1. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Breaking out of Jail

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Mallory, Oct 9, 2010.

    Hey,

    I hope that this post doesn't fall under the category of obnoxious "create my plot for me, please" posts. However, there's one obstacle for my protag that's also becoming a bit of an obstacle for me.

    My character has to break out of jail. This isn't the main plot of the entire novel, as he faces a bunch of new obstacles once he gets out.

    Basically, I'm writing a novel in which things are kind of like 1984, and the guy gets locked up in a "protection center" for his "safety" after he was threatened with gang activity...basically, he's imprisoned for being a victim, but it turns out later it was all politically motivated and the gang thing was a setup.

    Anyways, how does one go about breaking out of a jail? (Or jail-like center). I've come up with the option of shooting the guards, but I was wondering if anyone could help me come up with other ideas -- like a sceme of some kind, and how does that type of thing typically work?
     
  2. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Research. There are tons articels online on how people broken out of jail, constreation camps etc in real life and its thrilling, inventive and realistic reading. Read through a bunch of different article, combine and change aspect of them and make your own story out of it.
     
  3. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Does he have to actually break out of jail? Can't the judge just have him released when it turns out he's committed no crime? Or maybe a sympathetic guard looks the other way and your MC just wanders away. It doesn't have to be violent or even clever, unless the story is focused on the jailbreak.
     
  4. Taylee91
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    Taylee91 Carpe Diem Contributor

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    Your situation is kinda similar to the one I had in a story of mine. My MC was about to get the death-sentence, and he needed a way out. Fast.

    Hmm...Your MC needs to get just two inches from the bars first. That's the hard part because there could be guards monitoring the cells within the cell area or there could be surveillance cameras mounted on the walls. Then there's getting out of the building itself with more guards, and getting past the confining fences of barbed-wire.

    How about the lights in the building get shut off? This would give your MC the cover needed to flee.

    But then, what if the surveillance cameras had infrared technology, and the guards had night-vision goggles? They'd easily get your MC in a snap.

    However, even if the guards didn't have night-vision and the surveillance cameras didn't have infrared, there would be a high possibility that the whole complex could just be locked-down. No one could enter, no one could exit.

    Does your MC have any outside help? Maybe some of his comrades could bomb the complex from the air in parts that would disrupt communication and internal power to lock-down. He'd be able to get out fast that way, if he knew the route well enough, and hitch a ride out of the place on one of the choppers.
     
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  5. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    W176 - Thank you! I will do some digging around. ;)

    Minstrel - Thanks, but it's a dystopia setting and there's a government conspiracy as to why he's locked up in the first place...they make up an excuse, but really he finds out later that it was politically motivated. And it's not technically a jail as we know it, it's a "protection center," kind of like the witness protection program except you're forced to enter it for your "Safety" and it's set up exactly like a jail, which is why I call it one here. So there wouldn't be a judge realizing he's innocent and letting him go. But thank you for the post! :)

    Taylee - you've given me some GREAT ideas with the communication stuff. That works out great. And true, just communication signal problems alone wouldn't make it easy for him, but it would give him a chance, and then he could resort to other methods like bombing or shooting to make his way past all the guards and stuff, aided by the dark..
     
  6. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    He could cause havoc, possibly at outdoor recreation period/work gang, and some how manage to slip away.
     
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  7. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    Perhaps he could escape - quite by good fortune - in the confusion that arises from an assault on the facility by a resistance movment looking to liberate one of its own.

    Perhpas, hitherto, he thought he was alone in his dissent. He now understands - maybe dimly - that he is not alone. There are others.
     
  8. stubeard
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    stubeard Active Member

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    You could always make use of the hubris of the captors. Perhaps their security is heavy on paper but light in practice because they don't think there's even a chance of anyone escaping. Maybe a guard teases your MC about never getting out of there, but then that same guard is sleeping at his post later.

    P.S. Not that you should make the escape too easy. That example would be a good for one or two levels of security/checkpoints, perhaps.
     
  9. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    He buys a rock hammer on the prison's black market and digs a tunnel behind a poster in his cell. No, wait...

    Every original, inventive scheme has already been thought of, tried and tested, so why not pick one of the many that exist already and then give it originality through the personality of the characters, the atmosphere and the little details.

    Personally I tend to admire the ones that use cunning and patience rather than those who steamroll their way out and kill 200 guards who have families.
     
  10. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I still like the Count of Monte Cristo jailbreak. He fakes death and they take him away, thinking they're disposing of a corpse ... that's STILL one of the great jailbreak plans!
     
  11. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I think I"ve figured it out! Thank you, everyone who posted. :)
     

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