1. ToeKneeBlack
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    ToeKneeBlack Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ending a fight with humour

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by ToeKneeBlack, Oct 25, 2015.

    Delta is the daughter of a rich businessman. Built into the house is a pair of robotic arms which move along a track in the ceiling; their main job is to conduct menial tasks such as cooking and cleaning.
    B.O.R.I.S is an artificial intelligence with a sense of humour. He has hacked into the control software for the arms, which are usually controlled by another system called "Core".
    Delta's father is at work when she discovers a group of five thugs have broken into her house.
    Riley is a security officer who works for Delta's family.
    In this scene, my protagonists are outnumbered. They've taken out one of their five attackers, but driven their leader, Rick, into a blind rage;

    “Nobody shows me up!” shouted Rick. He was about to punch the girl in the face when the robotic arms did the same to him.
    With a rhythmic, circular motion, the durable plastic fists pounded the seething young man as though he was a punching bag.
    Rick stumbled backwards and sighed before tripping over his unconscious accomplice.

    “Freeze!” yelled officer Riley with her gun pointed into the chaos.
    The mechanical arms held themselves up in submission. “Don’t shoot! I’m a victim of circumstance!” said B.O.R.I.S through Core’s tannoy.


    Would this be a good way to break the tension, or would it be seen a cheap cultural reference?
     
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  2. Steward
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    Steward Member

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    It's funny. Use it.
     
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  3. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't get it.
     
  4. ToeKneeBlack
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    ToeKneeBlack Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's a nod to "The Three Stooges".
    I've added a bit where one of the intruders gets repeatedly slapped in the face by one of the hands.

    Also, I've realised B.O.R.I.S isn't the first AI character to be entertained by The Three Stooges. The idea must have been lurking in the back of my mind, since I watched Short Circuit a lot as a child.
     
  5. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well unfortunately, this is something you'll have to be prepared for -- people not getting the joke. The Three Stooges, while a classic, is old. And depending on your audience, they might not get the reference. It may be funny to you and those who catch the hint, but to those who don't (like me), they'll just be left scratching their heads.

    If you're okay with that, then keep it! There's nothing wrong with a little humor.
     
  6. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    It works for me. Very effective. This is YA yeah? I don't like the 3 stooges and did not get the reference. But I am visually oriented.

    I'd use speaker rather than tannoy only because I had to google tannoy to find out what it is.
     
  7. Starfire Fly
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    Starfire Fly Member

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    I loved it, actually. Funny, satisfying, and cool all at once. The writing is good and the whole thing seems well executed.

    Not a cheap cultural reference, but a great way to break the tension.
     
  8. ToeKneeBlack
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    ToeKneeBlack Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks for the feedback everyone :) I'll keep it in, with a few minor changes.

    It's aimed at the YA age group. I'll replace "tannoy", since it might not be widely recognised. I'm using UK English, unless an American is speaking, but I don't want to alienate the wider audience of US English readers.

    Not everyone will get the Three Stooges reference. Hopefully it'll add some extra humour for those who do, while the action itself is still funny enough for those who don't.

    There won't be many cultural references throughout the story, just one or two. We're seven chapters in and this is the first.
     
  9. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Remember us Australian English readers as well please ;-)
     
  10. ToeKneeBlack
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    ToeKneeBlack Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'll look into the nuances and differences between the dialects.
     
  11. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Just need to remember us -- the dialect from either US or UK is fine, but the brand names (tannoy) not so much :D
     
  12. ToeKneeBlack
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    My apologies, I hadn't realised it was a brand name. I've been trying to avoid these, but I remember there being a voice broadcast system in our school which was referred to by the teachers as "the tannoy". I just thought it must have been an old word that my spell checker didn't recognise.
     
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  13. nhope
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    nhope Contributing Member Reviewer

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    I caught the Stooges reference but had no idea what "tannoy" was. And I'm old, lol
     
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  14. ToeKneeBlack
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    I've replaced "tannoy" in the master file with "intercom" - hopefully that's a more suitable term for the device in question.
     
  15. Nicoel
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    Nicoel Contributing Member

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    I understood the reference (I think it's funny), and I don't think I've ever watched the Three Stooges.. "I'm a victim of circumstance!" is an actual defense that people use comically every once in a while, and that's where I'm drawing my connection from. :p
     
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