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ironpony
May 4th, 2020, 06:11 PM
For my screenplay, a woman who is in danger because she is a witness to a crime, is being driven to her place by the main character, a police detective, to pack up some of her things, so he can then drive her to someplace to safe for protection. While she packs her things, the villains break in to try to get her, but they manage to escape the villains, and escape potential death. As they escape, the cop calls for back up, of course. The plan is to then go back for his car and her things, and then drive to the safe location after. However, there are some items that she was going to pack that I want her to have for later in the plot.

So I can either write so she packed up the items before the villains broke in to attack, or I can write so she just packs a suitcase, when the cop takes her back there. But if he comes back to get his car, would he want to wait for her to pack a bag, even with back up around, or is it too risky, in case the villains take another shot at her?

Should the suitcase, therefore be packed and already to go, when he takes her back there, therefore?

Terry D
May 4th, 2020, 09:05 PM
They are both great. Awesome! The best ideas ever for a screenplay.

Just kidding. Actually they both suck like an Electrolux. Worst ideas ever.

My point is this, what matters is what you do with the ideas you have. But you've been told that hundreds of times on this site and probably others as well. You've been working on this thing for five years and still you ask for other people to make YOUR decisions for you about every minute detail. That's not the way writing works (but you already know that don't you?)

ironpony
May 4th, 2020, 09:16 PM
Oh I was just trying to simplify parts of the plot and make them less complicated. I could go with the way I had this section of the plot before, but I found it to be more complicated with more characters, so I wanted to improve this part of it. I mean because of Covid-19, I figure I might as well take time to improve since I have so much more time on my hands now. But what is it about the ideas that suck particularly?

Terry D
May 4th, 2020, 10:23 PM
Oh I was just trying to simplify parts of the plot and make them less complicated. I could go with the way I had this section of the plot before, but I found it to be more complicated with more characters, so I wanted to improve this part of it. I mean because of Covid-19, I figure I might as well take time to improve since I have so much more time on my hands now. But what is it about the ideas that suck particularly?

Never mind. I made the mistake of replying. I should have known better.

Ma'am
May 4th, 2020, 11:12 PM
I have this recurring hunch that one day, we'll see ironpony's screenplay featured as a Hollywood box office hit. They'll do interviews with us all about it. :)

ETA: If so, this is documentation that I called it!

hvysmker
May 4th, 2020, 11:13 PM
Ironpony. I'd suggest you first set the scene, maybe the cop and her at her home. Then turn the story over to them.

Let her tell the cop in her own words. Being trained he might ask YOU to do a little research while HE takes over -- doing cop stuff.

Then YOU sit back and record the story as THEY live it. Easy!

Sir-KP
May 5th, 2020, 12:29 AM
It's up to you...

There are people who prepared so-called 'emergency backpack' with clothes, important document, tools etc. so they can just grab and go when sh*t breaks.

However, if they don't, what would you do? Probably grab a bag, shove in a few clothes, documents and what-not and leave.

Doesn't make any difference. It's all up to you to make the character.

ironpony
May 5th, 2020, 02:16 AM
Okay. My concern was if the reader might think the cop is stupid for allowing her to go back and pack a bag when there are armed men after her, as opposed to if the bag were already packed.

Annoying kid
May 5th, 2020, 06:45 AM
Toss a coin. Either works fine.

Sir-KP
May 5th, 2020, 07:14 AM
Okay. My concern was if the reader might think the cop is stupid for allowing her to go back and pack a bag when there are armed men after her, as opposed to if the bag were already packed.

If the armed men were tailing them 10 metres behind, then yes, your reader most likely think the cop was stupid and indeed stupid. Unless the cop was Sylvester Stallone jamming heavy machine gun to buy time. Otherwise, the armed men still need time to track and whatever.

Stop thinking like: "reader might think..."

Think rationally from the perspective of both creator and the character instead.

Let's say, if a house is on fire and Jane is inside, what should she do? Run away immediately or pack up? If she fled immediately, there should be a reason why. Maybe because she puts her own life ahead of everything else, for example. If she didn't, then let's say she was trying to save a memento from her late grandma as the reason why she risked her life. Yes, viewer/reader are likely to think she's stupid as response, but there's a rational reason why Jane did so.

ironpony
May 8th, 2020, 07:03 PM
Okay sure, thanks. I guess I just have different options available on how to get to the goal I want in the story, but when there are different ways of getting there, how does a writer know which way is best, when they all can build to the same pay off theoretically?

