1. DocDoom187
    Offline

    DocDoom187 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2009
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0

    Governmental Conflict

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by DocDoom187, Jun 28, 2009.

    Hi all, first post here. :)

    So, without revealing too much, I'm writing a novel in which the protagonist disagrees with a law, and breaks it. But I keep getting stuck on how this conflict will manifest itself. Its cliched and unrealistic to have to government send out Special Ops or forces to track and capture one insubordinate. And I'm just thinking of what I should do. It seems there are very few ways in which a you can have an exciting conflict with the government without it becoming a cliched and unbelievable man hunt.
     
  2. A2theDre
    Offline

    A2theDre Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Australia
    Well it depends really. Without knowing the rest of the setting no one can really comment. I mean, if your world is based on our own, then I can't think of a law serious enough to warrant a man hunt if the protagonist breaks it. Short of murder or terrorism, but I doubt you're wanting your protagonist to go down this route.

    Have a look on wikipedia for the movie Equilibrium. That is the only comparison I can draw with what you are after. It is a sci-fi movie, however.

    The law that will be broken will need to be something that strikes at the heart of the populace. In either a good, or bad, way.
     
  3. arron89
    Offline

    arron89 Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    2,460
    Likes Received:
    91
    Location:
    Auckland
    What kind of law is it? It would have to be something pretty huge for the government agencies to become involved, as opposed to local law enforcement.
    And just because there's no big manhunt with lots of guns, doesn't mean the chase won't be exciting. Look at No country for Old Men - that was just 2~4 guys chasing, and it was extremely compelling (although that was lit fiction, and maybe you're looking to write something more action-y)
     
  4. DocDoom187
    Offline

    DocDoom187 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2009
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    I guess I might as well expound.

    Basically, it's a world similar to ours, but in a non-specific more tyrannical America. The government mandates impregnated women use a (and here it gets Sci-Fi-ish) machine at a local hospital that determines different likelihoods for the future of the baby, and if there is a high probability that the baby will grow up to be a threat to society or the government it is aborted. So basically, the protagonist is taking a stand against this and refusing to let his child be aborted and he and his wife flee.

    But what kind of pursuit could there be without it being nothing short of outlandish.

    I know where I want to go plotwise, but as for fleshing out the middle of the story, the pursuits and different confrontations, I'm drawing blanks.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  5. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    sorry to have to be the one to tell you this, but what you're asking others' help with is what writers must do on their own... it's your story, so you have to come up with your own ideas on how to 'flesh out' the story, etc. or it won't be your work any more, will it?...
     
  6. DocDoom187
    Offline

    DocDoom187 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2009
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    I see what you mean I must not have been clear with my question.

    I don't mean as in what happens when he's fleeing. I mean I have limited knowledge of Governmental capabilities so when I think of a pursuit it seems outlandish to me. If someone could suggest another work or source or anything that gives me a realistic feel I'd greatly appreciate it. Sure it doesn't have to be completely legitimate, but I would like to have some rudimentary understanding of how a scenario like this would play out in a realistic environment.
     
  7. arron89
    Offline

    arron89 Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    2,460
    Likes Received:
    91
    Location:
    Auckland
    Well, it wouldn't be immediately threatening so I doubt the govt would go after them all guns blazing - probably just one or two local police officers or maybe a bounty hunter (a la Do Androids Dream...?). Sounds like it could be pretty interesting...
     
  8. Kirvee
    Offline

    Kirvee Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    Messages:
    232
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Michigan
    @Doc: If you're looking for a source I can give you the names of a few video games in which the plot device of governmental conflict is carried out beautifully. However, taking your protagonist into consideration, I'd recommend taking a look at the plot of "Tales of Vesperia". The protagonist in that game (Yuri Lowell) does pretty much the same thing your character does, so it might be useful to look at that. Otherwise, if you just need a look at governmental conflict, "Tales of the Abyss" is 95% governmental conflict in its plot.

    The governments in both games aren't exactly "modern"ish, but you can pick up good conflict styles in it, I suppose. Hope that helps.
     
  9. PrettySiren
    Offline

    PrettySiren New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Alabama
    Well, really, without doing the work for you (as mammamaia pointed out), I'll ask you to look inside yourself: How important is this law to this particular government you've created? Since this law doesn't exist in this reality, you have to think of A) how serious it is in your book? and B) how is it usually punished?

