1. Sharond

    Sharond New Member

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    Trying to figure out a physical conflict situation

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Sharond, Nov 23, 2021.

    There are three characters:
    female: ex-wife; of...
    male: abusive ex-husband out for revenge against her because she left him and;...
    partner: of ex-wife, hero, naval intelligence operative, Navy SEAL, always does the right thing

    I need some help please, to help determine how to stage a resolution in eliminating the ex-husband, putting the ex-wife's life in danger and having the partner be the hero who saves her.

    I am thinking, ex-wife is home alone in partner's house with whom she lives. Ex-husband finds her after a long search over a year and intends to harm her. Shoot her? Stab her? Partner comes in and hears her crying and ex-husband's voice. Partner goes to a closet where he keeps his service weapon then goes to bedroom where she is cowering on the bed, with ex-husband threatening her with violence.

    Obviously, if ex has a gun, he's going to turn it on the partner who is going to demand the ex drop his gun. So it's a standoff. How does the partner get the gun off the ex, killing him in the process? The ex-wife also has to be shot by the ex and survive with life-threatening injuries. Partner may/may not be shot also with minor wound. Or would it just be easier to have the ex stab her, and partner shoots the ex as he comes for the partner with the knife?

    This is my first effort at something like this and I'm not proficient at resolving this type of suspense/conflict.I hope it is not too confusing! If you need more clarification, I will be glad to provide additional details and please know I truly appreciate any help.
     
  2. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Contributor Contributor

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    I don't know, but in films, the ex never points it at the new partner. Once the ex takes it off the hostage, it's almost mandatory the new lover uses it as a window of opportunity to shoot the abusive ex/stalker.

    How is this done in the numerous spy/thriller novels?

    In a situation like this, would the new lover have time to get his weapon (if his gf were in imminent danger)? Although a bad idea, he could try and get a jump (unarmed) on the ex/stalker if his back were turned. Then you have ways for multiple gunshots to happen and multiple injuries.
     
  3. Midlife Maniac

    Midlife Maniac Member

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    It may be good to give the female character more agency in the situation.

    Could she distract her ex in some way or go on the offensive if he changes his target to the partner?

    The latter may also facilitate the injury you require to progress the narrative.
     
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  4. Sharond

    Sharond New Member

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    Thank you so much for the ideas! I appreciate you taking the time to respond.
     
  5. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    I did find it confusing, because of all the shorthand and the telegraphic wording. Each paragraph read like a mathematical word problem written in secret code that I had to decipher. It might be just me though. But as I read each line I had to go back often several times to puzzle out who was who and exactly what each person is doing. It's very hard for us (well, for me) to keep it straight using these vague designators like the ex and the ex wife (because they both have ex in them, I had to stop and think several times).

    I understand this is the way you work on your own ideas, I think we all do, but when posting to a message board I would render it all out in actual sentences with names for the characters, even if they're false names made up for the post. I always get confused on posts where you have for instance Character A and Character B, because those aren't names, and I can't keep straight in my head which is which. I mean, the major part of each name is identical (Character). And I can't keep people straight if they're referred to only as A and B. Names are important, we've had long involved discussions about the importance of using very unique names so readers don't confuse similar names (like Andy, Randy, Rudy, Bobby and Robby for instance).

    A couple of people upstream did all the math and the decoding and puzzled it all out, but I wouldn't expect people to have to do all that work and then on top of it also work out possible answers to your question. It's just too much concentrated work. You want people to be able to understand clearly and then immediately launch to work on the actual problem itself, therefore you want to remove all possible problems of clarity at the outset.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2021
  6. SapereAude

    SapereAude Contributor Contributor

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    From the perspective of an Army veteran with some recollection of how (and when) to use a firearm, I'll offer the following:

    Here in the U.S., every state has in its laws some version of the "castle doctrine." This is a legal theory that basically establishes the rule that we are all entitled to be or feel safe in our homes. Anyone who enters with bad intentions is fair game -- there is no duty to retreat when within your own home.(Actually, I think there is one state that may impose a duty to retreat within your own home, but that's definitely an aberration.)

    Secondly, just displaying a firearm in a threatening manner is deemed in the eyes of the law to be use of deadly force -- just as much so as if you actually pull the trigger. When confronted with an assault, a person is entitled to use deadly force against the assailant if you are in fear of "imminent death or serious bodily injury." (That's not a direct quote, but it's a paraphrased summary of the laws of pretty much all the states.) Further, a person is also legally allowed to use deadly force to protect a third party, as if the shooter was in the position of the third party.

