1. fallenn
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    fallenn Member

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    How can three people safely escape collapsing building.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by fallenn, May 30, 2013.

    So here's the situation.
    There's a building which has (about) 10-25 floors and it's now about to collapse. On the top of the building OR somewhere in the middle of that building I have three of my characters. One of them is a girl who can communicate with animals ( especially birds ), and therefore make them do anything she wants. Other one is an amateur wizard who has only recently started to practice magic and so he's still quite bad at it. Third one is either an old man in his eighties OR a young chap in his twenties who is a quite a nerd but expect for his brilliant mind, has no special powers. Which one it is, I haven't really decided yet.

    I've been trying to figure this out for last two months and still haven't found the answer and now I'm trying to find new angles to look at this scene... For a second I thought that the girl could have called some big birds to come to their rescue, but I decided that it's too much like in Lord of the Rings. Also in my dream, where I first got this idea one of the three people could fly but I'm not really fond of flying men...

    This scene isn't really THAT important that I can quite easily just leave it out but since I'm in no hurry I've been trying to figure something out.
    + Oh almost forgot! These people don't have any kind of technology to help them ( not that it would help that much anyway, no way to turn an iPad into a parachute :D ).

    Thank you! :)
     
  2. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Amateur wizard teleports them outside? Brilliant nerd uses the cable in the elevator to drop them down the side of the building as it collapses? Why don't you just watch a bit of Transformers or something and see how they get away with it, sliding down on their bums through rickety building sides and jumping between collapsing billboards and all? :D

    Maybe bird girl calls the birds to call for help, and the birds bring a helicopter!
     
  3. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    They find an emergency escape chute, or utilize some MacGyver move using something within the building structure, sliding down something in the elevator shaft, perhaps.

    There are a slew of high-rise escape devices since the WTC collapse. Here's a FEMA paper on them and if you Google high-rise escape chute, you get a dozen companies that make them.

    This is a weird one, escape slides built into the stairwells. :p I don't see it working unless there are very few people trying to get on it at once, but what a fun thing to use when you get off work for the day.
     
  4. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    ok counting out magic, and McGuyvor type tech, and giant flying birds...

    If they're on the top floor of a collapsing building then obviously descending is not going to work for them. They need to get on the roof and wait for the pancake effect.

    Googling this stuff should be the fun part for you
     
  5. jennym123
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    jennym123 Member

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    Just throwing a few ideas around.

    1) Animal Girl summons birds and magic boy attempts to make them bigger so the characters can ride them but the spell backfires turns the characters tiny instead.

    2) Genius helps magic boy get a good spell going (either by trickery or logic) and turns centripetal force they would generate when falling into centrifical force, an entirely made up concept which means they end up not dying- I like odd humor, what can I say?

    3) Animal girl listens to local rat and insect population and finds safe spot that would shield them from the collapse, idea inspired by genius.
     
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  6. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    If it's something you don't feel is necessary to the story then I'd seriously consider cutting it all together. My rule with writing is if a scene is not necessary then it must be cut. Having parts that are frivolous can lead to filler and boring the reader.

    Now, if you decide it is necessary then I would say the best way to escape it safely would be very quickly. ;)
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    If you have characters in dire peril, commit to it, and don't give up until you find a solution. I don't mean by asking others, either. I mean by worrying it like a wolf with a bloody carcass until you find a weak spot where you can rip it asunder. That's part of your growth as a writer.

    Screenwriters have to do this a lot with season cliffhangers. Often, the writer of the cliffhanger leaves a mess he or she has no idea how to resolve. This was the case with the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode The Best of Both Worlds. The writers for Part II had to rise to the challenge on a tight schedule, and they not only did so, they came up with one of the most popular stories of the series.

    You're lucky. You have the luxury of chucking the idea entirely, and won't lose your job over it.

    So take the challenge.
     
  8. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Those are hilarious ideas. :D
     
  9. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Ooh, one of these!
     
  10. fallenn
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    fallenn Member

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    Thank you all!
    My point wasn't finding an answer here, but to get new angles to look at the scene since I've been pretty stuck lately. And that's just what I got from you guys so thank you. :) I believe I'll somehow manage to find a solution to this and to be honest, I do like the challenge. :)
     

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