1. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Would this opening work for my plot, or is too far fetched?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Ryan Elder, Aug 3, 2015.

    Hello there. Basically in my story a group of terrorists kidnap a woman and hold her for ransom. They sent out ransom videos online, wearing masks and gloves, and threatening the public and the government with a deadline and that more will come if their demands are not met. No one knows who the kidnap victim is, because in the internet video, she has a hood over her head the whole time, and she is shot in close up, so you mostly see the hood, and not her body or clothes.

    The kidnappers make the video untraceable, of course, so the police have to find them by other means. Now the kidnap victim is actually working with the kidnappers and she is in on the scheme, only acting as a hostage.

    Now I need the police to get there, rescue her, and go after the kidnappers. They escape accept for one, who is surrenders and is arrested.

    The victim tells the police though that no kidnapping took place, and that her, and the defendant, and the other masked men who ran away, are good friends and they were just role playing at her home, and that some mistake must have been made.

    This is the plot for the first act, which sets the rest of the plot in motion. However, I need a way for the police to find the place to rescue her, and arrest one of them in the first place.

    I could write it so that the kidnappers are broadcasting the video from a basement of a house, that is near an internet cafe. That way the cops cannot track which wireless router the video came from since the cafe has lots of signals coming out of it. The cops can however, track it back to that vicinity, and go from house to house until they find the right one.

    However, I need the kidnappers to get off the hook, since no kidnapping ever happened. This would mean that they also have to get off the hook for illegally broadcasting a ransom video as well. Now since no kidnapping actually happened and the woman is the defendant's friend, her and the defendant's defense would have to be that there must have been a real group of kidnapper's in the vicinity and the police just happen to bust in on them, when they were role playing with a camera, but the kidnap set up and costumes are the same, with the kidnappers wearing ski masks, and the victim wearing a hood, etc.

    However, would this be too much of a coincidence for the court to accept? You can tell the police that there must have been different people that were kidnappers in the vicinity who had the same looking masks, with a female hostage, with a hood, but would it work? Even if they have no proof cause no kidnapping ever happened, would the judge continue with a trial and want to sell to a jury that the defendant is guilty based on a huge, unlikely coincidence alone? Or would they let him go, cause they need more proof?

    If this does not work, perhaps a cop could be on regular patrol, and come across the fake kidnapping by accident somehow? But this also results in a convenient coincidence, not for the court, but for the reader. What do you think? I just need a way to open it and have the cops find the place to build into the rest of the story.

    Thanks for the input :).
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2015
  2. Silvertide
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    Silvertide New Member

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    I'm assuming that the kidnappers' voices are changed so that they can't be recognized, correct? And how old are these terrorists? I'm assuming they are adults, but if not that would obviously change some things.

    Anyways, what proof is there that the woman is kidnapped? If she says she is not kidnapped and everyone says the same, there is no proof to say she was kidnapped. So if the woman wasn't actually kidnapped, there was no ransom, because there was no hostage. They weren't even wagering with anything, they may as well have been asking for money for nothing. They didn't harm anyone, but they did trick the police. If you do something like that, you'd definitely get taken in for questioning for causing trouble. But technically they didn't do anything illegal, so I'm not sure what kind of punishment the man would get.

    As for how the police found the terrorists, maybe there could simply be a traitor within the group. If they made themselves untraceable I don't know how else they could be found.
     
  3. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Yes sorry, I forgot to mention the voices are scrambled in the videos. They cannot tell how old they are in the videos, because they are wearing mask and are completely covered.

    After the arrest, the ages very from young 20s and up. The leader is in his 50s. When the woman is found, she is tied up, gagged to prevent screaming, and has a hood over her head to blind her from seeing any of their activity. So this is how they think she is a hostage.

    The police find the kidnappers by tracing the video within the vicinity. The video is uploaded near a place with lots of wireless routers all working off one system, such as near an internet cafe. At least that's how a cop told me I should write it when I did research. They made themselves untraceable, but the police were still able to trace the area. While searching the area, one of the cops, has to spot some suspicious activity, call for back up, and move in to the rescue.

