1. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    What can i do to make this scenario more believable?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Ryan Elder, Aug 30, 2015.

    In my script the MC is following the villain around on his time, trying to get proof of his crimes, but does it for days and cannot find him doing anything illegal. But how do I write it so that someone can follow a person for days and that person wouldn't notice? He's just a regular civilian, so it's not like he has helicopters, or tracking devices, so is their anything I can do to make this scenario more believable? Basically in the story he has to follow him around to get evidence, and then after a few days, he finally sees him do something to incriminate himself.
     
  2. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Abandon the idea that he follows him around all the time. Instead, have him watch him in some narrower context--for example, the villain has a favorite bar, so the MC starts hanging out there in the hope of identifying some of the villain's regular associates. And he gets lucky and sees something.
     
  3. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks, but I want the villain to go a particular place and commit a crime, and the MC sees him do it, from following him. Is their a way to do that without the villain spotting him?
     
  4. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Can your MC rope in some of his friends so it's not the same person following the villain around?

    Where is the story set? If it was somewhere like London or New York, the streets are so busy that you could realistically not notice the same person trailing you around for days on end. In Little-Piddlington-Village, not so much.

    Does your villain only go to crowded places so he doesn't stand out? Bars crammed with people, busy streets during rush hour, etc.
     
  5. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    It is set in a fairly large city but have not decided which city yet. But a city of at least 20,000 or something like that probably. If I could I may be able to set it in a bigger city. It's a screenplay, which I am setting in my own city to be shot there, so it depends on how big a city of 20,000 can pass for, when you try to give the viewer the impression that it's bigger from the tailing scenes.

    The biggest road in my city probably has six lanes, if that means anything.

    The villain goes to events such as family BBQs, and the MC is noticing that he goes to martial arts classes and firearm combat classes, thinking that the villain is gearing up for hard times. He is going to things like that.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2015
  6. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Well you're definitely going to notice a stranger hanging around at a family BBQ. You'll probably also notice it if the same person is in your martial arts AND fire combat class, because those can only have, what, 20 people in?
     
  7. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    What if the MC with binoculars or a telescope from really far away? The villain also knows what the MC looks like too, so he cannot show his face to the villain while stalking him.
     
  8. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Not very feasible. Your MC is going to have to be hidden, because people are going to notice a man with a telescope in a public place, and your villain is going to have to be very conveniently placed to be in his line of sight. For example in one of the classes, he will have to be standing beside a window that is in sight of wherever MC is hiding with his telescope or binoculars at the time.

    If your MC is just monitoring where he goes (i.e. he only has to be watching the class entrance to see when villain enters and exits) that's more believable, but then it defeats the purpose because he needs to be seeing what villain is doing when he commits a crime.
     
  9. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks. The MC can still here the villain commit a crime like a gunshot and a scream, when the crime goes wrong. So I think I can do that part by hearing, because then the MC goes to check it out.

    As for the classes, perhaps the MC can just see signs on buildings to get he idea of what the villain is doing. But a lot of classes are outdoors. My martial arts class is sometimes, if the whether is nice, and pistol target shooting ranges are outdoors as well. So perhaps the MC can view by telescope from far away, if he is concealed in a car or something?
     
  10. Matt E
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    Matt E Stormblessed Supporter

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    I don't think the MC will be able to watch the person he is surveilling for the entire day, but he/she should be able to get fairly close to that. The key would be making sure that when observing, he keep contact with the villain to a bare minimum. So, if the villain goes into a small bar, he/she will need to be watching from the cafe across the street. I can imagine quite a bit of tension as the observer wonders what's going on in there, but is unable to enter without being recognized. He/she could then follow the person being observed, staying as far back as possible, until he sees that person go into an abandoned warehouse or something. He/she would have to take an extraordinary risk to follow the person being observed in there, but that would just mean more tension.
     
