1. CMastah
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    CMastah Active Member

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    Just discovered a plot hole the size of Kansas -.-'

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by CMastah, Jan 18, 2015.

    So I had this character (an eight year old girl) who gets picked up and hidden in a military backpack, right?

    And THERE'S the plot hole.

    The girl was supposed to be smuggled out of a dangerous location and my beta reader who assumed at first the child was 1-year old and the size of a baby was shocked to find out she's actually eight and told me NO WAY would she fit in a backpack. So yeah....gonna have to go back and revise a bit if I don't want my story to sink because of this pit of a plot hole -.-'

    At the time I was sure you could stick a sedated eight year old in the fetal position in a backpack but....well.....anyone here familiar with military backpacks who can tell me whether or not you could hide an eight year old kid in one? I'm guessing it's not possible, but thought I'd ask nonetheless.
     
  2. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    I don't think so, unless she was really small for her age. A quick search shows the largest rucksack I found is around 26 x 15.5 x 10.5 inches. The 10.5 dimension might be your problem.
     
  3. Some_Bloke
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    Some_Bloke Active Member

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    Replace the bagpack with a large suitcase and you might be able to solve your problem.
     
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  4. Vandor76
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    Vandor76 Contributing Member

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    @Some_Bloke : +1
     
  5. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    I assumed that the rest of the story required the backpack to be military. If not, yeah, I've seen wheeled suitcases that could easily accommodate an eight-year-old.
     
  6. CMastah
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    CMastah Active Member

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    The thing is, is that it's a (fantasy) military attack on a village, the one who picks up the kid is a military character with a backpack (I'd imagine a backpack/satchel is normal equipment for even a fantasy army), a suitcase would not be available.
     
  7. qp83
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    qp83 Member

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    I remember a movie, probably Rambo or something, where the guy carried a large military duffle bag that I think could easily fit an eight year old. It can usually also be carried as a rucksack.

    A quick google search and I found at least one bag that's 53 inches long and 22 inches in diameter. I think an eight-year-old kid could fit in that.
     
  8. Lancie
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    Lancie Contributing Member

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    Some of these hiking backpacks you find on dedicated sites are pretty big as they're intended to carry tents as well as supplies for a period of time. As long as the eight year old is petite and scrunches up, I'm sure they'd squeeze in, especially if it's life or death.
     
  9. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I suggest a better description of the pack might resolve your beta reader's incredulity.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    That is one big ass bag! How the hell does that soldier not fall over?
     
  11. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    He probably had plenty of exercise and training before he put that on. ;)

    But yeah, if it were a life or death situation, I imagine they could find a bag big enough to squeeze her into. Of course, she'd probably have to curl herself up into a ball with her knees under her chin and her arms wrapped around her legs. I also think they would put some sort of padding around her to shield her from whatever damage she would get from being jostled around in the bag.

    My question is: how is she going to breathe? I mean, assuming she's in the bag with padding around her, breathing might be a bit difficult.
     
  12. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    If it's a bag like that, then the fastenings will probably be like, how can I explain, you know like the spring clips on dog leads?? and there would probably be more than one so part of the flap opening could be left open. It would also be - I would think - canvas or some kind of fabric so although it might be stuffy, it would be breathable.
     
  13. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    How about a hockey bag? - you could fit an elephant in a hockey bag.
     
  14. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Along with this image, which does prove that modern military gear could accommodate a smaller 8 year old, I would suggest perhaps referring to the backpack as a rucksack. At least in my neck of the woods, rucksack conjures an image of something more heavy-duty and capacious, more utilitarian than backpack. Backpack immediately brings to mind something casual and smaller, like for a library trip.
     
  15. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    That's funny. I think of a rucksack as more of a day bag. But there are other adjectives that could clue the reader it was special, such as a tactical field pack.
     
  16. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    If it's fantasy, can't you just decide on the size of the pack? :confused: Was this the story with a female captain in a military that doesn't work quite like modern militaries and they fight monsters? Just change the description so that your betas get the idea and you should be fine.
     
  17. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    you could even come up with it's own name, like, the "four footer field pack"
     
  18. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Careful with the rucksack thing - a more detailed description is the way to go here, not a change of the word backpack. Rucksack is routinely used in the UK to simply mean any normal bag you have on your back - think of a school bag. They can be described as rucksacks.

    Anyway, the idea of an 8-year-old fitting into a regular rucksack (think school bag) made me giggle.

    However, I think a child could legitimately fit into one of those huge camping/hiking bags people carry - not sure what they're called.

    As KaTrian say, it's fantasy. Just make up the dimensions, make sure you describe the size of the bag and maybe to make it realistic, describe a little struggle to fit the child in completely concealed or whatever, and carry on. The key is simply to let the reader know the bag's big enough.
     
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  19. RachHP
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    RachHP Contributing Member

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    Does the kidnapper have to leave with the child on foot? If they were on horseback/had access to the invariable carts or wagons needed to support a military operation, they could potentially wrap the girl in a blanket or something/shove her among piles of equipment and abscond with her that way?
     
  20. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've seen a soldier run a half-marathon in one - and a bloody good windbreak he made too!
     
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  21. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    For most packs it wouldn't work, but I'm pretty sure I could find a military pack that could fit an eight year old in the foetal position considering this suitcase held a fully grown man:

    [​IMG]

    Compare that suitcase to this pack:

    [​IMG]

    Or this:

    [​IMG]



    You'd probably need a 95 or 110 litre pack with a solid frame or carbon fibre backing shell.


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
  22. CMastah
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    CMastah Active Member

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    Thanks guys, I'm seeing some great tips here (also, @Selbbin , I'm almost too scared to ask where you got that first pic :p). I'll change things around and mention the size of the bag and have her think to herself about the struggle she'll have fitting the child in (essentially at that point I actually fade to black).

    (also @KaTrian , yes, this is that story :))

    @RachHP , That's a good possibility but the issue is that the location is no more than a day's ride away from the city (so I don't think they'd bring a wagon with them), the horse's pack would actually be another good alternative.

    @Link the Writer , Yep, the plan was that she would be placed inside in the fetal position (the child is sedated), as for how she would breathe.....ehm.....well.....I'll have to mention her keeping in mind that she has to adjust the child's head so she can breathe :p

    One issue is that because the location is only a day's ride away I'm not sure it would warrant bringing such a large bag, but I could probably pull it off that she thought the area was further away (she wasn't originally aware of its location until she was ordered over). I do have a possible plan B that'll do away with the bag issue, but since it isn't completely developed (I only began thinking of plan B AFTER the beta reader mentioned the issue), I'd rather not rely on a fix I haven't completely thought out all the quirks of.
     
  23. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Your MC is riding over? What kind of rider would carry a bag that size? It would completely alter your sense of balance (and ability to stay mounted) regardless of what she was riding.
     
  24. Leviathan
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    Leviathan Active Member

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    Let's hope no kidnappers read this how-to-guide on how to succesfully kidnap a child using a large backpack.
     
  25. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Easy! Just be fit enough to carry anywhere up to 40 kg/90 lbs on your back for some distance!
     

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