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Save my Scenario - A Community for Writers

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How far is too far? [Jun. 21st, 2009|09:04 pm]
Save my Scenario - A Community for Writers

[mood |blahblah]

I see this community has been dead for a while, but I'm hoping people still have it on their friends page and might take notice of my post and help me out a little.

Without going into unnecessary detail, I have a character who is going to set up a group of people to be killed. These people committed a senseless, brutal murder of an innocent person and they are going to be killed in retribution/warning to others by the group they were targeting with this murder. I've already decided that he's going to go through with it; I just need to figure out how to present it in such a way that won't alienate people.

A few things to note are:

1. This character knows that the targeted group will do this whether he helps them or not. He is just making it easier on them, and ensuring, through his infiltration and deception, that they won't get hurt. (His love interest will be among those attacking the murderers.)

2. While he was not close to the murder victim, he respected the victim and wants to get in good with the targeted group.

3. Culturally, he is very much more like the murderers than he is like the targeted group. After he's discovered to be a mole by the murderers, their leader confronts him as a traitor to his own people.

This takes place in modern America, and there's no historical/cultural context for this character that would make this a normal or ok thing to do. I want this to be a struggle for him, but I also don't want it to turn into a huge angst-fest.

Basically, I'm struggling with a lot of different factors. Can I portray the murderers sympathetically in any way, or will that push it too far into ambiguous morality? How much does this character have to struggle to make sure he doesn't seem like some kind of monster?

It could be that I'm putting entirely too much thought into this, but I really want to make sure it works.
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Anybody who knows about police procedure would be helpful. [Oct. 7th, 2006|08:07 pm]
Save my Scenario - A Community for Writers

This is the scene I'm having trouble with:

The longhaired Japanese man was glaring at him again, like it was his fault that he and his boy had been found breaking the law.

“Now, are you going to tell me just what you were doing with all those explosives?” Sergeant James Brewster demanded.

Anata wa baka yaro desu.”

“Hey, we speak English here, pal.”

Kudaranai yatu,” the man snapped.

There was a definite derisive note in the man’s voice, that combined with the way the man turned to look at the wall to his right and the expression on his face when he did, let Sergeant Brewster know that he’d probably just been insulted.

“Where’s Kenji?” the man demanded, before Sergeant Brewster could start to say anything else.

“He’s safe, but you should worry more about yourself, sir. You’re in a lot of trouble,” Brewster said, trying to be understanding.

People always seemed to talk more when they were comfortable. But Brewster suspected that he was wasting his time with this guy.

“That wasn’t what I asked, stupid. Where’s my son?”

“He’s safe,” Brewster said again.

“He’s dead if I’m not there,” the man snarled. “Now where is he?”

Brewster wrote that statement down.
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Must needs I change mine protagonist? [Jun. 8th, 2006|12:21 pm]
Save my Scenario - A Community for Writers

[mood |anxiousanxious]
[music |the seven deadly sins // flogging molly]

Right, so I've got a novel that's about two-thirds done, and suddenly I'm having trouble with the main character. Or I shouldn't say suddenly, I should say I've been having trouble all along, but this is new trouble. For some reason, he's not operating as he should be - he should be a bright, somewhat brittle, extremely intelligent, charming, manipulative sociopathic bastard that manages to flatter most people into liking him, or at least enjoying his company. I've known a couple people exactly like that, so I think this bit is believable. Basically, as long as they give him what he wants, he's willing to give them what they want, which usually boils down to "attention".

Where the trouble comes in is that I made him a moderately-using heroin addict and, previously, a prostitute. The story arc is such that, though the book itself ends on an up-note (the goal is achieved sort of thing), his story ends on a down-note (the goal has required his personal destruction, though not his death - more a breaking and remaking sort of thing). This is very witty. I chose to give him the history and the personality I did because I hate perky heroes anyway, and I felt that it was more interesting to explore the weakness of the character. The people around him need him to be strong to achieve the goal, but the character is fundamentally very weak. Additionally, it got into some questions of will - did the character choose to join the goal-oriented group, or was he simply unable to choose not to join it, for example. I'm finding now that the character is not acting as I think he should, and there isn't room in the story to describe this duality of life, where on the one hand he's fighting with the forces of at least Ambiguously-Good against Definitely-Bad, and on the other pursuing his destruction by means of needles and sex. And it gets even more witty when the reader starts realising that the character, while not able to avoid helping the good guys, has been manipulating the situation for his own ends.