    So: The woman's current partner comes home (enters his castle) to find the woman being threatened by her ex-husband, who is armed with a firearm. IMHO, there would be no "standoff." The woman's current partner is (or was) a Navy SEAL. The SEALs are trained for action, and they are highly skilled with weapons. There would be no standoff. The SEAL would enter the room, see the situation, and immediately shoot the ex-husband. There would not be any discussion. This would be entirely legal. However, you could always use the shooting to have the SEAL arrested and charged, if that does anything for your lot.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2021
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  7. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 10/190 Status: Confused Contributor

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    Why does the ex need a gun? What I find unrealistic is that the current just happens to get home before the ex shoots the woman.

    The ex, presumably being bigger and stronger than the woman can simply be threatening to, or in the process of beating her to death. Current can then point firearm at ex, and resulting altercation may or may not result in ex being shot dead.
     
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  8. Travalgar

    Travalgar Active Member

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    As Mildlife Maniac mentioned above, giving more agency to the female would most likely solve your problem. Have her spring to the ex, attempt to wrestle his gun away, and then be shot in the stomach accidentally for her troubles. The partner would hesitate in taking the shot with his service weapon during the scuffle in fear of shooting her by mistake. It's a cliche exchange, but it's very effective.
     
  9. Sharond

    Sharond New Member

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    Thank you for your input. I think I made it, unintentionally, like a logic puzzle. My mind doesn't work very well mathematically and I was trying to make it as simple as I could, in my own way! I do appreciate your comments and will certainly keep that in mind in the future.
     
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  10. Sharond

    Sharond New Member

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    Thank you so much for your suggestions; they were very helpful especially in the military/SEAL context. I appreciate your taking the time to respond.
     
  11. Sharond

    Sharond New Member

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    I was trying to be as brief as possible (this is my first time doing this) to try and save everyone's time. The ex needs a gun (or knife, if it was a stabbing), to inflict life-threatening injuries to his ex. The partner coming home is not coincidental - which I failed to mention. Her ex-husband knew he had left the house and there would be enough time for him to kill his ex-wife. That evening was the only opportunity he had to do it. It is supposed to be a situation where the ex-husband does what he has to do to her quickly (without all the usual long explanation to the victim that happens in TV shows and movies) but isn't quick enough because the partner does show up. I think beating her to (near) death would take too much time. He just wants to kill her and get out. Thank you so much for taking the time to provide your insight and comments; I appreciate it.
     
  12. Sharond

    Sharond New Member

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    Excellent idea! Thank you for taking the time to give your input; I appreciate it!!
     
  13. SapereAude

    SapereAude Contributor Contributor

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    Highly unlikely, given that the current partner was a SEAL.

    Consider that in the rescue of the captain of the hijacked ship Maersk Alabama (Captain Richard Phillips), the captain was taken hostage on one of the ship's lifeboats. The U.S. Navy eventually took the lifeboat in tow, but the pirates threatened to kill Captain Phillips. When the situation became critical, SEAL snipers took out a pirate who was holding a gun to the captain's head. They did this at sea, from the deck of a ship, shooting at a target on a much smaller vessel that was not moving in synchronicity with the larger ship. They made movie of it, called -- cleverly -- Captain Phillips.

    A bit sensationalized, but here's the scene from the movie:

    In the situation described, on dry land and in close proximity, I would venture to say that no SEAL would hesitate to take the shot, and probably no SEAL would miss. They train for exactly such situations. I'm 77 years old and I wasn't a SEAL -- I don't think I would hesitate to take the shot, and I don't think I would miss.
     
  14. Sharond

    Sharond New Member

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    I think I'm leaning more towards your scenario; it seems to make more sense being that my character is a SEAL. He is going to act decisively and quickly and it is easy to understand why he would be accurate in his hit.
     
  15. SapereAude

    SapereAude Contributor Contributor

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    Your plot can still work if the SEAL takes out the vengeful ex-husband with a head shot. If the ex-husband has a gun in his hand with his finger on the trigger, when the SEAL enters the room the other guy's attention will shift to him, and more than likely the ex's gun will start to move toward the SEAL at the same time. This might be intentional, or it might be simple reflex (just like when you're driving -- if you turn your head to the left, you tend to steer to the left.) When the guy is shot, his finger might spontaneously contract on the trigger, firing a shot which might hit the woman in the shoulder, or a glancing (or not so glancing) wound to the head.
     

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