1. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Massacre

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by GuardianWynn, Jun 19, 2015.

    I was thinking about a scene. Kind of and came to the conclusion that at the present moment don't have enough insight on how people would react to it. By that I mean both how a reader would react and how a people in the world would react. I am not the best judge of reactions. Especially not one with massacre.

    Funny thing is the event happens off screen in a time skip but it has an impact on the world and I was even thinking of writing a book about the concept.

    The concept. A church is massacred. A large church, like Vatican size. Thing is no normal people are harmed. Only priests and pastors and such(I don't know all titles) and the lead guy.. Again not sure the name.

    Thing is. The killer gets away clean. She made a plan and followed it. I was thinking of a death toll of like 30-50 in the time span of about an hour. She did it like a perfect assassin. Never being seen by anything not even cameras.

    The police look into it but no luck. Anyone skilled enough and known was not in the country.(The idea here is that the killer faked there deal before doing this to avoid being found.) Though they did have one suspect but could never find her to confirm.

    How would you react? As both a reader and as a person in this world.

    As a reader you might ask how this plays in a book. For one it is backstory in more than one book. So in some books it is just that backstory. In another book you see the character that has done this but the protangnist while knowing this can do little about it.

    The book I planned to write around this concept is this. "15 years later" that one suspect has finally resurfaced. The hunt is on. I think. That is a reason I ask. Do you think 15 years later people would still care?

    Oh not sure if this is important but she does this with a blade and not a gun.

    Edited to clarify as a reader how would you personally react to these 3 situations.

    1. Part of the world, mentioned but no real focus

    2. You see the killer. They admit it! but the hero just watches them walk away as the hero can't prove it.

    3. The killer reappears and the cops get a second chance to get them 15 years later.

    Would any of these anger you and make you want to put the book down? Guessing number 2 might provoke that response. Am I right? I mean it is supposed to be dark but I don't want to push people away from wanting to turning the page.

    Tagging people whose opinion I am especially curious.
    @Jillie415
    @jaebird
    @jannert
    @Lea`Brooks
    @Mckk
    @Jack Asher
    @ChickenFreak
    @cutecat22

    Damn. it is becoming a long list of people whose opinion I value. Who knew. lol It just means this place is awesome!


    Also I am sorry if I forgot someone awesome. The list is long! I need to like write down my tagging list! lol
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2015
  2. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    Look at the news for this one. Funny that you came up with this idea the day after a mass murder at a church happened.

    Columbine is still remembered today, nearly twenty years later, because it was basically the first of its kind. Not only was it a shooting, but there were bombs everywhere.

    Mass shootings are always remembered, especially by the people who were there, the families of the victims, and the town as a whole. I may not remember every shooting, but I remember the twisted ones. The elementary schools, the movie theaters, and now this church. I also remember a shooting at a courthouse that many people won't remember, because it was in my town.

    As for your situation, I would think people would remember that (though I'd avoid using the word "normal people" when describing it.. Priests are normal people too). Thirty to fifty people is a lot of people, especially if it was well planned and the killer was never found.

    So yes, people would care even fifteen years later, especially the families of the victims and the town as a whole.
     
  3. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah I didn't mean to imply priests weren't normal people but wanted to establish that it wasn't random. The person had a list. Not all the priests died either but only members of the church were harmed and not visitors.

    Actually the church shooting was what inspired me to ask. Because I realized I don't have enough detail into how people would react. Thing about papers though is my version has a very important difference. Not only was the killer not caught but killer was never identified. This changes the entire circumstance. Right?

    Also I am curious on how you might react as a reader to the three circumstances?

    Being.

    1. Part of the world, mentioned but no real focus

    2. You see the killer. They admit it! but the hero just watches them walk away as the hero can't prove it.

    3. The killer reappears and the cops get a second chance to get them 15 years later.

    Would any of these anger you and make you want to put the book down? Guessing number 2 might provoke that response. Am I right? I mean it is supposed to be dark but I don't want to push people away from wanting to turning the page.

    Thank you for your input.
     
  4. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't see the killer not being identified as a major difference to today's shooting. If anything, it would just increase the interest. Look at that missing plane. It's been almost a year and people still talk about it.

    1. Part of the world, mentioned but no real focus: If there was a mass shooting that killed 30-50 church officials, it would be focused on, no matter where in the world it happened. Today, I mean. I know your Order series takes place in the future though, so it's hard to judge what would make news in your world. But I, personally, would be sad. It's heartbreaking to know presumably innocent people are slaughtered.

