1. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Situations to provoke a violent reaction

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Tenderiser, Sep 16, 2015.

    I need to show that a character is no longer motivated by revenge and no longer believes violence is an acceptable reaction to people doing bad things. Ideally somebody will do something to him that would generally provoke a violent response, but he remains calm and doesn't rise to the bait. The issue is, this character is a highly muscled, 6'5" man. Who's going to pick a fight with him or try and get him angry? Only someone very stupid, which would not be very believable, or someone so weak that they would never expect to be attacked (like a child or frail, elderly person), in which case it's not very commendable that he doesn't punch them in the face.

    So, any believable situations in which he could reasonably be expected to punch someone in the face, and commendable that he doesn't?

    I've been coming up with ideas for something else all day and I'm wiped out of creative energy. Any ideas gratefully received.
     
  2. rainy_summerday
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    rainy_summerday Active Member

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    Somebody who is drunk would pick a fight, too. And a drunk person might be more honest than they normally would be. Often, it is the people closest to us that have the potential to inflict the greatest emotional pain on us...

    On this philosophical note, I'll end my post. Else I will ruin the moment^^ I am sure you will find a good solution to your problem.
     
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  3. X Equestris
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    X Equestris Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, I was going to say someone who's drunk enough might pick a fight with someone like that. I can't think of anything else that would make sense.
     
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  4. Madman
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    Madman Active Member

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    Last edited: Sep 16, 2015
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  5. Mumble Bee
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    Mumble Bee The writer formerly known as Chained. Contributor

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    Times I would have a hard time resisting punching someone in the face;
    1. When i'm cut off in traffic.
    2. Someone cuts off my internet connection.
    3. My drink is spilling and the phrase, "Sorry bro" is no where to be seen.
    4. i'm told there's something on my shirt but when I go to look I get flicked in the nose.
    5. Someone takes the parking spot I was about to get when I WAS CLEARLY THERE FIRST AND HAD MY BLINKER ON!
    6. I ask for an apple pie from McDonalds but the guy in front of me got the last one.
    7. I say something funny and no one laughs but someone else says it louder, people lose their shit, and they keep the credit.
     
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  6. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Another muscular man who knows exactly what this guy's very sensitive about and repeatedly keeps pushing it, poking it, adding the metaphorical salts to the wounds, etc.
     
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  7. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    A friend of mine (who's 6' 4") was once challenged by a bouncer in a bar. He didn't handle it in a peaceful manner, but perhaps your character could.

    He might walk into the bar, be challenged by the bouncer, and simply leave despite the fact that he really wanted to be in the bar for some reason (to meet someone, have a cold beer on a hot day, because he has an overwhelming urge to urinate, etc.)
     
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  8. DueNorth
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    DueNorth Active Member

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    Ever heard of "little man syndrome?" Al Pacino in the film Taxi Driver would be an example (course he got obsessed with handguns) and there are many variations, but it is not uncommon for smaller guys (especially buff and athletic smaller guys) to want to take on the big dude to show their buddies or girlfriend how hardass they are. It's not uncommon for big guys to get challenged just because they're big guys.
     
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  9. Sifunkle
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    Sifunkle Dis Member

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    My thought process went similarly to @DueNorth 's (although Taxi Driver was De Niro wasn't it? My take on that example was entirely different...). I don't think it's restricted to 'little men' though - just anyone with an inferiority complex. It's just noticeable when there's a size discrepancy in a fight (and small stature could be the cause of the inferiority complex).

    @Sack-a-Doo! 's bouncer idea could incorporate that - IMO positions of physical power tend to attract questionable types (I'm not at all saying that all bouncers are questionable though!). And even a calm bouncer can get sensitive, e.g. if they're having to kick lots of people out/refuse entry and there's a lot of intoxicated ill feeling directed towards them. Your character could innocently blunder into that.

    Another option would be the sporting field, if your character plays. I'm always blown away by how many professional sportsmen still sucker-punch each other in the full knowledge that their every move is being filmed and tribunals are a thing. I think there's similar machismo flying around at amateur levels too, it's just not on the news. So maybe your character receives a low-blow or is subject to a sledge that he'd usually rise to.
     
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  10. DueNorth
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    DueNorth Active Member

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    Oops--you're right Sifunkle, DeNiro--saw it a long time ago--but, yeah, guys with inferiority complex take on the big dude in an effort to show if they can kick ass then they're somebody.
     
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  11. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sopranos I didn't hurt nobody

    The general idea: Someone does something that arguably truly deserves violence, even in a justice sense, and your character still refrains.
     
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  12. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Thanks everyone, lots of good ideas! I think I might go with the bouncer, because a bouncer would usually also be pretty muscled and big. I'm not sure I'd be very proud of my character for not punching someone a lot smaller than him.

    Now I just need to decide why he's trying to get into a club. :D
     
  13. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I was going to vehemently oppose the bouncer idea because I have loads of sympathy for bouncers. They have to deal with drunken louts and handy chicks i.e. very annoying people all night long and still remain professional. However, I like Sifunkle's suggestion here because, yes, everyone has their limit. If your character tries to get into some club with his sneakers on or whatever dumb dress code there might be or the bouncer is one of the nuttier ones and just doesn't like your character's face or shirt or shoes, or they are simply stressed (and they do get super stressed, especially if there's lots of trouble through the evening 'cause you keep getting adrenaline dumps, the effects of which were detailed in harrowing detail in Geoff Thompson's book Watch My Back) so even the slightest thing could tick them off if it's late at night and he's already been through a lot of shit.

    Still, my go-to situation would've been him having to deal with a drunken idiot. It's Friday night, he's out of biscuits or crumpets or whatever and heads to the corner shop. There's a group of lads loitering about, smoking, cat-calling passers-by. They see your MC and one of them asks for light. Your MC is a non-smoker. The guy gets pissed and calls him all the cunts and tossers in the world. Disagreement ensues.

    Or it's late at night. There's a drunken girl on the street. She falls on her ass. Your MC goes to help her up. She's drunk as hell and reacts badly. Some drunken lout sees it and thinks your MC is harassing the chick and throws a shitfit, threatens to kick your MCs ass. Your MC doesn't take the bait and pacifies the situation. Something like that actually happened to my husband (he wasn't the drunken idiot). :bigmeh:

    Or he's in a pub. A cute girl sits next to him. He smiles at her politely or does something else that could be misinterpreted as flirting, and she responds in kind (nothing too lewd). The girl's drunken wannabe MMA fighter boyfriend sees it and thinks your MC is hitting on her. She's not busy correcting him 'cause she's one of those crazy people who get kicks and positive reinforcement about their desirability from their boyfriends picking fights with other men. Your MC is in the shit and has to now pacify the twenty-something screaming at him I'mma fuckin' cage fightah!!
     
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