1. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    So what could she do?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Catrin Lewis, May 7, 2016.

    I hadn't planned to write any sequels to the romantic suspense novel I'm working on publishing now, but I guess series are the done thing these days. And having had beta-readers tell me they like the MCs and were sorry to leave them at the end of the current novel, I've been thinking about possible follow-ups. I have an idea for a Book 2; trouble is, I've run into a plot roadblock and I need help or it will be fatal.

    Here's how I've sketched it so far:

    The year is 1983. My architect protagonists have gotten married (they got engaged on the last page of Book 1), and are taking their honeymoon in Europe. While there, they learn that the FMC's old college boyfriend, a West German who has gone on to become a world-class violinist, has been kidnapped by a radical pro-Communist terrorist gang. They're threatening to maim or kill him if the West German (BRD) government don't release the fellow-terrorists being held in BRD custody--- something the Bonn government absolutely refuses to do. Now, this violinist has already made himself a stench in the nostrils of my MMC, but it comes down to the point where he can be rescued only if my FMC is willing to go in there and do--- what?

    That's where I'm stuck. What can she do that the BRD security agencies or Interpol cannot? OK, she knows the kidnap victim--- or she did, eight years before. She's a young woman of strong moral and physical courage: the ordeals she survived in Book 1 prove that. She's willing to risk her life in a righteous cause. She's highly intelligent and a fast learner. She's got excellent verbal skills. Being an architect, she knows how buildings and their systems are put together.

    But she's no secret ninja. All she knows about guns is what she found out in Book 1 when AK-47s were being held on her and the MMC, and she's had No Interest in the subject since. Her German is passable but not comprehensively fluent, a fact that's essential to her backstory with the violinist. At the present she has no martial arts training, though I can see the MMC, her fiance, recommending she learn karate or jujutsu after what happened to them in Book 1. But there'd be no time for her to become expert.

    I like the idea of throwing my two lovebirds a challenge to their relationship early in their marriage, and this old boyfriend makes an ideal bone of contention. (Though, no, she's definitely not secretly still in love with him, even if the MMC worries she might be.) And the politics of central Europe in the early 1980s makes for good suspense and thrills. But have I hit a brick wall? What do you think?
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    She has some knowledge she won't share with the MMC because it would put him at risk if he went with her or tried to go alone. So she sneaks off, leaving him a note (you can have the note get to him or not if you want to add a subplot).

    That knowledge can be something the captive says that hints at where he is, or it could be something about the building he's being held in (catacombs? WWII tunnels the resistance used that she learned about when she was with the ex.) That might also be why he hinted at them, not because he thought she would come but because he was hoping someone from the resistance would get the secret message.
     
  3. storystitcher
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    storystitcher Member

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    Do they have to do anything? How about they just don't have the time/resources to continue the search for the violinist for long? Or is the violinist just too high profile for that? Perhaps then part of your FMC's efforts would be to convince certain members of the government/police/authorities to help her to free him.
     
  4. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hmmm. With one notable exception, she hasn't spoken to the captive since they broke up in 1975. But yeah, maybe the radical cell is one that's not known to the BRD government and the terrorists they want released aren't necessary members of their group. And back in '74-'75 the old boyfriend could have told her in passing about some radicalized acquaintance of his, who'd always said he'd go by a particular code name if he ever got to do his part in the Revolution. And here the threat notes are signed with that code name . . .

    That said, my FMC is known for sneaking off or running off to take things in her own hands, especially when the authorities don't take seriously the information she has. I'd hoped she'd learned her lesson at the end of Book 1 and I wouldn't have to rely on that.

    That said, your idea is something to keep in mind.
     
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  5. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    That might be something to think about. Though if someone of his calibre is kidnapped and the government do little or nothing, it might have a bad impact on international cultural exchanges. But there might be ways of working around that (plotwise, I mean).
     
  6. storystitcher
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    storystitcher Member

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    This might be a little far fetched, but could a major catastrophe happen simultaneously which is far more important for the government to focus on? Might involve some re-writing of history, though, idk if that's something you'd be willing to do.
     
  7. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    Might not be an issue. After all, my whole plot rewrites history, ya know?
     

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