    An exercise you can do is write the law yourself like it's part of a legal code or something and set out penalties and limitations on it. Pretend you ARE the government in your story. That, really, depends on how your government would pursue your protagonist.

    Actually, I would consider making there a deeper reason as to why the law is as it is. That way, you can make it more believable to your readers if a manhunt does ensue. After all, if the law was just a plain ol' law, why would the government try to chase these people and spend a lot of resources?
     
  10. DocDoom187
    Offline

    DocDoom187 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2009
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    So I guess I need to explain even more :D

    This law is symbolic of the tyranny of the government. If someone is deemed a possible threat they are terminated before birth even, and the people have been so manipulated society accepts this as a fact. It isn't like he committed murder or just broke a serious law. This is a possible threat to the government and is a statement of complete rebellion against the manipulative society these leaders have created.

    Sorta like the message of 1984 I guess you could say. So I was thinking it would definitely mandate federal forces, but I'm not sure the government could afford to come out guns ablazin' over something like this without ruining a public image. So I'm trying to guage governmental responses in either hte real world or other pieces of fiction in order to determine to what extent this law breaking couple would be pursued.
     
  11. DocDoom187
    Offline

    DocDoom187 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2009
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks man. I checked them out and they go a bit too out there with it, but it gives me a good idea of a non-outrageous governmental reaction.

    Thanks for your replies everyone :)
     
  12. Kirvee
    Offline

    Kirvee Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    Messages:
    232
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Michigan
    @Doc: Ooo, in that case you DEFINITELY need to check out the plot of "Tales of Vesperia".

    Also, if your government doesn't want to ruin their image, why can't they have a special hidden army/agents that not even the public knows about?

    There another thing (game/manga/anime) I looked at once that had something like that.....I can't remember it now, though.....OH! It was the anime "Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit". The king in that anime was using a special group or warriors to secretly kill his own son while planning to tell the public a different story (I think the story was that he died in a fire).

    Edit: This was in response to your other post. Oh, and I recommend you not double post >_>.
     
  13. DocDoom187
    Offline

    DocDoom187 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2009
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Tales of Vesperia's description on Wiki was a bit vague but after some more research it is most certainly useful. Thanks a ton man. I'll look up some more about Moribito now :D
     
  14. Kirvee
    Offline

    Kirvee Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    Messages:
    232
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Michigan
    No problem:-D. Yeah, Wiki doesn't do the game story justice, but if you have an Xbox 360 you can rent the game and play through it.
     
  15. Unit7
    Offline

    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,151
    Likes Received:
    59
    Nothing wrong with asking for a little nudge in the right direction or get some advice from a more experienced writer.
     
  16. Kirvee
    Offline

    Kirvee Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    Messages:
    232
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Michigan
    @Unit: I agree. It's one thing if you're asking people to write something for you for your own story, it another thing entirely if you're just asking for some ideas to help you get on the right track.
     
  17. SA Mitchell
    Offline

    SA Mitchell Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    1
    I agree with aaron89 it reminds me of Bladerunner. The problems with a law like that might come up enough to warrant a specialist.
     
  18. DocDoom187
    Offline

    DocDoom187 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2009
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    @Aaron and Mitchel: That's a route I never considered. I had been looking at this as telling the story of this couple's stand against the government. However, if I were to make a special agent(s) who are told to take care of this, it presents a second point of view to the story, and could further the point even more. That's certainly something to consider.
     
  19. arron89
    Offline

    arron89 Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    2,460
    Likes Received:
    91
    Location:
    Auckland
    A stand against the govt would be very difficult to pull off in a novel, since "the govt" is not a character. Having an agent or something acting on behalf of "the law" is a much better way to set up the conflict as it works on both the literal level (fugitives vs agents) as well as a symbolic level (rebellion vs tyranny). In your characterisations, then, you can explore the wider ethical, moral and social concerns of the conflict with more freedom (ie in dialogue, action, internal monologue, description) as opposed to straight exposition.
     
  20. DocDoom187
    Offline

    DocDoom187 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2009
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks man. This is really helpful. So glad I found this site. Rep your way :)
     

Share This Page