1. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    What would these characters do in this scenario?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Ryan Elder, Apr 22, 2016.

    In my story, a gang of crooks gets away with murdering a cop, for lack of admissible evidence. A group of cops who want to avenge their fallen friend, decide to form a vengeful mob, and take out the gang members, but they do so in a way, in which they hope to get away with it, by making it look like a police self defense situation.

    The gang leader finds out that there is a lynch mob of cops that are after them and want blood. So the gang leader offers to the police to turn himself in, and he will turn over evidence to convict himself, if the cops spare the lives of his fellow gang members. The leader does not want them to pay for what he mostly did, and he wants to spare them from being killed. So this is his way of doing it.

    However, if he contacts the cops that after him (he knows one of the cop's in the group), and tells them he is willing to turn himself in for the murder of the cop, and provide evidence to prove it, if the cops spare the rest of them, he will need something as evidence he could turn in. I suppose the best thing to do is write it so that the cop's body is never found, but it is highly expected that the gang killed him.

    So the villain offers to turn over the buried dead body as proof and confess.

    However, in this situation, what do you think that the vengeful cops that are after the gang's next move would be? Would they not think that deal was good enough, and slaughter the whole gang, or would they think that having the body turned over, with the leader turning himself in, is better than not finding a body at all, with the disadvantage being that they would spare the other gang members lives?

    What do you think?
     
  2. Sidetrack
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    Sidetrack Member

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    Once you decide this, it says something about your characters. Many characters will do different things here.

    I'll create a back story because there isn't one here for the gang member who kills the cop. The gang member who killed the cop did it in self defense. This gang member has a brother in the gang. Him and his brother joined to get some money to leave the ghetto and go to college. They both just have to do a couple of shady marijuana runs and they'll have enough money. A cop stops them. His gang bro, not his brother, who is delivering some marijuana with him shoots at the cop. The cop kills his buddy. The cop is angry and will not stop shooting at the guy, even with his hands up. Trapped, the guy who just wants college, takes a gun and shoots the cop. He runs, terrified at what his life will be like now.

    Now, I see a character who might sacrifice himself. He could save his brother from being killed, so he can go to college at least.

    What backstory can you make for the cops so we can see from their point of view why they would kill this guy or put him in jail? When they torture him and get him to say he had no choice. Maybe he got it all on video. What happens when the cops see the video? What does it say about their actions with this guy when they see the truth?
     
  3. RobT
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    RobT Active Member

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    Unless there's a life changing moment in your story I don't see how this will work. I just don't see the leader of a violent criminal gang offering himself up to save his minions.
     
  4. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    The leader does have a life altering moment himself though. He regrets getting into a life of crime and feels it has made his life, and his gang recruits lives worse, and he blames himself for dragging them into his hole, so to speak, signing their death warrants with the vengeful mob.

    So he does have the life altering moment, if that helps, and that is what I was going for. Mainly all because the pressure becomes too much for him, with the vengeful cops after him and the gang, and he finally has a revelation, and wants to come to a truce of sorts.

    The one thing is though, is that how is the villain going to contact the vengeful cops who want to kill him? It seems to me that he would have to contact them through using the media, since he knows the cops are out to kill him but does not know who they are, and does not have any of their numbers.

    But if he uses the media to contact them, and says "I will turn myself in, if the cops that are out to kill me and the gang, promise not to kill the other gang members, and leave them out of it", then the police cannot charge the leader, if him turning himself in and confessing is done out of police coercion.

    If a group of vengeful cops is out to kill him and he turns himself in and confesses because of that, then it's police coercion, so how is he suppose to turn himself in, without implicating police coercion, since he would have to use the media, to make contact with the vengeful cops?
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2016
  5. mrieder79
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    mrieder79 Not a ground squirrel

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    It would be interesting to me if the vigilante police officers were split. Some of them want to accept the offer and some of them say, "Hell no," and want to take the whole gang out. This will add another layer of tension to the story and another obstacle for the MC. Your MC should be conflicted and uncertain of what to do. A good character arc for him would be that he initially rejects the offer, opting to illegally kill the gang, but as the story progresses, he handles his anger and rage about his fallen comrade and, in the end, he does the right thing. This will cost him deeply. Maybe he loses his job, maybe he gets shot, maybe a friend dies. This could make for an interesting story.
     
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  6. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    Some degree of deliberation and debate would have to occur. Otherwise I would find the story unrealistic.
    But I don't what the right answer is because I don't know what you want out of this. And I don't know your characters. So I cannot factor in your goals and I cannot decide what are the options that fit with your characters. There might be one answer that makes sense given those, or twenty good possibilities to consider. So I don't know.
     
  7. mrieder79
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    mrieder79 Not a ground squirrel

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    Lots of deliberation and action too. I feel like this concept could carry the book The primary conflict could be the MC struggling whether to do the right thing or the wrong thing.
     
  8. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    Oh yeah, the struggle to choose what is the right decision is a great poignant and realistic theme.
     
  9. LostThePlot
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    LostThePlot Contributing Member

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    What you're looking for is the gang in question to be family based; so the old guy who's seen too much would rather leave his empire to his sons then watch them get shot for a mistake on his part. That's how you set it up.

    Beyond that; I suggest you don't make your bad guy contact the lynchy police at all. You know they are coming; you know who they want. Set them up to commit a felony on camera then head off to internal affairs offering up a dozen crooked cops in exchange for the possibility of parole. Your Don walks out of the life having protected his empire and his family and sending the message 'You do not come after the family'. Jobs a good'un.
     
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  10. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks. Well the villain decides to make this decision in the third act, so the MC and the rest of the angry cops, are only faced with this decision of whether or not to believe the villain wants to turn himself in, in the third act. There is not really a lot of time for debating it, as the MC or the other cops will have to make a decision faster, which is okay, and it brings the tension in, at least that is what I intended.

    However, let's say the leader doesn't make contact with the cops that are after him and the gang, to negotiate any terms of his surrender, and he turns himself in without talking to them at all.

    How does the leader know that the cops will not take out the remaining gang members out of revenge, cause they are not going to jail with the leader? The leader's goal is to take all the blame for what happened, wants the vengeful cops to accept his surrender and spare his fellow members.

    But if he doesn't talk to the vengeful cops about it first, how does he know that those cops will agree to his offer, and spare them? What if he turns himself in and the cop kill all his members, and his surrender is just a complete waist then? Wouldn't he want some confirmation from the cops to convince them that he should be the one taking all the blame, and to leave the other's out of it, since they were under his spell, so to speak?
     

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