    However, I wondering if the perps would be charged on coincidence alone. A lot of times, the justice sytem will charge a suspect just based on coincidence if the coincidence is really big. An example would be The Shawshank Redemption. All they had to go on was a big coincidence, but they couldn't let it slide because it was too big. I am wondering if the reader will think it's plausible that they are let off, even though it's big coincidence, that this is a different group who made a fake kidnapping video, compared to the real group that has been out there all along.

    What do you think?
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2015
  4. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    > No one knows who the kidnap victim is

    The problem with this is that anyone at all could dress up in a hood and get a few friends to shoot a video and demand money. I don't see the police or the public or the news finding this convincing without knowing the identity of the victim. So I don't see how this opening can even begin.

    > defendant is guilty based on a huge, unlikely coincidence alone?

    Huh? The defendent IS guilty, as is the fake victim. They did fake a crime and waste police time. There's no kidnapping, but there are other crimes.

    > find the place to build into the rest of the story.

    Find what place? Are you saying that there actually WERE two identical scenes going on, one a real kidnapping and one not? You're not being clear here.

    Edited to add: And I can tell that I'm going to ask, why do you need this scene? What purpose does it serve in your plot? There has to be a more plausible way to accomplish the same goal.
     
  5. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Kidnappers ask loved ones for money (or businesses the kidnapped person works for/represents) so identity is crucial. Who are they trying to extort with a fake kidnapping? The police won't ever pay a ransom, so they're out. And the general public would be hard pressed to believe it's a real kidnapping if they don't show the woman's face, because there would be no other reason to cover it up that it's a lie.

    Anyone falling for that scam would be a dunce at best.

    And I wouldn't use a fictional film as an example of real legal proceedings.

    There is no way the court would accept such a 'coincidence' because it smells of bullshit a mile off. And they were just 'role-playing?' Who does that and why on earth would anyone believe them?

    Besides, even if no kidnapping ever happened, if they made threats or demands they would be charged for extortion or theft through deceit (basically fraud).

    The whole thing just doesn't work and seems incredibly forced.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2015
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  6. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks. Basically in my script the kidnappers have been doing this for a while. Posting videos online and killing hostages if their demands are not met. Then one day, they decide to do the same thing but with a fake hostage. The reason why they do this, is because they believe that one of their men may be an informer. They do this in case the person is an informer. He is not, but they have reasons to suspect.

    So all the previous ransom videos were real, with real kidnap hostages. But this new one is fake in case one of them is an informer, who is trying to bust them on this current kidnapping.

    As far as making threats online, they could just say it was a short film and the threats are not real. I was told by a legal expert that they would get away with that under the 1st amendment law.

    As for it smelling of bullshit, in order to convince a jury, wouldn't the prosecutor need more to convict the defendants than the smell of bullshit? Wouldn't he need actual physical evidence to confirm the bullshit, since he has no witness testimony? I just want to know if the smell of bullshit is enough to take it trial, since all they have is the smell.

    Basically it follows the thriller formula that the villain gets away with their crimes at first, and this is their method of getting away with it for the time being.
     
  7. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    I wrote far more but deleted it. In the end, this is what I want to say:

    This whole idea seems messy. You're trying to make connections between elements that barely work in the first place.
     
  8. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks. I showed it to others and they said that it makes sense once the mystery is unfolded. Perhaps I should explain more in bullet points:

    --The kidnappers kidnap a bunch of people, and kill them since the public could not meet their demands
    --The kidnappers believe they have an informer is in their group maybe, so the next kidnapping they arrange is fake in case the supposed informer may have tipped off the police. They do not want to take a chance, and use this in case the police come for them in case the informer did spill the beans.
    --They send out the next video
    --The police trace it to an area, but cannot pin point the exact location since they used an internet cafe's resources to upload the video.
    -- The cops get there, and search the area. They find suspicious activity at one of the houses and investigate.
    --The police find the kidnappers, arrest them, and rescue the tied up woman.
    --They press charges, and the hostage tells them that no kidnapping happened, and she was making a short film for online, with her friends.
    --They kidnappers say the same thing, and that she is her friend, and it was acting. They say that the kidnappers that the police are looking for, must be some other people, cause no kidnapping happened here.
    --The judge sees that even though they could be the same kidnappers who made all the previous real videos, with real people who appear to be murdered on video, and then disappeared in real life, there is no evidence of kidnapping when they were stumbled upon by police.
    -- The judge cannot charge based on threats to the public alone, because the short film of the new friend acting as a hostage, is protected under the 1st amendment, since it's just a short film where not crime happened. A threat is not technically a threat, if it's a short film where everyone is an actor under the 1st amendment.
    --The judge realizes that the police have stumbled upon actors in a short film, and that is not enough to link them to the previous real kidnapping videos.
    -- The judge let's them go because he cannot go to trial with the only evidence being that it was an unlikely coincidence to the previous crimes.

    Does this explain more?
     
  9. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Have you actually written this story yet? If not, get stuck into actually writing it. Once you start writing, plot holes will appear and you can start plugging them and building a believeable sequence of events. And once you're done, other people can comment on whether or not your story actually works.

    Start small. Start with one person, or one person's take on this situation. The fake female hostage, perhaps? What makes her decide to do this thing? Is she coerced? Is it her idea? What is her stake in it? What does she stand to gain if the scam works and the informer is unmasked? What does she stand to lose?

    Get stuck in to one person's perspective, and actually write the story, and I'm sure your plot holes will not only become more obvious, but you'll find ways to plug them. Give us a feel for these people. Are they stupid? Too clever for their own good?

    These aren't chess pieces on a board. These are 'real' people. So give them life and push them out there. You've got a basic idea ...stage a fake kidnapping to unmask an informer who has been stirring up trouble for the criminals during previous real kidnappings. And go from there. And good luck.
     
  10. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks. I have written out most of the outline accept for most of the first act. I came up with the ending to the premise first, because I wanted to build into what I thought would be the best ending. After that I tracked backwards from the ending, then towards the beginning. This is the first act I came up with too set up the rest of the story.

    The current plot hole that arose, is would the court actually let them off, even though the coincidence is really huge. But perhaps that is not a plot hole and I am fine. Are their any other plot holes, I am missing? Because so far the rest of the story is ready to go I think, and the first act here, is the one part that needs confirmation.
     
  11. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    It doesn't work.

    Getting arrested has a huge cost for this guy, even if he gets off. If he's arrested, the police will have his photo, his fingerprints, his DNA, every descriptive element about him. They have the same for his associates. They can interrogate his associates and try to get them to turn on him. They can apply those things to all of the crimes in the series, past and future.

    So he doesn't want to get arrested. I will not believe, the readers will not believe, that he's happy-go-lucky, no-big-deal, about getting arrested.

    But why did he change the nature of the crime, if not in the expctation of getting arrested?

    OK, you say that he suspects a traitor in his midst, so that's why he prepared himself for arrest and staged a fake crime. He didn't want the arrest, but he wasn't willing to either go out of business or kill his entire crew, so he took the chance.

    But you also say that the traitor wasn't actually a traitor. He didn't get arrested because of the traitor.

    So the one time that he was prepared to get arrested, is the one time that he gets arrested, but not for any reason related to the reason that he was prepared to get arrested?

    No. Too big a coincidence.

    There's also the issue that nobody pays money for a nameless, faceless hostage, so either he has never gotten money, or this crime was a big change from normal procedure, which would have alerted the theoretical traitor that something was up. And that's assuming that he recruited the hostage-actress completely on his own and that no one else in the team knew that she was a fake.

    Giant coincidence piled on top of many, many implausibilities. It doesn't work.

    But if he gets arrested for a normal crime in the series, then you eliminate that coincidence. If you commit a series of crimes, it's not implausible that eventually you will get caught. So whatever gets him off has to be something that was not special about THIS crime.

