1. AJ Winters

    AJ Winters New Member

    Nov 10, 2011
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    Exposition Help

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by AJ Winters, Oct 15, 2012.

    I was thinking of opening my novel with one of my antagonists (Markus) being questioned (as a witness, not a suspect) over a murder. During the questioning, it is revealed that the antagonist did commit the murder in question; the character questioning him begins to take action (e.g. you are now a suspect, you will be detained etc.) when he is teleported via the other antagonists to the Burj Khalifa (or some building like that). The antagonists get their answers from him etc. before letting him fall and... die.

    Anyhoo, there is the info, here are my questions:

    1. Markus (before having his symptoms reversed via medical testing etc.) had a history of, not so much creating drama but being unreliable/unstable for he was a paranoid-hypochondriac; do you think that discrimination (by the Questioner) regarding this would contribute to a sense of 'Oh, crap - something's wrong," for the Questioner when Markus turns out to be non paranoid-hypochondriac-unstable and more like mysteriously-powerful-and-quiet.

    [Did that paragraph make sense to any of you?]

    2. When and where does the phrase, "I have to right to contact my lawyer," or legal phrases come into play in reality? During questioning, at the scene of a crime, etc? I was planning to have a such like:

    Markus: "I believe I have the right to talk to my lawyer."
    Questioner: "You do. Under act 17 of the blah blah blah..."
    Markus: "No need. He's already here."
    Questioner: "Wha-?"
    (antagonists appear and take Questioner)

    3. Does anyone know of any websites or books that could aid me in portraying a realistic questioning/interrogation scene? I skipped Law and get a bit confused by it all. For example - do witness questionings take place in an interrogation room, a police station or at the witness's home? Are there set questions to ask a witness? What do you do when you find the possible murderer? etc. etc.

    All comments welcome. :)
  2. randomme1

    randomme1 Member

    Aug 22, 2012
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    As for your first question, yeah I'm not touching that one. sorry

    For the second one, the phrase when someone says "I want my lawyer" is right around the time that the Questioner would start actually "interrogating" the witness, not just taking a statement from someone who was there. So when the Questioner starts acting like "Markus" is guilty, that's when your character should lawyer up.

    The last question, don't know how much help I would be. I've mostly been the one being interrogated, I have never been just a witness. There's not really any books I can recommend, besides all of the mystery novels portraying detectives. Or you could just go watch Law and Order, it's not the most realistic thing in the world but it's close. And witness questionings don't usually take place in an interrogation room, unless the Questioner believes that the witness is actually the culprit. Officers and such usually go to where the witnesses are, or they come in to the i guess "station" and give a statement to an officer or the Questioner.

    Hope I was of any use!
  3. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Jun 13, 2010
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    Queens, NY
    Not to me, no. First you say "he was a paranoid hypochondriac", then you say he "turns out to be non-paranoid-hypochondriac". Please make up your mind.

    In the United States, anyone being detained for questioning by the police has the right to have counsel present. I believe the phrase you are thinking about is the Miranda warning (from the Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona), which is given upon arrest and which informs the suspect that (s)he has the right to remain silent, that anything (s)he says can be used against him/her, and that (s)he has the right to an attorney, which will be provided if (s)he cannot afford one.

    Taking your questions above in order:
    1. Googling "criminal procedure" should give you more than enough material.
    2. Witness questionings can take place anywhere.
    3. The particulars of the crime determine what questions are asked. Obviously, they are situation-dependent.
    4. If you find the "possible" murderer? Sorry, you need probable cause in order to make an arrest.

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