I think the problem boils down to this. There would be room in the story if I went back and rewrote everything from a single perspective (his), rather than skipping in and out of heads as the need arises. As it is, I would be telling two stories about him and four other characters' stories as well. This will go long. REAL long. (The story is currently at 105K words; I'm shooting for 150K words total. You can see why I'm saying it's long already.) So I am trying to decide if I need to shift to third person limited perspective, or if I should simply drop the drugs-and-sex backstory and find some other way to indicate that this character is, actually, not capable at all of making a decision, least of all any of the ones he's been asked to make in the last hundred pages, but is still quite capable of being a manipulative little bugger, or if I can (somehow) bash him over the head into cooperating and make this all work as it's supposed to. I keep thinking that the problem with the latter is the drugs and sex. I envisioned the character as a very personable bugger, but he's failing to interact, and I'm not sure why. Maybe if he were normal, it would all work.

Any thoughts on this that would help me either save my scenario or make it into less of a limping, pathetic creature?

If it helps to provide some character references (I know that the original description probably comes off as somewhat having my cake and eating it too, in terms of a flattering sociopath) I'm thinking a lot of the Artful Dodger from Oliver Twist, book version, (or in the remake, Twist, if anyone knows that movie), or the protagonists in Layer Cake and Fight Club - men who were manipulators and manipulated at the same time. Obviously, neither Layer Cake nor Fight Club imply exactly the situation I'm thinking of, but I think the characters are in somewhat similar enough situations to be useful.
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Help needed with a military scenario [Jun. 1st, 2006|02:31 pm]
Save my Scenario - A Community for Writers

About how realistic is the following? (excluding the mentions of Zoanoids).

The blaze of arc-welders and the harsh whine of pneumatic drills filled the ACTF’s construction bay, as the contingent of Stryker AFV’s were outfitted with reactive armor. There were eight of them currently in the bay; more arrived sporadically as small percentages of the shipments ordered by the Army were ‘scrapped’ for fabricated defects.

All of the ACTF staff found that pretty funny, and some of them had even started to refer to the various construction bays as ‘scrap-yards’. Since it was basically a harmless running gag, those higher in the chain of command tended to ignore it.

On the other side of the bay stood thirty motorcycles, fifteen Kawasaki Ninjas and fifteen Suzuki Hayabusas, that were being altered for combat purposes. The light Kevlar body armor had already been applied, and now the rear cannon was being added. It was intended as a deterrent to any of the faster Zoanoids that were being employed now by Chronos. Especially that greenish one with the sword-hands.
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Extiction of humanity with at least oceanic cetaceans surviving. [May. 30th, 2006|01:30 pm]
Save my Scenario - A Community for Writers

This is a wonderful idea for a community! I've had a scenario buzzing around in my head for a while now, but it's a fanfic idea for a very small fandom; hopefully the idea can transcend fandom boundaries. The fandom in question is Ecco the Dolphin, specifically the storyline for the older games in the series. In the Ecco the Dolphin reality, all cetaceans (called Singers ingame) are unquestionably sapient beings and have a self-contained society completely separate from humans.

Cut for human extinction.Collapse )
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A question about armies in the United States [May. 30th, 2006|11:39 am]
Save my Scenario - A Community for Writers

How realistic would it be to have a 4,500-strong military unit opperating in secret, with all of the attendand support-staff?
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First Entry! [May. 30th, 2006|12:02 am]
Save my Scenario - A Community for Writers

[mood |confusedconfused]

Welcome to Save my Scenario! As of yet, there aren't any members, but I have faith that there will be soon.

Let's kick things off with a question.

In one of my stories there is a world where the population believes that the moon is a dragon's egg, and that a new egg is laid each night (or day, depending on the phase). In this fictional mythology, the world is flat and the sun is a fireball that's belched forth by another dragon every morning. For these reasons, the moon cannot be illuminated by the sun as it is for our world. My question is, how would a believer in this mythology explain the phases of the moon?

I figured that the mother dragon could go through monthly hormonal cycles that would produce brighter and darker eggs (also, possibly baby dragons of lighter influence and baby dragons of darker influence), but what would actually create the light in crescent shapes? I figured maybe some kind of luminous fluid inside the eggs, but it seems odd that it would be consistently in that shape.

Any ideas or thoughts on the matter?
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