    One typical way for criminals to get off is intimidating witnesses--threatening them, threatening their loved ones, whatever. If he finds some way to get the hostage to claim that she was willingly part of an amateur film, then some of the implausibility is reduced.

    Of course, it means that all of the other crimes were completed without him or any member of the crew with which he was arrested leaving one drop or hair of DNA at ANY of the previous crime scenes. Not one of them. That's pretty implausible too.

    If you really need him to be in police hands, and then out again, I think that you need him to be caught as part of a normal crime in the series, and you then need him to escape.
     
  12. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks. I see what you mean. When you say that their DNA would be found at the previous crime scenes, the problem is, is that none of the previous crime scenes are found. This is the only one that is found, so that's all they have to go on. Plus neither the guy arrested or his associates turn on each other and do not talk about it, so that never happens.

    As far as intimidating the hostage not to talk, I need the hostage to be part of the gang and to commit further crimes later. She has to be a part of it. I know what you mean that is a coincidence that this one time they are caught, it is fake, compared to all the other times, it's real. I have seen bigger coincidences in stories before though. Actually the cop's comment on what a dirty rotten trick of fate it is, to be lost on such a coincidence, so it was suppose to be a bad coincidence for entertainment purposes.

    They hostage they got was part of the gang, and everyone in the gang but the possible traitor has met her before, since the suspected traitor is a newer member.

    However, if the coincidence does not work, because it's too big, is their a way I cam eliminate it more? How can I have them be arrested for this fake crime in order for the hostage to get away and help commit more crimes later, without it being so much of a coincidence?

    I could have the suspected traitor actually be a traitor and alert the police to come, if this lessens the coincidence, but if I do this, I feel that it changes this character around too much for what is to come later. Is their another way, the cops can ALSO be on to them this one time, without it being such a huge coincidence.

    Basically this one crime has to be abnormal because the police thinks the woman was a kidnap victim, and she is able to use that power to lead them on a fake goose chase, which is what I want to happen for later points in the plot. So the crime itself has to be fake. Instead of thinking the police have to arrest then for a normal crime, I think I have to write so that the police have to arrest them for an abnormal crime, but more plausibly, with less coincidence.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2015
  13. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    With the restrictions you are insisting on, I see no possible way to make this work.
     
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  14. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Well I cannot make the suspected traitor an actual traitor for this reason. If he is the one who calls the police to come, then he will already have too much information on the gang to tell the police if he is on their side. The police will then know too much, too soon, and the story will be over. The police have to arrest them based on the fake kidnapping alone, and not know anything else about them at this point.

    I have one possible solution but can you tell if it works? Here it is.

    Basically the reason why the gang stages a fake kidnapping is to get the suspected traitor to kill the new hostage. They give him a gun with an empty chamber saying that he is the only one who shown that he is not fully committed to them and he hasn't pulled the trigger himself on any hostages yet. This is why the hostage is one of them, pretending to be. The whole gang is on it, accept for the suspected traitor.

    Now they give the traitor the pistol, with the empty chamber and tell him to do it. He cannot do it. So the gang tries to make him to do it, saying they cannot trust him otherwise. This causes him to panic and perhaps a fight or scuffle happens. The suspected traitor then runs out of the hideout, and they chase after him.

    A cop on patrol, driving near, sees the gang run out of the hideout, and chase after him. This causes the cop to call for back up and intervene. Now instead of chasing after them though, I will have to write it so that they get away, and the cop goes into the hideout instead to find the kidnapped hostage.

    Does this new idea work though, to rule out coincidence? The suspected traitor runs out of the hideout with his mask on and other masked men chasing him, and gets the attention of a cop driving by? Or is the fact that a cop driving by at that time, just as much of a coincidence as the cops tracing their latest video to that vicinity where the hideout is, and then searching for it? Does it not make a difference?
     
  15. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Have you ever heard the phrase "sunk cost fallacy"? It's when you continue to pour resources into a failed effort just because you have already invested resources into it.

