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  1. Dr Guillotine
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    Dr Guillotine Member

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    Plausible Reason for Giving a Character a Knife

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Dr Guillotine, Jul 26, 2011.

    I'm working on a story which features an overweight/obese character. I need to give him a knife for a confrontation in the story. As of now, the character is 26 and still lives at home.

    I thought of making him the target of bullies and the knife is for protection.

    I thought of putting a serial killer in the town and, again, protection is the angle.

    I'm not really too in love with any of those. So, any help is appreciated!
     
  2. MRD
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    MRD Senior Member

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    It could be a gift from someone the character cares about, or something as simple as a pen-knife. Or if the character only needs the knife for one event, and doesn't need to carry it constantly, you could simply have him finding (or buying) one.

    But yeah, a knife protection is plausible, but it really depends on the character's personality.

    It's also worth noting that, in the UK, it's illegal to carry around knives and blades.
     
  3. JSLCampbell
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    JSLCampbell Member

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    To spread Nutella on his sandwiches?


    If it's non-intentional, he could end up with it after collecting it for some other purpose, but then being distracted and forgets he has it. I don't now, for example, a handyman leaves it or something sharp behind after fixing his dishwasher, and he pockets it intending to return it, but forgets. Or he buys one with the intention of using it for cooking, but is thrown into situation which makes him forget about it before he returned home.

    If he deliberately carries it, perhaps he carries it for survivalist reasons like hiking or whatever, although you did say he was obese. The best reason I could think of for an obese person to carry a knife would be a kitchen knife for something cooking-related, but I'm not sure why he'd carry one around in public.
     
  4. dizzyspell
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    dizzyspell Active Member

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    He could just be paranoid.

    I knew a guy in high school who carried fantasy style knives with him everywhere to try and make himself feel like less a part of the real world, so that's an idea, too.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    What kind of knife? A box cutter? A fisherman's knife? A Swiss Army knife? A letter opener? A machete for clearing brush?

    Deciding on the type of knife may held decide how he comes to own one.
     
  6. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Just give him a switchblade, lots of people carry one, myself included.
     
  7. martial_wolf
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    martial_wolf Member

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    Paranoia is a pretty good excuse. He takes a knife with him everywhere he goes because, let's face it, he's fat and can't defend himself all that well. So if worse comes to worse he can pull out Little Suzy and threaten to cut someone.

    Not that he'd necessarily remember that he had it.
     
  8. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Back in Nam his grandfather had a lucky knife, didn't go anywhere without it, and he swears that knife is the reason he was the only surviving member of his squadron. Now on at the dusk of his life, gramps wants to pass on the luck
     
  9. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Without good reason, that is. Although "paranoia" would not count as a good reason. Camping, fishing and carrying home a set of kitchen knives that you've just bought in a store would all be good reasons.
     
  10. MRD
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    MRD Senior Member

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    Oh I agree, plus the people who carry knives with the intent to use it as a weapon are unlikely to care about such a law in the first place.

    Another reason a person may decide to carry a knife around is because it may make them feel strong, tougher than their would-be assailants. They'd feel all the more confident as they'd have the upper hand in a fight, an edge in combat, if you will.
     
  11. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Another reason that would not be acceptable from a legal point of view. :) That's probably the first thing the original questioner needs to decide: how innocent the reason needs to be.
     
  12. Dr Guillotine
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    Dr Guillotine Member

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    Thanks for all the help everyone!

    To answer some questions,

    It doesn't really matter what kind of knife, we could say a pen knife or a switchblade. As long as it is portable, concealable, and in a sense forgettable.

    The reason for carrying the knife is innocent, he does not intend to harm anyone. But that could change.

    But, I'm all for any kind of suggestion. I'm still developing the character and story so ideas are strongly encouraged.
     
  13. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You're missing my point. It doesn't matter to me what kind of knife. For you to know, or decide, what kind of knife, will help you decide why he has it with him.
     
  14. Nicholas C.
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    Nicholas C. Active Member

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    A friend of his could have left it in his house or vehicle and the character is on the way to returning it. This exact thing happened to me with a friend who stayed at my house not long ago.
     
  15. tiggertaebo
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    tiggertaebo Member

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    Depending on how fleshed out the character is you could give him a "job" reason why he needs to carry a knife - I know a lot of people in technical/engineering professions who often carry a Leatherman style multi-tool.
     
  16. LostInFiction
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    LostInFiction Senior Member

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    If its an innocent situation you are looking for it could be that he saw someone drop it suspiciously, found it in the street, confiscated it from a friend who was drunk/angry etc. If randomly found maybe he wrapped it in plastic to preserve fingerprints and is going to hand it to the police. Good citizen type.
    Does he know he is carrying a knife? Perhaps its a blade concealed in a walking stick that he has bought/found/been given....
    Could he be in fancy dress (on way to or home from an event of some sort) with a 'fake' knife as part of the costume which incidentially is still fairly lethal?
     
  17. Blue_Lotus
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    Blue_Lotus Senior Member

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    Here's how I delt with the knife situation.
    I had a supporting charater who needed and just happened to have a knife, a very cool 5 inch one with a serrated base and a double edged tip, with a compass in the hilt. It was a gift from the MC who is always a worry wort...
    Perhaps like the others suggested, deciding what kind of knife will help you as different knives have very diffrent intended purposes.
    My knife is meant for survival, and self defence as a last resort. A butterfly knife however screams intimidation. A switch blade reminds me of MJ's Bad video... with the gang members dancing around.... Figure out the knife and the rest I think will fall into place for you. If you decide, lets say a paring knife for instance is the right fit, he could just grab it off the counter, or something like that
     
  18. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    Why does anyone carry a knife today?

    They use it for crafts(widdling), use if for their job: handyman, stockman(boxcutter), electrician(cutting wire ties other things), hunter, farmer-cut bales, rope, feed/seed bags.
    When I had horses, I had a knife in every vehicle.(hay twine, feed bags)

    Knives have a purpose, and any legitimate use will provide a reason to carry, and would avoid laws that make carry illegal(blade length and spring blades not withstanding.)

    If he is a criminal or does not care about laws he can carry anything for almost any reason. (self defense, to intimidate others.)
     
  19. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I agree with Severin. If it can be any kind of knife, does he really need a reason to have it? I carry a knife most days. It is quite sharp and could do some damage, I suppose. I probably use it once a week. Plenty of times people at work have said "anyone got a knife?" and I'm not the only one who has one.
     
  20. Anders Backlund
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    Anders Backlund Contributing Member

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    ...Maybe he just likes knives?

    I myself am the same age, somewhat overweight and I still live at home, and I collect swords. ;)
     
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  21. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Uh-oh! now you're making me worried. :D
     

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