1. r3dfoe
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    r3dfoe Member

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    Fight or Flight?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by r3dfoe, May 30, 2012.

    In my book there is a major scene where everything in my character's life is turned upside down. It does involve werewolves and conspiracies. She is 17 and has been involved with various fighting sports - its well explained in the book as why she is trained.
    While my main character is in her room - which is the attic with the pull down door and everything - she is listening to music via her head phones. Her 2 siblings are down stairs when their father arrives in a panic. The main lead is oblivious to what's going on. The older sister is heading up the stairs when a werewolf breaks through the back door and kills the father. The youngest runs towards the stairwell and is kill and the oldest sister is kill on the top floor.
    The main character has no clue this is going on as her music is all the way up. What catches her attention is the thudding she feels on the walls. When she descends from the attic she finds the bloody mess on the second floor. She begins to cry but steels herself and is filled with hatred. She thinks a murderer - a human one - is in her house. She at first attempts to leave but her father's body is blocking the front door. Not being able to handle it she attempts to sneak towards the back. She hears a noise from a door besides the back door and grabs a fallen metal lamp. Its something to use as a weapon. That's when she is attacked and barely gets away. She runs up the stairs is attacked from behind. The werewolf hits off the wall and is dazed for a second as is the main character. The main character recovers quickly and runs towards the stairs, throwing the lamp at the head of the creature. As she climbs she is bitten on the leg and grabs a ski pole from a topped over box on the floor of the attic. She grabs and turns as she is wrenched down and stabs the creature in the eyes. It takes off and she eventually passes out.

    My question is this... Should she have done something different? Reacted in a better way or tried to take a different route? I know werewolves are pretty fictitious and all but I am trying to keep my story more realistic. Any tips?
     
  2. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can't see anything in that that strikes me as unbelieveable, except in the creature running off. If she stabbed it in the eye, it won't be incapacitated in any way. It will likely tear her to pieces.
     
  3. koal4e
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    koal4e Member

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    I agree with Gallowglass, the stabbing in the eye making it run away is slightly out...maybe she can stab the werewolf somewhere like the leg to cause it to not be able to run and attack her or sth...other than that its good and you got me intrigued :)
     
  4. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    You're the writer. You choose. You have to trust yourself and listen to your instinct. If it feels wrong there's probably a reason for that. There are no rights or wrongs when it comes to the turns your story can take. Just the ones that feels most plausible to you.
     
  5. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Depends on the behaviour of werewolves in the world of the novel. Some wild animals, even quite ferocious ones, will tend to avoid prey that fights back effectively. In evolutionary terms it makes sense to look first for prey that doesn't fight back well, unless the creature is starving.
     
  6. The Blood Countess
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    The Blood Countess Member

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    I have to question her actions to an extent. My first instinct in seeing a family member lying on the floor—even if they are obviously dead—would be to latch onto them and look for some sign of life. It's more an act of shock than stupidity. Yeah, the throat may be gaping open, but the last time you saw that person they were alive and dandy. You need confirmation.

    Other than that, the werewolf running off is a little silly. If anything, I would see its anger escalate and become more vicious.
     
  7. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Why doesn't she jump out a window on the ground floor? Running upstairs is running to a place where there's no escape.
     
  8. Caldenfor
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    Caldenfor Member

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    Because that is what happens in horror movies...

    This isn't anything towards the OP or any other poster, just something that I have noticed in films a lot.
     
  9. r3dfoe
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    r3dfoe Member

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    Oh well, the reason the beasts run is because the werewolf is the girl's mother. I'm sorry I forgot to mention this. She was trying to bite her, to fully turn her but when she fought back, the mother ran off. T's mother is also the leading antagonist.
    As to why she didn't jump out of a window... good question. I think partly because the set up of the home doesn't have windows near the main door and being a panic she was running back upstairs? I'll have to think about that one.
    Also, Blood Countess, thank you for that. I hadn't even thought about that. I think adding that in would better show her shock and disbelief.
     
  10. GillySoose
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    GillySoose Member

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    The part I thought sounded most peculiar is where she "steels herself and is filled with hatred". Sounds like this should come well after the fact, when she wakes up and yada yada. Sure she can still steel herself and resolve to fight when she finds her dead family, but I feel it'd be more believable if it was out of fear for her life more than actually wanting to avenge her family there and then.
     
  11. Writer's_Dream
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    Writer's_Dream New Member

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    If the werewolf was her mother, then I think it should not "take off" even more because her mother was ruthless enough to kill her husband, which means that she did not possess any humanity. Maybe you should add some changes of the werewolf's personality in the middle of the scene. For example, when the girl stabs it into eyes, the werewolf comes back to herself again. she then feels uneasy and runs away. But unlike the above post, I think the girl trying to fight against the werewolf is reasonable because she already had "various experiences with various fighting sports," so she can be bold enough to engage in fight.
     
  12. Silhouette
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    I too kind of pause at the werewolf running away. Could she stab the werewolf in the eye with something silver? I could see a werewolf deciding to cut their losses and run from a human with silver (assuming you're using the whole 'silver is lethal' things).
     