    If you spend a lot of money on outdoor theater tickets, and then you hear from friends whose opinions you trust that the show is bad bad bad, and the weather is high humidity and temperatures over one hundred, and you still go to the show and have a miserable evening because "We spent so much money! We can't waste the tickets!" that is an example of the sunk cost fallacy.

    If you spend all afternoon de-seeding peppers and chopping onions and grating vegetables and soaking beans to make a giant pot of chili, and you have your first taste and learn that you really dislke that chili recipe, but you force yourself to eat bowl after miserable bowl of it because "I spent so much time!" that is an example of the sunk cost fallacy.

    You are insisting on putting more and more and more and more time into fixing the holes in your unworkable plots, because you already spent time on them. In the time that you're taking you could create a new, better plot from scratch.

    I'm going to try to stop investing my own time in your pots of chili, unless and until you throw out the whole pot and start over from scratch. I've said that before. I may lapse again and say it again. But for this thread, I'm out.
     
  16. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks. Can I keep the part about the kidnapping being fake though in order to test the suspected traitor? Forget the police for now. Can I keep this section when building towards the ending that I want since this is how the characters know each other and it's their backstory, or does this part about creating a fake kidnapping to test one of them, not make any sense at all?

    You said before that that part was fine, and it's when the police find them, is when it's a big coincidence, so is their any problem the actual testing of the suspected traitor, that I need to get rid of?
     
  17. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Throw out the pot and start chopping onions.
     
  18. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks. Before I restart though, I have been told on here that I have had too many coincidences and unlikelys before in my stories. But in fiction you see this all the time. How do I tell the difference between an acceptable coincidence and unacceptable one?

    I watch a movie lot movies where I get inspiration for writing screenplays and I see it all the time. In Point Break for example, the FBI is surveying the house where they believe the suspects to be. When it comes to time go in and arrest, them one of them turns out to be an undercover DEA agent, and by doing this, they have ruined the DEAs case. This is an acceptable one.

    In Pulp Fiction, Bruce Willis is hiding from Ving Rhames and is driving his car down the street. He stops at a red light to let people cross the street and who does he literally cross paths with, in the crosswalk? Ving Rhames.

    In Breaking Bad, season 3, episode 6, Hank calls Walt to get information on Pinkman cause he believes, that in doing so, Pinkman will lead him to Heissenburg. But as a huge coincidence, Walt is Hessenburg, so Hank is actually warning him without knowing it.

    What makes a coincidence acceptable as oppose to unacceptable? Because it keeps happening with me, every time I restart, and it seems there may be no avoiding them. But since fiction does it all the time, how do I remain within the rules?
     
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  19. ChickenFreak
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    For one thing, you have lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and also lots of coincidences, and out of character behaviors, and other implausible things. You only get a few, not dozens.

    Unless I misunderstand you, I don't see much of a coincidence in your Point Break example. Criminal activity is going on, and there are two crime-fighing agencies addressing it. The DEA agent is undercover, so presumably he's been in that house for an extended period of time, so it's not as if both of the agencies staged a raid at the same moment. So I don't see this as a coincidence.

    The Pulp Fiction coincidence does sound like a coincidence, though I'd like more details. Did both characters decide to leave town and coincidentally choose, of all the cities in all the world, the same city? Or did their relationship as enemies happen in the same town where they encounter each other later?

    But either way, Pulp Fiction used up part of its allotment of coincidences and unlikelihoods on that one. However, it may have a fairly large allotment--Pulp Fiction is categorized as a black comedy, and appears to embrace a stylized, unrealistic, comic-book and, yes, pulp fiction style. So what it can get away with is not a reliable guideline for what a non-comedy, somewhat realistic movie can get away with. I haven't had the impression that your script is for a comedy.

