I'd be interested to hear how others handle situations, that for plot reasons, mean your character doesn't do the obvious. Do you believe the reason for not taking the obvious action needs to be explained by creating a situation which removes it as an option? Or do you think readers will accept they're reading a work of fiction and move on? Classic, cliched example from horror films: The character is in a house when a brutal murder takes place. Obvious thing to do: Flee from the house and call the police. Plot thing to do: Go upstairs to investigate. Take my WiP. It's set in a near-future and it never occurred to me to give my characters mobile/cell phones. I suppose somewhere in the back of my mind I knew this would makes things too easy for them, but now that they're on the cusp of meeting their first big challenge, I find myself wondering if readers will wonder why they don't have such a common device on their person. This is an easy one (had I given them phones) so perhaps not a good example; lose them, flat battery, no signal, out of credit, etc. But what about the more subtle ones? For instance, this 'challenge' that my characters are about to face results from a car crash and leaves them stranded in the middle of nowhere. They abandon the wrecked vehicle and begin walking. Now in the real world the car would be found, reported to the authorities, who would then run a check on the license plate and have reason to try and contact you. Now, okay, this wouldn't result in a full-on manhunt, but that's what would happen. I suppose what I'm asking is how do you decide when to just hope the reader will overlook the characters not doing the obvious thing, and explaining it away by creating something that removes it as an option or possibility?