    2. You see the killer. They admit it! but the hero just watches them walk away as the hero can't prove it: I wouldn't NOT do anything about it. I'd go to the police if I had any inkling that they were the killer. If they told me, if they hinted, I'd go to the police. I may not be able to prove it, but at least it'd give the police a lead to look into.

    3. The killer reappears and the cops get a second chance to get them 15 years later: I would be happy. I would follow the story, pay attention to what led them to the killer, and eagerly await the trial.

    Aww shit. I answered those questions as if the event happened in real life. I'll answer as a reader later.
     
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  5. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    I was about to mention that when you edited it.

    I am fine with both perspectives though. :-D
    Thank you for your insight. :)
     
  6. jaebird
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    jaebird Active Member

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    First of all, I don't think that in 15 years people who have had friends and family massacred in a place that is looked at as safe would just forget about it and not be anxious to catch the person even after all that time.

    Are you looking at all three of these situations to be involved in the stories? As far as any of them putting me off, only the second one, I suppose might. If I saw a character that had any information that could potentially help the police and just walked away, I would be thinking there must be a big reason behind them not reporting it, and you might have another story altogether with that idea...
     
  7. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well rather that The Order is a universe of ideas. So once some ideas happen they become part of the lore of the world.

    Which is what it is in case one. Any story that takes place in that area after that event will likely reference it to some degree but it won't be the focus.

    Case two is right after it happens. The point too isn't that they refused to try and catch them or report them but rather they can't. Doing so will cause worse things to happen. Kind of like they admitted it to you because they know there isn't a damn thing you can do about it. Funny enough in that case it isn't the focus either. It that case it is more a reason for tension as they two parties are forced to work together.

    Third case is the only one to focus on it.

    So you think after fifteen years people would still be anxious for the hunt? I figured the fact they didn't have a name or face would make it hard for people to continue wanting to find them. I am weird though.
     
  8. jaebird
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    When you say lore do you mean that most people just assume it's nothing but a story and a fairy tale? That kind of doesn't mesh with the idea that only 15 years have passed, and you want to know if people would still be trying to catch the killer.

    Well, you'd definitely have tension. Especially if someone knew that this person had information and refused to report it, not aware of the other circumstances preventing them from telling the police what they know.
     
  9. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    By lore I meant history of the world. As in a story set past this date has this event as history. So even if it isn't the focus it is part of that world.

    The idea is the reader would know. Circumstances are forcing the hero and this killer to work together but before they do the hero asks this. The hero can't report it even if it would work because after all the killer being arrested means they can't help you and you need their help or you can't win. So yeah sounds like tension. lol
     
  10. jaebird
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    Well then, why not just call it history? I mean, if that's all it really is, just a horrible event that really isn't brought up in daily conversations anymore. Lore is like myths and legends and things that didn't necessarily happen.

    Yes, that is a lot of tension. Wonder just what this hero needs from this killer....
     
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  11. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    The hero needed help.

    If you were the hero would you accept the help? This isn't a trick question either. No double cross or anything. You didn't personally know the people she massacred and if you turn down her help your family and yourself are most likely doomed to die.

    Would you accept her help still?
     
  12. jaebird
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    Depends on what I needed help for. Would I be that desperate? (Coming from a character's perspective)
     
  13. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Fifteen years is just a moment in historical terms. I think they'd care. If they don't care, the issue isn't fifteen versus ten or five or one year; the issue is the nature of the tragedy.

    9/11 was almost fifteen years ago.
    The assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther King were more than, or almost, fifty years ago.
    The Oklahoma City bombing was twenty years ago.
    Columbine happened sixteen years ago.
    The Jonestown tragedy is coming up on forty years.

    So I guess in terms of whether people would remember, you might want to think through which historical tragedies you're aware of, and why you remember them.

    For the person knowing who did it and seeing them walk away, I'd need some emotional context even if you can't tell us the reason. So, not "Huh. It's them. Well, I can't prove it anyway. What's for lunch?" I want to see the conflict and pain of not being able to do anything.
     
  14. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Someone threatening your life and the life of your loved ones. They are the only one who can help and are willing to help.

    You make a good point.

    As for the emotional conflict or tension. It is meant to be that the hero needs there help and as such cannot turn them in at this time. So it is the tension of hating them and wanting to turn them in but instead being forced by circumstances to work with them. Is that enough context?
     
  15. ChickenFreak
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    That seems reasonable, yes.
     
  16. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    The question was more if you as a reader would be turned off by seeing this killer appear reveal themselves and never get there just desserts?
     
  17. ChickenFreak
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    Oh! Hmm. It would be possible for it to have that problem, but I wouldn't say that it's inevitable or even the most likely thing. There are a huge number of "it depends" details, so I can't give you a really good answer.
     
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