    I need more details about the Hank/Walt thing. It's not that implausible for a cop to ask his relative the schoolteacher about a former student--was that how the conversation came about? It's not that implausible for a schoolteacher, or for that matter anyone, to have a cop somewhere in the family. The coincidence is that the cop happens to specialize in the type of crime that the schoolteacher is choosing to commit. So Breaking Bad used up some of its allowed quota of coincidences on that. I don't know if the fact that the cop is specifically investigating the schoolteacher's crime is a further coincidence--is the whole narcotics team working on that crime, or just a fraction of the team members?
     
  20. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks. When you say I have dozens of coincidences I thought there was only one here. The one being that the cops happen to arrive at the same time that the villains test was going on that they were using to test the one guy they are not sure of.

    What other coincidences are there that accumulates to dozens?

    As for out of character behavior, it is quite common in fiction and in real life for a gang to give tests to members they are not sure of. Usually when it comes to new members, it's called a blood in, since in order to get in, you have to spill the blood of another person.

    The movie In The Line of Fire does this. Crooks believe that Eastwood is an undercover agent sot they test it by having him kill his partner. The gun is not loaded but it's just a test to see, but also risky, cause if they are wrong, they risk being caught.

    How is my gang's behavior implausible compared to what goes on in real gangs, and fictional ones?
     
  21. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Coincidences and implausibilities:

    You can't get ransom for an unidentified person. How is this crime, the past and the present ones, supposed to work?
    How can they demand ransom and simultaneously pretend that they're just making a film?
    Why does the villain embrace getting arrested?
    If he isn't embracing getting arrested, why is he changing the usual nature of the crime?
    If they're so stupid as to use an Internet cafe and get caught, why weren't they caught before? Because he's embracing getting arrested? Why is he embracing getting arrested?
    Why does the Big Criminal get caught while all the lesser ones escape?
    I recall from other threads that you have one lone cop running around the neighborhood kicking down all the doors he wants.
    Re: "You can tell the police that there must have been different people that were kidnappers in the vicinity who had the same looking masks, with a female hostage, with a hood, but would it work" What does this mean? Why do you need two sets of people filming?

    I'm being interrupted. I'll pause here.
     
  22. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    "Coincidences and implausibilities:

    You can't get ransom for an unidentified person. How is this crime, the past and the present ones, supposed to work?
    How can they demand ransom and simultaneously pretend that they're just making a film?
    Why does the villain embrace getting arrested?
    If he isn't embracing getting arrested, why is he changing the usual nature of the crime?
    If they're so stupid as to use an Internet cafe and get caught, why weren't they caught before? Because he's embracing getting arrested? Why is he embracing getting arrested?
    Why does the Big Criminal get caught while all the lesser ones escape?
    I recall from other threads that you have one lone cop running around the neighborhood kicking down all the doors he wants.
    Re: "You can tell the police that there must have been different people that were kidnappers in the vicinity who had the same looking masks, with a female hostage, with a hood, but would it work" What does this mean? Why do you need two sets of people filming?

    I'm being interrupted. I'll pause here."


    Sorry I was unclear about the person being unidentified. The person only has a hood over their head in the latest kidnapping because they are trying to test the suspected informant. This kidnapping that they are using test the suspected informant, is not a ransom video. The past ones were ransom videos and in those ones, all the hostages were identified. In this new one, the hostage is not. The new one is not a ransom video, they just start shooting it to give the appearance to the suspected informant, that is is, and that he will be ordered to kill the hostage. All the past videos were ransom videos with identified people in. This one is not.

    The villain does not embrace getting arrested. The villain actually hates that it happened. He hates that the cops show up coincidentally under different circumstances to catch him. He and the hostage, tell the cops that they were just making a film and it was acted. They do not do this as am embrace. They do this to desperately save their hides. They don't change the nature of his crime to fool the police. They do it to fool the suspected informant they are going to test. When the police arrive and arrest one of them and the hostage, him and the hostage, then use the same plan on saying it was a film to fool the new police rather than the informant.

    What makes you think he is embracing getting arrested? Perhaps I wasn't clear and mislead you to think that. He is angry about it of course, but at the same time, he is going to put up a fight and beat the charges if he can.

