1. CMastah

    CMastah Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2014
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    40

    Just discovered a plot hole the size of Kansas -.-'

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by CMastah, Jan 18, 2015.

    So I had this character (an eight year old girl) who gets picked up and hidden in a military backpack, right?

    And THERE'S the plot hole.

    The girl was supposed to be smuggled out of a dangerous location and my beta reader who assumed at first the child was 1-year old and the size of a baby was shocked to find out she's actually eight and told me NO WAY would she fit in a backpack. So yeah....gonna have to go back and revise a bit if I don't want my story to sink because of this pit of a plot hole -.-'

    At the time I was sure you could stick a sedated eight year old in the fetal position in a backpack but....well.....anyone here familiar with military backpacks who can tell me whether or not you could hide an eight year old kid in one? I'm guessing it's not possible, but thought I'd ask nonetheless.
     
  2. stevesh

    stevesh Banned Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Messages:
    967
    Likes Received:
    648
    Location:
    Mid-Michigan USA
    I don't think so, unless she was really small for her age. A quick search shows the largest rucksack I found is around 26 x 15.5 x 10.5 inches. The 10.5 dimension might be your problem.
     
  3. Some_Bloke

    Some_Bloke Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2014
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Northern Ireland
    Replace the bagpack with a large suitcase and you might be able to solve your problem.
     
    Vandor76 likes this.
  4. Vandor76

    Vandor76 Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2014
    Messages:
    269
    Likes Received:
    196
    Location:
    Hungary
  5. stevesh

    stevesh Banned Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Messages:
    967
    Likes Received:
    648
    Location:
    Mid-Michigan USA
    I assumed that the rest of the story required the backpack to be military. If not, yeah, I've seen wheeled suitcases that could easily accommodate an eight-year-old.
     
  6. CMastah

    CMastah Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2014
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    40
    The thing is, is that it's a (fantasy) military attack on a village, the one who picks up the kid is a military character with a backpack (I'd imagine a backpack/satchel is normal equipment for even a fantasy army), a suitcase would not be available.
     
  7. qp83

    qp83 Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2014
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    17
    I remember a movie, probably Rambo or something, where the guy carried a large military duffle bag that I think could easily fit an eight year old. It can usually also be carried as a rucksack.

    A quick google search and I found at least one bag that's 53 inches long and 22 inches in diameter. I think an eight-year-old kid could fit in that.
     
  8. Lancie

    Lancie Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2014
    Messages:
    260
    Likes Received:
    152
    Location:
    Gloucestershire
    Some of these hiking backpacks you find on dedicated sites are pretty big as they're intended to carry tents as well as supplies for a period of time. As long as the eight year old is petite and scrunches up, I'm sure they'd squeeze in, especially if it's life or death.
     
  9. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,837
    Likes Received:
    6,161
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    I suggest a better description of the pack might resolve your beta reader's incredulity.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. cutecat22

    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2014
    Messages:
    2,523
    Likes Received:
    1,099
    Location:
    England
    That is one big ass bag! How the hell does that soldier not fall over?
     
  11. Link the Writer

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    12,989
    Likes Received:
    5,602
    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    He probably had plenty of exercise and training before he put that on. ;)

    But yeah, if it were a life or death situation, I imagine they could find a bag big enough to squeeze her into. Of course, she'd probably have to curl herself up into a ball with her knees under her chin and her arms wrapped around her legs. I also think they would put some sort of padding around her to shield her from whatever damage she would get from being jostled around in the bag.

    My question is: how is she going to breathe? I mean, assuming she's in the bag with padding around her, breathing might be a bit difficult.
     
  12. cutecat22

    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2014
    Messages:
    2,523
    Likes Received:
    1,099
    Location:
    England
    If it's a bag like that, then the fastenings will probably be like, how can I explain, you know like the spring clips on dog leads?? and there would probably be more than one so part of the flap opening could be left open. It would also be - I would think - canvas or some kind of fabric so although it might be stuffy, it would be breathable.
     
  13. peachalulu

    peachalulu Member Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    May 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,921
    Likes Received:
    2,526
    Location:
    occasionally Oz , mainly Canada
    How about a hockey bag? - you could fit an elephant in a hockey bag.
     
  14. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    21,204
    Likes Received:
    13,464
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    Along with this image, which does prove that modern military gear could accommodate a smaller 8 year old, I would suggest perhaps referring to the backpack as a rucksack. At least in my neck of the woods, rucksack conjures an image of something more heavy-duty and capacious, more utilitarian than backpack. Backpack immediately brings to mind something casual and smaller, like for a library trip.
     
