Falling asleep in the bath or hot tub. Some sedative in her food?

    Perhaps she is allergic to peanuts or something and he puts some in her food.

    he could set up an elaborate car accident, causing two cars to collide.

    Maybe the MC fishes on ice or skates somewhere and he weakens the ice so the MC falls in.
     
  7. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    I like the falling off a balcony idea. People are always leaning on the railings, so one that has been broken in such a way that it would look like natural deterioration, like nails that held it together getting loose from being shaken and getting rusty is very plausible
     
  8. Cady36
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    Cady36 Member

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    I agree on the balcony - she lives in a little Victorian, and it's not too much of a stretch to add a deteriorated balcony. I'm *just* writing that section now :)

    I also like the idea of accidental drowning...trying to figure out how and where to work that in.

    Thanks!
     

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