Kyle R
May 9th, 2020, 02:33 AM
Choose the route that excites you the most. :encouragement:

Razzy
May 9th, 2020, 04:25 AM
So scene:
Go to house to pack
Get attacked, run away
Call for backup
Characters want
F: items from home.
C: protect F, later the car
V: kill F
Resources
C: police backup
V: guns
IMO they wouldn't return to the house at all. Have F be packing the bag when attacked, so important items are in it. Then either take the bag with them during escape or once back up is called have C get officers to retrieve his car and the bag. F should never be left out in the open after an attack like that. I don't know the rest of the events though, so this may not work.

Terry D
May 9th, 2020, 05:50 PM
Choose the route that excites you the most. :encouragement:

That would be the one in which the author keeps asking questions and never moves forward. :cookie::indecisiveness:

ironpony
May 9th, 2020, 07:15 PM
So scene:
Go to house to pack
Get attacked, run away
Call for backup
Characters want
F: items from home.
C: protect F, later the car
V: kill F
Resources
C: police backup
V: guns
IMO they wouldn't return to the house at all. Have F be packing the bag when attacked, so important items are in it. Then either take the bag with them during escape or once back up is called have C get officers to retrieve his car and the bag. F should never be left out in the open after an attack like that. I don't know the rest of the events though, so this may not work.

Okay thanks, I could write it so she doesn't have to go back because she has the suitcase the whole time during the attack. However, if you are being chased by guys with pistols, would you really bother to keep on carrying a suitcase, or would you instinctively drop, so you can run faster?

Razzy
May 10th, 2020, 12:19 AM
If it's a suitcase just leave it behind. I would have an officer collect it from the house and deliver it to the safe house for her.

ironpony
May 10th, 2020, 09:57 AM
If it's a suitcase just leave it behind. I would have an officer collect it from the house and deliver it to the safe house for her.

Okay thanks but she needs to pack something that she does not want any other character to know about. So another officer cannot collect it, because it's too risky for her to allow that.

So how can she get the items packed that she wants kept secret, after an attack is made on her, without any officers knowing about it?

Pulse
May 10th, 2020, 11:16 AM
My feeling is that if one object holds particular significance, she would probably have packed it first and throw in a bunch of clothes in afterwards. Therefore it would not be easy to show her placing the important item in the suitcase without packing the whole thing. In other words, you might as well show her pulling down the suitcase from on top of a wardrobe, say, and placing the importanmt item in it before randomly chucking in other items to fill the space.

Kyle R
May 10th, 2020, 02:25 PM
However, if you are being chased by guys with pistols, would you really bother to keep on carrying a suitcase, or would you instinctively drop, so you can run faster?

Is this really a question that you need to ask of others? Whether or not your character would drop a suitcase?

Like ... do you not know your characters well enough to answer this question on your own?

I know it's tempting to keep asking writers for advice and suggestions, because it's easy and it often avoids having to do a lot of thinking yourself. But outside feedback should be a step in the process, not a continuous habit. (And I've been saying this to you for years now, I believe.)

The more you rely on others to do your creative thinking for you, the harder it'll become to think of those ideas on your own. :cower:

Sir-KP
May 10th, 2020, 03:39 PM
And why it has to be suitcase lol? Is this Mister Bean or what?

It could have been sports duffel bag. Or even just a backpack, which is a very common thing.

ironpony
May 10th, 2020, 10:17 PM
Yes she would pack the important item in the bottom for sure.


Is this really a question that you need to ask of others? Whether or not your character would drop a suitcase?

Like ... do you not know your characters well enough to answer this question on your own?

I know it's tempting to keep asking writers for advice and suggestions, because it's easy and it often avoids having to do a lot of thinking yourself. But outside feedback should be a step in the process, not a continuous habit. (And I've been saying this to you for years now, I believe.)