  15. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,837
    Likes Received:
    6,161
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    That's funny. I think of a rucksack as more of a day bag. But there are other adjectives that could clue the reader it was special, such as a tactical field pack.
     
  16. KaTrian

    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Messages:
    6,305
    Likes Received:
    4,496
    Location:
    The Unseen Village
    If it's fantasy, can't you just decide on the size of the pack? :confused: Was this the story with a female captain in a military that doesn't work quite like modern militaries and they fight monsters? Just change the description so that your betas get the idea and you should be fine.
     
  17. cutecat22

    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2014
    Messages:
    2,523
    Likes Received:
    1,099
    Location:
    England
    you could even come up with it's own name, like, the "four footer field pack"
     
  18. Mckk

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    5,146
    Likes Received:
    2,878
    Careful with the rucksack thing - a more detailed description is the way to go here, not a change of the word backpack. Rucksack is routinely used in the UK to simply mean any normal bag you have on your back - think of a school bag. They can be described as rucksacks.

    Anyway, the idea of an 8-year-old fitting into a regular rucksack (think school bag) made me giggle.

    However, I think a child could legitimately fit into one of those huge camping/hiking bags people carry - not sure what they're called.

    As KaTrian say, it's fantasy. Just make up the dimensions, make sure you describe the size of the bag and maybe to make it realistic, describe a little struggle to fit the child in completely concealed or whatever, and carry on. The key is simply to let the reader know the bag's big enough.
     
    Lancie likes this.
  19. RachHP

    RachHP Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2015
    Messages:
    264
    Likes Received:
    159
    Location:
    England
    Does the kidnapper have to leave with the child on foot? If they were on horseback/had access to the invariable carts or wagons needed to support a military operation, they could potentially wrap the girl in a blanket or something/shove her among piles of equipment and abscond with her that way?
     
  20. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Messages:
    3,412
    Likes Received:
    1,965
    I've seen a soldier run a half-marathon in one - and a bloody good windbreak he made too!
     
    cutecat22 likes this.
  21. Selbbin

    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    Messages:
    3,387
    Likes Received:
    1,964
    Location:
    Australia
    For most packs it wouldn't work, but I'm pretty sure I could find a military pack that could fit an eight year old in the foetal position considering this suitcase held a fully grown man:

    [​IMG]

    Compare that suitcase to this pack:

    [​IMG]

    Or this:

    [​IMG]



    You'd probably need a 95 or 110 litre pack with a solid frame or carbon fibre backing shell.


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
  22. CMastah

    CMastah Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2014
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    40
    Thanks guys, I'm seeing some great tips here (also, @Selbbin , I'm almost too scared to ask where you got that first pic :p). I'll change things around and mention the size of the bag and have her think to herself about the struggle she'll have fitting the child in (essentially at that point I actually fade to black).

    (also @KaTrian , yes, this is that story :))

    @RachHP , That's a good possibility but the issue is that the location is no more than a day's ride away from the city (so I don't think they'd bring a wagon with them), the horse's pack would actually be another good alternative.

    @Link the Writer , Yep, the plan was that she would be placed inside in the fetal position (the child is sedated), as for how she would breathe.....ehm.....well.....I'll have to mention her keeping in mind that she has to adjust the child's head so she can breathe :p

    One issue is that because the location is only a day's ride away I'm not sure it would warrant bringing such a large bag, but I could probably pull it off that she thought the area was further away (she wasn't originally aware of its location until she was ordered over). I do have a possible plan B that'll do away with the bag issue, but since it isn't completely developed (I only began thinking of plan B AFTER the beta reader mentioned the issue), I'd rather not rely on a fix I haven't completely thought out all the quirks of.
     
  23. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Messages:
    3,412
    Likes Received:
    1,965
    Your MC is riding over? What kind of rider would carry a bag that size? It would completely alter your sense of balance (and ability to stay mounted) regardless of what she was riding.
     
  24. Leviathan

    Leviathan Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2015
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Let's hope no kidnappers read this how-to-guide on how to succesfully kidnap a child using a large backpack.
     
  25. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Messages:
    3,412
    Likes Received:
    1,965
    Easy! Just be fit enough to carry anywhere up to 40 kg/90 lbs on your back for some distance!
     

Share This Page