Tags:
  1. El902
    Offline

    El902 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2008
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0

    Can't Choose a Career

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by El902, Dec 2, 2008.

    And in effect, I can't come up with a story x.x

    I have three or four characters (protagonists and antagonists alike) a very developed MC, a few random scenes written out (Peyton goes to the store, Peyton is confronted by a bum ranting about the Apocalypse, etc.) but I realized well into the process of outlining that I don't have that good of a grip on the inner workings of plain clothes detectives. I barely have any courtroom knowledge, and some of the finer points of the law are beyond me. So, my brilliant, fantastic, wonderful, suspense-filled plots are out the window.

    Anyhow.

    I am seeking advice and knowledge on careers that would put a person working closely with the police force. Take Anita Blake, for example (Laurell Hamilton). She's a Vampire Executioner (Vampires have been legally made human, but she executes those who have gone "rouge") and also deals with other kinds of monsters/lycanthropes gone "rouge". This puts her with police quite frequently, and she, later in the series, is made a Federal Marshal. I'm not really leaning towards doing anything with fantasy, however, so anything that is similar to this would be great.

    Thanks,
    El
     
  2. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Perhaps take a look into the contemporary bounty hunters. They operate on the fringes of the law, and so are "outsiders" from the perspectives of both the police and the citizens.
     
  3. marina
    Offline

    marina Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Messages:
    1,280
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    Seattle
    I like the bounty hunter idea.

    Also, and these might be very cliche, but how about forensic scientist or a profiler?
     
  4. NaCl
    Offline

    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Messages:
    1,855
    Likes Received:
    58
    My son is an armed guard who has been hired by local businesses to "patrol" the streets around their bad part of town. He meets all manner of low life...gang bangers, pimps, prostitutes, mentally unbalanced street people, drug addicts, drug dealers, violent criminals...and it is his job clean up the area so the businesses can survive.

    Local police appreciate his efforts and work closely with him as he has developed a network of informants who will not go to the police. The street people trust him because he has always given them basic human respect. For example, if an alcoholic is sleeping in front of a business, he doesn't call the police. He just asks the guy nicely to move somewhere where he can't be seen...happy business owner, happy drunk. He once found a local prostitute sitting on the curb crying. Turns out, her pimp was not satisfied with her results that night and took all her money. My son bought baby formula for her infant. As a result, when seriously BAD people enter the neighborhood, these street people quietly warn him.

    Last month, he made a citizen's arrest (he's not a cop so he can only detain people for felony activity using citizen's arrest rules). Two men, wanted for murder, were hiding in a local motel. Street people were afraid of those thugs and told my son exactly what room the bad guys were in. He took position near the room and called police but before the cops arrived, the men tried to leave. My son held them at gunpoint until the real police arrived.

    So, there is a profession that works with police in law enforcement, yet these armed security guards are civilians. They wear the same bullet proof vests, carry the same weapons, but operate under civilian rules. By the way, he makes dozens of "citizen" arrests each year, and has to go to court as a witness. His conviction rate is 100% and the local Chief of Police has commended him for his attention to detail and informant network. He plans to enter law enforcement after completing his college degree in two years.
     
  5. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Forensic scientists and profilers are highl trained specialists. To portray them convincingly, you will need to do one hell of a lot of research. If you have a strong interest in those subjects already, you might be drawn to undertake the necessary research.

    For works of fiction, you could start with the Kay Scarpetta series by Patricia Cornwell. Kay is a leading medical examiner, and her primary lover is an FBI profiler, now retired. Cornwell herself has considerable training in medical forensics, so what you read, although inadequate by itself for research, is at least quite credible.

    I fuind much of Cornwell's writing quite good as well, so she is a good study from a general crime fictiob perspective too. A couple of times, she has played with styles that don't work as well for most of her readers, so those books are worth dissecting as well. The Last Precinct, in particular, is an experient in present tense that many of her readers found vaguely off-putting.
     
  6. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    btw, it's 'gone rogue' not 'rouge' [which is what women used to put on their cheeks] ;-)
     
  7. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Either way, I think someone's face was red...
     
  8. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    oh, cog, you punny-funny punster, you!!!
     

Share This Page