    The big criminal I assume by that you mean the leader. It's not the leader who is caught, it's a lesser one. The leader and the others escape. The crook who is caught remains silent, goes to call his lawyer, and the lawyer is with the leader on the other end of the phone. The call cannot be recorded, since it's with the lawyer, it's a privileged conversation. The lawyer tells the crook to stick to the leader's original plan and say that it was a film they were making. The hostage makes a call while at the station, and she is fed this information as well.

    I don't need two sets of people filming. Basically the crook in custody tells the police that they got the wrong people. That him and his friends were making a film, where as the kidnappers they were after, must still be out there and they missed them. He is just lying but that's what I meant by when he says that there is another group out there filming real kidnappings.

    As for using an internet cafe to narrow down the cop's proximity and get caught, I need to give the police a method to catch him. I did research and asked cops, who would the police trace a video, and this was the best scenario the cop's gave me. Otherwise he would just be completely untraceable, not be caught, and the story is over.

    Now I don't know if this makes more sense, but it seems that some things I didn't explain in depth enough, which has lead to some incorrect assumptions as to the character behavior and how they feel, even though I just explained what they were forced to do. I didn't explain how they feel about doing it. Does this explain more?
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2015
  23. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    If they're not asking for ransom, why take the huge risk of broadcasting? If the gun isn't going to go off, why broadcast to all the world that they're not really serious about murder? There's no logic in making this little "test" public.Having people do things that will harm them, for no good reason other than serving the plot, is a problem.

    If your criminals are this ruthless, why go through the tremendous trouble of recruiting someone to play the hostage? Why not just kill a real hostage? Making things far far more trouble than they need to be, for no good reason other than serving the plot, is a problem.

    The fact that the criminal would be untraceable if you didn't make him do something stupid, for no good reason other than serving the plot, is a problem.
     
  24. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    You're right, thank you for point out the hole. My original idea was that they do not make this test public. The reason why I changed it was on the advice of the cop who helped me write it. He said it would give the cops reason to trace the video to the proximity and go look for them. I changed it based on his that, but I will change it back to my original idea, and not have them broadcast this one.

    The reason why they get someone to play a fake hostage, is because they suspect that their man may be an informer to the cops, which is he is not, but they believe he may be since he is a cop and they want to eliminate all risks, as their crimes get deeper and deeper. Plus the cops is showing signs of qualms lately. They have the fake hostage, in case he is undercover, because if he goes and tells the cops later, or if some cop is monitoring him while he is there, and is surveying the place let's say, then they want to have a fake hostage, so they can lie and get out of it, if the suspected informant gets them arrested for this particular kidnapping. They will just lie and say it was all acting.

    Now this has been done before in other stories and movies I have seen. In In The Line of Fire for example the crooks in the opening suspect Eastwood of being an undercover agent. They set up a scenario were Eastwood is to fake kill someone. His partner actually. The gun is not loaded, but Eastwood manages to save his partner and arrest them. Now they are charged with attempted murder or something along those lines, along with hostage taking.

    But in my idea, I take it a step further because by getting a fake hostage, no hostage will then testify against them, if they are caught, if the suspected informer is working for the cops and gets them arrested at the scene, or afterwards. If they give him a gun without bullets get him to pull the trigger on a real hostage, but then all of a sudden the cop's bust in and it turns out he was working with them, well now they have a real hostage who is a witness and is now a problem. By getting a fake hostage, the potential witness problem that could arise if caught, is eliminated, because the fake hostage will lie for them. Does this make sense at all?
     
  25. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    If they don't broadcast, then how do they get caught?

    And, no, it doesn't make sense. You have the huge, huge coincidence of the police arresting them at the time that it's most convenient for the police to rescue them, and then you're trying to minimize the other issues. The other issues are smaller, but they are still quite large. You have overloaded your implausibility/coincidence quota.

    If your goal is just to write specific scenes that start with specific emotions, and you don't actually care about any continuity of plot, or doing anything with this work, then your strategy is fine. I would do best to assume that that is your goal.
     

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