The more you rely on others to do your creative thinking for you, the harder it'll become to think of those ideas on your own. :cower:

Yes I know my characters I think, and the character is telling me she would drop the case during a chase. In which case, she would have to go back for it. It was just suggested before she should keep holding onto it before, but I don't think that is going to be possible.

ironpony
May 14th, 2020, 03:44 AM
Well it was said before on here that I should get feedback from just one reader only and go with that. I did that, but the reader discovered a plot hole she pointed out but we are both stuck on how to fix it. I am tempted to ask other people's advice on it, but should I try to avoid that and maybe just let the plot hole be and hope for the best then, if asking too many people is bad?

apocalypsegal
May 16th, 2020, 01:09 PM
The way I look at things is, I try to put myself in the situation. Okay, a woman is going into witness protection, she's apparently safe enough that she's allowed to go home and pack some things. First, is this how it works? I've seen it done, so it's a valid choice.

Next question is, what does she pack, and in what? Clothes, toiletries, medications, maybe a picture of a loved one. Sounds good. Maybe a small suitcase, as the government would likely provide any more than this. If she has something she wants to sneak in, it probably wouldn't be hard, as the cops likely aren't watching her, suspicious.

Now, the bad guys discover/follow/luck out. Gotta run! Hold on to that item she really had to sneak into her bag? If at all possible. Or maybe she slips it into her pocket instead, so losing the luggage isn't a big deal. What happens next? Do they all get away? Does she get to a safe place, without anyone knowing about the secret item? Da ta da....

This is how you work through a scenario. Ask yourself, what would I do, or what would someone in that situation possibly do? What makes sense for the character, and the plot? How can this lead to more twists, setbacks, triumphs? Keep going like that, until you finish your story. Stephen King calls this the "What if?", and it's how he starts a story, how he works through it.

Now, that aside, I think you have a big issue, and it's that you don't trust yourself to tell a story. You seem to be in constant need of affirmation, of suggestions, of input on the smallest detail. But, we don't write by committee. To proceed in that way only leads to unhappiness, and you never learn to simply think through the story and write it your way.

If you must have so much feedback, I recommend you find three or five people who read the type of stories you have to tell, and who can express their opinions in a clear way. Do some research and come up with a list of questions you want answered, and get them to answer them in relation to the story. You want to know things like, is any part of the story confusing, do the characters seem realistic, are their actions correct for their personalities and the plot, and so on. I probably wouldn't look to other writers for your beta readers, and some can't help making your story theirs. This is not what you want, nor need.

ironpony
May 16th, 2020, 03:48 PM
Oh okay, thanks. Well the item is too big to fit into a pocket though, so she will need some sort of bag or case to hide it in. But if I want the villains to come after, she will be forced to drop it and have to come up back. As long as the cops will let her come back for it after.

KieronB
May 16th, 2020, 04:15 PM
You could always go with the middle ground. She was basically finished packing, the attack happens, they narrowly escape, backup called, cop says are you packed, she is basically but needs to rush back for it, ok but be quick and then she throws in the last item(s) - key item and then they make a quick(ish) escape.

ironpony
May 16th, 2020, 05:24 PM
I could do that. I just thought the police probably wouldn't bother to take her back even if the bag was already mostly packed.

mirandass
May 20th, 2020, 06:12 PM
In your case I would recommend figure out with Subject vs Content - Difference Between Subject and Content | Difference and Definition (https://differencebtwn.com/what-is-the-difference-between-subject-and-content).

ironpony
May 27th, 2020, 07:28 PM
Oh okay, but what do you mean by subject and content, in this particular context?

Mutimir
May 29th, 2020, 04:18 PM
This is the minutiae that should be contained to one sentence if not cut out completely. There is nothing entertaining about reading about someone packing a bag. What the scene should be for is probably character development and therefore dialogue.

ironpony
May 30th, 2020, 03:44 AM
Oh okay, for sure, I'm all about character development too. But for the plot, she still needs the bag though of course.

Mutimir
June 1st, 2020, 01:21 AM
Oh okay, for sure, I'm all about character development too. But for the plot, she still needs the bag though of course.

Yeah but for the plot it doesn't matter when she gets it. You see that right?

ironpony
June 1st, 2020, 01:31 AM
Oh yes, it doesn't matter when she gets it, as long as she has it for when she is moved to another location such as a safe house.