1. Catrin Lewis
    Offline

    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    Messages:
    1,688
    Likes Received:
    1,081
    Location:
    Pennsylvania

    Subplot Climax Where the Protagonists Just Watch?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Catrin Lewis, Jan 24, 2015.

    Maybe I'm losing my nerve. I'm within a few chapters of finishing up the big revision of my romance-thriller. Pretty soon I'll be dealing with the scene where the archvillain is neutralized. As originally sketched, all the protagonists do is lead the authorities to his hideout, where the cops take over.

    I had no intention of changing that. But today I got cold feet. Is the typical reader going to expect the protagonists to take an active role in winding up the thriller plat? Should I figure out some logical way to get them actively involved?

    My inclination is to tell myself there is no "typical reader" and write the scene in a way that's natural to me, my characters, and their situation. But would that make it a big flat disappointment? Aaaagghhh!!
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2015
  2. Chinspinner
    Offline

    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1,918
    Likes Received:
    1,019
    Location:
    London, now Auckland
    You could have them heckling from the sidelines while the Police do their job; here are some examples of possible lines they might use: "you used to be Sub-Zero, now you are just plain zero", or "Let off some steam, Bennett" (you would have to change your antagonists name to Bennett to use this one), or "I eat Green Berets for breakfast, and right now, I'm very hungry." (your antagonist would need to be a Green Beret to use this one), or "there are innocent women and children down there" (not sure how you would tie this one into the plot, but just an idea).

    But I would quite happily see a normal response, like calling the cops, rather than the usual crap where the protagonist/ antagonist end up in a fist fight.
     
    Okon and Catrin Lewis like this.
  3. Catrin Lewis
    Offline

    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    Messages:
    1,688
    Likes Received:
    1,081
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Thanks, because I'm stretching it already. In the real world they wouldn't be at the scene at all, more like in the ER getting checked out. But the whole novel is in one or the other of their POVs, so at least one of them has to be there for the scene to be portrayed with any immediacy.

    Your last suggestion, believe or not, does give me an idea. But I'll save the development of it for my typescript. :write:
     
  4. EllBeEss
    Offline

    EllBeEss Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2013
    Messages:
    301
    Likes Received:
    108
    Location:
    Perth
    I'd be happy to read a book where the characters did the sane thing but I don't think it would be interesting to read a scene where the protagonist sits and watches. You'd need to find a way to make it interesting but I would probably applaud if I read a book where the protagonists weren't idiots.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2015
  5. Catrin Lewis
    Offline

    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    Messages:
    1,688
    Likes Received:
    1,081
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Precisely. "Idiots" as in being dumb enough to get close to the villain and be taken hostage at the last minute. Yeah, that I need to avoid.
     
  6. EllBeEss
    Offline

    EllBeEss Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2013
    Messages:
    301
    Likes Received:
    108
    Location:
    Perth
    Would it work to have the events recounted back to the characters in the ER? That's probably how I'd try to handle it.
     
  7. Chinspinner
    Offline

    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1,918
    Likes Received:
    1,019
    Location:
    London, now Auckland
    I'm quite interested as to how you are going to manipulate things so that the protagonists are there when the police arrive. I have sat through CSI before, and some crap called Silent Witness in the UK, where pathologists (or CSI's) are doing Police work, and even that annoys me endlessly. Why the fuck are they having shoot-outs with suspects? Since when was that their job? Are the police really so inept that they have to rely on other departments to do their job for them? Why not just have the cleaning staff turn up with shotguns? Or perhaps the Canteen Division?

    So a situation where members of the public are taken into a potentially dangerous situation without a very good explanation would probably irritate me even more.
     
    EllBeEss and Catrin Lewis like this.
  8. Catrin Lewis
    Offline

    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    Messages:
    1,688
    Likes Received:
    1,081
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    It occurred to me I have a friend who's retired law enforcement. He's willing to come over next week and discuss the matter with me. Yay!
     
  9. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,605
    Likes Received:
    5,879
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    If the characters are not police, and don't act like police elsewhere in the story, I see no reason the story can't be tied up with the characters facilitating the arrest but not being involved in it.
     

Share This Page