1. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Would my main character risk his life in this case?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Ryan Elder, Jul 11, 2016.

    For my story, basically a gang is recruiting in a new member and the new member has to pass a 'blood in' test. Basically that is, is that the new member has to spill the blood of another person in order to be accepted.

    The gang also secretly video records the blood in, in case the new member decides to turn on them, in that case, the recording can be used as collateral, to incriminate and discredit him.

    However, during the blood in, the main character, a cop on patrol, stumbles upon the suspicious activity and ends up stopping the blood in. The gang members get away as the MC saves the victim. The MC sees the gang carrying away a camera on a tripod during their escape.

    Much later on in the story, the MC comes up with a guess, that the gang was doing a blood in, and video recording it, based on what he saw. He figures that since the gang was willing to record one member for collateral, that maybe the gang leader recorded every member for collateral at some point.

    He figures that these recordings could all be kept at the same place, so he decides to go out and find them. However, is this guess that me makes perhaps too much of a stretch, for him to risk his life over, since pursuing it will cause more violence to happen? Even though his guess is correct, it is still just a guess, and is that type of risk, worth the reward, even if he is obsessed with getting them?
     
  2. LemonadeLover
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    LemonadeLover Member

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    Short answer, yes. It seems perfectly feasible (and I've seen plenty of films/tv shows where the MC risks their life and others for less).
     
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  3. Sniam
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    Sniam Member

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    It depends on wheter or not you're going to make him act on his own or with the police. Wouldn't it make more sense to talk about his suspicions to other members of the force ? Unless the police is rotten to the core and corrupted, there is no logical way that the man wouldn't report such an important fact.
    However, it could go like this : MC sees the tripod, reports it without thinking to much. Then something reminds him of that, and he ponders about it. Quite a long time. He then goes to report it to some higher-up that just laugh him off and tell him to get back to serious work. He then wants to prove by himself how right he is, and goes on to do the whole thing.
    That would make more sense, given he is a cop, but then, it gives a really important place to this event and I don't know what your story is really about :)
     
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  4. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Well I wanted him to act on his own. Perhaps the police are not willing to pursue mere hunches compared to him?

    Earlier in the story though, he was taken off the case for some reasons. So maybe he doesn't report it, cause he wants to do it himself and feels that if he puts in someone else's hands, it could likely not get done well?
     
  5. deadrats
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    deadrats Active Member

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    Why are these gang members carrying around a tripod? Isn't it more likely that someone would just film it on his phone?
     
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  6. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Well the video is used as collateral on the other person doing the blood in test, should the person betray the gang. If it comes to the point where the person betrays the gang, and the gang has to send in the video to the police to discredit the man than the video has to be in good quality condition for the court to accept.

    They are not going to want the video thrown out of court, and not usable as collateral, cause the court complains that it's too shaky and handheld to make out certain details of what is going on. So I thought that a still image with no handheld movements or shakes to show what happens would be more acceptable to the court.
     
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  7. deadrats
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    deadrats Active Member

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    That's simply not true. No court is going to say the video of a murder is too shaky or whatever to be evidence. Think about all the videos taken by someone using a phone. Phones have come a long way in terms of video quality. And I just have a hard time believing these gang members are carrying around a tripod. It just doesn't sound very realistic to me.
     
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  8. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks. Well if they are going to use a phone then, then the MC will have to figure out that the blood in, was filmed another way then.
     
  9. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    By seeing it?
     
  10. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Well the thing, is is that the gang probably doesn't want the person doing the blood in, to know that he is being recorded. This means that they will have to record him from a place, where he cannot see that he is being recorded, like through a wall, with very small window or hole in it for example.

    So if the cop can see the person with the phone doing the recording, then he will be be able to see the blood in. If the person doing the recording has to remain hidden, then the MC will have a tough time seeing the blood in, since it's blocked off from the point of view.

    But perhaps I can find a way to write it so that he can see both, where as the blood in recruit cannot.
     
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  11. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    Perhaps they've got like a camera room next to the room and the cop starts there because he's doing a tactical takedown of people around the room before he goes in and gets in the middle of it? Maybe being a little stealthy? Think stealth games.
    Or perhaps the victim has some idea of what was going on that he tells the cop but the others don't trust the victim and the victim doesn't have much to go on?
     
  12. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    By victim do you mean the man the gang is recruiting for the blood in, or the actual victim who the target has to spill the blood of, to get in?
     
  13. Sniam
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    Sniam Member

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    I don't see why the man doing the blood in would not know about it being recorded. Think about it, that is perfect blackmail ; why would the gang not tell him ?
    Even worse ; they could tell him they are recording everything and acting like they do, but actually not record anything and just threaten him with the (non-existent) video, that would hence be impossible to find. That would also lead the policeman to be at a total lose in the scenario, risking his life for invisible taping. Maybe they did the whole recording thing before, but that lead to disasters and gang members turning on each other so they decided to just act like the videos exist, somewhere. Now, time has passed and nobody knows the truth except for two or three top members.
    ... that might be overthinking it, though :)
     
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  14. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Well I figured that maybe a lot of the gang members would not do blood ins, if they knew they were being recorded. Plus if the gang doesn't actually record any of them, than the gang members will not be caught in the end, evidence wise, and the story will be over, or at least go in a very different direction than I intended.
     
