1. ekblackwell
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    ekblackwell New Member

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    Painted into a corner: brainstorming help?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by ekblackwell, Mar 15, 2016.

    I worked through the book's plotline, did all my research, and as I started, I suddenly realized the one character was doing something they wouldn't do. I've done all the things they say to get out of the corner, and none worked. I thought maybe I could brainstorm with somebody here?

    Basic scenario:

    Two Navy captains, Captain A and Captain B, and their ships, sabotaged to parallel their courses
    Bad Guy who did all that. They think Bad Guy is on Captain A's ship.

    Captain B's ship also has 3 civilians originally from A's ship. Since Bad Guy (supposedly) is on A's ship, they're keeping the civilians safely on B's.

    Here's what I need for the climatic battle to happen.
    Captain A and the 3 civilians must be on B's ship. Bad Guy is actually on B's ship too & once he reveals that he is, using the 3 civilians has hostages, it's a battle of wits & knowing what their ships can do with Bad Guy pitted against the captains.

    I was going to have Captain A come over to B's ship to have a meeting of the minds per se to work on what they can do to fix the sabotage and find Bad Guy. Then S hits the fan and the battle is on.

    BUT!

    I suddenly realized Captain A would never leave her ship, not when she has sabotage to fix & Bad Guy to find. I talked with a friend who is ex-military and she confirms the Captain wouldn't leave. So that throws out the rest of the book.

    I've thought it over for the last couple days, and I came up with something, but it creates multiple problems
    Here's the change I thought of:

    What if Bad Guy leads them to believe he's dead? I've thought of a couple scenarios where this could happen with Bad Guy having left a dead body for them to eventually find. That makes Captain A feel it's safe(r) to go speak with B.

    But! New problems:
    Remember Captain A, the 3 civilians, and B must be on B's ship.

    If they think Bad Guy is dead:
    • Captain A insists the 3 civilians come back to her ship where they belong.
    • Even if Captain B convinces her to come over, 3 civilians are not where they need to be.
    If I don't make Bad Guy supposedly dead or some other scenario where A's ship isn't safe -- so the civilians stay on B's, then we're back to the original problem. A will not leave her ship.

    If A's ship seems safe and I make B's ship seem in danger, then again, they will move the 3 civilians to A's.

    If both ships are in danger, A won't go and they will put a ton of guards around the civilians, which can't happen because B will immediately be defeated. I've written it where 1 or 2 will work, but not more than 3. And that's pushing it.

    Of course, if both ships seem safe, they just leave.

    My ex-military friend suggested that I reveal that Bad Guy is actually on B's ship. That will bring both captains running. BUT! Captain A, in my opinion, will immediately remove the 3 civilians off of B's ship, so the civilians are out of danger. My friend says no; a military commander wouldn't remove them (I forget why). I just don't get that. If you could get the the 3 civilians to safety, why wouldn't they do it?

    One more thing: this is actually sci-fi, so I have a little leeway. BUT they are still military and I don't want to toss out what basically such a leader would do. That's why I didn't say it was sci-fi right away.

    I mentioned before that I did what all the pro articles recommend to get out of the corner:
    • Meditate and distance myself
    • Sleep on it
    • Throw/Cut/Destroy what you have
    • Get rid of it all
    Every article says the only reasons I'm stuck is:
    • I didn't think through my book. I swear I did though. Outline, throw outlines out, research it all so I see how it does work so the story can work with that. It took months before it worked and clicked. If I had just seen the one damn movement ruined it all.
    • They say I need to stop being afraid to delete things or toss them out. I didn't think I was, but I would hate to throw out the whole book because this one detail can't be fixed somehow. So maybe I am.
    Just wanted you to know that I did try what the articles say. I'm hoping I don't have to throw this all out.

    Does anyone have any ideas? I'd really appreciate it.
     
  2. ToeKneeBlack
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    ToeKneeBlack Contributing Member Contributor

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    What if you have Captain A on Ship B before she finds out about the bad guy and the sabotage?
     
  3. ekblackwell
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    ekblackwell New Member

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    Thank you for replying!
    The sabotage and bad guy kick off the story. It's why the ships are where they are etc.
     
  4. ToeKneeBlack
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    ToeKneeBlack Contributing Member Contributor

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    I had another idea - Captain A is wounded and her ship's doctor is killed - she needs medical attention, but the only place to get it is on Ship B.

    Then I realised it would me more sensible to send the doctor from Ship B to Ship A.

    I'll keep thinking...
     
  5. ekblackwell
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    ekblackwell New Member

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    Thank you!

    I might have to bite the bullet and not have Captain A on the other ship. If I can't get around it.
     
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  6. doggiedude
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    doggiedude Contributing Member

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    I was thinking the same medical angle. Captain A is injured in the initial attack and they need the equipment on ship B to save him/her. Maybe Ship A's medical room/bay/whatever is damaged. If Captain A is knocked out in the initial attack he/she wouldn't be in control when the 2nd in command gets the Captain to ship B in the emergency. Maybe the second in command is new and breaks some rules to do this.
    I have found it helpful when doing something that looks fictitious to go ahead admit it as part of the situation.

    "Just as she finished talking about Carl there was a knock at the door. She knew it was probably him, with all the timing of a badly written comedy show."
     
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  7. ekblackwell
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    ekblackwell New Member

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    Thanks for replying! I appreciate you guys taking the time to help me. :)

    If I hurt the captain, doesn't that limit her then?
     
  8. doggiedude
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    doggiedude Contributing Member

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    It only limits her as much as you need her to be. Is she going to be getting into a major hand to hand battle? If so, a recently repaired limb can add to the drama of the fight. Does she just need to use her mind. Giving orders for everyone to follow? Put her in a body cast and have her insist on still running things from the bridge!
     
  9. T.Cook
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    T.Cook New Member

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    Hello,

    It may be a bit overkill, but how important are these ships? could ship A be damaged so critically that they have no other option then to abandon ship? that would place everyone that survived on ship B including the Captain of ship A.

    Just a thought.
     
  10. ekblackwell
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    ekblackwell New Member

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    The ships are important. I can't lose ship A.

    Thanks for the help! I'll try the A getting hurt. If that doesn't work, I'll just have to get rid of A going to B.
     

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