1. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    How can I make this type of thriller genre premise work?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Ryan Elder, May 17, 2016.

    I have a story which I have written out about half, which is pretty finalized, and holds together well I think, but still haven't decided on a last half and have several options.

    It's one of those thrillers of the genre, where the police are unable to crack a case, but the MC cop, who is much more personally invested and holds much more of a grudge, goes out, solves it on his own, and proves the department and system wrong.

    Lots of stories have followed that structure, where it's just one cop, who gets the case resolved, unlike all the others.

    The thing I cannot quite figure out though is, why is it that only the MC cop is able to solve it? The MC, like those other stories, is not even officially on the case anymore, has no warrants or not much legal authorization, compared to the people who are actually on it.

    The people who are actually on it, are going to get all the legal and technological support to do the case right, compared to the MC.

    So in other stories where the MC does it on his own, against others wishes but still wins in the end, how is it that the MC is the only one who can do the job, compared to others who would logically have more support and more resources to do it? As I am writing the story in different ways, I keep asking myself, why can't the other cops solve this crime compared to the MC?

    What's the concept or trick in that type of story structure?
     
  2. Mumble Bee
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    Mumble Bee The writer formerly known as Chained. Contributor

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    What if the criminal is doing it for the MC? Say they have a past and each of the crimes has a clue designed specifically for him.
     
  3. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    What do you mean exactly? Like the villain is targeting the MC specifically?
     
  4. Mumble Bee
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    Mumble Bee The writer formerly known as Chained. Contributor

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    I wouldn't say targeting, but he's communicating with the MC though crime scenes in a way that only the MC would understand. Doing this gives the MC extra motivation to complete the case even if he's not supposed to, the MC feels that they're the only one capable of solving the crime.
     
  5. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    There are all kinds of reasons the MC might solve the crime.

    Maybe he's a better investigator than the other cops.
    Maybe he's smarter.
    Maybe he has more time to devote, while the cops are spread thin with too many cases.
    Maybe he lucks onto a crucial piece of information the police missed.

    And so on.

    It would probably be a good idea to read a fair amount in the genre. These kinds of cop books are common. It would probably also be helpful with respect to a lot of the other questions you're posing, since you're creating needless obstacles for yourself. If you're writing a thriller, you want it to be thrilling. That means it isn't always going to be 100% true to reality. If you wrote a play-by-play account of a typical police investigation, 99% of it would be boring as hell and would bore the socks off the reader. When you read thrillers, the authors set up circumstances to make them thrilling. Why does the cop go in alone instead of waiting for backup? It's more exciting, so the author contrives a reason where readers will suspend disbelief about him going in. Why doesn't the main villain get pulled over and caught in a routine traffic stop? Because that's probably going to be boring, so it doesn't happen. And so on. Take some dramatic license.
     
  6. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    That's true. I passed the story onto some cops for some fact checking and they told me that the police would not do these things and they would do these other things in real life, they said.

    However, my instincts told me the story was going to be boring as hell, if it went the way they suggest. I want it to be real, but too real if that makes sense.

    Well in my story, the MC is raped by the villain, who is a serial rapist/killer type. But this poses a lot of problems for him to solve his crime, and for the evidence to be admissible in court, since he was the victim of the crime. The villain has victimized others in the past though. Perhaps the MC chooses not to report his own rape cause he knows that he does not have enough evidence, cause the villain got rid off too much of it, and he knows that if he reports it, it will be a conflict of interest for him to be on the case.

    So maybe he chooses not to and decided to go after the villain for the other victims, and chooses to acquire evidence of those crimes instead. But again, what can he do that the cops that are actually on it cannot.

    He could be a better investigator, but I feel like the steaks should be more, in this type of story, where he is the victim and all. What do you think?
     

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