1. caters
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    caters Member

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    Children in trouble

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by caters, Dec 14, 2015.

    In my story about a family on a farm, on the second warm day of spring the children are in big trouble. Here it is so far:

    The children wake up from the roosters crowing while the others are asleep and go outside to check on the animals. But there is a problem. A rattlesnake and a bear are both coming towards them. The bear hasn't charged yet, just walked towards the children. The children sound the octoalert(This was inspiration from the octonauts) Everybody else wakes up and finds that the children are in big trouble. They could get mauled by the bear or bit by the venomous rattlesnake or both. They have to save the children. But they don't have any pepper spray for bear repellant or antivenom. Plus the doctor is miles away. On horseback it could take an hour or more and that hour might make a difference between life and death if the children get mauled by the bear. Tim happens to know the bear from when he was young. It was a grizzly. It seemed to have polar bear cubs as a young female which could only mean one thing. She mated with a polar bear and had polar bear DNA in her. He didn't know why the polar bear mated with the grizzly since interspecies hybridization in the wild usually only occurs in plants. The bear calms down when she sees Tim and starts talking with him. The snake is still after the children.

    Family Tree:

    Tim(grandpa)-----------Rebecca(grandma)
    [
    [
    Jim(father)-------------Abby(Mother)
    [ [ [
    [ [ Leona(Oldest child)
    [ [
    [ Allison(Youngest Daughter)
    [
    George(Youngest son)


    All of these family members live on the same farm.

    The bear is named Lea.

    How should I go about doing this dangerous part of the plot?

    The children are still in danger from the snake. Yes most rattlesnake bite deaths are from 6-48 hours after the bite but nobody in this family knows if one of the children are allergic to rattlesnake venom(Most common cause of death from snakebite). They do however know that an allergy to snake venom could cause death in as little as 5 minutes. Even at a gallop, their fastest horses won't get them to the doctor in time if one of the children happens to be allergic to it.
     
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  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Uuhhh, is this supposed to be realistic?
     
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  3. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm confused. Your scenario sounds like rattlesnakes hunt and charge at humans, but I don't think that's how it works. I don't see a scenario where there's time for adults to get up, go outside, think about interspecies hybridization, discuss allergies, calculate the distance to the doctor, all while a rattlesnake is about to strike.
     
  4. Ben414
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    Ben414 Contributing Member Contributor

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    [​IMG]
     
  5. caters
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    caters Member

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    My fiction always is more realistic than fictional. However it is still fiction.

    As for the rattlesnake it is still far away from the children and coming closer with a slow slither because it is really after rodents but it might bite the children in the process. The bear is what they are really worried about because it might charge at the children. The snake is more likely to just bite.

    And the bear calms down when she sees Tim so the only worry now is the snake and possible allergies if it bites.

    And they already know the distance to the doctor from going there lots of times for checkups and severe injuries. They also know the top speed of their fastest horses from experience.

    So all they are really thinking about is the snake and possible allergies. The memory about the bear is just a little flashback.

    And grolar bears(grizzly bear x polar bear hybrid) are becoming more common in the wild as grizzlies and polar bears are forced to have their ranges cross.
     
  6. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    When fiction uses a real-world thing, the readers usually expect that thing to behave kinda-mostly the way that it does in the real world. I can't see a good reason why the children, if alarmed by the snake, don't move away from it.
     
  7. caters
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    caters Member

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    Fear always triggers a predatory response. So by not moving away the children aren't showing fear to the snake. Even backing away slowly might show fear so they don't do that. Instead they hope that by staying in place the snake will go right past them and if it does bite it is a defensive bite which doesn't have as much venom as a predatory bite does.

    This would mean that allergies to the snake venom are less likely to be very severe and most likely the children will get dizzy and nauseous and bleed constantly instead which will give the family enough time to get to the doctor for snakebite treatment.
     
  8. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You do realise snakes are ambushers, not chasers? The snake would not "chase" the kids if they backed away. Now, the bear would chase, but you already said Lea doesn't attack. Also, I'd find it very hard to believe the kids would be this calm when faced with a charging bear.

    In short, your scene doesn't work, sorry. Not as it stands right now.
     
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  9. NiallRoach
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    NiallRoach Contributing Member

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    The only word which could describe my readerly response to this scene is flummoxed.
     
  10. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    OK, let me see if I can make sense of this.

    A bunch of kids wake up to find that a grizzly bear lumbering toward them, and not only a grizzly bear, but a snake slithering toward them as well.

    A grizzly bear and a polar bear mated and the offspring (this bear) sees Tim, seems to recognize him and lumbers off. The snake is still coming at the kids very, very slowly.

    If one of the kids were allergic to snake venom, then there's no chance in hell that kid's going to survive.

    ...

    A few things:

    -> Snakes ambush, they don't charge. The only way the kids would be in danger from a snake is if they disturb the snake, spooking it otherwise and it strikes. This snake specifically would not be going after the children. In fact, it would be slithering really quickly away once it detected a massive object nearby. This removes the risk of a kid keeling over dead from severe allergic reaction via snake venom.
    ---> How would the kids have spotted a snake when they're currently seeing a frickin' bear coming at them?

    -> I don't see any situation where a family whose children are being threaten by a bear will have the time to sit there and discuss interspecies mating and clocking how fast it'd take to go to the doctor. I would think Tim would attempt to grab a shotgun and open fire on the bear, or at least make some racket to distract the bear and open up time for the others to get the kids out of danger.

    -> How would a random grizzly ‘recognize’ Tim? Is this a fantasy story? That bear wouldn't know what Tim was other than a potential threat.

    -> Unless interspecies mating between a grizzly and a polar bear becomes critical to the plot, I'd remove the bit about the bear being the offspring.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2015
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  11. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi Link,

    My reading is that the bear in question is not the offspring, but the female grizzly who mated with a roaming polar...unless the grizzly who knew Tim when she (the bear) was a young female has also passed on her memory to her offspring?...and mating with anyone (different species or not) only results in "polar bear DNA in her" up to the point where she gives birth to the hybrid.
     
  12. locoza
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    locoza Member

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    Hmm, quite confusing but I would have also summed it up like this - or why did she have polar bear DNA in her also?
     
  13. caters
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    caters Member

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    The more a human is around a particular animal without any aggressive behaviors the better that animal recognizes the human and that it isn't a threat.
     
  14. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Interesting. I just figured Tim and the bear met each other for a day and this was their second meeting years later, long after the bear would've forgotten him.

    Maybe I'm just underestimating the intelligence of bears, but I figured unless Tim practically lived with it, the bear would've forgotten about him in a single day, hours tops.
     
  15. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    It appears that bears are, give or take, as intelligent as chimpanzees.

    http://wherethebearwalks.blogspot.co.uk/2010/04/bear-intelligence.html

    I love that tale about the bear walking backwards in its own tracks to fool a hunter!
     

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