1. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    How can I make this character's decision unknown on purpose, without it coming off as unintentional.

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Ryan Elder, Apr 10, 2016.

    For my story, a member of a violent gang wants out, once the gang takes things too far in their crimes, at least too far, for his morals.

    So he wants out and avoids the gang. He also tries to build a case against the gang for the police and the gang suspects this, while they are trying to anticipate his next moves.

    I am thinking they would call him and tell him that if he wants out, he has to do one last nasty deed for them. They give him a blood out, where is he does one last nasty deed and they then have collateral on him, if that's how the blood out concept works, or so I read. Or maybe they just use that as a ruse to get the gang member to meet them.

    There is also the MC, who the gang wants out of the way, and they figure they can get the gang member to kill the MC for him as the nasty deed for him to get out. Or maybe they are just calling the gang member and using this as a ruse to get the gang member to come meet them, so they can deal with him and the MC in one swoop.

    Now, the gang member who wants out, can go two ways. He can either turn good and decide to help save the MC, or he can suck it up and accept the one last nasty deed, and attempt to kill the MC and fail.

    There is already a character in my story who turns good, and there is already a character who turns bad. So I figure if I were to have this gang member turn good or bad, it will come off as repetition, because their is already two characters who do each.

    So I thought this could happen in the story: The gang member happens to be surveying the gang trying to get evidence on them to build a case to turn them in. As he is surveying them, and is close by, he gets a call from the leader. The leader tells him that the gang is going after the MC and wants him to kill him as his last deed.

    The gang member then decides to run to get to the MC before they do. He intercepts the gang, running to where the MC is, with his gun drawn. The MC hears him coming, along with the rest of the gang arriving, shortly behind him. The MC sees him with the drawn gun come around the corner. The MC panics, shoots him to death, and escapes.

    However, I was thinking maybe I should write it so that the reader does not know what the gang member's intentions were. Was he going to try to warn the MC and help him escape? Was he going to put his morals aside and kill him to get out?

    I thought it might be better to make the gang members intentions unsolved, and mysteriously ambiguous, to avoid possible repetition.

    But I would like to write it in a way, in which the reader understands that the ambiguity is intentional, and they are not asking "what the heck is going on with this character, I don't understand".

    What do you think? Should I write it in that way? If so, how do you write it, so that it comes off as intentional, rather than poorly unexplained, to the reader?
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2016
  2. Mumble Bee
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    Mumble Bee The writer formerly known as Chained. Contributor

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    Either have him fake his own death, or have him fake the death of the MC. either way you could do a secene where it looks like someone was killed, reader think's 'oh, its the same as last time' only then you reveal the twist.

    Be careful though, doing this a lot can cheapen character deaths.
     
  3. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Alright, thanks for the input. What advantage to the plot would the faked death create though? How can you fake a death without a body? Doesn't someone still need to die, in order for the faked death to be believed, as oppose to the gang and the media taking it as a missing person?

    It seems that either the gang leaves the dead body to be found by the cops, but the media never reports it, so the gang becomes suspicious, thinking that the person is not dead likely.

    Or, the gang takes the dead body with them to get rid of it, in which case they can tell that the man is still alive.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2016
  4. Feo Takahari
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    Feo Takahari Active Member

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    If he didn't want to kill the MC, it seems a little stupid to suddenly run at him with his gun drawn.
     
  5. IHaveNoName
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    IHaveNoName Active Member

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    Does the gang member's decision really matter? As in, does it affect the plot? If not, then leave it ambiguous.

    It's not hard to fake a death without a body - you could, for example, provide a corpse (not the MC's) that's burned beyond recognition. The gang members don't exactly have access to dental records... you could also just liberally splatter blood around - "Man, that's a lot of blood. He couldn't possibly survive that." Have him plunge off a cliff, drop into a river and not come up... the possibilites are endless. This is, of course, assuming the gang members a) don't need to see the deed being done, and b) don't require the MC's head as proof. That might complicate matters a bit.
     
  6. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Well he is looking for the MC, and knows he is in the vicinity but not sure where exactly. So he has to keep his gun drawn in case one of the gangsters tries to kill him, in case the whole thing was a ruse for the gang to kill him along with the MC. Plus if he is intending to save the MC, he has to shoot other gang members and be ready, right?

    Well the gang probably would want to make sure the person is dead, so their is no witness left alive to spill any beans. I think it would be foolish of them to leave without checking, right?

    As for using another body, the gang member who wants out would have to plan and anticipate this whole thing in advance dig out a dead body out of a grave, or get one from somewhere. Is it plausible that he could have anticipated this whole thing, and already have a dead body with him in his car, and be able to anticipate that he would be able to carry the body near where the MC is, without any of the other gang members noticing?

    As for the what the gang member being dead has on the plot, my original outcome was to have the MC pin the death on the gang, framing them for it, which would bring the gang down later. So the gang member's role is really to die, to drive the rest of the plot, and his decision about whether or not he turns good, does not necessarily have any baring on the rest of the plot. It was suppose to lead to his death, or something else can.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2016
  7. Mumble Bee
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    Mumble Bee The writer formerly known as Chained. Contributor

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    Ohhh, you can make it dark.

    Make the gang member kill himself and make the body look like the MC, so not only does the gang think that the MC is dead, they think that the member just took off after doing the deed.
     
  8. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    But when the body is found later, and the media reports that it is the gang member who killed himself, the gang will catch on, won't they?

    I thought of the gang member killing himself before, but I was told by other readers that the gang member did not have enough motive to kill himself, and it felt forced. Unless there is some way I can make it work. But wouldn't the media still report the truth, and the gang will catch on?
     

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