  15. Sniam
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    Sniam Member

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    One way mirror seems a little bit too much for gangs, but you could do something with false ceiling. Let's say the blood in is set in an old office building ; you drill a little hole in one of the ceiling hatch, tape some phone or recording device to it, and put everything back in place. I don't know if you can 100% identify someone from a top view, though.
    You could say that the cop notices someone saying "get the recording" to which someone replies "it's too high, just run". Looking up, it is obvious from the dust prints that one of the hatches have been opened !
     
  16. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks. Those are good ideas. Thanks.

    Do you think that the MC's hunch is too predictable though? Like just because he thinks he sees one blood in being recorded, that he feels that all the rest of the gang members could have been as well... usually in stories when the MC has hunches they turn out be wrong, but lead to better findings. Where as mine, predict the hunch exactly right, and I don't want him to come off as being too smart for the hunch coming true, if that makes sense.
     
  17. Sniam
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    You don't have to make him a hero with an incredible hunch...
    Picture this (very raw example)

    MC arrives at place of blood in, and decides to try to intervene before it's too late. He runs to the gang members shooting whatever policemen shoot, gun in hand, trying to protect the civilian getting stabbed or shot. The closest gang member punch him in the face, surprising him and knocking him down. He hears panicked voices : "We gotta get the hell outta here, no way he ain't alone" "Fuck, don't kill him he's a cop" "Get the phone !" "Too high too late, I ain't staying in here" "Over here guys !" "Later alligator" etc.
    MC is trying to process the whole thing but lies on the ground, coughing because of all the dust in here. Gets back up, calls an ambulance for the poor guy. All gang members gone.
    Few minutes later, it's a crime scene, with analysts and all the important peoples that needs to be at a crime scene and all the yellow "do not cross" taping thing. He needs to testify on what happened, and, as he does, he remembers all the dust/no-dust prints on the false roof, saying there could be useful fingerprints on it.
    Few minutes later, analysts come back saying they found a recording device in the false roof. "Do you think it's the first time they do this ?" "Probably not. First time we've found one, though, get it to the lab."

    MC thinks and thinks and thinks and remember that one time one of his colleagues intervened in the same way he did. Gets back to the building, find an old camera hidden in a drawer or whatever. Goddamit he knew it.

    He then decides to invest to find all the taping gang members have done to this day, while important figures states that "We don't need to find taping of past murders, we need to prevent the murders from happening in the present, MC."
     
  18. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks for the ideas. When you say one of his colleagues intervened the same way he did, are you suggesting that I write it so that it's happened before, where the blood in was taped?

    Do I have to write it so that a cop stumbles upon a blood in, then another one does again later? Cause it kind of comes off as repetitive or coincidental to repeat the same scenario twice, unless I need it to happen that way for the MC to come to that conclusion?
     
  19. Sniam
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    Sniam Member

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    I would say : MC knows someone who had to intervene in such circumstances 2 or 3 years ago, so you don't have to write the whole scene. Just one dialog between the two of them, even over the phone, so that the reader (and MC) will establish a connection between the two cases. But you will have to find a reason for the recorder to still be present after 2 or 3 years, given the location would have been inspected.
     
  20. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks. But I am a little lost here. Why would the recording not have made it out of the place before inspection, since the gang members would have taken it with them while trying to escape the police?
     
  21. deadrats
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    deadrats Active Member

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    I've been thinking about this. There may be one more thing to ponder. How realistic is it that gang members would ever rat? My impression is that there are other ways these sort of things are handled.
     
  22. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Well the gang members could kill the other member for ratting, but wouldn't the gang have a plan set up, in case they couldn't get to the other member, who was hiding or something?

    Well basically I don't have any reasons for the gang to keep any evidence around that links them to any of their crimes. This is the problem I was having with the plot before. Every time I would come up with evidence, for the cops to find, it would feel forced, just to get them caught.

    By having a collection of blood in videos used for collateral I was told by others that this is the one thing that the gang would have a reason to keep around, and does not feel forced. So it was the only way I could think of to get them call caught by police without it feeling forced, or so I was told.
     
  23. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Actually, I did some camera tests with a phone. The phone is too far pulled back in the lens, and if the gang tried to film one of their own members doing a blood in, the person would be too far away possibly. The defense in court, will argue that the person is too far away, and perhaps they got someone else who liked the person who is accused. So by using an actual camera, with a zoom lens, the camera operator can zoom in, to get a good close up of the person's face needed for court, should it come to that later. So it seems that camera cellphones are not ideal for close ups in that type of situation for having proof in court.
     

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