  11. DueNorth
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    DueNorth Active Member

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    I'm not a techie, or a crime novel buff, but you can be a regular person and get an inexpensive GPS tracking device these days. (Ever see Breaking Bad?). Plus, wouldn't think your bad guy would need to be followed constantly--just during those times the crime was more likely to be committed. Good luck--sounds fun--like you gotta solve your own mystery before you can write it.
     
  12. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks. I saw that Breaking Bad season. However, the tracker he had was only able to tell him where the villain went, after he had planted the tracker, and the retrieved it later. I am not sure if the other trackers, that can send a live signal to a laptop or phone for example, are legal to buy? Cause in order for the MC to be there when the villain commits the crime, the MC will have to be tracking him live. If you can by trackers that can track live legally, then it will work.

    There is another thing. Aside from the MC following the villain, there is also another supporting character tracking the villain as well. Him and the MC cross paths and both find out they are tracking the same person. But would it be too much of a coincidence, if both of them planted live trackers on the villain's car? This could be how one spots the other, when he sees there is already a tracker on the car, maybe, or is that too coincidental, that they would use the same method?
     
  13. skuld
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    skuld Member

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    Also,, you could have your MC do some of his "tracking" online. You could have him monitoring the person's social media activities, noting any favorite places or frequent contacts.
     
  14. DueNorth
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    DueNorth Active Member

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    I don't know about you, but when I am writing I find myself googling a lot. Just googled GPS trackers on your behalf and find there are many live trackers on the market. Trucking fleets use them to tell where their trucks are--sure doesn't look like they are illegal. Your creativity in resolving such plot dilemmas will be a big part of determining whether you tell a compelling and believable story.
     
  15. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks. I googled it but they don'y go into much specifics about legalities, where I live, Canada. I don't think the MC would have any luck monitoring online social activities, because the villain is going to want to keep to himself and not post activities online.
     
  16. Matt E
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    Matt E Stormblessed Supporter

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    The MC being worried and unsure about the legalities could be one element to the story. If the MC is determined enough, the legality may not be a determining factor on whether or not he uses a particular method to track the antagonist. I guess it all depends on the character.
     
  17. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    It doesn't make sense to me that an already-active criminal is essentially taking career-in-crime-enhancement classes. On the one hand, shooting ranges and martial arts classes are perfectly legitimate hobbies. On the other hand, if he needs those skills for his criminal activities, he ought to already have them.
     
  18. DueNorth
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    DueNorth Active Member

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    Really? Your MC is trying to catch a bad guy and he's worried about breaking the law? He's no Jack Bauer !hero character on 24) :).
     
  19. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    What do you mean criminal enhancement classes? I only mentioned that he was going to shooting ranges and martial arts, which are just hobby classes. Even though he already has them, he still wants to practice and keep up with it. No sense in not doing it for a long time and getting rusty, if that makes sense.

    I also did some research and one person told me that those particular trackers that send out a live feed of where a person is going, you have to call a police network or something in order to get the live feed installed. It's not something that can be done by yourself, I was told, if that's true?
     
  20. DueNorth
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    DueNorth Active Member

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    Don't forget about cameras mounted on drones--virtually silent, controlled from iPad--can stay airborne a long time with incredibly good clarity and zoom. (Google them also)
     
  21. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks. But I think that might be too much since the MC would have to take drone flying course, and get a license, etc. I think that I should keep it simple and cut down on more plot, if that's possible.
     
  22. Matt E
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    Matt E Stormblessed Supporter

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    Agreed. Unless you are interested in getting into the gritty details of the technology (trackers, drones, etc), I'm not sure those details are really needed for the plot. The MC can just follow the antagonist around for a while, making sure to stay as far away as possible, not entering the same small building as the antagonist, etc. All the while you can create tension from the protagonist almost being spotted and can drop in a few clues as the protagonist sees things. As long as the MC keeps his distance, it should be entirely plausible. Detective novels do this kind of thing all the time. :p
     

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