  13. Caldenfor
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    Caldenfor Member

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    Maybe just getting stabbed in the eye could be lethal to these creatures. Just because they are a werewolf doesn't mean they have to be the stereotypical kind. They may actually not be as strong/resilient as the typical.
     
  14. Langadune
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    Langadune Member

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    I'm not an expert on werewolf psychology but... Seriously, if I was stabbed in the eye, I would probably flee as well. Yes, the beast was probably in a killing frenzy, but was probably also doing so with little opposition. A sudden and painful and partially blinding counter attack may be enough to deter an attacker (especially one who didn't want to actually kill the MC). The sudden loss of an eye could be tramatic.

    As far as fleeing upstairs instead of out the nearest window... In the heat of the moment, people often react rather than act. She may have fled to the place that subconsciously offered her a sense of security... her room. Fighting back... again, in the heat of the moment, a person reacts without thinking. This may speak to certain qualities the MC has that she previously didn't know she had.

    Steeling herself with hatred... I agree with previous responses that it may be a little premature for that reaction. Shock, despair, fear... most likely... hatred probably not yet.
     
  15. r3dfoe
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    r3dfoe Member

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    Oh ok, thanks everyone for the help. :D
    And to answer a question about "silver." No, werewolves have no reaction to silver.
     
  16. r3dfoe
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    r3dfoe Member

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    I do have another question but should I post a new topic or post here? It involves the supporting character S.
     
  17. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Better yet, you should come up with your own answer. It's YOUR story, and no one knows your story and your characters better than you.

    Good stories are not written by committee or consensus. They come from one writer's imagination.
     
  18. Fivvle
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    Fivvle Contributing Member

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    I agree. You need to know your characters well enough that you're not asking others for their actions. She's not our character; she's yours.
     
  19. Lovelina
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    Bold: I don't think it's realistic that she'd be filled with hatred right away. I think the appropriate reaction at that point would be shock and fear (even though we know what happened, she can't be sure if the "murderer" is still in the house). As for the actions afterwards, I don't think anyone would have the mental faculties to investigate immediately after such a tragic life-altering incident.
     
  20. r3dfoe
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    r3dfoe Member

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    Thanks guys. @Lovelina, the issue with "steeling herself with hatred" was resolved, I hadn't thought that part through with the emotional respect. But I do appreciate the feedback. I do agree with the investigating part and I actually changed it to where she investigates only after she tries to get out of the front door but is unable to when she finds a family member's body blocking off the door. I appreciate any and all feedback :-D
    Also to Fivvle and Cogito, I have been going back to try to find the answer but sometimes I find it helps to get feedback from unbiased third parties. Haha, might sound strange but it does help me. With some of the problems I am having with the characters I have been reflecting and people watching on others. Some of the best ways to get emotions is watching other people, so I try to get into their head. Obviously I can't throw a rabid beast on someone and see what goes down, haha, but I do try to look for people with similiar personalities - or so it seems - to my characters and try to think of how they would feel, react, etc... It is helping too.
     
  21. Lovelina
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    Lovelina Member

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    Sounds great, r3dfoe, now I'm quite intrigued, good luck with the rest of the story. :)
     
  22. Pyraeus
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    I found that to be quite interesting. I'm 15 (two year age gap between me and your protagonist) and I'm not brave. I would run if I saw that thing coming for me (then again, who wouldn't run from a werewolf?) At the point where it bites her leg and makes her fall, my thought process would be: nearest heavy object + wolves face = higher probability of not being eaten right now. Reacting with fear is something I would expect her to do (unless this kind of thing has happened before) I'm no expert
    (I'm 15 remember) but I think lashing out at what we're afraid of is a natural reaction.
    As long as she doesn't do that thing the women in horror films do where they stand and scream instead of going ahead with Operation: GTFO, I'd be fine with it.
     
  23. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    My thought is that a normal dog if it was in a fight might run if stabbed in the eye. But if it was more than normally enraged it might well ignore the damage and strike harder. It depends somewhat on the circumstances. If it felt its life was in danger it would fight, or if the odds seemed overwhelming it would flee. If it was just hunting for food and not threatened, it would likely back off but stay close.

    Most people though, if they were stabbed in the eye would at the very least back off. Almost none would continue to press the attack unless they were truly desperate.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  24. r3dfoe
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    r3dfoe Member

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    Thanks for your inputs.

    @Pyraeus You're comments made me laugh. You're right about that. I do have to pause a lot in my story and think back on how I or my friends acted at the age of 17. It was only about 6 years ago I was 17 but a lot of my attitudes have changed so I have to think back hard. Sometimes I chat with my friends and think back on moments that we heard or experienced something strange and I get different ideas on how someone may react at that age.
    I love that I am older too, because I can make my character age and put in my own experience as I have gotten older and how I have changed and incorporate it into my book. :)

    @psychotick Very helpful. Someone had previously mentioned this and their is a reason it took off. Nice observations though :)
     

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